that he was resolved to subdue Scotland as he had recently subdued Wales. But Edward was now on the peaceful tack of legal process. The competitors, though mostly great Scots nobles, were also mostly the liegemen of Edward for large possessions in England; and not one of them could dare to claim the throne of Scotland without regard to Edward's opinion. It was quite inevitable that every one of them should submit to his judgment. Besides their material interests in England, they were of Norman descent and of Norman upbringing and Norman sympathies, and thus they were largely alien to the mass of the Scottish population. Their interest in Scotland was little, if anything, more than a matter of land and lordship. They were quite content to take the kingdom of Scotland as a bigger fief. It was therefore the most natural thing in the world for them to leave the decision of the case in the hands of their liege lord, the King of England. For the community of Scotland the question wore a wholly different aspect.
Edward had taken good care not to allow the matter to slumber through the winter. He had sent forth his commands to all the religious houses of the land, requiring them to search diligently in their chronicles, and to transmit to him speedily extracts of all such passages as might bear on the relations of England and Scotland. Such of these extracts as had come to hand, he caused to be recited before his Parliament assembled at Norham on May 10. By the mouth of his Justiciary, Sir Roger le Brabazon, he set forth his solicitude for the peace of Scotland and his anxiety to do justice to all, and required the Scots prelates and nobles to recognise his superiority and direct lordship—a claim affirmed to be 'clear, from chronicles found in different monasteries and other places in England and Scotland, from other sources of information, from certain documents, and on most evident reasons.' The Scots nobles present, although previously informed of Edward's intentions, represented their inability to reply without further consultation with nobles and others not then present. The meeting was adjourned till next day, when Bishop Bek, not Edward personally, announced that they might take three weeks, at the end of which time they would be expected to produce any evidence they might be able to find against the King's claim of superiority.
Meantime the returns from the religious houses continued to pour in. The Scots nobles also must have exhibited anxiety for the independence of Scotland; for on May 31 Edward made them a declaration that the coming of the magnates and the Community of Scotland to Norham should not be drawn into a precedent in prejudice of the liberties of the realm. Then, on June 2, the Scots nobles assembled on Upsetlington Green—Holywell Haugh—on the north side of the Tweed, opposite to Norham Castle. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Chancellor of England, with the usual preliminary flourish about the gracious feelings and intentions of Edward, informed them that the Kings of England from the remotest times had held the over-lordship of Scotland. They themselves, he pointed out, had not even now brought forward any evidence in disproof of Edward's claim. Edward, therefore, in the exercise of his right, would proceed to investigate and decide the rights of the claimants. Eight of these, who were present, formally acknowledged Edward's supremacy.
Next day the proceedings were resumed on the English side of the Tweed, in the parish church of Norham. Balliol, who had been absent on the previous day, now made his acknowledgment. The Bishop of Bath and Wells advanced Edward's pretensions another step; he explained that Edward did not construe the possession and exercise of his right of over-lordship as excluding his hereditary right of lordship. Then, as to the mode of proceeding towards the determination of the claims of the competitors, Edward suggested that the chief claimants, Balliol and Bruce, should each, on behalf of themselves and such other competitors as should agree, nominate forty arbiters or auditors, the King himself being content to nominate twenty-four, more or less, to hear the evidence and to report to him, whereupon he would give his decision. The one hundred and four arbiters were appointed accordingly on July 5; and next day they fixed the hearing to take place at Berwick, the King himself appointing August 2 as the date.
The 11th of June had been a memorable day. The Guardians formally resigned the kingdom and its castles to Edward as over-lord. The Bishop of Caithness, on the nomination of the Scots nobles, was appointed by Edward Chancellor of Scotland; and with him was associated the King's own clerk, Sir Walter de Amundesham (Amersham), who was presently (August 18) succeeded by Adam de Botingdon. Two days later, Sir Brian Fitz Alan was associated with the Guardians in Edward's interest; the first batch of Scots prelates and barons swore fealty on the Holy Evangels; and Edward, 'as over-lord of Scotland,' ordered the governors of castles in Scotland to deliver them over to governors of his own appointment, the common consent of the Scots Guardians and of the competitors being recorded; and Edward, as over-lord, proclaimed his peace. On June 17 a general order was issued that all freeholders should swear fealty to Edward. The terms of the ordinance as to homage and fealty, which had been settled on June 12 at Norham by Edward 'with the advice of the prelates and magnates of Scotland there present,' were comprehensive and precise. They applied to 'all, both clerical and lay, who would have been bound to make homage and fealty to a living king of Scotland.' All that came were to be admitted; those that came and refused were to be arrested till performance; those that did not come, but excused themselves for good reason, were to be allowed till next Parliament; those that neither came nor excused themselves were to be 'more straitly distrained' till they conformed. Thus, to all appearance, Edward held Scotland in the grip of his iron hand—the reward of a patient diplomacy.
The great process was resumed on August 3 at Berwick. The competitors, now increased to twelve, presented their claims in technical form before the hundred and four auditors. The first object was to decide the point of law at issue between Balliol and Bruce, namely, whether the nearer descendant by the younger child or the more remote descendant by the elder child had the preferable title. 'Perhaps,' as Burton says, 'the policy of the arrangement lay in this, that in Bruce and Balliol, and those they might bring with them, the Lord Superior knew whom he had to deal with personally; among a set of miscellaneous strangers, bringing their friends and supporters into the controversy, he might find troublesome people.' The question, if in some sense 'a by-question between two claimants,' nevertheless went to the root of the claims of the two competitors that were obviously first in the running. The proceedings went on, without getting much farther forward, till August 12, when Edward adjourned the sittings to June 2, 1292.
It had been alleged that some document founded upon by the Count of Holland was missing, and this gave the King a welcome opportunity of further demonstrating his resolution to do justice to the last iota. On this 12th of August he appointed certain commissioners to examine all documents presented by suitors or 'in any way touching us and our kingdom,' whether in Edinburgh Castle or elsewhere in Scotland. Under the order many papers were carried away and deposited in Berwick Castle. It does not appear that anything of importance or of immediate relevance was discovered. Certainly Edward found nothing to support his claim of over-lordship, otherwise he would have utilised it, and had it carefully recorded. Whatever his real intention in directing the search, his