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Home / Heroes / Robert the Bruce - The story of William Wallace

Robert the Bruce , Stirling Castle

Statue of Robert the Bruce, outside Stirling Castle

Robert the Bruce , Stirling
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In 1313 Edward Bruce (brother of the would-be Scottish King) blockaded Stirling Castle and forced King Edward II to meet King Robert The Bruce's forces at Bannockburn.

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On the eve of the battle of Bannockburn Robert the Bruce told his army 'My people who value greatly the freedom for which the kings of Scotland have suffered many struggles , dying in the Lord , let them all think on the labours we suffered while we have struggled for eight years now for our right to the kingdom, for the honour and freedom '

The English army under Edward II had 10,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry . The earls of Hereford , Gloucester and Pembroke were joined by Scottish nobles John Comyn and Ingram de Umphraville . The Scots had about 5,000 infantry men and 500 light cavalry . The army formed up at Torwood a few miles from Stirling .

In the opening encounter of the battle Henry de Bohun spotted Robert the Bruce alone and engaged him in combat . They charged at each other on horseback . Robert the Bruce landed a blow on de Bohun with his axe , knocking him off his horse and killing him . Part of the English army had advanced expecting the Scots to retreat through New Park . The Scottish army attacked Clifford and Beaumont's soldiers , killing some and putting the rest to flight . Moray's schiltrom resisted a charge by the English cavalry and inflicted heavy losses on them .

The heavily outnumbered Scottish forces inflicted a stunning defeat upon the English and Stirling Castle was surrendered to King Robert.
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For 648 years an annual remembrance service was held for Queen Elizabeth de Burgh, wife of Robert the Bruce in the north east fishing port of Cullen . The Queen died there in 1327 while visiting relatives . Robert the Bruce set aside 33 shillings and 4 pennies to pay for an annual service in the kirk in Cullen to remember his wife .

In 1543 Mary Queen of Scots also made a contribution to the kings fund to ensure the services continued.

In 1975 local government was reorganised and somehow the fee of 2 guineas ( £2.10 ) for the service was forgotten and it was abandoned . However this week Moray Council has decided to recommence the remembrance service . Dennis Clark said ' The continuity of payment beyond the Reformation to modern times and against the vagaries of Scottish religious history must be almost unique in Scotland and deserves to be regarded as a valuable part of Cullen's local heritage .'

The mistake was only discovered last year when local schoolchildren looked into the history of the church and asked the minister Rev Melvyn Wood about the payment .  

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