Battle of Bannockburn

On the 23 June 1314 the Scots took on the English led by Edward II. The Scots outnumbered by three to one with the Scots having 500 horsemen 6,000 foot soldiers against and English army of 2,000 battle hardened knights and 16,000 infantry.

The Scots led by the Robert Bruce, the King of Scotland.  The young Bruce had originally supported the English King Edward I and swore fealty in 1296. He remained in secret contact with Scots patriots during Edward I invasions of Scotland. Edward I died in 1307 and Robert began to rally support due the evident weakness of Edward II. In 1312 and 1313 he raided northern towns of England increasing his strength and support. By the year 1314 all but five border strongholds had been captured. It was in the summer of this year that Edward II arrived at the head of a large army at Bannockburn. The expedition was originally intended to relieve a garrison that was besieged by the Scots for the last year.

Edward’s troops first battled with Scots foot soldiers in the Forth Valley and overnight they moved to a position between the River Forth and Bannockburn. At dawn the Scots spearman attacked trapping the English between the two streams. The Scots forced the English army back until the river was swamped with the blood of English bodies.

Bannockburn 1

King Edward II fled the field and took refuge in Dunbar Castle until he sailed to home by boat. The battle lasted for two days and by the end it was reported that you could cross the river by treading over the countless bodies without getting wet.

Bannockburn 2

The Scots took a lot of the English knights captive that they used to exchange for Scottish prisoners. They also negotiated the release of Robert Bruce’s wife, daughter and sister. After the Battle of Bannockburn only Berwick was left in English hands.

For further information on the Battle I would recommend.
Battle of Kings: Bannockburn (The History Channel) [DVD]

Or for a great read:
Battle of Bannockburn 1314

 

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