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Small Folk Saved the Day at Bannockburn?
At the recent Virginia Scottish Games, I was walking past the Stewart
tent and overheard the heated conversion of a couple of visitors who were
looking at a copy of the Battle of Bannockburn mural from a painting by
James Proudfoot (1977). Pointing to a small rag tag group of poorly armed
'small folk,' one of the gentlemen questioned the ability of such a small
number ill equipped and poorly trained people could set the much larger,
well equipped English army to flight. His view was that the mural was
inaccurate because it was the Knights Templar, not 'small folk' who turned
the tide with a fearless charge into the English ranks that put Edward II in
I read somewhere that there are no first hand accounts of the battle
which was committed to paper while memories of the participants were fresh.
Thus, descriptions of the battle by contemporary historians and writers is
sparse and fragmentary. While there are some who believe it was the 'small
folk' who turned the tide of battle, the consensus of opinion is that it was
a charge by the Templars that made the English throw down their arms. Is
there more to this story than these mere scraps?
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