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The Battle of Bannockburn took place on 23 and 24 June 1314 and was a victory of the army of Robert the Bruce over the army of King Edward II of England in the First War of Scottish Independence.



King Edward II invaded Scotland after Bruce demanded in 1313 that all supporters still loyal to ousted Scottish king John Balliol acknowledge Bruce as their king or lose their lands. Stirling Castle, a Scots royal fortress occupied by the English, was under siege by the Scottish army, and King Edward assembled a formidable force of soldiers to relieve it – the largest army ever to invade Scotland.



The English summoned 25,000 infantry soldiers and 2,000 horses from England, Ireland and Wales against 6,000 Scottish soldiers that Bruce had divided into three different contingents, commanded by Bruce, his brother Edward Bruce, and his nephew, the Earl of Moray.



Bruce and Henry de Bohun, nephew of the Earl of Hereford, faced off in what became a celebrated instance of single combat. Bohun charged at Bruce and, when the two passed side by side, Bruce split Bohun's head with his axe. Following the battle, the English were forced to withdraw for the night. Sir Alexander Seton, a Scottish noble serving in Edward's army, defected to the Scottish side and informed them of the English camp's position and low morale.



Robert Bruce decided to launch a full-scale attack, and the English army was defeated in a pitched battle, resulting in the deaths of several prominent commanders, including the Earl of Gloucester and Sir Robert Clifford.




The Battle of Bannockburn

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