Urgent letters were sent ordering Bruce to support John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, Edward's general, in the summer of 1297; but, instead of complying, he assisted to lay waste the lands of those who adhered to Edward.
John's eldest son by his marriage with Isabel, daughter of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, was Edward de Baliol who shared his father's captivity in England in 1296.
The nobles who had submitted made delays in providing hostages, and Warenne marched from Berwick against Wallace, who, by September 1297, was north of Tay.
The general, Warenne, was old and feeble, Cressingham was hasty and confident; counsels were confused, the manner of attack was rash, and the rout was sanguinary.
Cressingham was slain, and Warenne fled to Berwick.
Shortly afterwards it was granted to William, Earl Warenne, and his heirs, under whom it formed an extensive baronial liberty, extending to the confines of Lancashire and Cheshire.
It remained with the Warenne family until the 14th century, when John Warenne, earl of Warenne and Surrey, having no legitimate heir, settled it on his mistress, Maud de Keirford and her two sons.
In1203-1204William Earl Warenne received a grant of a fair at Wakefield on the vigil, day and morrow of All Saints' day.
In 1331, at the request of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, the king granted the "good men" of the town pavage there for three years, and in the same year the earl obtained a grant of another fair there on the vigil, day and morrow of St Oswald.
The same authority observes that William of Warenne and Richard Clare (Bienfaite), who were left in charge of England in 1074, are named by a writer in the next generation " praecipui Angliae justitiarii "; but he considers the name to have not yet been definitely attached to any particular office, and that there is no evidence to show that officers appointed to this trust exercised any functions at all when the king was at home, or in his absence exercised supreme judicial authority to the exclusion of other high officers of the court.