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Re: Small Folk Saved the Day at Bannockburn?

aBnnockburn was not a site of King Robert’s choosing.  Robert’s  brother
Edward Bruce had
agreed with Sir Philip Mowbray a Scot in command of English occupying
Stirling that a year
truce would be had and the English would either reinforce the garrison or it
would be
surrendered to the Scots. Edward Bruce made this agreement after besieging
Stirling from
Lent to midsummer. This agreement forced Robert to the one thing he had
sought throughout
the long campaign to avoid, a test of strength.  The battle like the sight
was forced upon the
King. Like William Wallace at Falkirk the Bruce carefully placed himself in
a position the
restricted English cavalry.  Scots were outnumbered three or four to one.
Scottish moral was
high. Thomas Randolph the best of Bruce’s lieutenants had taken Edinburgh in
March of
1314. Bruce had one great advantage Wallace lacked at Falkirk, a force of
500 light cavalry
and the Knights Templar. Sir Robert Keith commanded the light cavalry whilst
the Knights
Templar were led by Sir William Sinclair.

On the 23rd of June 1314 AD shortly before the battled joined the King
mounted on a highland
pony rode in inspection of his battle line one  young and ambitious, English
Henry de Bohun
charged the King.   Robert, the greatest Knight in spite his age, held firm.
At the last moment
Robert moved his horse to the right turning the thrusting lance away with
his targe. The king
rose in his saddle and with a blow so forceful the it split his axe handle
he despatched de
Bohun Bruce’s only recorded remark was “You’ve ruined my good axe”

The feat electrified the Scots Army.  The English despite repeated attacks
were unable to
break the “Little peoples” Bruce’s schiltroms.  The English bowmen. Who
numbered over
5000 were crushed by the combined Sinclair/Keith assault.  The horsemen
remained orderly in
the face of onslaught of English heavy Horse.

This iron resolve  held for almost two days and drove the English from the
field! The weak
ineffectual King of the English Edward in his finest moment fought to the


Sorry I don't know how to make the type small in a reply
----- Original Message -----
From: Ward Ginn <wginn@worldnet.att.net>
To: <sinclair@mids.org>
Sent: Friday, August 20, 1999 11:03 PM
Subject: Small Folk Saved the Day at Bannockburn?

>     At the  recent  Virginia Scottish Games, I was walking past the
> 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
> flight.
>     I read somewhere that there are no first hand accounts of the battle
> which was committed to paper while memories of the participants were
> Thus, descriptions of the battle by contemporary historians and writers is
> sparse and fragmentary.  While there are some who believe it was the
> folk' who turned the tide of battle, the consensus of opinion is that it
> a charge by the Templars that made the English throw down their arms. Is
> there more to this story than these mere scraps?
> [ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org
> [ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html

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