Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/273

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1314 A.D.]

The Battle of Bannockburn.


mistook them for fresh troops, and began to give ground; the rearward movement became a rout, the rout a panic, and then a fearful scene of butchery ensued. About a mile and a half from the field, to the south of Bannockburn House, is a place still called the Bloody Fauld, where a body of English rallied and made a determined stand. They all perished. According to some accounts it was here, and not near Parkmill, that Gloucester met his death.

The English King had witnessed the action from the elevation of Charters Hall, nearly opposite the Scottish right. He was very nearly captured. Some Scottish knights, fighting on foot, seized the trappings of his war horse, but Edward stoutly defended himself with his mace, felling several of his assailants.[1] His horse was disembowelled, but a fresh one was brought up for him, and Pembroke laying his hand on the reins, told him all was lost and that he must fly. Sir Giles de Argentine, his other attendant, said:

"Sire, I was placed in charge of your rein: seek your own safety. There is your castle of Stirling, where your body may be in safety, For myself—I am not accustomed to fly; nor shall I do so now. I commend you to God!"

Setting spurs to his horse, he charged into the thick of Edward de Brus's square, shouting, "Argentine! Argentine!" and fell, pierced with many wounds.

How many of the English rank and file perished

  1. Scalacronica, 142.