History of the English People (of 8) Volume II

History of the English People (of 8) Volume II

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Excerpt: ...battle took place on the twenty-fourth of June 1314. Again two systems of warfare were brought face to face as they had been brought at Falkirk, for Robert like Wallace drew up his forces in hollow squares or circles of spearmen. The English were dispirited at the very outset by the failure of an attempt to relieve Stirling and by the issue of a single combat between Bruce and Henry de Bohun, a knight who bore down upon him as he was riding peacefully along the front of his army. Robert was mounted on a small hackney and held only a light battle-axe in his hand, but warding off his opponent's spear he cleft his skull with so terrible a blow that the handle of his axe was shattered in his grasp. At the opening of the battle the English archers were thrown forward to rake the Scottish squares, but they were without support and were easily dispersed by a handful of horse whom Bruce held in reserve for the purpose. The body of men-at-arms next flung themselves on the Scottish front, but their charge was embarrassed by the narrow space along which the line was forced to move, and the steady resistance of the squares soon threw the knighthood into disorder. "The horses that were stickit," says an exulting 2-193 Scotch writer, "rushed and reeled right rudely." In the moment of failure the sight of a body of camp-followers, whom they mistook for reinforcements to the enemy, spread panic through the English host. It broke in a headlong rout. Its thousands of brilliant horsemen were soon floundering in pits which guarded the level ground to Bruce's left, or riding in wild haste for the border. Few however were fortunate enough to reach it. Edward himself, with a body of five hundred knights, succeeded in escaping to Dunbar and the sea. But the flower of his knighthood fell into the hands of the victors, while the Irishry and the footmen were ruthlessly cut down by the country folk as they fled. For centuries to come the rich plunder of the English camp left...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 90 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 177g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236721268
  • 9781236721266