Edward II of England at Cumnock Castle

Edward I and Edward II of England (Robert Guthrie)

It was at Dumfries on the 10th February that Robert the Bruce killed John Comyn [B1] and six weeks later was crowned King of Scots at Scone. Following some early set-backs and defeats to the occupying English forces Robert the Bruce and his followers escaped from the mainland of Scotland to take refuge during the winter of 1306/07 before returning to Bruce’s native south-west of Scotland in the spring. His return quickly came to the attention of Edward I of England and sparked an immediate response.

Bruce and his followers employing guerrilla tactics enjoyed victories over the English forces at Glen Trool, Galloway in April and then a month later at Loudon hill, Ayrshire on the 10th May 1307, according to John Barbour in his epic work ‘The Brus’ .

The  ageing and ailing king of England set his counter-offensive in motion from his sick-bed at Lanercost Priory, near to the Scottish border some 12 miles north-east of Carlisle. With garrisons in place and Edward’s great ‘Scottish Expedition’ advancing to the Scottish border, ill-health got the better of the ‘Hammer of the Scots’ and he died at Burgh on Sands near Carlisle on 7th July 1307, never to set foot in Scotland again. His son, now Edward II of England, halted the advance of the great army to take stock and deal with the consequences of his father’s death.

Edward II had already mobilised his late father’s army and on 29th July left Carlisle to begin its march into Scotland . On the 1st August it reached Annan and the day after Tinwald to the north-east of Dumfries. The next day Edward’s army marched into Dumfries and remained there to the 12th August. Patrick, Earl of Dunbar and John Comyn, Earl of Buchan (cousin of John Comyn killed by Bruce) were among a number of Scots magnates that dined with Edward II on 3rd and 4th August at Dumfries [2]. Also present was Edward’s favourite Piers Gaveston who had returned from exile after Edward I’s death. and on the 6th August he was created the 1st Earl of Cornwall. Edward and his entourage remained at Dumfries until the 12th August before marching up through Nithsdale to Dunscore (13 Aug), Tibbers (14-15 Aug) and then Sanquhar (16-18 Aug) , where Edward held a feast for the Earl of the Cornwall [3].

On the 19th August Edward’s army arrived at Cumnock Castle and remained there for nine days. Edward II’s Wardrobe Account Book from his stay at the castle that overlooks the meeting place of the Afton Water and the River Nith have survived and so too letters he sent from the castle.

Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland

Calendar of documents relating to Scotland preserved in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office, London (Editor: Joseph Bain, 1881): Volume 3.

Calendar of Documents of Relating to Scotland Vol. III
Nos. 5, 6, 7, 56 & 200
Aug. 21 1307

5. David son of John, late earl of Athol, Aymar de Valence, John de Moubray of Scotland, and Alexander de Abernethy, become bound jointly to pay 5000 marks to Ralph de Monthermer (by yearly instalments of 500 marks), in presence of the K. Cumnock.
[Close, 1 Edw. II. m. 18, dorso.]
Aug. 24 1307

6. The K. for the security of the March of Cumberland and Scotland, permits William de Dacre to enclose his house of Dunmalloght with a stone wall and crenellate the same. Cumnock. [Patent, 1 Edw. II. f. l,m. 16.]
Aug. 25 1307

7. Pardon at the request of Humphry de Bohun earl of Hereford and Essex, to John Scot of Great Petlyng for the murder of John Lenegle of same place. Cumnock.
[Privy Seals {Tower), 1 Edw. II. File 8 .]
Nov. 27 1308

56. Transcript of a bond by James steward of Scotland, John de after Moubray, and Richard Lovel, at Comenok in presence of the K. and Nov. 7. Council, to Henry de Lascy earl of Lincoln for 333/. 6s. 8d., dated 26th August in the 1st year, enclosed by William de Bevercotes chancellor of Scotland to the K,, in pursuance of his writ of Privy seal on 7th November 1308. [Schedule attached with acknowledgments of payments by the Earl.]
[Close, 1 Edw. II. m. 19, dorso, three schedule’s ].
Mar. 26 1311

200. The K. commands W. bishop of Worcester, the chancellor, to search the Chancery rolls for the recognisance granted at Comenok 1st of his reign, by Sir David de Strabolgy earl of Athol, Sir Aymar de Valence, Sir John de Hastynges, Sir John Comyn earl of Buchan, Sir John de Moubray, Sir Alexander de Abernethy, Sir Alexander de Balliol, Sir David de Breghyn, Sir Edmond Comyn, and Sir William de Cardoill, jointly and severally to his ‘brother’ Sir Rauf de Mohermer for 5000 marks, payable in 10 yearly instalments, none of which are yet paid, and issue letters for the arrears. Berwick-on-Tweed. [Privy Seals (Tower), J Edw. II. File A]

Calendar of documents relating to Scotland preserved in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office, London (Editor: Joseph Bain, 1881): Volume 5.

Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland Vol. V No. 515, 521
515 (b)
To Eustace de Cotesbach, chamberlain of Scotland, in part payment of 200 marks due to Sir John de Mowbray for keeping lands between mountains and Orkneys from 26 Aug. 1307-2 Feb 1308. And for keeping castles there except Aberdeen and Banff, Cumnock, 26 Aug. 1307
[1307, July – 1308, July] [Extract] {Wardrobe account book. 52 fos.}

521 (a)
[Various payments concerning the household at Carlisle on 29 July, Annan on 2 Aug., Dumfries, 4-12 Aug., Dunscore, 14 Aug., Senswhere [Sanquhar], 18 Aug., Cumnock, 19-27 Aug., Tibbers, 28 Aug., Tinwald near Dumfries, 30-31 Aug.]

To Sir Henry de Appleby, for wages of himself and 2 esquires at Cumnock on 20 Aug., 60s.

Payments for the king’s gaming in Scotland, 10-24 Aug
521 (b)
To Almeric de la Zouche, knight , for wages off 44 footmen of Aymer de Valence, staying in Aymer’s company in Scotland, for 34 days from 23 July, when they entered the king’s wages by command of the king and council, to 25 Aug., paid to Almeric at Cumnock 25 Aug., £13 0s 8d.
521 (d)
To Roger Redypintel, messenger of John de Lorne, coming to the king at Cumnock with his lord’s letters and returning to Argyll with the king’s letters to his lord, by the king’s gift, 21 Aug., 6s 8d.

To a poor woman of Crathgork near Stirling, keeping 2 greyhound whelps of the king for 1 year and bringing them to him at Cumnock, for the expenses of the woman and the dogs, by the king’s gifts at Cumnock, on 27 Aug;, 40s.
521 (e)
Payments to messengers sent with letters from the king in Scotland to English sheriffs and others including 21 Aug to William and Robert Scot, sent from Cumnock to Ayr and from there to Lanark, 3s 6d.

People of Medieval Scotland: 1093-1371

Amanda Beam, John Bradley, Dauvit Broun, John Reuben Davies, Matthew Hammond, Neil Jakeman, Michele Pasin and Alice Taylor (with others), People of Medieval Scotland: 1093–1371 (Glasgow and London, 2019), http://www.poms.ac.uk [accessed 21 Oct. 2019]

Foedera ii, I, 3 & ii, I, 4
Foedera, ii, I, 3 | Aug 21 1307 Commenok
King Edward writes to Pope Clement noting that he has received the pope’s letters of condolence regarding his father’s death.
PoMS 5/2/0 (https://www.poms.ac.uk/record/source/9250/;accessed 15/04/2022)
Foedera, ii, I, 3 | Aug 21 1307 Comenok
King Edward writes to Pope Clement regarding peace with King Philip of France.
PoMS H5/2/0 (https://www.poms.ac.uk/record/source/9251/;15/04/2022)
Foedera, ii, I, 4 | Aug 21 1307 Comenok
King Edward writes to King Philip of France concerning peace between them and notes that his steward of Gascony has power to receive the castle of Mauléon.
PoMS H5/2/0 (https://www.poms.ac.uk/record/source/9252/;15/04/2022)
Foedera, ii, I, 4 | Aug 26 1307 Comenok
King Edward writes to the sheriff of Northampton instructing him to make known publicly that there shall be no tournaments without special licence of the king.
PoMS H5/2/0 (https://www.poms.ac.uk/record/source/9253/;15/04/2022)
Foedera, ii, I, 4 | Aug 1307 Comenok’
King Edward writes to W., archbishop of York concerning the business of his coronation.
PoMS H5/2/0 (https://www.poms.ac.uk/record/source/9254/;15/04/2022)
Foedera, ii, I, 4 | August 28 1307 Commenok
King Edward makes known that he has appointed Aymer de Valence, his guardian of Scotland to receive into the king’s faith and peace, those of Scotland who are rebels and enemies, and who wish to be received into his peace.
PoMS H5/2/0 (https://www.poms.ac.uk/record/source/9255/;15/04/2022)