Battle of Bannockburn
Clan Forsyth Society
Bannockburn is a town of Stirlingshire, Scotland, about three miles southeast of Stirling Castle. The battle of Bannockburn was the most important battle in the history of Scotland, and one in which Osbert Forsyth was a trusted and valiant leader.
The English king, Edward II, appeared on June 24, 1314, with an army which surpassed every force that had as yet been led against Scotland in numbers and equipment, and was the largest that a king of England ever led. He had one hundred thousand men and forty thousand horsemen. Bruce was aware of the immense superiority of the enemy, and that there were two Englishmen to every Scotsman.
Bruce chose his ground of battle with admirable skill in the royal park between the Bannockburn stream and the Castle of Stirling. To break the ranks of the English horse, he constructed covered pits, and put steel spikes over the ground. The English had an easy passage to horses only in front of the Scottish position at the banks of the stream. Therefore, the English had no choice but to attack the Scots at that point. Before the battle began, as the sun rose, the Scots went down on their knees to pray. When King Edward saw this, he said: "See, they are kneeling to ask pardon." "Yes," was the answer, "they are asking pardon, but from God, and not from us. You will conquer or die."
At the beginning of the battle, the English archers bent their bows and sent their arrows as thick as snowflakes. Tile boggy ground and steel spikes prevented the horsemen from riding quickly. The Scots stood firm, thrusting with their spears at the horses which, maddened with pain, hurled their riders to the ground, and dashed hither and thither flinging the ranks into confusion. While the battle raged, from a hill nearby, what looked like another Scottish army was seen to descend. It was only the servants who attended Bruce. However, the English thought they were another army, and lost heart, and were thrown into a panic rout.
From the point of view of glory and interest, this battle holds first place among the triumphant actions of the Scottish people. It made Scotland a free country.