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Under Two Kings. 21
The concluding years of Robert III. were indeed gloomy.
His army was defeated at Homildon Hill, by the skill of the
English archers, on September 14, 1402, both the Earl of
Douglas and Murdoch Stuart, the Duke of Albany's son,
becoming the prisoners of Henry IV. Direst stroke of all
— a similar fate awaited the Scotch monarch's surviving son.
James — who had just been despatched to France for educa-
tion there, as well as to place him beyond the reach of
hostile intrigue at home — was captured on his outward
voyage by an armed merchantman off Flamborough Head,
and taken to London.
This event occurred on Palm Sunday, 1405, which fell on
the 12th of April, Wynton the chronicler showing that the
truce had not expired.*
Prince James had been placed by his guardian, Sir David
Fleming, upon the Bass Eock opposite to North Berwick,
pending his removal by ship to France. Sir David, returning
through Haddingtonshire, was attacked and murdered by
James Douglas of Balveny. The prince embarked on a ship
from Leith, and off Flamborough, as has been said, fell into
English hands.f
Although the narrative of the young prince's life will be
told in due course, it is necessary to mention this fact here,
as bearing on the closing days of his father's life ; and to pay
a passing tribute to the loyal service which Wardlaw, Bishop
of St. Andrews, performed, both as faithful friend to the
dying Stuart King, and as counsellor of his child.
It cannot be doubted that James I. had the foundations of
his great learning laid when under the influence of this re-
markable man.| The news of his son's captivity was brought
to Robert III. when about to sup in his ancestral home at
Rothesay in Bute. The unhappy widower lived but a few
months afterwards, so dire was the shock inflicted by the
intelligence of the greatest family calamity which, short of
the heir's death, could have overtaken the second Stuart King
at this crisis. For, whatever else might be hidden in the
darkness of the future, Robert III. could not hope to look on
his boy's face again.
Thus died the second sovereign of the Stuart line, and was
buried amongst his forefathers in the Abbey Church at
* Chalmers's ' Poetical Remains of the Scottish Kings,' edition 1824, p. 3.
f Ibid.
} Henry's ' History of Great Britain,' second edition, vol. x. p. 141.

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