Sunday, November 29, 2009

Battle of Bannockburn Anniversary

If you've ever wanted to visit Scotland, then you might consider the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn on June 24, 2014. The Stirling Council of chiefs have announced their interest in hosting such an event for the next Gathering.

This battle was a huge victory in favor of Scotland and marked the turning point in the War of Scottish Independence against England. Edward Bruce, the brother of Robert the Bruce, Scotland's King, began a seige of Stirling Castle, commanded by Sir Philip Mowbray. Bruce and Mowbray agreed that if no relief came by midsummer, the castle would surrender to Bruce.

That summer King Edward of England entered Scotland with the goal of relieving Stirling Castle and defeating the Scots to end the war. He had 2-3,000 calvary, and 16,000 foot soldiers, which was 2-3 times the size of Bruce's gathered army.

King Edward began to lose control of his army when the Earls of Gloucester and Hereford quarreled over who was going to lead the charge, both were given joint command. To make matters worse, the English army was so large they had trouble moving quickly and getting into accurate positions.
Bruce forced his entire army straight into the disorganized English army. It was a blood bath, fighting one-on-one to the point that archers on either side could not shoot their arrows for fear of killing their own men. The English fortresses began to break. The Scots continued their siege until the English fled in a disordered retreat back across Bannockburn.

Even though England did not recognize Scotland's independence until ten years later, the Battle of Bannockburn established credibility for Robert the Bruce as Scotland's king. The statue above is a monument on the site where it is believed that warring parties camped the night before the battle.