Изображения страниц

confusion towards their own country. They were under the command of Sir Maurice de Berkly.

- Note VIII. And Connoght poured from waste and wood Her hundred tribes, whose sceptre rude Dark Eth O'Connor swayed.—St. IV. p. 165. There is in the Foedera an invitation to Eth O'Connor, chief

of the Irish of Connaught, setting forth that the king was about to move against his Scottish rebels, and therefore requesting the attendance of all the force he could muster, either commanded by himself in person, or by some nobleman of his race. These auxiliaries were to be commanded by Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster. Similar mandates were issued to the following Irish chiefs, whose names may astonish the unlearned, and amuse the antiquary.

[ocr errors]

• Souethuth Mac Gillephatrick;
Leyssagh O Morth; -
Gilbertus Ekelly, Duci Hibernicorum de Omany;
Mac Ethelau; -
Omalan Helyn, Duci Hibernicorum Midie.”
Rymer’s Acta Republica, vol. III. pp.478,477.

Note IX.
Their chief, Fitz-Louis-St. IX. p. 169.

Fitz-Louis, or Mac-Louis, otherwise called Fullarton, is a family of ancient descent in the Isle of Arran. They are said to be of French origin, as the name intimates. They attached themselves to Bruce upon his first landing; and Fergus MacLouis, or Fullarton, received from the grateful monarch a charter, dated 26th November, in the second year of his reign, (1807) for the lands of Kilmichel, and others, which still remain in this very ancient and respectable family.

Note X. r
In battles four beneath their eye,

The forces of King Robert lie.—St. X. p. 170. The arrangements adopted by King Robert for the decisive battle of Bannockburn, are given very distinctly by Barbour, and form an edifying lesson to tacticians. Yet, till commented upon by Lord Hailes, this important passage of history has been generally and strangely misunderstood by historians. I

will here endeavour to detail it fully.

Two days before the battle, Bruce selected the field of action, and took post there with his army, consisting of about 50,000 disciplined men, and about half the number of disorderly attendants upon the camp. The ground was called the New Park of Stirling; it was partly open, and partly broken by copses of wood and marshy ground. He divided his regular forces into four divisions. Three of these occupied a front line, separated from each other, yet sufficiently near for the purposes of communication. The fourth division formed a re

serve. The line extended in a north-easterly direction from

[ocr errors]

the brook of Bannock, which is so rugged and broken as to
cover the right flank effectually, to the village of Saint Ni-
nian's, probably in the line of the present road from Stirling to
Kilsyth. Edward Bruce commanded the right wing, which
was strengthened by a strong body of cavalry under Keith,
the mareschal of Scotland, to whom was committed the im-
portant charge of attacking the English archers; Douglas, and
the young Steward of Scotland, led the central wing; and
Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, the left wing. The king
bimself commanded the fourth division, which lay in reserve
behind the others. The royal standard was pitched, accord-
ing to tradition, in a stone, having a round hole for its recep-
tion, and thence called the Bore-stone. It is still shown on the
top of a small eminence, called Brock’s-brae, to the south-west
of St. Ninian's. Isis main body thus disposed, King Robert
sent the followers of the camp, fifteen thousand and upwards
in number, to the eminence in rear of his army, called from
that circumstance the Gillies’ (i.e. the servants’) Hill.
The military advantages of this position were obvious. The
Scottish left flank, protected by the brook of Bannock, could
not be turned; or, if that attempt were made, a movement by
the reserve might have covered it: Again, the English could
not pass the Scottish army, and move towards Stirling, without
exposing their flank to be attacked while in march.
If, on the other hand, the Scottish line had been drawn up
east and west, and facing to the southward, as affirmed by
Buchanan, and adopted by Mr. Nimmo, the author of the
History of Stirlingshire, there appears nothing to have pre-
vented the English approaching upon the carse, or level
ground, from 1'alkirk, either from turning the Scottish left
flank, or from passing their position, if they preferred it, with-
out coming to an action, and moving on to the relief of Stir-
ling. And the Gilies-Hill, if this less probable hypothesis be
adopted, would be situated, rot in the rear, as allowed by all
the historians, but upen the left flank of Bruce's army. The
only objection to the hypothesis above laid down is, that the

[ocr errors]

the garrison of Stirling. But, first, the garrison were bound to neutrality by terms of Mowbray's treaty ; and Barbour even seems to censure, as a breach of faith, some secret assistance which they rendered their countrymen upon the eve of battle, in placing temporary bridges of doors and spars over the pools of water in the carse, to enable them to advance to the charge.* 2dly. Had this not been the case, the strength of the garrison was probably not sufficient to excite apprehension. 3dly. The adverse hypothesis leaves the rear of the Scottish army as much exposed to the Stirling garrison, as the left flank would be in the case supposed. It only remains to notice the nature of the ground in front of Bruce's line of battle. Being part of a park, or chase, it was considerably interrupted with trees, and an extensive marsh, still visible, in some places rendered inaccessible, and in all of difficult approach. More to the northward, where the natural impediments were fewer, Bruce fortified his position against cavalry, by digging a number of pits so close together, says Barbour, as to resemble the cells in a honey comb. They were a foot in breadth, and between two and three feet deep, many rows of them being placed one behind the other. They were slightly covered with brushwood and green sods, so as not to be obvious to an impetuous enemy. All the Scottish army were on foot, excepting a select body of cavalry stationed with Edward Bruce on the right wing, under the immediate command of Sir Robert Keith, the Marshal of Scotland, who were destined for the important service of charging and dispersing the English archers. Thus judiciously posted, in a situation fortified both by art and mature, Bruce awaited the attack of the English.

* An assistance which (by the way) could not have been rendered, had not the English approached from the south-east; since, had their march been due north the whole Scottish army nust have been between them and the garrison.

Note XI. Beyond, the Southern host appears-St. X. p. 170. Upon 23d June, 1314, the alarm reached the Scottish army of the approach of the enemy. Douglas and the Marshal were sent to reconnoitre with the body of cavalry.

“And soon the great host have they seen, .
Where shields shining were so sheen,
And bacinets burnished bright,
That gave against the sun great light.
They saw so fele” brawdynet baners,
Standards and pennons and spears, -
And so fele knights upon steeds,
All flaming in their weeds.
And so fele bataills, and so broad,
And too so great room as they rode,
That the maist host, and the stoutest
Of Christendom, and the greatest,
Should be abaysity for to see
Their foes into such quantity.”
The Bruce, vol.II, p. 151.

The two Scottish commanders were cautious in the account: which they brought back to their camp. To the king in private they told the formidable state of the enemy; but in public reported that the English were indeed a numerous host, but ill commanded and worse disciplined.

Note XII.
With these the valiant of the Isles
Beneath their chieftains ranked their files—St. XI. p. 170.

The men of Argyle, the islanders, and the Highlanders, in general, were ranked in the rear. They must have been numerous, for Bruce had reconciled himself with almost all their chieftains, excepting the obnoxious Mac-Dougals of Lorn. The following deed, containing the submission of the potent Earl

[merged small][ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »