subsequent dealings with Scotland gave colour—and probably quite false colour—to later allegations charging him with the express purpose of wantonly destroying the national records. During the next five or six days (August 13–18), Edward manifested his satisfaction with events in a manner peculiarly pleasing to some half-dozen Scots magnates. There remains a record of certain grants he made to the Bishop of Glasgow, James Steward of Scotland, Earl Patrick of Dunbar, Sir John de Soulis, Sir William de St. Clair, Sir Patrick de Graham, and Sir William de Soulis. These grants are expressed to be made for various expenditure, and 'also for the zeal' the grantee 'had and has to promote peace and tranquillity among the people' of Scotland. The record, however, is cancelled in the Rolls, for the very sufficient reason that the particular grants were not made after all, equivalents being given instead. Every reader may make his own comment.
While English counsels ruled the policy of the Guardians, and English castellans stretched their mailed hands over Scotland from the strongholds, the great cause dragged on. At length, June 2, 1292, came round, and Edward resumed the process at Berwick. A thirteenth competitor now presented himself—Eric, King of Norway. Edward professed anxiety to reach a decision, for was he not moved by the sore desolation of Scotland? Still the contest surged about the claims of Bruce and Balliol. How to arrive at the right decision? The Scots auditors would greatly assist the King to expedite matters if they would inform him on what laws and customs he is to proceed. The Scots auditors are helpless to decide without further consideration and advice; perhaps the English auditors would aid them? The English auditors join in consultation, but they shrink from answering without further and more precise advice, which they might perhaps obtain from the prelates and nobles of England. Apparently, then, there must be a further adjournment. Edward accordingly fixed October 14 for next meeting, and stated that in the meantime he and the rest of the parties interested would take the best advice to be found anywhere in the two kingdoms.
It is not relevant to the present purpose to pursue the arguments of the October meeting. On the 15th the case was closed, no doubt after private diplomatic dealing with the competitors. On November 17, Edward announced his decision in great state in the hall of Berwick Castle—in favour of Balliol. Thereupon he issued orders to the Guardians to deliver seisin of the kingdom to the new King, and to the castellans of the twenty-three chief strongholds to deliver them over to Balliol or his representatives. On the 20th, Balliol swore fealty to Edward at Norham; on the 30th he was enthroned at Scone; then he went back to Newcastle-on-Tyne, and, having eaten his Christmas dinner with his over-lord, did homage to him next morning as an invested King. On January 2, by letters patent, sealed by Balliol, by two great prelates, and by ten of the principal nobles of Scotland, Edward was acquitted of all obligations incurred by him while the country was in his hands; and two days later he acknowledged that his rights in Scotland were limited to homage and its pertinents. Some special favours of a pecuniary nature within the next few months intimate Edward's satisfaction with his royal henchman. But these marks of the over-lord's pleasure were far from counterbalancing the dissatisfaction openly and ominously manifested in his kingdom of Scotland.
Two or three points in this prolonged process invite particular remark. In the first place, as Burton justly points out,
'What confers a strange interest on the selfish squabble and the array of technicalities and pleadings called out by it, is that there is no more allusion to the rights of the Community of Scotland, or the way in which a decision may affect them, than there need be in any private litigation. They have no more place in the question than the tenants on an estate while the settlements are disputed. So far as one can gather from the terms of the documents, it never seems to have occurred to the greedy litigants themselves or their astute technical advisers, that there was a fierce self-willed people, nourished in independence and national pride, who must be bent or broken before the subtleties and pedantries of the Lord Superior's court would be of any avail. Totally unconscious they seem also to have been that the intricate technicalities which dealt with a sovereign independent State as a mere piece of property in search of an owner, formed an insult never to be forgiven, whatever might be the cost of repudiation and vengeance.'
Edward himself, however, was gifted with a deeper insight than all the rest. He at least was thoroughly aware of the deeper elements of the problem, and of their difficult character. At the Upsetlington meeting, while the prelates and nobles had nothing to urge against Edward's claims—for Wyntoun's record of the Bishop of Glasgow's bold denial of the pretended right of superiority must be held in suspense—the 'Community' of Scotland undoubtedly presented a protest. What this body had to say on the point, most unfortunately we do not know. It finds no place in the very full record of proceedings preserved in the Great Roll of Scotland. There is, however, no doubt at all that some answer was made, and that it was set aside as 'nothing to the point' (nihil efficax). But Burton's comment deserves to be carefully borne in mind. 'Transactions,' he shrewdly remarks, 'are profusely recorded, as if for the purpose of courting all inquiry into doubts or difficulties that might affect conclusions, yet one ever feels, throughout all this candour, that the truth is to be found somewhere behind, and that the abundance of punctilious record is devised to conceal it.' The exclusion of all notice of the action of the Community from the official record must be taken to have been deliberate. But it was an act of policy, not of inappreciation, on the part of the King.
There is another element in certain documents of the time that confirms this conclusion in a very striking manner. In the official record of the case, Edward is designated Lord Superior at every turn. There is a marked contrast, however, in the order he directed to each of the Scots castellans to deliver over their strongholds to English successors. 'In the preamble,' Burton points out, 'Edward does not make display of his office of Lord Superior, as in the documents which were not to go to Scotland. He is Edward, King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Guienne; and he demands delivery of the fortress by assent of the Guardians and of the several candidates, and only towards the conclusion does he briefly bring in his title of "Soveryn Seygnur."' In this order, as well as in the order as to fealty, he judiciously associates with himself the prelates and magnates of the realm of Scotland. Obviously, he exercised sleepless discretion in the pushing of his claims, with a careful eye on the possible effects in a high-spirited community.
A word may also be said on the functions of the auditors. From the record of their appointment, it would seem to be plain enough that they were intended to sit together as a single board of referees. The magnanimity of Edward and his confidence in the justice of his cause were not ignored by the English chroniclers; eighty to twenty-four manifests a generosity of fairness. But then we have already seen that the auditors did not, at any rate always, act as a single body. At a late stage of the proceedings, two questions arose: By what law should the question be tried—by the Imperial (that is, the Civil or Roman) law, or by the laws and customs of England or Scotland? Is there any specialty in rank or dignity of this kingdom of Scotland that should