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Robert the Brice and Battle of Bannockburn

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发表于 9-14-2014 19:16:25 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Barton Swaim, Scotland the Brave. On Sept 18, 1314, the Scots won independence in battle. The weapon of choice 700 hundred years later is the ballot box. But is a ‘yes’ vote simply trading Westminster for Brussels?  Wall Street Journal, Sept 13, 2014.
online.wsj.com/articles/book-review-robert-the-bruce-by-michael-penman-bannockburn-by-angus-konstam-bannockburns-by-robert-crawford-1410556022

My comment:
(1) The last third is reviewer’s speculation about the coming poll (and its consequences, if any). There is no need to read it. The rest is about history.
(2) This is a review on three books:
(a) Michael Penman, Robert the Bruce; King of the Scots. Yale University Press, 2014.
(b) Angus Konstam, Bannockburn; Scotland's greatest battle for independence. Aurun, 2014
(i) Angus Konstam
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_Konstam
(1960- ; Scottish)  
(ii) Angus
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus
(iii) Angus (given name)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_(given_name)
(is composed of Celtic elements meaning "one," and "choice")
(iv) The Scottish and (less frequently) Irish surname Angus: “from the Gaelic personal name Aonghus, said to be composed of Celtic aon ‘one’ + gus ‘choice’. This was borne by an Irish god and a famous 8th-century Pictish king. It is also the name of a county on Tayside (named after him); in some cases the surname may be a regional name from this county.”
Dictionary of American Family Names, by Oxford University Press.
(c) Robert Crawford, Bannockburns; Scottish Independence and the Literary Imagination, 1314-2014. Edinburgh University Press, 2014.

* The Scottish, English, and northern Irish surname Crawford: “from any of the various places, for example in Lanarkshire (Scotland) and Dorset and Lancashire (England) called Crawford, named in Old English with crawe ‘crow’ + ford ‘ford’”

(3) “It is one of the tragedies of recent cultural history that, thanks to Mel Gibson's preposterous movie ‘Braveheart,’ the world knows more about William Wallace's short-lived Scottish rebellion of 1296-97 than about Robert the Bruce. For it was Bruce who, after 18 years of plotting and war making, finally threw off the yoke of the English king and consolidated a sense of Scottish identity.”

“[S]hort lived” because Mr Wallace was soon captured and executed. See William Wallace
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wallace
(c 1270-1305; Battle of Stirling Bridge, Sept 11, 1287)
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 楼主| 发表于 9-14-2014 19:16:56 | 显示全部楼层
(4) “Robert the Bruce was only a teenager in 1291, when Scotland's nobles asked the English king Edward I to adjudicate on competing claims to the Scottish throne, which had been empty since the accidental death of Alexander III five years before. Two of those with the strongest cases—Robert Bruce (the future king's grandfather) and John Balliol—were bitter rivals.”
(a) Alexander III of Scotland
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_III_of_Scotland
(1241-1286; reign 1249-1286; Towards the end of Alexander's reign, the death of all three of his children within a few years made the question of the succession one of pressing importance; Alexander died in a fall from his horse in the dark while riding to visit the queen at Kinghorn in Fife on Mar 18, 1286 because it was her birthday the next day)
(b)
(i) This “Robert Bruce (the future king's grandfather)” is NOT Robert I, also known as Robert the Bruce, who would be king.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_the_Bruce
(1274-1329; King of Scots (Robert I) 1306-1329; section 3 Issue (to be explained in (ii); section 13 Legends)
(A) James Baldwin 巴德文, Fifty Famous Stories Retold 泰西五十軼事.
(B) James Baldwin (editor and author)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Baldwin_(editor_and_author)
(1841-1925; American; Fifty Famous Stories Retold (1896))
(ii) Rather, this Robert Bruce was a feudal lord, not king. See (5).
(c) John Balliol
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Balliol
(c 1249-1314; King of Scots 1292-1296)

was banished to France, by Edward I of England

(5) “Edward, as the Scots should have foreseen, used the opportunity to extract promises of fealty from the king he chose—Balliol. When the largely powerless ‘king’ grew tired of his role as Edward's regional governor and in 1295 formed an alliance with France, Edward invaded Scotland, captured Balliol, then exiled him. Bruce's grandfather, remembered as ‘the competitor,’ died that same year, and Bruce's father showed no ambition for the throne.”
(a) Robert I’s grandfather: Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_de_Brus,_5th_Lord_of_Annandale
(c 1210-1295; a competitor [qv] for the Scottish throne in 1290/92 in the Great Cause [qv]; great-great grandson of King David I of Scotland)
(b) Robert I’s father was  Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_de_Brus,_6th_Lord_of_Annandale
(c) Robert the Bruce
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_the_Bruce
(“a fourth-great grandson [great-great-great-great grandson. in other words] of David I” [see (5)(a)])
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 楼主| 发表于 9-14-2014 19:17:26 | 显示全部楼层
(6) “For the next decade Scotland had no king, and Edward smashed intermittent Scottish rebellions like William Wallace's—often with the aid of the Bruces, who had no wish bring back John. Yet King Edward didn't trust the Earl of Carrick, as the young Robert Bruce had by then become, correctly perceiving that he had designs on the Scottish throne.”
(a) Robert I’s mother was Marjorie.
(b) Earl of Carrick
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Carrick
(lordship of Carrick in southwestern Scotland; in the Peerage of Scotland [NOT of England]; "The title emerged in 1186, when Donnchad[h] * * * became Mormaer or Earl of Carrick * * * Donnchadh's granddaughter Marjorie (Marthoc, Martha, Margaret), who later held the title in her own right, married Robert de Brus, who later became [6th] Lord of Annandale. Their son, also named Robert and known as ‘Robert the Bruce,’ would later rule Scotland as King Robert I”)
(c) Donnchadh
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donnchadh
(d) Marjorie
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjorie
("a female given name derived from Margaret. It can also be spelled as Margery or Marjory")

(7) “According to one account, related in Angus Konstam's marvelous military history ‘Bannockburn: Scotland's Greatest Battle for Independence,’ a friend of Bruce's inside Edward's court sent him 12 pennies and a pair of spurs 馬刺 when the king sought to have the young earl arrested in 1305. ‘The message was clear—Bruce had been sold out by someone, and had to flee. . . . accompanied by a servant he left London in dead of night, and rode hard towards the Scottish border.’ From that point on Bruce was a fugitive. Over the next eight years, he lost three of his four brothers to English executioners. His wife, daughter and sister were imprisoned; another sister was held for four years in a small cage on the battlements of Roxburgh Castle.”
(a) battlement
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlement
(b) Roxburgh Castle
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roxburgh_Castle
(c) “another sister was held for four years in a small cage on the battlements of Roxburgh Castle”

Scottish Sister www.gettyimages.com/detail/news- ... news-photo/51242168
(“Circa 1310, Lady Bruce, sister of Robert the Bruce (1274 - 1329), King of Scotland (1306 - 1329), confined in a cage and hung on the battlements of Roxburgh Castle by order of Edward I, King of England. Engraved by Walker for Raymond's history of England (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)")
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 楼主| 发表于 9-14-2014 19:17:57 | 显示全部楼层
(8) “Having escaped arrest in London, Bruce began gathering allies for a new rebellion. It was probably to cut a deal that, in February 1306, he met John Comyn, a cousin of the exiled King John and Bruce's chief rival for the throne, at Greyfriars Church in Dumfries, a small town in southwest Scotland. Somehow the meeting ended with Comyn dead—stabbed to death at the altar. For Robert, there was now no turning back. Within a few weeks he had taken control of most of southwest Scotland. In March, Bishop Robert Wishart, a fierce proponent of Scotland's sovereignty and a Bruce ally, held an eccentric coronation ceremony in Scone (pronounced scoon) at which he proclaimed Robert to be King of Scotland.”
(a) Greyfriars
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyfriars
(may refer to the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, in particular, the Conventual Franciscans)
(b) Dumfries
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumfries

Read the paragraph that begins with the sentence: “Before becoming King of Scots, Robert the Bruce slew his rival the Red Comyn qv: nothing was known inside the church] at Greyfriars Kirk in the town on Feb 10, 1306.”
(c) Stone of Scone
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_of_Scone
(IS an oblong block of red sandstone; WAS kept at the now-ruined Scone Abbey in Scone, near Perth, Scotland; “In 1296 the Stone was captured by Edward I as spoils of war and taken to Westminster Abbey, where it was fitted into a wooden chair—known as King Edward's Chair—on which most subsequent English sovereigns have been crowned”/ was last used in 1953 for the coronation of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

(9) “To hunt down Bruce, the English king sent a force of 2,000 men—mounted horsemen, archers and crossbowmen—and Edward's forces marched through Bruce-aligned lands in the southwest of Scotland, burning and ransacking as they went. By the spring of 1307 Bruce began winning skirmishes with his English pursuers. At Loudon Hill, near Kilmarnock, he got the best of a far larger English detachment by choosing ground on which he could not be outflanked and digging trenches that thwarted English cavalry charges. ‘He was still little more than a fugitive, or at best a rebel leader,’ writes Mr. Konstam, ‘but he now had a reputation as someone who could win.’"

Battle of Loudoun Hill
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Loudoun_Hill
(May 10, 1307; took place beneath Loudoun Hill, [qv];  was Bruce's first major military victory table: Srength)

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 楼主| 发表于 9-14-2014 19:19:06 | 显示全部楼层
(10) “Also in his favor was the fact that, in July 1307, the English king died. In his place sat his less resolute son, Edward II, who found himself embroiled in a series of conflicts with his leading nobles and was far too distracted to counter the growing power of Scotland's self-proclaimed king. In 1311, Robert's strengthened forces began raiding northern English counties, and two years after that his men were conquering English-held castles in Scotland and ejecting their garrisons. The nocturnal surprise attack on the north wall of Edinburgh Castle, led by Bruce's commander the Earl of Moray, is still spoken of in that city.”
(a) Edward I of England (1239 - July 10, 1307)
(b) Edward I’s son acceded to the throne as Edward II
(c) Edinburgh Castle
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_Castle

Quote: “After the death of Edward I in 1307, however, England's control over Scotland weakened. On 14 March 1314, a surprise night attack by Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray recaptured the castle. John Barbour's narrative poem The Brus relates how a party of thirty hand-picked men were guided by one William Francis, a member of the garrison who knew of a route along the north face of the Castle Rock and a place where the wall might be scaled. Making the difficult ascent, Randolph's men scaled the wall, surprised the garrison and took control. Robert the Bruce immediately ordered the destruction of the castle's defences to prevent its re-occupation by the English. Four months later, his army secured victory at the Battle of Bannockburn.

* For John Barbour, see (13).

(11) “The one essential English-held castle that Bruce could not take was Stirling, strategically placed in the middle of the country, 30 miles to the northwest of Edinburgh. In June 1314 Edward II launched a massive force with the aim of relieving the castle garrison and demolishing Scotland's pretensions to independence once and for all. One chronicler placed the number of English infantry at 25,000, including 3,000 archers. Edward II was among them.”

Stirling
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling
("Gateway to the Highlands"/ Major battles during the Wars of Scottish Independence took place at the Stirling Bridge in 1297 and at the nearby village of Bannockburn in 1314 involving William Wallace and Robert the Bruce respectively)

(12) “The English, despite a small skirmish in which the Scots came out ahead, were utterly confident that they would bring battle to the Scots and not the other way around. They probably camped between the Bannock and Pelstream burns, or streams. Bruce saw their mistake and—unbelievably, to England's commanders—sent his spearmen across the carse, or low-lying field, to confront Edward's vast but hemmed-in and unprepared army. The English cavalry were completely unprepared, their bowmen ill-positioned to inflict any damage on a force they hadn't expected to advance. Meanwhile Bruce's light cavalry, while no match for Edward's better trained and more heavily armed horsemen, stormed into the ranks of Edward's archers and cut them down, almost to a man.
(a) Bannock burn
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannock_Burn
(burn is Scots for stream; enters the River Forth to the east of Stirling)
(b) map:
Battle of Bannockburn: Background. Timeref.com, undated.
www.timeref.com/battle_of_bannockburn.htm
(c) Battle of Bannockburn
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bannockburn
(table: Strength, Casualties and losses)
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 楼主| 发表于 9-14-2014 19:19:19 | 显示全部楼层
(13) “The English defeat was total. Edward's soldiers had to retreat across the burns; many drowned. John Barbour's ‘The Bruce,’ a metrical romance written in the 1370s but based on interviews with veterans, said the burns were so full of dead men and horses that one ‘could pass over dryshod upon the drowned bodies.’ Mr Konstam has brought this and other sources together to form a fast-paced and highly readable chronicle of Bruce's rise to power and greatest victory.”
(a) John Barbour
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Barbour_(poet)
(c 1320 - 1395; a Scotish poet and the first major named literary figure to write in Scots; The Brus (English: The Bruce) [published in 1375])
(b) The Scottish and northern Irish surname Barbour: : “from Old French barbeor ‘barber’”

is pronounced exactly the same as “barber” in English.

(14) “Michael Penman, the author of ‘Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots,’ gives most of his attention to Bruce's reign as king rather than to his rise. That's a logical approach—Bruce's fight for the Scottish throne is far better known than his use of it, particularly his forays into Ireland in an ill-fated attempt to expand the Scots' empire. But Mr. Penman's book is written, it would seem, exclusively for academics. He has amassed an enormous array of research but recounts even the most electrifying events in Bruce's life—his splitting the skull of the English scout Sir Henry de Bohun in the hours before the Battle of Bannockburn, for example—as if readers already knew them and wanted only to read what other scholars have said about them.”

Henry de Bohun
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_de_Bohun
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 楼主| 发表于 9-14-2014 19:20:18 | 显示全部楼层
(15) “Robert would finally force England to acknowledge Scotland's independence in 1328, a year before he died, with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton—¬although new wars would soon begin between England and Scotland, and these turned out less well for Scotland: The battle of Dupplin Moor (1332), Halidon Hill (1333), Neville's Cross (1346) and especially Flodden Field (1513) were all debacles for the smaller nation, although it remained independent until the English and Scottish crowns united in 1603, following the death of Elizabeth I and the ascension of James I (James VI of Scotland). The 1707 Act of Union finally brought open borders and prosperity, and as a consequence Scottish culture flourished in ways the nation's 17th-century inhabitants could not have imagined. But Scottish culture never fully assimilated—the court system and established Presbyterian church remained separate, for instance—and in many ways that is the consequence of what Bruce achieved in 1314.”
(a) Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Edinburgh%E2%80%93Northampton
(b) Battle of Flodden
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Flodden
(table)

(16) “Which is why the Battle of Bannockburn, as Robert Crawford contends in ‘Bannockburns: Scottish Independence and the Literary Imagination, 1314-2014,’ has been a constant presence in the literature of Scotland for hundreds of years. Mr Crawford, a professor of literature at St Andrews and an avowedly nationalist poet, offers insightful and highly literate analyses of a wide variety of works: ‘The Bruce,’ [mentioned in (13)]  Blind Harry's ‘The Wallace’ (1477), Robert Burns's ‘Scots Wha Hae wi' Wallace Bled’ (1793), little-known but once popular novels like Jane Porter's ‘Scottish Chiefs’ (1810), and an array of novels and poems by 20th-century Scottish writers, among them Alasdair Gray and Edwin Morgan. Mr. Crawford's survey of Scottish literature in ‘Bannockburns,’ though, is less comprehensive than his admittedly excellent history of Scottish literature, the 800-page ‘Scotland's Books’ (2007). Many important writers are dismissed or ignored in ‘Bannockburns’ because they exhibited no nationalist leanings, while less important writers receive lavish treatment. Robert Louis Stevenson gets barely a mention. The poems and novels of Walter Scott—the nation's most influential writer but a zealous unionist—get politely ushered out of the discussion.”
(a)
(i) Blind Harry
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Harry
(ii) John Balaban, Blind Harry and 'The Wallace.' The Chaucer Review, 8: 241-251 (1974)
www.jstor.org/stable/25093271
(Sentence 1: “The tradition is that the author of Schir William Wallace was one Blind Harry a wandering minstrel, an aged bard who, blind from birth, earned his living singing common tales in 'native woodnotes,' as it were, before men of high station")
(b)
(i) Scots Wha Hae
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_Wha_Hae
(English: Scots, Who Have; written in the Scots language which served for centuries as an unofficial national anthem of the country, but has lately been largely supplanted by Scotland the Brave [qv; lyrics written in 1950] and Flower of Scotland”)
(ii) Marvin McAllister, Transnational Balladeering: 'Scots, What Hae Wi' Wallace Bled' in 1820s Afro-New York. Stidies in Scottish Literature, 38: 109-118, at 111
scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1508&context=ssl
(explaining “this opening stanza”)
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