One of his daughters married Robert Bruce when he was Earl of Carrick, and another was more recently wedded to Earl Gilbert of Gloucester. Despite the Bruce connexion, the Earl of Ulster was still trusted by the English party, and the king gave him the command of an Irish army which he had intended to send against Scotland in 1314.
They returned with information, that the approach of that vast host was one of the most beautiful and terrible sights which could be seen that the whole country seemed covered with men-at-arms on horse and foot. It was upon the twenty-third of June, 1314, the King of Scotland heard the news, that the English army was approaching Stirling.
The first of that ancient race, who derived their surname from the Lordship of Maxwell, in the county of Dumfries, was Robert de Maxwell of Carlaverock, who, in 1314, was killed at the battle of Bannockburn, fighting under the banners of King James the Third.
His tyrant, Philippe le Bel, was but forty-six years of age, still young-looking and handsome; but the decree had gone forth against him, and he fell into a bad state of health. He was thrown from his horse while pursuing a wild boar, and the accident brought on a low fever, which, on the 29th of November, 1314, brought him likewise to the grave.
BRUCE. The introduction of Freemasonry into Scotland has been attributed by some writers to King Robert Bruce, who is said to have established in 1314 the Order of Herodom, for the reception of those Knights Templars who had taken refuge in his dominions from the persecutions of the Pope and the King of France.
A great part of Boniface's decrees were revoked, and those who had attacked him were exculpated. Then, to please the king, Clement brought the Templars to trial; the order was abolished and its possessions in France, for which the king had longed, were confiscated. Obviously it proved very advantageous to the king to have a pope within his realm. Clement V died in 1314.
The seven years' war of Scottish independence was drawn to a close by the decisive campaign of 1314.
Here, on the 23d of June, 1314, was posted the Scottish army, awaiting the coming of the foe, the camp-followers, cart-drivers, and other useless material of the army being sent back behind a hill, afterwards known as the gillies' or servants' hill, that they might be out of the way. They were to play a part in the coming fray of which Bruce did not dream.
From March till October, 1314, we read that Isabel, the queen of Robert Bruce, was a prisoner in Rochester Castle, permitted to walk at convenient times, under safe custody, within its precincts and those of the Priory of St. Andrew adjoining. This is, however, to some extent a matter of controversy.
Meantime Bruce captured nearly all the Scotch castles that were held by the English, and the nobles and chiefs throughout the country acknowledged him as their king. At last Edward II marched into Scotland at the head of a hundred thousand men. Bruce met him at Bannockburn on June 24, 1314, with thirty thousand soldiers.