Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/256

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Robert the Bruce.

[1314 A.D.

It was decided, apparently unwisely, to bivouack in the carse near the river, vn mauueis parfound ruscelle marras,[1] so that men and horses might be fresh for their work on the next day. Sir Thomas Gray, whose account of the battle differs in some respects from all others, and who, writing as a soldier and the son of a knight who was present, is deserving of special consideration, seems to attribute the delay to the advice of Sir Philip de Moubray, governor of Stirling, who had ridden out to meet King Edward. This knight warned the English generals how the Scots had raised obstructions in the passes of the woods (auoint fowez lez estroitz chemyns du boys), and said that it was not necessary for them to advance farther, for that the conditions of the relief of Stirling had been fulfilled by an English army coming within three miles of that town.

The vanguard, however, pressed on, whether because the Earl of Gloucester was not informed of the halt, or because his young knights were eager for a brush with the enemy.[2]

There is some discrepancy in the order given by various writers to the events which immediately followed, and I have chosen to follow chiefly the narrative of Sir Thomas Gray, though other historians have generally adopted the accounts of monkish, and therefore inexpert, authorities. But Barbour's personal descriptions may be relied on with considerable confidence.

  1. Scalacronica, 142.
  2. Lez ioenes gentz ne aresterent my tindrent lour chemyns.—Scalacronica, 141.