THE EXPEDITION AGAINST THE SCOTS A.D. 1314 CASSELL'S ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ENGLAND.
VOL. I THE KING'S EDITION CASSELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED LONDON, NEW YORK, TORONTO AND MELBOURNE, MCMIX
Robert Bruce, who had been lying before Stirling awaiting the result of Sir Philip Mowbray's mission to London, now saw that the fate of the kingdom must be decided on or near that spot. His army was much inferior to the English one in numbers, amounting to between 30,000 and 40,000 men. But then they were tried troops, fighting for the very existence of their country, and under such leaders as Robert Bruce, Randolph, and Douglas men whom they had followed into exploits almost miraculous.
The English army was far better armed and provided, except in one particular, and that the most essential of all a commander. Instead of being led by a man of courage, experience, and sagacity, they had a timid, effeminate puppet; and when so much depended on the commander-in-chief even more than at the present day that single circumstance was fatal.
Bruce made preparations for the decisive struggle with his usual ability. He had collected his forces in the forest called Torwood ; but as he knew the superiority of the English, not merely in numbers, but in their heavy-armed cavalry (far better mounted and equipped than his own) and in their archers (the very best in the world), he determined to provide against these advantages. He therefore led his army into a plain on the south side of Stirling, called the New Park, close beneath which the English army would be obliged to pass through a swampy country broken up with water courses, while the Scots stood on firm, dry ground.
Robert the Bruce reviewing His Troops Before the Battle of Bannockburn.
Edmund Blair Leighton (1853–1922) signs his woodcuts as EBL Description: British painter. Date of birth / death: September 21, 1853 September 1, 1922. Location of birth / death: London, England. Bedford Park, London, England.
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Edmund Blair Leighton [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Happy Birthday Robert I (July 11, 1274), popularly known as Robert the Bruce, was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. Robert was one of the most famous warriors of his generation, eventually leading Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence against England. He fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland's place as an independent nation, and is today remembered in Scotland as a national hero.
Robert the Bruce reviewing His Troops Before the Battle of Bannockburn. More about this image and story at Public Domain Clip Art - http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com/2011/09/robert-bruce-reviewing-his-troops.html