Monday 23 June 2014

Battle of Bannockburn - Day 1

Day break on Sunday 23rd June 1314.  Roberts army forms up to meet the English. Maurice the aged blind Abbott of Inchaffray celebrates mass for the army after which Robert de Bruce addresses his soldiers, informing them that anyone who does not have the stomach for a fight should leave.  A great cry re-assures him that they are ready.  The camp followers, known as the ‘Small Folk’, are sent off to wait at the rear of the field on  St Gillies’ Hill.  The Schiltrons are formed for battle fronting the fords over the Bannockburn that the English must cross.
The English advance continues and  moves out of the Torwood with the advance guard under the command of the Earls of Hereford and Gloucester,  riding to cross the Bannockburn and attack the Scots   beyond.
300 horsemen under Sir Robert Clifford and Henry de Beaumont ride towards  Stirling Castle  to re-enforce the garrison. Randolph rushes his foot soldiers down  the path to block the route of Clifford’s and de Beaumont’s force.  A savage fight take place with the English horsemen unable to penetrate the spear line of Randolph’s hastily formed schiltron.  The Scots are hard pressed and Douglas moves his men forward to give help but sees that the English are giving way.  The English cavalry breaks  in two with half riding for the castle and the remainder returning to the main army. 
Meanwhile, the main Body of the english army continues it´s  advance. With some suprise, as they expected them to just melt away in the face of such an army,  they see the Scottish army formed up and waiting.
Two divisions of the english cavalry, led by Hereford and Gloucester start the attack. Hereford’s nephew,  Sir Henry de Bohun gallops  ahead to challenge the Scots King to single combat. 
Robert de Bruce rides forward to meet de Bohun. .De Bohun rides at de Bruce with lance couched. De Bruce evades de Bohun’s lance point and as de Bohun thunders past him, he strikes  him a deadly blow on the head with his axe.  De Bohun falls dead.
Following their king’s triumph the Scots infantry rushes on the English army now struggling to clear the Bannockburn at a narrow crossing point which  has forced the mass of horsemen to pack into a narrow column. A terrible slaughter ensues, the English knights impeded by  shallow pits concealed with branches.  Among the extensive English casualties,  the Earl of Gloucester is wounded and unhorsed, only being rescued from death or capture by his retainers.
What part of the English army that has  come through the ford  now re-crosses the Bannockburn and the Scots infantry returns to their positions in the forests of the New Park.  The English army has been convincingly repelled.
In the English camp on the far side of the Bannockburn the infantry is more than discouraged.  Word now spreads  that the war is unrighteous and this had been the cause of the day’s defeat.  God was against the English army.  Order breaks down and the horde of foot soldiers ransacks the supply wagons and drinks through the night.  Heralds declare the victory as certain in the morning but few are convinced.
Sir Alexander Seton, fighting in the service of Edward II now deserts the English camp.
Meanwhile De Bruce  puts two proposals to his commanders.  Firstly, that the Scots army  withdraw from the field, leaving the English army to attempt a re-conquest of Scotland until a lack of supplies forces it to withdraw south of the border.  Or, secondly that they   renew the battle the next day.  Bruce’s commanders urge a resumption of the battle.
Sir Alexander Seton arrives from the English camp, and advises de Bruce that morale is low in the English army.  Seton says “Sir, if you wish to take all of Scotland, now is the time.  Edward’s army is grievously discouraged.  You may beat them on the morrow with little loss and great glory.”

The decision is made...battle will be given. So Ends day one.


  1. Great figures to go with your dialogue


  2. Impressive work Paul , great paint as always .
    Cheers .

  3. A damn good day.....beautiful work!

  4. Great narrative and superb photos!

  5. awesome figures/painting and a very lovely Battle of Bannockburn - Day 1 editorial...

  6. Excellent, very atmospheric!

  7. Fantastic stuff there Paul!

  8. Great battle report and the pictures of all your bods brings it to live! Excellent work Paul.

    PS: Next sunday they give a documentary about "The Quest for Bannockburn " on BBC2 at nine o'clock.


  9. Wonderful post, terrific figures, and a fine tribute to one of the world's iconic battles!