Page 1432


Edward, who, after weighing the relative

rights of Robert Bruce and John Baliol, decided in favor of the latter. The English

king, with an eye to his own interest, required that the Scottish castles should be

put into his hands before rendering his decision. The result was that Baliol became a

mere puppet in the hands of the English

monarch, who proceeded to settle the affairs

of the Northern kingdom according to his

will and purpose. Hereupon an insurrection

broke out, and Edward, marching across the

border, defeated the Scots in the great battle

of Dunbar. Baliol surrendered himself to the

victorious king and was detained in captivity

for three years, after which he was permitted to retire into France.

It was at this epoch that the province

of Guienne, which had descended to the

English crown from the old Queen Eleanor,

was regained by the king of France. Guienne owed fealty to the French crown,

and Philip the Fair persuaded Edward to

perform the act of homage as a recognition

of that relation, at the same time promising

to restore the province as soon as the formal

act was done. But no sooner had Edward

resigned Guienne under this fiction of doing

homage for it than Philip refused to make the

promised restitution. So deeply at this time

was Edward involved in the complications

relating to the crown of Scotland, that he

was unable to recover by force what he had

lost by the craft and subtlety of Philip the

Fair. Such was the condition of affairs in

England from the beginning of the thirteenth

century up to the time when, by the capture

of Acre, the Christian kingdom in the East

was finally overthrown.

Let us then refer briefly to the course of

events in France in the later epochs of the

Crusades. In 1180 Philip II., surnamed

Augustus, inherited the French crown. Such

were his talents and ambitions, and such his

impatience under the restraints imposed on his

kingdom by Feudalism, that he set himself to

work after the manner of a politician and

statesman to overthrow the feudal princes and

to build upon the ruins of their privileges and

liberties the structure of regular monarchy.

What might have been his success but for the

condition of affairs in Syria it were perhaps

useless to conjecture. It will be remembered

that Philip, before coming to the throne of

France, had formed an attachment to Prince

Richard Plantagenet, and that the two princes,