Battle of Bannockburn by Mark Churms

The Battle of Bannockburn 24th June 1314, fought in sight of Stirling Castle. This panoramic painting depicts the charge of the English Knights against the mass of spears of the Scots who stand firm.

Battle of Bannockburn

(This is the text supplied with the print) With the full might of England's army gathered before the besieged Stirling Castle, Edward II Plantagenate is confident of victory. To the west of Bannockburn, Robert Bruce, King of Scots, kneels to pray with his men and commends his soul to God. Patiently awaiting the coming onslaught in tightly packed schiltroms, his spearmen and archers are well prepared for battle. Unknown to the English, the open marsh of no man's land conceals hidden pits and calthrops, major obstacles for any mounted charge. Despite Clifford's and Beaumont's premature and unsuccessful attempt to relieve Stirling the day before, years of victory have caused the brave English knights to regard their Scottish foes with contempt. So, without waiting for the 'flower of the forest' (archers) to weaken the enemy formations, the order is hurriedly given to attack! With one rush, hundreds of mounted knights led by the impetuous Earl of Gloucester, thunder headlong through the boggy ground straight for the impenetrable mass of spears, hurling themselves into defeat and death. With dash and courage the knights try to force a way through but the infantry stand firm. There is no room to manoeuvre. Everywhere horses and men crash to the ground. Casualties amongst the English nobility are horrific. Bruce seizes the moment and orders the exultant army to advance. The English recoil and are pushed back into the waters of the Bannockburn where many perish in the crush to escape the deadly melee. Edward II, his army destroyed, flees with his bodyguard for the safety of the castle but is refused refuge and has to fight his way south to England. For Robert Bruce and Scotland, victory is complete.

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Editors note: Stirling Castle has a strong connection to the Knights Templar. The Pope and King of France, jealous of their power and wealth, attacked the Templars in southern France. In addition, the Vatican probably did not want any organization around that was privy to the true teachings and mysteries of Christianity. The Templars had ships waiting for them in the Mediterranean. From there they made their way to Scotland, approaching from the western side, they found a home with one who was opposed to the Pope. Robert the Bruce gave them sanctuary. Some make the case that the above mentioned battle turned, when about 400 or so Knights Templar made an appearance behind the Scots line. When Edward II saw the Knights dressed with their red crosses on a field of white, he turned and ran. The Knight Templars were the most battle tested and feared Knights in Christendom.

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