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The Scottish Wars of Independence in .NET
The Scottish Wars of Independence
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All through the medieval period, Scotland was a separate country from England, with its own rulers and its own law England, needless to say, wasn t very keen on this state of affairs and mounted several campaigns to take control in Scotland Plenty of Scots didn t like the idea of being ruled by an English king Prominent among them was Sir William Wallace, who led a popular rising, with some success, until he was defeated at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298 He was subsequently captured and executed Mel Gibson s movie Braveheart (1995) provided a most imaginative version of William Wallace s career, complete with a blue face in the imagined style of the ancient Britons (see 2) In fact Sir William was a knight and therefore a gent in contemporary eyes and gents simply did not paint their faces blue!
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4: The Hard Knight s Day: The Norman Conquest and Medieval Period
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The Battle of Bannockburn, 14 June 1314
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William Wallace s death did not discourage the Scots In 1306 another Scottish noble rebelled, named Robert the Bruce Over a period of years he gradually eliminated the English presence in Scotland until by 1314 it was restricted to the fortresses of Stirling, Dunbar, and Berwick Edward II assembled an army and set off to raise Robert the Bruce s siege of Stirling Castle No one would describe Edward II as a chip off the old block (his dad was Edward I see the earlier section Looking north and west ) He was a poor commander and his favourites had far more influence over him than was appropriate Robert the Bruce, on the other hand, was a canny fighter: in advance of the Battle of Bannockburn, an English knight, Sir Henry de Bohun, spotted Bruce and, hoping to impress his boss, charged at the Scot with his lance Bruce easily avoided the charge, then brained de Bohun with his battleaxe as he galloped past On 14 June Bruce, with some 500 cavalry and 9000 infantry, drew up his army in preparation for an English attack Edward s cavalry, about 1000 strong, was advancing ahead of his infantry, and he launched them against the squares of Scottish pikemen This masked the fire of his own archers and the attack failed The archers were then moved out onto the right flank, from which they opened a galling fire Bruce ordered his cavalry to charge them and, unsupported, they were ridden down The Scottish squares then advanced into the heart of the English infantry, which was disordered by the repulse of its cavalry On sighting Scottish reinforcements approaching the field, Edward s army broke and fled English losses included 22 barons, 68 knights, and about 1000 infantry, plus an uncounted number killed or captured during the pursuit The Scots lost two knights and approximately 500 infantrymen
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Continuing Anglo-Scottish hostilities
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Although fighting spluttered on until 1328, Scottish independence had become a fact and the Peace of Northampton duly recognised it Despite this, a Scottish army invaded England in 1332, only for Edward III to defeat it at the Battle of Halidon Hill the following year During this, Edward developed the method of covering the flanks of his men-at-arms with archers, tactics that soon result in English infantry being considered the most formidable in Europe After the battle Edward was content to remain on the defensive as far as Scotland was concerned Besides, he was more interested in getting on with the Hundred Years War (see the next section)
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Part I: Ancient and Medieval Warfare
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Fighting the French: A National Sport
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A trend started in the medieval period that continued on and off until the early nineteenth century fighting the French These battles took place on French soil although at this time, England owned quite a lot of this land anyway Although war against France dragged on throughout the medieval period, the most famous series of battles were fought as part of the Hundred Years War (1337 1457; yes, it did run for more than 100 years!), a prolonged struggle about who was going to be King of France (as in whether he d be a Frenchman or an Englishman) The battles featured in this section were all part of that on-going campaign Medieval wars against the French weren t British wars as such The auld alliance between France and Scotland saw the two nations mutually support each other in their wars against England If the English were fighting in France, the Scots would try to kick up a ruckus to divert English resources northwards, and vice versa
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