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Stuart dynasty

(31) Page 11 - Under two Kings --- Robert II, 1370-1390

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(31) Page 11 - Under two Kings --- Robert II, 1370-1390
( 11 )
Robert II., 1370-90 ; Robert III., 1390-1406.
It certainly speaks volumes for the fidelity to Eobert Brace's
memory which his countrymen displayed, that they acquiesced
quietly in the elevation of Robert II., first sovereign of the
house of Stuart. Not only was the country generally in
apparently inextricable confusion, but a war with England
had been now raging, now smouldering, for nearly eighty
years ; while it was whispered that William, Earl of Douglas
— the head of that romantic family, himself a prominent
warrior, and acknowledged as military leader of the nation —
was ready to take also upon his shoulders the royal cares
of State. The late Mr. Hill Burton* speaks to this effect of
the candidature of the Earl of Douglas, while other authorities
regard it as an established fact, though it does not appear in
the chronicles.
King Robert had reached fifty-five years of age when he
was crowned at Scone, and the narrative of that eventful
and warlike life given in the last chapter will itself give the
reason why he desired thus comparatively early, as regards
age, to take refuge from camps and seek such ease as his
position might confer. But this shrinking from active
responsibility was totally out of place at the time in Scotland,
and it is wonderful that things went on so well as they did
during the reign of Robert II. There were, it is true,
perpetual combats on and around those wild Border lands
so justly renowned in Scotch story : while the Lowlands
suffered severely from invasion in 1385. Moreover, in some
quarters, as future events were to show, there was a doubt as
to the Succession.
It will be remembered that Robert II. had married
Elizabeth Mure, his distant cousin, and so needed a Papal dis-
pensation to confirm their union, the issue of which numbered
* ' History of Scotland,' vol. ii. p. 343.

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