Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/255

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1314 A.D.]
203
The Battle of Bannockburn.

the right of his line, to be honeycombed with a multitude of round holes, measuring a foot in diameter and as deep as a man's knee, which were then covered with sods resting on small sticks.[1]

On Sunday morning, June 23d, at sunrise, mass was celebrated in the Scottish camp. It was nearly noon[2] when tidings came of the approach of the English army from Falkirk, where they had lain the night before. Barbour says they marched in ten divisions of 10,000 each; the chronicler of Lanercost mentions eleven principal commanders, namely, the Earls of Gloucester, Hereford, Pembroke, and Angus; Sir Robert de Clifford, Sir John Comyn (son of the Red Comyn), Sir Henry de Beaumont, Sir John de Segrave, Sir Pagan de Typtoft, Sir Edmund de Maul and Sir Ingelram de Umfraville. The King of Scots called upon any of his men who feared the coming battle to depart at once, but not a man left the ranks.

The English vanguard came in sight on the rising ground near Plean. The main body, it seems, had been halted, in order that a council of war might be held, to discuss whether the attack should be made at once or deferred till the morrow. The weather was intensely hot;[3] perhaps the troops were exhausted by their march from Falkirk, although that place lies only nine miles south from Bannockburn.

  1. Buchanan describes calthrops—iron spikes for laming horses—as having been scattered over the ground, but these are not mentioned by earlier writers.
  2. Post-prandium.—Lanercost, 225.
  3. The Brus, xciv., 115.