To relieve Stirling and to ‘suppress the wicked rebellion of Robert Bruce’, Edward II planned a major campaign with forces of perhaps 15000 infantry and 2-3000 cavalry; against this, the forces available to Bruce were perhaps 1/3 of the English total. On 23 June 1314 Bruce's army was stationed on the main road leading south from Stirling as Edward's army approached from Falkirk. Attacks by parts of the chaotically led English force were repulsed and it withdrew a short way to camp for the night. When the two armies met the next morning the narrowness of the battlefield made it hard for the English to manoeuvre, and many were filled by Scottish spearmen tightly packed in schiltroms. Edward II was forced to flee by his advisors and his army then dispersed in chaos. The numerous English captives taken by the Scots were useful for bargaining but the failure to capture Edward himself meant that Bruce could not yet demand peace on his terms, i.e. English recognition of Scottish independence.
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