Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/128

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Robert the Bruce.

[1296 A.D.-

of Edinburgh. While waiting the arrival of the fleet in the firth, a serious mutiny broke out among the King's Welsh troops, caused, according to Hemingburgh, by wine served out to them too liberally by royal command. It is stated by the same authority that eighteen clerics were killed by the mutineers, and that the English cavalry, in restoring order, slew many of the Welshmen, and the remainder deserted in a body.

The English army was now in great straits because of delay in the arrival of the fleet with stores. Orders had been already prepared, if not actually issued, to return to Berwick, when news came that the Scots were at Falkirk. Edward at once determined to attack them, and on July 21st, his army moved out to a moor on the east side of Linlithgow and bivouacked. During the night, the King, sleeping on the ground, was trampled on by his charger, and, as is said, two of his ribs were broken. Notwithstanding the pain, he appeared on horseback at dawn, and led the advance.

The Scots were found drawn up on rising and broken ground close to Falkirk. Hemingburgh describes their formation so minutely that, as Hailes observes, he must have received his information from an eyewitness. The pikemen, which formed the bulk of Wallace's army, were disposed in four circular masses (per turmas quatuor, in modus circulorum rotundorum), with mounted spearmen in the middle of each mass.[1] The intervals between these masses

  1. This is the formation so frequently alluded to by Barbour and Gray as the "schiltrome."