Scotland's Story - H. E. Marshall

John Baliol—The Last of Toom Tabard

Berwick was taken, but instead of yielding, the people made Baliol send a letter to Edward saying he would not come to do homage, as he was ordered to do.

'Ah, the foolish traitor,' cried Edward when he read the letter, 'what folly is this? Since he will not come to us, we will go to him.'

And so he went, fighting battles and taking towns all the way. Town after town, castle after castle, fell before Edward and his victorious army. The great lords and barons knelt to him as their master. There seemed no help for it. They must yield, or die.

At last, at Montrose, Edward and Baliol met again. And there Baliol, forgetting his proud words, came to Edward, begging for pardon. With no crown upon his head, with no royal robes about his shoulders, with neither sword nor sceptre, but clad in a plain dark dress like a penitent, and carrying a white wand in his hand, he came. Standing before his master he confessed that he had been led away by evil counsels, he gave up his right to the throne of Scotland, and put himself into the hands of Edward.

Edward, strong and stern, and filled with contempt for so weak a man, sent both Baliol and his son prisoner to England. A few years later Baliol was allowed to go to France. There, on his own lands, he lived quietly till he died. In Scotland's story we have no more to do with this weak-spirited King. His own people called him Toom Tabard, which means empty coat, because he looked rather fine in his splendid robes, but there was neither courage nor manhood in him. And for many years to come Scotland suffered for his weakness and folly.

Now that Baliol was no longer king, Robert Bruce thought that the time for which he had hoped had come. He thought that he should now be king. But Edward had no mind to give up what he had won. 'Have we nothing, think you, to do, but to conquer kingdoms and give them to you?' he asked scornfully, and Robert Bruce went back to his own lands sad and angry.

Edward placed English governors over Scotland, filled the Scottish castles with English soldiers; then, thinking that he had subdued the people, he went home.

He took with him many things which were dear and sacred to the hearts of Scotsmen. Among these was the Stone of Destiny, which has remained in England ever since. It is now in Westminster, and it is used whenever a British King is crowned. It is said too that Edward caused to be taken away and destroyed many old books and records of Scotland. He did this so that the people might be made the more easily to forget their ancient freedom and become his willing subjects.

But all these things he did in vain.


Front Matter

The Story of Prince Gathelus
A Fight with the Romans
The March of the Romans
The Story of Saint Columba
French and Scot Allies
The Last of the Picts
A Ploughman Wins a Battle
Macbeth and Three Sisters
The Murder of Banquo
Thane of Fife went to England
Birnam Wood at Dunsinane
Malcolm Canmore
Saint Margaret of Scotland
The Story of Pierce-Eye
Donald Bane and Duncan
Alexander I—The Fierce
Battle of the Standard
William I—the Lion
Alexander II
Alexander III is Crowned
The Taming of the Ravens
A Lady and a Brave Knight
How the King Rode Home
The Maid of Norway
The Siege of Berwick
The Last of Toom Tabard
Adventures of William Wallace
The Black Parliament of Ayr
The Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Falkirk
The Turning of a Loaf
How the Bruce Struck a Blow
How the King was Crowned
If at First you don't Succeed
The King Tries Again
The Fight at the Ford
The Bruce Escapes
The Taking of Perth
How Two Castles Were Won
Castle of Edinburgh is Taken
How de Bohun Met his Death
The Battle of Bannockburn
How the Scots Carried the War
The Heart of the King
The Story of Black Agnes
Battle of Neville's Cross
French/Scots War with England
The Battle of Otterburn
A Fearful Highland Tournament
The Duke of Rothesay
The Battle of Harlaw
The Scots in France
Beautiful Lady of the Garden
The Poet King
The Black Dinner
Fall of the Black Douglases
The Story of the Boyds
How a Mason Became an Earl
The Battle of Sauchieburn
A Great Sea Fight
The Thistle and Rose
Flodden Field
Fall of the Red Douglases
Story of Johnnie Armstrong
The Goodman of Ballengiech
King of the Commons
Mary Queen of Scots
Darnley and Rizzio
Mary and Bothwell
The Queen Made Prisoner
King's Men and Queen's Men
Death of Two Queens
New Scotland
The King and the Covenant
The Soldier Poet
How the Soldier Poet Died
For the Crown
How the King was Restored
The Church among the Hills
A Forlorn Hope
The Battle of Killiecrankie
Glen of Weeping
Fortune's Gilded Sails
How the Union Jack was Made
For the King over the Water
Story of Smugglers
Prince Charles Came Home
Wanderings of Prince Charles
A Greater Conqueror
God Save the King