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Re: Roslin's Battle final

On receiving news of the calamity that had befallen Segrave, de Confrey
immediately abandoned his siege of Dalhousie to advance upon the Scots
militia, who would now have to face the wrath of a professional English army
bitten by the mighty midge but not subdued. The Scots no longer possessed
the help of the bolt from the blue, surprise. From the Prior's knowledge of
the terrain, Wallace deployed the Scots on a ridge with a crag at its north
end and waited for the English progress. The English closed in but their
uphill charge was wrecked by volley upon volley of Scottish arrows. They
turned northwards unaware of the precipice. The outnumbered Scots closed on
their southern flank and drove them towards the rocky face. The slaughter at
the rock face was horrendous. De Confrey died embroiled in the battle as
news of the advance of the third division of English soldiers reached the
Scots. About to be pressed by yet another numerically superior force the
Scots spared only those could be ransomed. The rest were systematically and
brutally murdered.

The battle weary Scots were exhausted and had misgivings as to whether they
could inflict a third defeat on the English that day. They had marched all
the night before, battled desperately all day, and were near the point of
collapse. The warrior priest, the Prior Abernethy, spoke to the bedraggled
army. He spoke of the violence that Edward had committed; he spoke of
Berwick, when Edward's army had put the whole population to the sword
including children, old women, and animals, to please the English merchants
who paid for his campaign. Berwick then in Scots hands was the richest wool
port in the British Isles. He spoke of the past of the Scots nation from
time immemorial.. He recalled of the vandalism of Scone Abbey by the
English.  He turned and urged the Scots to gaze at the nearby bleak Pentland
hills. A Saltire argent on a field azure had been raised at the point.

The Saltire had been born during another earlier struggle to resist the
English. In 834 the English were turned back at Athelstanford by the Picts,
led by King Angus, and the Scots, led by King Eochaidh, after Angus and the
army saw a St. Andrew's cross formed from clouds against the blue background
of the sky.

Now this sign was clearly visible once more, lit by the sun going down
behind it to the west. Prior Abernethy had dispatched his monks to erect a
enormous Saltire made of canvas and wood after the first engagement with the
English that morning. Now as he thundered the command that the Scots turn
and look at the Saltire. The Prior declared that it was a sign from the Lord
God of Hosts that they were fighting at heaven's command.

The Scots prepared to meet another English onslaught.

Sir Robert Neville's force proceeded from Borthwick ignorant of the
destruction of de Confrey's forces. They followed the cart road through
Roslin Glen. The Scots waited until the English were between themselves on
the higher ground of Mountmarle and the precipices in the glen, and launched
volleys of arrows upon them before charging. The fighting was desperate with
the English once more pressed hard against a precipice and the carnage was
so great that Sir Symon Fraser called on his troops to give quarter.

The annihilation of the English army was almost total.

The English defeat can in part be attributed to the stupidity of the English
commander, Sir John Segrave, who was later ransomed. He divided his
numerically superior force knowing little about either the terrain or the
disposition of his enemy.  Scottish victory at Roslin was achieved through
tactical genius; splendid utilization of the terrain; by the high morale,
tenacity and courage of a people's army. Glory shines not because of the
temporary enrichment of the fortune of a men or armies.  Men fought what
endures, Freedom! Freedom "for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive,
never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in
truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for
freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life
itself. "

In response to this victory the Scottish magnates, engaged in diplomatic
efforts in Paris, wrote to Comyn to encourage the Scots, on 25 May 1303,
saying "Be of good heart..If the English king harden his heart, like
Pharaoh, and refuse a truce, then, by the mercy of Jesus Christ, defend
yourselves manfully and stay united, so that by your manful defence and with
God's help you will prevail, or at least receive stronger support from us.
For God's sake do not despair. If ever you have done brave deeds, do braver
ones now. The swiftest runner who fails before the winning-post has run in
vain. And it would gladden your hearts if you could know how much your
honour has increased in every part of the world as the result of your recent
battle with the English."

The previous year the Flemish, in their own struggle with the French crown,
had all but annihilated the French feudal host at the battle of Courtrai.
The battle of Roslin, along with Bannockburn and the Swiss victories against
the Hapsburgs, signalled the rise in importance of close infantry formations
and the end of heavy cavalry It changed dramatically the balance of power in
society from feudal overlords, ruling by hereditary right, to the people,
ruling by the declaration of popular sovereignty. These principals were
proclaimed by the Declaration of Arbroath whist Scotland lay under the papal
indict of a corrupt pope controlled by the dishonest king of France. These
principals echo down the corridors of time reaffirmed in the American
Declaration of Independence.  Kings, Presidents. Leaders and Chiefs serve
only by the will and consent of the governed.

Sir William Wallace was betrayed in 1305. Sir Symon Fraser was captured in
1306, taken to London, drawn and hung until he was dead, then was beheaded,
his headless corpse then was hung again and his head set on a spike on
London Bridge next to Wallace's. The chiefs of the Frasers of Lovat are
today called Macshimidh in memory of Symon the Patriot. Sir John Comyn
submitted to Edward. He would die on hallowed ground during a quarrel with
Robert the Bruce. The Bruce murdered him in a minor vendetta. In a major
vendetta you would make sure that a man had committed a mortal sin then
murder his so his soul would go straight to hell. In a minor vendetta you
would assure a man was in a state of Grace before the murder. Edward
Longshanks dying at Burgh-on-Sands before he could head his army into
Scotland one last time, he made provision for his flesh to be boiled away
from his bones and his bones carried at the head of his army as it invaded

 Scotland would have to wait for Robert the Bruce to relight the fire of
patriotism. At the time of the battle of Roslin the Bruce was in Ireland
with his new wife. The fire was kept stoked by the commitment of Comyn,
Wallace, Fraser, and Henry St Clair.

After the battle was won and the hurley burley, done where was Sir Henry St.
Clair, who fought so well in not one but three battles on a short winter's
day in 1303? Sir Henry was a true Sinclair, he spent the night after the
battle in a nuptial bed at the old Roslin Castle with Lady Margaret.

O Flower of Scotland
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for
Your wee bit Hill and Glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward

Tae think again.

The Hills are bare now
And Autumn leaves lie thick and still
O'er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held
That stood against him
Proud Edward's Army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.

Those days are past now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward's Army
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Written by Roy MB Williamson 1936-1990, ŠThe Corries (Music) Ltd

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carter, Judy G (Judy)" <jhouck@avaya.com>
To: <sinclair@quarterman.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 4:11 PM
Subject: RE: Roslin's Battle part two

> Is there more to this story!
> as always
> judy
> -----Original Message-----

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

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