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Battles of Dail Righ (Dalry) and Dupplin Moor

For more on the Battle of Dail Righ now Dalry see
http://www.robertson.org/lorne.html and
http://www.highlandtraveller.com/sites/battle/mapidepenbatt.html for a
useful map.

The Battle of Dupplin Moor or Duplin Muir, 11th & 12th August 1332
This less than glorious battle took place south of Perth between Edward
Balliol son of the rejected pro-English King John Balliol known as "Toom
Tabard" (the empty coat, alluding to his lack of moral fibre in dealings
with England's Edward I) and the "Disinherited Barons"and the Scots Army
under Regent Mar.

On the death of King Robert the Bruce in 1329, his son, David II succeeded
to the throne of Scotland, aged 4, and the Bruce's nephew, Donald, the Earl
of Mar became regent to rule on his behalf.

Balliol, perceiving an opportunity, gained support of the nobles who had
lost their lands by supporting England at Bannockburn in 1314, known as "The
Disinherited Barons".  These included Comyn (whose father had been murdered
by Robert the Bruce, leading to his excommunication) Henry de Beaumont and
Thomas Lord Wake.  The Treaty of Northampton of 1328, by which England had
recognised the Kingdom of Scotland, did not allow English forces to cross
the Tweed (the Treaty had also provided for the return of the Stone of
Destiny, but the English reneged on this as well), but Edward III
circumvented this by providing a fleet, landing Balliol and his men Fife, at
Kinghorn.  They overcame the immediate response of a small local force and
pressed north, fording the River Earn overnight on the 11th August and
taking the high ground on the opposite bank.  As dawn broke, they found
themselves facing a numerically superior Scots army organized in two
divisions, mostly armed with traditional long spears.  Balliol's well
equipped knights and men-at-arms dismounted and they protected their flanks
with archers, Welsh longbowmen, loaned by the English King.  The first Scots
division charged and locked with the English Men-at-Arms, but the English
had the advantage of the high ground and the Scots could not break their
line, and were soon pressed back.  Welsh archers loosed fatal volleys of
arrows into the now tightly packed Scots.  The second Scots division then
charged up the slope towards the invaders, dividing into two columns and
seeking to infiltrate the left and right flanks of Balliol's force, but
thousands more arrows were loosed into them by the Welsh.  As at Falkirk in
1298, and as would happen again at Halidon Hill in 1333, the long Scottish
spears fell in droves to the archers' arrows, the lethal equivalent of
modern artillery.  The second charge was broken, and Scots, now in retreat
were caught up amongst the thousands of casualties that had fallen to the
Welsh arrows.  In one account the horrific nature of mediaeval battle is
vividly portrayed as the Scots dead and dying were said to be heaped 15 feet
deep, with the English men-at-arms stabbing at any victim showing signs of

The "schiltrons" of long spears had long resisted mounted men, but were very
vulnerable to the hail of arrows that could be launched by skilled
longbowmen who could get off as many as two further arrows in flight before
the first struck home.  The effect is captured quite well in the otherwise
hugely inaccurate Mel Gibson film "Braveheart".  Their value to was such
that if captured and if not executed on the spot, an archer would  have his
index and ring fingers lopped off to keep him from further action.  The
importance of these two fingers is the origin of the "two-fingered gesture",
by tradition first shown to the French at Crécy in 1346 and later
imortalised by Sir Winston Churchill (fingers reversed for politeness, as
the "victory v").

By the end of the battle The Earl of Mar; the Earls of Menteith and Moray;
Robert Bruce (thought to King Robert Bruce's illegitimate son), the Lord of
Liddesdale; Alexander Fraser, the High Chamberlain, eighteen other nobles,
nearly seventy knights; some 2,000 Scots men-at-arms and countless thousands
of Scot soldiers lay dead.  The Bruce's enjoinders to use guerilla tactics
against the better equipped English standing army were forgotten and would
lead to further tragic defeats before the lessons were re-learned.
Bannockburn, as a set piece battle, was pretty much the exception to the
rule, and almost certainly the presence of Templars on the field was what
brought that unique, defining victory.

So Edward Balliol won the day and he had himself crowned at Scone.  The
young King David I had to leave the country for a while. But Balliol never
gained popular support, and the Nation rallied under the new Regent, the
Earl of Moray, son of the Earl killed at Dupplin.  Later Balliol would be
driven out of Scotland "half naked", as he would s surprised by the Scots in
his camp, with the "Disinherited Barons".  Not for the first time in our
Scotland's history we had suffered disastrous military defeat, but we would
never accept foreign rule, and Scotland, having fought so hard for
independence, would remain a sovereign nation.

Iain Laird



----- Original Message -----
From: "John S. Quarterman" <jsq@quarterman.com>
To: <sinclair@quarterman.org>
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 8:04 AM
Subject: Sinclair Dates

>    [1]Tomorrow:
>    August 11
>    1306: Battle of Dail Righ,

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

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