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BannockburnThe Scottish War and the British Isles 1307-1323$

Michael Brown

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633326

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633326.001.0001

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The Battle and its Story

The Battle and its Story

(p.5) Chapter 1 The Battle and its Story

Michael Brown

Edinburgh University Press

Abstract and Keywords

Two armies numbering in total tens of thousands of men were camped in the lands south of Stirling in central Scotland. The battle that was about to break was the first full-scale clash between the armies of King Robert and King Edward in seven years of warfare. The implication accorded to Bannockburn by the Scots did not inevitably express to other lands. Robert Bruce divided the Scottish community and turn simmering rivalries into open civil war. He looked beyond the Isles for military aid. He sent his brothers, Thomas and Alexander, to Ireland. They did not look for aid from Earl Richard or the English colonists of eastern Ulster. Bruce was following the precedents of several claimants to royal or provincial power. In the opening weeks of 1307, both kings, Robert and Edward, were keen for war to be regenerated.

Keywords:   battle, Scotland, Stirling, King Robert, King Edward, warfare, Bannockburn, Ireland

Bannockburn and the Scottish cause

At dawn on 24 June 1314 two armies numbering in total tens of thousands of men were encamped in the lands south of Stirling in central Scotland. The smaller force moved first. It left the woods of the New Park where it had been based and formed up. The leader of this host was Robert Bruce king of Scots. His army had been raised from those parts of Scotland which recognised his claims to be king. Though Robert and his leading nobles were heavily armed and armoured, the vast majority of the host wore coats of leather or padded cloth and carried long spears. Nobles and commoners alike formed up in close order and prepared to fight on foot. Despite the lack of cavalry and archers and the limited equipment most of the army possessed, this was no amateur levy. Since 1307 a growing number of Scots must have become used to carrying weapons in the service of King Robert. The almost incessant campaigning of these years, and the run of successes won by Robert and his men, left their mark on this host. Led by King Robert, his brother, Edward Bruce, and nephew, Thomas Randolph, the army had shown its skill and confidence in two clashes on the previous day. They now made ready for the test of battle by kneeling in prayer.

Seeing the advance of Bruce's army, the second host began their preparations. This army was much larger and visually much more impressive than its enemy. Accounts speak of bright banners and flashing armour and of the comforts of their camp and the beauty of their horses. This too was a royal army. At its head was Edward Plantagenet, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Aquitaine and ruler of Wales. Edward also claimed to be the sovereign lord of Scotland and had come to the fields of Stirling to defend and recover this inheritance from Bruce, in his eyes a rebel and usurper. The army he had raised was one of the largest and strongest assembled by an English king up to that point. It had been raised from across and beyond the Plantagenet dominions and included many of Edward's leading subjects like the veteran Aymer Valence earl of Pembroke and the young and gallant Gilbert Clare earl of Gloucester. The key to the army's strength rested in the two thousand armoured horsemen recruited for the host. The social standing, lavish equipment and military skill (p.6) of these cavalry caught the eye, but the bulk of the force was composed of footmen levied from the English shires and from the lands and lordships of Wales. Far from home and after long journeys, these men too prepared for the coming fight.

The battle that was about to break was the first full-scale clash between the armies of King Robert and King Edward in seven years of warfare. It would be the first major battle for fourteen years in the Scottish wars which had raged since 1296. These wars were fought over the survival of Scotland as a realm free from the rule of the English king. Twice, in 1296 and again in 1304, Edward I, father of the king at Bannockburn, had forced the submission of his Scottish enemies. In 1296, Edward had stripped the Scottish king, John Balliol, of his royal insignia, and imposed his rule, but the war had been renewed by new leaders and gathered support from Scots who refused to accept the English king's rule. Though never enjoying united support from Scotland, these leaders waged a determined struggle against Edward I from 1297 to 1304, forcing him to grind down their resistance in a series of expensive and exhausting campaigns. The victory apparently achieved by the elderly English king proved to be short-lived. In 1306 Robert Bruce started a new war, not in defence of Balliol's kingship, but in pursuit of his own family's claim to rule Scotland. After desperate beginnings, and against the hostility of many Scots, by 1314 Robert was on the point of winning his realm. The war he had waged had led to the fields beside the Bannockburn and made him ready to risk a battle for control of Scotland.

The outcome of the battle was sudden and decisive. Edward's larger army and its much-vaunted cavalry of knights and men-at-arms were swept from the field. Thousands of the defeated host were killed, mostly in the horrific crush to escape the enemy. The English king himself was forced to flee and was pursued some sixty miles before he escaped. King Robert and his men were left in control of the battlefield, masters of many prisoners and a vast quantity of loot. The victory also made Bruce the ruler of the whole of Scotland. Bannockburn has been accorded a place as the crowning achievement of King Robert's heroic career, as the decisive moment in the Scottish wars of independence and as a key event, and perhaps the best-known date, in the history of Scotland.

The special importance accorded to Bannockburn by the Scots seems to have developed in the immediate aftermath of the battle. In the mid-fifteenth century the chronicler Walter Bower included in his great history of the Scottish nation, Scotichronicon, three verses written about the battle within a decade or so of 1314. One of these works was composed by the English friar Robert Baston, ‘the most famous poet in the whole of England’, who had been included in King Edward's entourage ‘so that he might compose to the shame of the Scots some verses about the triumph he [Edward] had gained over them’. Baston was captured in the English defeat and ‘in return for his release he was compelled to compose … verses’ recording the Scottish victory.1 The (p.7) other verses were Scottish in origin. One was part of a contemporary verse chronicle about the period, while the other was an extract attributed to Bruce's chancellor, Abbot Bernard of Arbroath. None of these works was intended as a detailed record of the events of 23 and 24 June 1314. Instead all treat the battle as an event of great moral and symbolic importance. The Scottish verses also represent the genesis of the sense that Bannockburn was the climax of the Scottish wars and marked the victory of King Robert's cause. The verse chronicle stated that:

  • Thus the Scottish people praise the Lord of Lords.
  • Between the stony stream and the obstruction of their camp
  • The treacherous English people come to grief as a result of their own dishonest conduct.
  • O infinite God how just the sword with which you strike,
  • Trampling on the necks of the proud and fulfilling the prayers of your people.

And ended with the words:

  • May the assembly of the Scots flourish, abounding in valour:
  • And may the king rejoice turning tears into joy,
  • Now that the English have been cast down in all directions and routed
  • And made prisoner. May the king be praised for his goodness.2

Bernard's verse similarly linked the victory to King Robert and to divine favour and represents the reputed words of Bruce to his men before the battle. The king begins by saying:

  • ‘My lords, my people, who lay great weight on freedom,
  • For which the kings of Scotland have suffered many trials, dying for the Lord
  • Now all of you take note of the many hardships we have undergone
  • While struggling now certainly for eight years
  • For our right to the kingdom, for honour and liberty.’

The king also appeals for divine aid:

  • ‘Happy is this day! John the Baptist was born on it;
  • And St Andrew and St Thomas who shed his blood
  • Along with the saints of the Scottish fatherland will fight today
  • For the honour of the people, with Christ the Lord in the van.
  • Under this leader you will conquer and make an end to war.’3

(p.8) This language of freedom, of the struggle in defences of liberties and of an appeal to Christ and his Apostles, so prominent in the centrepiece of the Bruce Cause, the Declaration of Arbroath, were also linked by contemporaries to the victory at Bannockburn.4 As a physical demonstration of the justice of Robert's claim to kingship and of Scotland's rights as a sovereign realm, the battle was at once accorded a place at the heart of defences of these rights.

This symbolic significance was not obscured by the continued, and largely successful, warfare of Robert's own reign which lasted until a peace was agreed with England in 1328. Nor was the importance of Bannockburn for the Scots dimmed by the renewal of war from 1332, which brought with it the fresh possibility of defeat for the Bruce dynasty and loss of sovereignty for Scotland. The survival of the dynasty and realm during the 1330s and 1340s created new heroes alongside Bruce and his captains but produced no great military victory to match Bannockburn. As a result of this, and because of its own unique significance, the battle clearly retained its glamour and importance when the key accounts of Scotland's past began to be composed from the later fourteenth century. The first of these was the Gesta Annalia composed at St Andrews (and later incorporated into John of Fordun's Chronica Gentis Scottorum). It gave no special place to Bannockburn in its tale of recent warfare but observed that King Edward trusted in ‘the glory of man's might’, while ‘King Robert’ put ‘his trust, not in a host of men but in the Lord God’, adding that ‘the whole land … always rejoiced in victory over the English’.5

It was in the 1370s that the status accorded to the battle in Scottish historical writing was cemented by John Barbour's composition of The Bruce. This epic poem was a celebration of the martial deeds of King Robert and his leading captains, James Douglas, Thomas Randolph and Edward Bruce. It dealt with the lives and exploits of these men from Bruce's seizure of the throne in 1306 until Randolph's death in 1332.6 However, though far from the end of the narrative, Bannockburn is the key event in The Bruce. The battle occurs about halfway through the story but is represented as the climax of the tale of Bruce's struggle to claim his rightful place as king of Scots. After telling the tale from 1307 to summer 1314 in just over 7,000 lines, Barbour's account of Bannockburn runs to nearly 2,000 lines, about a seventh of the total poem. Barbour's concern to give the battle a central place in his epic was probably born of mixed motives. The battle was to show the working out of some of The Bruce's key themes. Like earlier works, Bannockburn was given a clear moral message. The English king had treasure to buy mercenaries and could draw on his lands and friends across Europe to bring to Scotland an army which was both powerful and lavishly equipped. But, says Barbour, ‘na mannys mycht may stand agayn the Grace of God’.7 When Bruce addresses his men he makes Scottish motivation clear. First, ‘we have the rycht and for the rycht ay God will fycht’. Second, the enemy have brought their riches into ‘our awne land’, which, if the Scots win, will fall into their hands. Third, the Scots are ready to fight ‘for our lyvis, and for our childer and for our wyvis and for our fredome (p.9) and for our land’.8 Victory is presented as a test of justice and of personal qualities, a test which the Scots pass and the English fail. The battle is also proof of the turn of Fortune's wheel, the image beloved of medieval writers. ‘This mychty king off Ingland’ had been ‘set on hyr quheill on hycht’ when he entered Scotland with his great host. In one night and a day Edward had been tipped from the summit and the ‘quhelys turnyng’ had carried Robert ‘on hycht’.9 For Bruce, whose early defeats and dangers as king Barbour narrates at length, the rise to the top of the wheel marks the culmination of the tale of his reign through the first two-thirds of the poem.

As well as God and the lady Fortune, Barbour develops his account of the battle as a set piece of warfare and chivalric prowess. The two days of fighting are portrayed as a series of episodes, described in generic but dramatic language with horses brought down, weapons thrust and thrown, blows struck, armour burst and men knocked to the ground and unable to rise again. Rather than record numerous participants and their deeds, Barbour is concerned to convey the excitement and danger of the fight as a competition between worthy adversaries. Some displays of personal prowess are recounted. King Robert's famous encounter with Henry Bohun is one set piece reminding the audience of Bruce's skill at arms, while another is the return to the battle by the ‘third best knight’ of his day, Giles Argentan, who made a suicidal lone charge against the Scots to preserve his honour.10 However, the focus of the poem's description of Bannockburn is on the skill of Bruce and his lieutenants as leaders of men in battle. Bruce's speech, already identified by Abbot Bernard as a key element in the battle story, is given a key role in the portrayal of the king as a great captain, encouraging his followers to victory. The leadership of King Robert and the other Scottish commanders is shown in the account of the fighting as division after division of the army enters the fray.11 This is great storytelling and it highlights the place of Bannockburn as a moral and martial test for Bruce, which he and his supporters pass with flying colours.

Whether it is great history remains to be seen, but it seems clear that the prominence and place given to the battle by Barbour reflected its significance for the Scottish ruling class in the 1370s. The roles given to lords whose heirs were in Barbour's audience and episodes such as the knighting of Walter Stewart, the father of Barbour's royal patron, Robert II, reflect the desire to be associated with the battle and its central place in the defence of the Scottish Cause. The account of Bannockburn in The Bruce provided the basis for all later Scottish accounts of the combat. Chroniclers in the next generation, like Andrew Wyntoun and Walter Bower, directly referred their readers to Barbour's account of the battle.12 As we have seen, Bower also collected additional early verses and stories about Bannockburn, including a mysterious tale of two men-at-arms on white horses who appeared at Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset on the night before the battle. They were given food but refused lodging ‘saying, that on the very same night before sunrise they must … take part in a certain battle at Bannockburn … give help on the side of the (p.10) Scots, so as to bring revenge for the deaths of Simon de Montfort and his followers, so cruelly inflicted at the battle of Evesham’.13 The meaning and purpose of this story is unclear, but it may be the genesis of the, much later and unsupported, myth of support given by the Knights Templar to Bruce in the battle.14 It also illustrates the way new stories and legends continued to be attached to the story of the battle to explain its remarkable outcome and associate individuals and groups in the victory.

From the 1370s, and perhaps much earlier, the victory of Bruce and his supporters at Bannockburn had secured a place as a vital element in the story of the defence of Scotland as a separate realm. This was a vital element in all the narratives of the Scottish past produced in the later Middle Ages and the role of Bannockburn in these accounts was not simply as another episode in the struggle. The battle assumed a significance as a moment of national salvation for the Scottish people, proving their right to exist and God's blessing on their rights and liberties as a people. The Scots were far from being alone in regarding victory in a single battle in terms of the destiny of kingdom and community. Almost exactly a century before Bannockburn on 27 July 1214, the army of the French king, Philip II, defeated a coalition of enemies including the German king and the count of Flanders at Bouvines. To Philip's many admirers, this victory set the seal on his achievements and within a decade an epic poem, the Philippiad, was composed which made Bouvines its climax and devoted almost a third of its length to the battle. Philip, like Robert, exhorts his men to fight well, leads from the front and puts his cause to the test. The ‘sons of France’ are victorious against their more powerful and treacherous enemy. Later writers added to the legend claiming odds of one against ten, and including stories which emphasised their message, for example, having Philip lay down his crown until his people promise to defend the kingdom. The myth was developed during the century after Bouvines that the battle had united king and nation, a message not dissimilar in tone to the significance accorded to Bannockburn. Though in the later Middle Ages Bouvines' importance declined, its early symbolism provides a valid comparison with Bannockburn.15

The centuries before and after Bannockburn produced numerous other battles which were accorded considerable symbolic importance in the formation or preservation of national communities and identities. The great victory of the Christian Spanish rulers over the Islamic Almohads at Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 attracted the attention of many chroniclers and poets who embellished the battle with numerous miraculous events. In subsequent centuries, many noble families claimed descent from participants in the battle to prove their own status. The same was true in Portugal following the defeat of the Castillians at Aljubarotta in 1385, a victory celebrated as the salvation of the small realm from conquest by its larger neighbour. Like the Stewart and Douglas families in Scotland, certain Portuguese families took pride in the knighting of their ancestors before the crucial battle.16 Battles of symbolic importance from this period were not all victories. The rapid generation (p.11) of a mythology around the defeat of the Serbs at Kosovo, the reverse of Bannockburn, gave an elevated importance to the battle as the end of a people's liberties. Equally, such battles were not always fought in defence of native soil. It is striking and revealing that the English equivalents of Bannockburn, producing rapid celebrations of nation and the judgement of battle, were Crécy, Poitiers and, above all, Agincourt. All were waged against an enemy claimed to be more powerful and more arrogant, but all also took place in pursuit of English royal lordship in France.17

The most obvious parallel for Bannockburn, however, is provided by the battle of Courtrai which was fought in Flanders in July 1302. The victory of an army of Flemish burgesses and nobles fighting on foot against the mounted chivalry of France was cited by several near contemporaries as the precursor and model for Bannockburn.18 While this has excited numerous military historians to seek parallels on the battlefield, the real comparison was one of symbolic and historical importance. Like Bannockburn, the legend of Courtrai is centred on the defence of the existence and rights of a small community threatened with conquest and absorption by a larger and more powerful neighbour. Sources written in the years after the battle, like the Annales Gandenses and the Spiegel historiael, depict the French as sacreligious and arrogant but also, as with Bannockburn, divided in their approach to the battle. The victory was won ‘by the disposition of God’ but also by the ‘foot soldiers of Flanders, … strong, manly, well-armed and under expert leaders’. Against them were the French, ‘the flower of knighthood’ and ‘the beauty and strength of that great army was turned into a dung-pit, and the glory of the French made into dung and worms’.19 Like Bannockburn too, this display of Divine favour and their skill in arms had to sustain the Flemings through continued long and frequently unsuccessful warfare against France in the later Middle Ages. The value of both victories to their communities was probably the greater for their relative rarity.

The great significance accorded to Bannockburn by the Scots did not necessarily carry to other lands. While Courtrai and Bouvines were events which reached a European audience, drawing judgements and conclusions from chroniclers in many realms, Bannockburn's impact was more localised. Even in France and the Low Countries, lands which were caught up in the Scottish wars, coverage of the battle was limited. The official history of the French monarchy, Les Grandes Chroniques de France, makes no mention of Bannockburn, though it included other events in Scotland, such as Edward I's campaigns of 1296 and 1303–4 and Bruce's defeat in 1306 and gives considerable attention to Edward II's disastrous invasion of Scotland in 1322. The chronicle shows an interest in Edward as the son-in-law of the French king but it, and presumably the French government, was distracted from Scotland in 1314. A campaign against Flanders which caused a domestic crisis and the death of Philip IV took attention away from distant events.20 Other continental writers show a similar lack of awareness of the battle. The exception is the (p.12) Paris burgher Geoffroy de Paris, who wrote at the time and included a passage on the battle which stated that of Edward's ‘grant chevalerie’ almost all were killed or captured in ‘marsh and mire, as were the French at Courtrai’. The French chronicler clearly took a degree of pleasure in English defeat, speaking of the profit and honour won by the Scots and the shame of the English.21

However, Bannockburn was clearly not an event which captured the imagination of European chroniclers in the manner of Courtrai. Instead its impact was more confined. While Scots composed verses about the victory in the following decade, writers elsewhere in the British Isles lamented the defeat at length. All the main chronicles produced in England during Edward II's reign dwelt long and remorsefully on the humiliating and bloody defeat. Probably the best account of the period, the Vita Edwardi Secundi, captured the mood when it said, ‘Perhaps someone will enquire and ask why the Lord smote us this day, why we succumbed to the Scots, when for the last twenty years we have always been victorious.’22 Both the Vita and the chronicle of the great abbey of St Albans blamed divisions within the English host for the defeat, while the northern English chronicle associated with Lanercost Priory near Carlisle contrasted the piety of the Scots with King Edward's plundering of great churches to pay for his army.23 The Lanercost Chronicle included English verses lamenting the defeat and spoke of ‘Bannockburn’ being ‘spoken about for many years in English throats’.24 This northern English perspective hints at a negative significance for the battle in the regions which would come to be the seat of warfare. Its tone is echoed in other lands. In Wales ‘the battle in the Pools’ was remembered for the death of the lord of Glamorgan, Gilbert Clare, and the flight of King Edward, while in Ireland both Gaelic and English annalists recorded the battle as a bloody defeat.25

This widespread concern across the British Isles from western Ireland to Cardiganshire to St Albans is not a matter of surprise. The Scottish wars which had been raging for eighteen years before Bannockburn were not just a matter for the English king and his Scottish enemies. They involved all the lands and peoples of the British Isles. For chroniclers writing in these lands, news from Scotland had an immediacy which was lacking on the continent. They were aware of the context of the battle and were much more shocked by the ability of Robert Bruce, hitherto known for his skill in avoiding the English in battle, to win such a crushing victory. These writers and their communities also had reason to recognise the battle's consequences, not just in Scotland, but on their own doorsteps. To them, writing in the decades which immediately followed the battle, Bannockburn assumed an increased significance as a turning point in the history of the archipelago. For the Scots it symbolised the survival of their realm. For the subjects of the Plantagenet king it would have more mixed and less positive importance. However, to understand the battle is also to understand its place in the war for Scotland and the way that war, and particularly the struggle of Bruce to secure the Scottish crown, altered the shape of the British Isles.

(p.13) In late March 1306 Robert Bruce earl of Carrick was crowned king of Scots at Scone. His crowning was the culmination of six weeks of local fighting and political uncertainty which had followed Bruce's murder of his political and personal enemy, John Comyn lord of Badenoch, in Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries. In these weeks Robert may have acted not in fulfilment of a planned seizure of power, but only as the implications of his deed became apparent.26 However, by taking the throne he had committed himself to a position which would end in his violent death, the utter humiliation of his family or, perhaps least likely, his victory. Robert Bruce had made himself the central figure in a crisis which had already been running for twenty years. The immediate effect of his actions was to divide the Scottish community and turn simmering rivalries into open civil war. While Bruce could count on the support of many of his family's tenants and friends and his claims to be king resonated with the wider population, most of the leaders of the kingdom stayed well away from Scone and many were actively hostile.27 During the previous decade many Scots had fought hard and risked much in defence of their rights as a kingdom and of John Balliol as their king. Though the war had ended in defeat in 1304, Balliol still lived as an exile in France. For nobles and soldiers who had supported the rights of the Balliol family, Bruce was an illegal usurper as well as a shedder of blood on holy ground.28

As well as facing war with the kinsmen of John Comyn and former Balliol partisans, by becoming king of Scots Robert had made himself a rebel in the eyes of the English king, Edward I. In 1302 Bruce had sworn an oath of allegiance to Edward, promising loyal service to the English king. He had now utterly broken his faith. More than that, he had broken the peace which King Edward had fought so hard and spent so heavily to force on Scotland. Eight years of warfare, from 1296 to 1304, had been required to make the Scots recognise Edward as their sovereign lord. Only five months before Bruce's killing of Comyn, the English king had issued his ‘Ordinance for the good order of Scotland’, the blueprint for Edwardian rule in his new dominion.29 By his personal act of rebellion, Bruce threatened the whole settlement of the Scottish question. Edward, now in his late sixties, was determined not to let this last, crowning, achievement of his reign slip away.

By April 1306 an English army was already gathering at Berwick under the able Aymer Valence earl of Pembroke, Edward's lieutenant.30 With him were other captains who would play a leading role in the coming war, like the north country nobles and veterans of the Scottish wars, Robert Clifford and Henry Percy, and the French lord, Henry Beaumont. As the army advanced through southern Scotland, burning the estates of Bruce and his supporters, it was joined by numerous Scottish opponents of the rebel king.31 Among them were John Comyn earl of Buchan, cousin of Robert's victim, the brothers John and Philip Mowbray and Ingeram Umfraville, all enemies of Edward I in the (p.14) previous war who now sided with him against their common enemy.32 The army of about 300 cavalry and 2,000 foot reached Perth in early June.33 Robert gathered his own force, which included the earls of Atholl and Lennox, and marched to Perth. Arranging with Valence to fight on the next day, Bruce withdrew six miles to Methven where his army began to make camp. Anticipating this, Valence led his force in pursuit and, though Robert's army was able to form up, his foot soldiers were routed. Robert himself narrowly escaped capture by Philip Mowbray and was forced to flee, leaving many of his knights behind as prisoners.34

King Edward received news of Valence's victory at Methven as he was himself en route to join a second army mustering at Carlisle. He was clearly determined to ensure that the rising was crushed completely and ordered Valence to execute all ‘enemies and rebels’ he captured, an order which the latter did not carry out to the full.35 The only rebels excepted from immediate execution were Bruce, John earl of Atholl and Simon Fraser, who were to be sent to Edward for punishment.36 Fraser and Atholl were captured, tried and brutally executed but Bruce remained elusive. In the weeks after Methven, Robert was pursued with vigour by both English and Scottish forces. His escort was defeated on the shores of Loch Tay by some of Valence's cavalry and again at Dalry by men from Argyll led by John of Lorn.37 Both times Bruce escaped capture and by late August was in the Lennox, the province of his ally, Earl Malcolm. Even here Robert was vulnerable. The nearby stronghold of Dumbarton was held by John Menteith, who had refused to join Bruce in March. Menteith now led the pursuit of the king, who fled by galley to Dunaverty Castle at the Mull of Kintyre.38 Even at this western extremity of the Scottish mainland, Robert was hunted. By 22 September John Menteith and an Anglo-Scottish force had arrived at the castle equipped with siege engines. Though Dunaverty quickly fell, Robert had gone. Taking to their ships, the king and his remaining followers crossed the narrow sea to Ulster and the Isles.39

Though Robert had escaped, his cause in Scotland seemed completely lost. While he had fled westwards, his supporters and strongholds had largely been taken. In September, his brother, Neil, was captured when Kildrummy Castle in Aberdeenshire fell to Edward prince of Wales. His wife, Elizabeth de Burgh, and his daughter, Marjorie, were surrendered to Edward by William earl of Ross. The fugitive king's chief advisers, the bishop of Glasgow, Robert Wishart, and the bishop of St Andrews, William Lamberton, had already fallen into Edward I's hands.40 While the women and clergy were imprisoned, Neil and a number of other nobles were savagely put to death. The executions, the treatment of noble ladies and prelates and the burning of the lands of rebels marked a greater ruthlessness in Edward's prosecution of the war. This was inspired by his determination to stamp out this new outbreak of Scottish defiance and demonstrate the price of any future opposition.

These objectives were displayed not just by the harsh treatment of captive bodies, but by Edward's treatment of the property held by Bruce's main (p.15) backers. Land and the legal rights which were attached to it concerned not just individual income but the identity and status of noble dynasties. The removal of land from its hereditary lord was, therefore, a highly sensitive action for a king to take. If it was done too frequently it would arouse anxieties and suspicion throughout the king's dominions. During the Scottish wars Edward I had used the power to deprive enemy landowners of their lands sparingly and had shown a readiness to restore forfeited estates to nobles who later did homage. The peace settlement of 1304–5 restored to Edward's former enemies in Scotland the lands which they had forfeited in Scotland, but also the extensive estates of many in England.41 In 1306, however, Edward showed no restraint. Even before Methven, sentences of forfeiture had been passed on Robert Bruce and his leading adherents, the earls of Atholl, Lennox and Menteith, while the lukewarm James Stewart was also deprived of his lordships in south-west Scotland after his heir was implicated in the rising.42 On 16 June the temporalities, the lands and revenues of the bishoprics of St Andrews and Glasgow had been assigned to keepers, and by September Edward had begun to lobby the pope to have the rebel bishops removed from office.43 By the end of the year over a hundred of Bruce's supporters had suffered, or been threatened with, forfeiture. While some of these had been executed, others, like Neil Campbell, Gilbert Hay and Reginald Crawford, were in exile with King Robert.44 However, the majority of those punished had probably surrendered to King Edward or his men. These had suffered imprisonment but some were released on bail over the winter and during 1307. Among this group were influential local barons like Alexander Fraser, Robert Boyd, Alexander Lindsay and Bruce's nephew and future right-hand man, Thomas Randolph.45 Either threatened with, or punished by, forfeiture, these men were given a final chance to serve the Edwardian administration or meet the fate meted out to others. However, their treatment in 1306 also meant that a group of locally important nobles remained disenchanted with the regime. Faced with a renewed choice of loyalties, such men might not respond to threats but gamble on further rebellion.

Edward surely also appreciated the advantages of depriving a significant group of Scottish landowners of their estates. His relative restraint up to 1305 was influenced by a desire to avoid antagonising those Scots in his allegiance and to encourage his enemies to seek terms. In 1306, with a significant group of Scottish barons bound to him by their hostility to Bruce, the permanent disinheritance of ‘rebels and enemies’ had clear attractions.46 It brought with it the prospect of creating a new balance within the Scottish nobility. Edward did show some generosity towards his Scottish liegemen. John Menteith was rewarded for refusing to join Bruce with a grant of the earldom of Lennox, while two long-standing adherents of Edward, Alexander Balliol of Cavers and Alexander Abernethy, were among those who sought lands forfeited by Bruce and his followers. In September the English king asked the pope to provide William Comyn, brother of the earl of Buchan, to the bishopric of (p.16) St Andrews, and Geoffrey Mowbray to the see of Glasgow.47 Though the pope did not respond to this request, Edward's plans indicate a desire to establish friendly leaders of the Scottish church who would not articulate resistance to his lordship.

However, the main beneficiaries of royal patronage in 1306 were English magnates. Not usually lavish in his bestowal of rewards on his leading subjects, during 1306 Edward was quicker to distribute rewards to a small group of barons than to respond to the petitions of a larger body of lesser figures seeking to claim property forfeited by Bruce partisans. This may have been partly because the settlement of 1304–5 had meant that several English barons had to relinquish estates which they had previously been granted both in England and Scotland. Henry Percy, for example, had resigned any claim on the earldom of Buchan when its earl made his peace.48 Now his long service in the Scottish wars could be recognised again and Percy was granted Robert Bruce's earldom of Carrick. The other new Scottish earls were Ralph Monthermer who received Atholl and John Hastings who was granted Menteith, while the forfeited Bruce lordship of Annandale was given to Humphrey de Bohun earl of Hereford and Essex. Bruce's principal English estate of Hart and Hartlepool was given to Robert Clifford, who already held the lordship of Douglas in Scotland. Valence was rewarded for his victory at Methven with a grant of the royal forest of Selkirk to go with his castle of Bothwell in Clydesdale. The final and, as it proved, shortest-lived grant was made to Henry de Lacy earl of Lincoln who received the lands of James steward of Scotland.49 This was a select group of barons. Hereford and Monthermer were King Edward's sons-in-law and Pembroke his cousin. Lincoln was described as the king's ‘chief councillor’, while Hastings had been one of the principal claimants for the Scottish crown in 1291. Clifford and Percy had been among the most active and able English leaders in the Scottish wars.50

By giving extensive interests in Scotland and the defeat of Bruce to such men, Edward was concerned with more than just dispensing rewards for service and favouring his chief lords. His actions were related to his objectives in Scotland. The grant of major Scottish interests to several leading English barons, like the restoration of English estates to Scots landowners in 1305, was intended to strengthen links between the two realms and draw Scotland into closer contact with Edward's dominions. Marriages, like that between Robert Bruce and Elizabeth Burgh, the daughter of Richard de Burgh earl of Ulster, or between John Comyn and Aymer Valence's sister, had similarly been encouraged by Edward to create cross-border social networks.51 As Bruce's marriage showed, such networks were not confined to England. His father-in-law, the so-called Red Earl of Ulster, was the greatest English magnate in Ireland, exercising lordship over English tenants and Irish dependants in Connacht and Ulster. He was closely involved in Edward I's Scottish wars, leading armies and fleets across the North Channel. With his son-in-law (p.17) seeking refuge on the fringes of his province, Earl Richard would remain a central figure in the renewed conflict. The English king's recent patronage had also created links between Edwardian Scotland and his first conquest, Wales. Five of the barons who received major Scottish estates in 1306 were also lords in the Welsh march. The earls of Pembroke, Hereford and Lincoln, Monthermer and Hastings were the semi-independent rulers of blocs of territory in south and east Wales.52 Edward may have calculated that they would be more ready to raise the large contingents of Welsh foot soldiers on which the king relied if they had Scottish interests of their own to defend. In general, by giving his great barons a stake in Plantagenet control of Scotland, Edward was copying his successful conquest of Wales two decades earlier when, as well as creating a royal principality, Edward bestowed new marcher lordships on key baronial supporters.53

Such calculations were natural to King Edward. The submission of his remaining Scottish enemies in 1304 had led to English writers hailing their monarch as ‘the king and lord of two kingdoms’ who, like a second King Arthur, had united all the islanders under his rule. The rising of Bruce had shaken Edward's ‘triumphant peace’ but with the defeat of the rebels and the exile of their ‘King Hobbe’, or King Fool, as the English called Robert, this threat may have been regarded as a final spasm of resistance.54 With Scotland's castles once again in his hands, Edward's achievement of the previous two years probably seemed secure to most observers. As king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Aquitaine and master of Wales, this fresh and easy suppression of Scottish opposition confirmed Edward as sole royal ruler in the British Isles. Though England was by far his most important dominion, Edward recognised the importance of all of the realms and lands he held or claimed, both for the prestige they conferred upon him and for their resources. The wars he fought, in Flanders, Wales and Scotland, were never simply ‘English’. Rather they were Edward's wars, aimed at defending or extending his dynasty's rights and employing the men and money of all his lands.55

In his conquest of Wales and during the Scottish wars of the previous decade the king had drawn heavily on the nobles and resources of all his dominions. Welsh soldiers formed a major component in all the armies Edward had led to Scotland during the previous decade, and in the Falkirk campaign of 1298 over 10,000 archers and spearmen from the principality and marcher lordships had served under the king's banner.56 Edward's lordship of Ireland also contributed to the wars. The king's authority in Ireland extended over a large area of the east and south where, since the late twelfth century, English nobles, townsmen and peasants had acquired land and settled. In a far more limited fashion, the English king also claimed to rule the native Irish lords who remained in the mountains and bogs of the east and those who still dominated the west and north of the island.57 Forces of several thousand soldiers, mostly English, had been shipped from Ireland to campaign in Scotland in 1296, 1301 and 1303, and seem to have been particularly brutal in their (p.18) approach to warfare. Fleets raised from the towns of English Ireland had been sent to extend Edward's authority in the Firth of Clyde and up the western coasts and isles.58 In the last months of 1306, with ‘Robert Bruce and his accomplices lurking’ in the Western Isles, the value of Ireland, and especially Ulster, as a source of ships and men became even more important to the English king, who, from early October, was based at Lanercost Priory near Carlisle, in easy communication with Ireland down the Solway Firth.59

In late January 1307 Edward I issued orders for a fleet to be raised in Ireland to bring about Robert's final defeat.60 The king was taking nothing for granted. His anxieties about the future were not simply due to his age and possible signs that his impressive physique was beginning to fail. Edward probably also recognised that his enemy had taken refuge in those parts of the British Isles which were furthest from his reach and rule. Though later writers were confused about Robert's whereabouts between his flight from Dunaverty in September 1306 and his landing in Carrick the following February, Edward I seemed aware of his general location in ‘the isles between Scotland and Ireland’. The near contemporary accounts of Walter of Guisborough and the Lanercost Chronicle clearly identified Robert's location as in ‘the outer isles of Scotland’. The king may have made initial landfall on Rathlin Island off the Ulster coast, but this was too exposed and lacking in possible friends to be more than a brief visit.61 Instead the real refuge sought by Bruce and his surviving friends was further north in the tangle of isles and sea lochs which stretched up the coast of the Scottish realm from Islay to Skye and Lewis.

These Western Isles and adjacent coasts formed a region which had long possessed a distinct character and identity. Because of Scandinavian settlement in the ninth century they were known in Gaelic as Inse Gall, the Isles of the Foreigners, and, along with the Isle of Man further south, they had been recognised as the kingdom of the Isles. Though this political entity had lost much of its significance when the region came under the lordship of the Scottish king in the 1260s, the magnates of the Isles were no ordinary royal vassals but retained their ancestors' character as sea-kings. These lords could call up fleets of galleys and bands of mail-armoured axemen in their private enterprises. In an economically poor region like the Isles, there was a long tradition of such leaders seeking rewards as traders, pirates and mercenaries.62 Ireland had proved a fertile ground for such activities and the galloglass, as the Islesmen were known, had become a key element in the armies and retinues of Gaelic Irish kings. The military character of the Isles was produced by the frequent warfare between the leading men of the region. During the two decades before 1306 this had merged with the rivalries and wars which had beset the Scottish kingdom. Though the leading Islesmen had all submitted to Edward I by 1304, the events of these years had also shown that the Isles were hard to police and a ready source of ships and soldiers.63

Robert Bruce was no stranger to the lords and men of the Western Isles. As earl of Carrick, on the Ayrshire coast, he inherited contacts and interests in (p.19) Kintyre, the Isles and Ulster which all lay nearby. Robert would have been well aware of the military potential of these regions and, as early as March 1306, he may have secured Dunaverty Castle as a point of contact access with the Isles and Ireland. His actions in 1306 had won him the enmity of one of the great families of the Isles. Alexander mac Dougall of Argyll and his son, John of Lorn, were kinsmen of the murdered John Comyn. John's hostility had already been demonstrated in his attack on Bruce at Dalry. As lords over Lorn, Mull and Morvern, Alexander and John were powerful enemies in the west, but their hostility also worked in Bruce's favour. Later Scottish writers identified Robert's protectors and allies in the Isles as Angus Og of Islay and Christina of the Isles. These were leading members of the other main Hebridean kindreds. Angus was one of the heads of Clan Donald, whose lands were centred on Islay, while Christina was from the mac Ruairi kindred. Robert's links with these nobles and their kindreds were distant and tenuous and Barbour's later account of Angus Og paying Bruce homage may not capture the relationship between exile and host in late 1306.64 However, both Angus, Christina and their kindreds had poor relations with the mac Dougalls, and they may have offered Bruce galleys and men in expectation that his success would damage their rivals.

Robert also looked beyond the Isles for military aid. Over the winter he sent his brothers Thomas and Alexander to Ireland. They probably made the short journey from Islay to Ulster in search of allies. Their audience would have been the leaders of the Irish in western Ulster and Connacht. Though they often employed the title of king, these men were really nobles, many of whom had shed blood to win control of their kindreds.65 In 1306 many of these Irish chiefs were under the dominion of Richard Burgh earl of Ulster and lord of Connacht. Since 1286 the Red Earl had imposed his authority on the Irish of the north, installing friendly chiefs and removing enemies. His power over the Irish did fluctuate but the earl frequently intervened in disputes within powerful kindreds like the O'Neill of Tir Eoghain and the O'Domnhaill of Tir Connaill and drew lesser families like the O'Cathain directly under his lordship.66

Thomas and Alexander Bruce may have come from the earl's son-in-law but they did not seek aid from Earl Richard or the English colonists of eastern Ulster. They carried letters addressed to ‘all the kings of Ireland, … the prelates and clergy and inhabitants of all Ireland’. Their language clearly indicated a native Irish audience. They spoke of ‘our people and yours 2026 arising from one branch of a nation’ which shared a ‘common language’ and ‘customs’. Should the Irish aid him, Robert hoped that ‘God willing, our nation may be able to recover her ancient liberty’.67 In speaking of the Scots and Irish as ‘one nation’, Bruce was referring to ideas that were well-understood in both realms. However, in suggesting that the Gaelic Irish and the Scots were engaged in a single struggle for their ‘ancient liberty’, Robert was pursuing an approach which was new to the Scots and, given his own background and connections within the Anglo-French nobility of Britain, Ireland and beyond, marked a political departure. The letter was, of course, (p.20) propaganda, shaped by Robert's needs and circumstances and designed to appeal to Irish leaders, like Donal O'Neill, who had clashed with the Red Earl since the 1280s.68 However, the alignment between the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland against the English was a development of earlier efforts to articulate the rights of the Scots alone. It represented a widening of the Anglo-Scottish propaganda conflict to encompass Ireland for the first time. The implications of this would last well beyond the winter of 1306–7. In real terms, the provision of ships and men led by one Irish ‘kinglet’ was more likely to have been secured by more pragmatic means than an appeal to a war of liberation. Bruce's hosts from Clan Donald had connections with Donal O'Neill and other lords from Ulster which may have been the real source of this Irish contingent.69 Like the Islesmen who agreed to follow Bruce, these Irish were probably serving in the hope of plunder and pay rather than any wider ideals.

When the war was renewed in early 1307 it would stretch beyond the heartlands of the Scottish kingdom where the earlier fighting had taken place. The centre of military preparations for both sides lay on either side of the narrow seas separating Scotland and Ireland. In using the Western Isles and Ulster as a springboard for his forcible re-entry into Scotland, Bruce was following the precedents of several claimants to royal or provincial power during the previous century and a half.70 However, all such attempts had ended in defeat and, despite his success in retaining a body of supporters and securing the support of some new allies, Robert must have been aware of the difficulties he faced. In Scotland, where his coup of the spring and summer seemed only to have achieved the death or disinheritance of his leading friends and partisans, Bruce could hardly look for rapid or enthusiastic backing for a further bid for the kingdom.

However, King Edward too had worries. During the later months of 1306 he sent letters to William earl of Ross and to Lachlan and Ruairi, the half-brothers of Christina of the Isles, perhaps encouraging these magnates to use their power in the Isles against Robert. Other letters announcing the excommunication of Bruce for Comyn's murder were sent to the Irish bishops in a possible attempt to counter any efforts to raise support in Ulster.71 Edward knew of Bruce's location and his search for allies. He could probably guess that the target of any new venture by his enemy would be the south-west of Scotland and, in particular, Carrick, Bruce's own earldom. However, the letters which the king sprayed out to his adherents during the autumn and winter and the tone of impatience they displayed suggests Edward was an old man in a hurry to remove this latest challenge.72 In the opening weeks of 1307 both kings, Robert and Edward, were keen for war to be renewed.



(1.) W. Bower, Scotichronicon, ed. D. E. R. Watt, 9 vols (Aberdeen, 1987–98), vi, 366–7.

(2.) Scotichronicon, ed. Watt, vi, 356–61.

(3.) Scotichronicon, ed. Watt, vi, 362–5.

(4.) For the text of the Declaration of Arbroath, see The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 779–82.

(5.) John of Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish Nation, ed. W. F. Skene, 2 vols, ii, 339–40.

(6.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan; Barbour's Bruce, ed. M. P. McDiarmid and J. A. C. Stevenson, 3 vols (Scottish Texts Society, 1980–5).

(7.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 415.

(8.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 460–1.

(9.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 512–17.

(10.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 448–51, 494–7.

(11.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 472–93.

(12.) Scotichronicon, ed. Watt, vi, 352–3; Andrew de Wyntoun, The Original Chronicle, ed. F. Amours, 6 vols (Scottish Texts Society, 1908), v, 367.

(13.) Scotichronicon, ed. Watt, vi, 354–5.

(14.) A. Coutts, ‘The Knights Templars in Scotland’, Records of the Scottish Church History Society, 7 (1938), 126–40; J. Edwards, ‘The Templars in Scotland in the Thirteenth Century’, S.H.R., 5 (1908), 13–25.

(15.) G. Duby, The Legend of Bouvines, trans. C. Tihanyi (Berkeley, 1990), 141–66.

(16.) D. W. Lomax, The Reconquest of Spain (London, 1978), 124–8; R. Costa Gomes, The Making of a Court Society: Kings and Nobles in Late Medieval Portugal (Cambridge, 2003), 180, 206, 225.

(17.) N. Malcolm, Kosovo: A short history (London, 1998), 58–80; A. Curry, The Battle of Agincourt: Sources and Interpretations (Woodbridge, 2000).

(18.) Vita Edwardi Secundi, ed. W. Childs (Oxford, 2005), 97; Scalachronica, ed. A. King, 75. For Courtrai, see J. F. Verbruggen, The Battle of the Golden Spurs: Courtrai, 11 July 1302, ed. K. Devries (Woodbridge, 2002).

(19.) Annales Gandenses, ed. H. Johnstone (Oxford, 1951), 30–1; Verbruggen, Battle of the Golden Spurs, 83–110.

(20.) Les Grandes Chroniques de France, ed. J. Viard (Société de l'histoire de France, 1935), viii, 223–4, 250–5, 295–317; ix, 101–5.

(21.) Geoffroy de Paris, Chronique Rimée, ed. N. de Wailly and L. Delisle (Receuil des historiens de la Gaule et de la France), xxii, 148.

(22.) Vita Edwardi, 95.

(23.) Johannes de Trokelowe and Henrici de Blandeford, Chronica et Annales, ed. H. T. Riley (Rolls series, 1866), 83–7; Vita Edwardi, 87–95.

(24.) The Chronicle of Lanercost, trans. H. Maxwell (Edinburgh, 1913), 208; Chronicon de Lanercost, ed. J. Stevenson (Edinburgh, 1839), 226–7.

(25.) Brut y Tywysogyon or the Chronicle of the Princes. Peniarth MS 20 version, ed. and trans. T. Jones (Cardiff, 1952), 123; The Annals of Connacht, ed. A. M. Freeman (Dublin, 1944), 229–31; Chartularies of St Mary's Abbey, Dublin and the Annals of Ireland, 1162–1370, ed. J. T. Gilbert, 2 vols (Rolls series, 1884–6), ii, 344.

(26.) Duncan, ‘War of the Scots’, 135; The Chronicle of Walter of Guisborough, ed. H. T. Rothwell, Camden Society (London, 1957), 366–7; The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 86–93; M. Brown, The Wars of Scotland, 1214–1371 (Edinburgh, 2004), 197–201; Barrow, Robert Bruce, 146–54.

(27.) For a discussion of Bruce's supporters, see E. Barron, The Scottish Wars of Independence (reprinted New York, 1998), 224–35; Barrow, Robert Bruce, 154–60, 325–8; Duncan, ‘War of the Scots’, 137.

(28.) M. Brown, ‘Scoti Anglicati: Scots in Plantagenet Allegiance during the Fourteenth Century’, in A. King and M. Penman (eds), England and Scotland in the Fourteenth Century (Woodbridge, 2007).

(29.) For the ordinance, see E. L. G. Stones, Anglo-Scottish Relations 1174–1328 (Oxford, 1965), no. 33; F. Watson, ‘Settling the stalemate: Edward I's peace in (p.22) Scotland, 1303–1305’, 127–43, in M. Prestwich, R. Britnell and R. Frame (eds), Thirteenth-Century England, vi (Woodbridge, 1997), 127–43; F. Watson, Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland, 1286–1307 (East Linton, 1997).

(30.) C.D.S., ii, no. 1762; v, no. 492 (v), (vi), (ix), (x); Duncan, ‘War of the Scots’, 137–8.

(31.) C.D.S., ii, no. 1782.

(32.) C.D.S., ii, no. 1779; v, nos 472 (p), 492 (xvi); The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 90.

(33.) C.D.S., v, no. 492 (v), (vi), (ix), (x); Duncan, ‘War of the Scots’, 137–8.

(34.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 90–105; Chron. Guisborough, 368.

(35.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 102–4.

(36.) C.D.S., ii, no. 1790.

(37.) Duncan, ‘War of the Scots’, 138; The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 112–17.

(38.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 134–43; Stones, Anglo-Scottish Relations, no. 34.

(39.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 144–9; C.D.S., ii, nos. 1833–4; v, no. 457.

(40.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 153–61; C.D.S., ii, nos 1777, 1780, 1785, 1812, 1829, 1833; v, nos 471(e), 472 (a, c, o); Scotichronicon, ed. Watt, vi, 323.

(41.) Watson, Under the Hammer, 185.

(42.) C.D.S., ii, nos 1757, 1771, 1786, 1857, 1945.

(43.) C.D.S., ii, no. 1785; v, no. 446.

(44.) For a list of landowners whose lands were threatened with forfeiture for their support of Bruce, see Documents Relating to the History of Scotland, ed. F. Palgrave (London, 1837) i, 301–18. Alan Durward and Alexander Murray, who were taken at Kildrummy, and David Inchmartin, John Somerville, Berrnard Mowat and numerous others captured at Methven were executed. The killers of John Comyn and of an English knight, Roger de Tany, were singled out for execution (C.D.S., ii, no. 1811; The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 166).

(45.) C.D.S., ii, nos 1807, 1829; The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 100.

(46.) Even in 1306 Edward was prepared to allow James Stewart to recover his lands following a submission and fresh oath of allegiance sworn on a relic of the true cross. Stewart does not seem to have joined Bruce in 1306 but his elder son, Andrew, was in Robert's hands and may have been used to raise support among Stewart's affinity (Foedera, iv, 62; Stones, Anglo-Scottish Relations, no. 35).

(47.) C.D.S., ii, no. 1786; v, no. 446; Palgrave, Docs, 284, 304.

(48.) C.D.S., ii, nos 1487, 1535.

(49.) C.D.S., ii, nos 1757, 1771, 1776, 1839, 1857, 1945; The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 192n.

(50.) J. R. Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster (Oxford, 1970), 80–1; K. B. McFarlane, The Nobility of Later Medieval England (Oxford, 1973), 261; J. R. S. Phillips, Aymer de Valence earl of Pembroke (Oxford, 1972), 22–9; M. Altschul, A Baronial Family in England: The Clares (Baltimore, 1965), 157–9.

(51.) Barrow, Robert Bruce, 123–4.

(52.) R. R. Davies, Lordship and Society in the March of Wales, 1282–1400 (Oxford, 1978), 15–85.

(53.) Davies, Lordship and Society, 35–40; R. R. Davies, Age of Conquest: Wales 1063–1415 (Oxford, 1987), 363, 370–1.

(54.) R. R. Davies, The First English Empire, 26–8, 172–3; R. Frame, The Political Development of the British Isles, 142–3; Thomas Wright's Political Songs of England, ed. P. Coss (Cambridge, 1996), 380.

(55.) Frame, Political Development, 144–68.

(56.) Davies, Lordship and Society, 80–3; Watson, Under the Hammer, 66–7.

(57.) J. Lydon, The Lordship of Ireland in the Middle Ages (Dublin, 1972), 89–120; J. Otway-Ruthven, A History of Medieval Ireland (New York, 1992), 191–223.

(58.) J. Lydon, ‘An Irish Army in Scotland, 1296’, in Irish Sword, v (1961–2), 184–9; J. F. Lydon, ‘Edward I, Ireland and the War in Scotland, 1303–1304’, in J. Lydon (ed.), (p.23) England and Ireland in the Later Middle Ages (Dublin, 1981), 43–59; J. Lydon, ‘Irish Levies in the Scottish Wars, 1296–1302’, in Irish Sword, v (1963), 207–17.

(59.) C.D.S., ii, nos 1841, 1888.

(60.) C.D.S., ii, no. 1888.

(61.) C.D.S., ii, nos 1888–9; Chron. Guisborough, 368; Chron. Lanercost, 178.

(62.) A. McDonald, The Kingdom of the Isles: Scotland's Western Seaboard, 1100–1336 (East Linton, 1997); M. Brown, Wars of Scotland, 68–88.

(63.) Brown, Wars of Scotland, 255–60. For galloglass, see K. Simms ‘Gallowglass’, in S. J. Connolly (ed.), Oxford Companion to Irish History (Oxford, 1998), 217.

(64.) The Bruce, ed. Duncan, 142–5, 148; Chron. Fordun, ii, 335–6; Scotichronicon, ed. Watt, vi, 327; McDonald, Kingdom of the Isles, 173–5; Brown, Wars of Scotland, 261–2.

(65.) For Gaelic Ireland in the later Middle Ages, see K. Simms, From Kings to Warlords: the changing political structure of Gaelic Ireland in the later Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 1987); K. Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland (Dublin, 1972).

(66.) K. Simms, ‘Relations with the Irish’, in J. Lydon (ed.), Law and Disorder in Thirteenth-Century Ireland (Dublin, 1997), 66–86, 72.

(67.) For the text of the letter, see R. Nicholson, ‘A sequel to Edward Bruce's Invasion of Ireland’, in S.H.R., 42 (1963), 30–40, appendix 1. For its attribution to 1306–7, see S. Duffy, ‘The Bruce Brothers and the Irish Sea World, 1306–29’, in Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, no. 21 (1991), 55–86.

(68.) Simms, ‘Relations with the Irish’, 70–2.

(69.) Chron. Lanercost, 179–80; Annals of Connacht, 184–5; Duffy ‘Bruce Brothers’, 68–76.

(70.) McDonald, Kingdom of the Isles, 81–3.

(71.) C.D.S., v, no. 472 (u, w).

(72.) See for example, C.D.S., ii, nos 1895, 1896.