Today in 1314, the Battle of Bannockburn ended giving a decisive victory to Robert the Bruce over Edward II’s English forces. The English held Stirling Castle and the Bruce wanted it back so set siege to it.
Initially an agreement was made between the English and the besiegers that the Castle would be handed back to the Scots in the summer, but as summer approached, the English showed no signs of leaving, so battle had to be prepared for.
Robert had less than half the army that the English had, but his men fought for their country, the English fought because they were told to.
The battle took much longer than usual battles of that time, beginning on the 23rd June and ending the next day.
The first day brought a semi victory for the Scots, which disheartened the English forces, who fled.
During the night, the English moved position, crossing the river to try and get into a better place to fight the next day. Unknown to them, they had camped near some woods, where Robert and his men were encamped.
Early the next day, Robert advanced on the King’s forces, taking them by surprise.
The English fought back but were eventually pushed back. Edward II was not the King his father, Longshanks, had been, and fled with his personal bodyguard, causing panic among the soldiers.
A full retreat began and the Scots won the battle.
It would be a full 14 more years before England would recognise the independance of Scotland with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328, which brought the first of the Scottish Wars of Independance to an end.
Peace did not last long, when the English crown sponsored an invasion in 1332 to try and displace the Scots King once more.
The Second War of Independance ended in 1357 with the Treaty of Berwick, and Scotland stayed independant until 1707 when the Stuart Kings were invited to take the throne of England and they decided to join the two countries together as the United Kingdom.
Let’s hope we don’t have to face a Third War of Independance in the near future, to regain our freedom……………………………