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Sunday, 12 February 2012

Battle of Bannockburn

The Battle Of Bannockburn was fought on June 23-24 1314 at Bannockburn, Scotland, between Robert (I) the Bruce, King of Scotland, and Edward II of England.

Edward II, attempting to relieve Stirling Castle, led over 2,000 knights and 15,000 foot soldiers, including about 5,000 archers. Bruce had only 500 light cavalry and some 7,000 foot soldiers.

After an English attack was repulsed, Edward's forces made a night march to outflank the obstacles. This manoeuvre was badly executed, leaving Edward's knights in boggy ground and the archers out of position in the rear. Bruce blocked the English advance with schiltrons (tightly packed formations) of pikemen, then, as the archers tried to deploy, charged with his cavalry and routed them.

This depiction from the Scotichronicon (c.1440) is the earliest known image of the battle

The victorious Bruce attributed his success to the relic of the Scottish Saint, St. Fillan, which he took into battle. He declared it was the Saint’s intercession that gave him victory.

Robert Burn's "Scots Wae Nae" was inspired by Bruce's marching song "Hey Tutti Taitie" which was sung by his troops during Bannockburn.

The defeat of the English led to the independence of Scotland.

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2012. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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