Unlike today, in the thirteenth century Britain was not one country but two kingdoms, England and Scotland, as well as the autonomous Principality of Wales. Despite the size and wealth of England at that time, the rulers could never assert a union.
This changed when Edward I became king of England and invaded Wales in 1277 against the defiance of Lord Llewelyn. Although the population of Wales still rebelled against the English occupation in 1282, Eduard deposed the princes by building castles and defeating the resistance, and since then he has led the title of "Prince of Wales", which is still valid today.
The occupation and integration of Scotland was more difficult. The coronation John Balliols led to escalation in 1292 as King of Scotland. This was so intimidated by the claim Eduard to the supremacy of England over Scotland, that he turned to France and 1295 entered into an alliance. As a result, Eduard invaded Scotland, plundered his army at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and continued to defeat the Scottish army at Dunbar. Balliols then had to abdicate and Eduard read as a punishment, the stone of Scone, where traditionally the Scottish kings were crowned, bring to London in the Westminster Abbey.
But the Scots have not yet beaten and so led the Scottish Patriot William Wallace a year later, an uprising against the English. At Stirling Bridge on Forth met the two armies on September 11, 1297 on each other. Although the Englishmen had a 10-fold superiority, Wallace could use a smart tactic to demoralize the army commander Earl of Surrey to the extent that he ordered the withdrawal of his troops. The next campaign led Eduard personally. On July 22, 1298 he met with his 10,000 infantry and 2,000 -strong army at Falkirk, south of Stirling, on the army of Wallace. The Scottish soldiers fled so inferior, only the pike-bearers with their Schiltron formation (similar to the Greek phalanx, but covering as a quadrilateral on all sides) still withstood the onslaught until the use of the English longbowmen. Wallace rebellion had been bloodily crushed and he himself had to flee to France. In 1303 he returned to Scotland, but was caught and executed in 1305.
In Scotland, Robert Bruce took over the throne in 1306 after killing his rival John Comyn. In retaliation, the Comyn's family teamed up with King Eduard and smashed Bruce Heer in the same year near Methven, west of Perth, in a surprise attack. Through this loss, Bruce led a guerrilla war against the English.
1307 died the English king Edward I, his successor was his son Eduard II. At the decision and will power of his father Eduard II was no longer approach, but he could count on a strong army and led this in 1314 in another campaign towards Scotland. South of Stirling they then met the army of Robert Bruce, but against the now aggressive acting skewer carrier and their Schiltron formation the English army could do nothing, had to pull back and suffered heavy losses as many soldiers drowned while crossing the marshland Bannockburn.
The success of Bannockburn gave the Scots a period of peace only a few years. 1327 was accused of being incompetent English King Edward II by his son Eduard III. replaced. This concluded an alliance with the end of the 13th century violent Scottish royal family Balliol to act against the ruling son of Robert Bruce King David II. So this alliance drew 1332 against Scotland again and defeated the Scottish army at Dupplin Moor near Perth. In July 1333, they besieged Berwick and destroyed the Scottish relief army at Halidon Hill, whereupon Berwick capitulated.
The capitulation of Berwick and the destruction of the Scottish army meant the military defeat of Scotland against the English. Years of guerrilla war followed, however, until the English began to become increasingly involved in the conflict with France from 1330 onwards, as they were still concerned about Scotland. So it happened that in 1357 between the Scottish King David II and the English King Eduard III. the treaty was negotiated by Berwick. This aimed that after the death of David the English king would succeed him. However, the Scottish people never accepted this treaty and appointed Robert II the ruler of Scotland, despite the treaty of 1371 after King David's death. The conflict between England and Scotland was continued accordingly until 1707 when the two countries came to an agreement.
You can find the right literature here:
William Wallace and Robert the Bruce: The Lives of Scotland’s Most Famous Military Heroes
*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the major battles of the Scottish Wars of Independence *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “A false usurper sinks in every foe And liberty returns with every blow.” – Blind Harry From their very beginnings, England and Scotland fought each other. Emerging as unified nations from the early medieval period, their shared border and inter-related aristocracy created endless causes of conflict, from local raiders known as border reivers to full blown wars between their monarchies. Every century from the 11th to the 16th was colored by such violence, and there were periods when not a decade went by without some act of violence marring the peace. Out of all of this, the most bitterly remembered conflict is Edward I's invasion during the late 13th century. After Edward’s death, the English were eventually beaten back at the famous Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, and thus the early 14th century was a period featuring some of Scotland's greatest national heroes, including William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. It still resonates in the Scottish national memory, all the more so following its memorable but wildly inaccurate depiction in the 1995 film Braveheart, which had Scottish audiences cheering in cinemas. William Wallace is one of the most famous freedom fighters in history, and over 700 years after his death he is still remembered as Scotland’s beloved hero. But while the movie Braveheart helped make him a household name, and he is commemorated across Scotland as a natural leader and a loyal son of his homeland, he is also “the most mysterious of the leaders of the Scottish resistance to Edward I.” This is because, paradoxically, the very famous soldier is also one of the least well known. In fact, the mystery surrounding Wallace is figuring out precisely, or even vaguely, who he was. Where did this champion of Scottish independence come from? Who was his family? What did he do before emerging from obscurity with the brutal murder of William Heselrig, the English sheriff of Lanark, in May 1297? So little evidence on Wallace’s life exists that answering even the most basic questions about him can be a challenge. Piecing together the story of William Wallace’s life is an exercise in asking more questions than can be answered, and often in looking at just as much conjecture as proof. This book attempts to separate fact from fiction while looking at the life and fighting of the man who inspired Braveheart. Though it’s often forgotten today, Robert the Bruce was a bit shiftier, if only out of necessity. Robert the Bruce has become a figure of Scottish national legend, renowned as the man who threw off the shackles of English oppression, but prior to 1306, this Anglo-Scottish nobleman did little to cover himself in glory or to earn a reputation as a hero of the national cause. A member of one of Scotland's leading noble families, Bruce inherited his grandfather's claim to the right to be King of the Scots. That older Bruce had been one of the two leading competitors in the Great Cause, and the family still held ambitions toward the throne. They also held resentments dating back to that disputed inheritance against the Balliol clan and their supporters the Comyns. Of course, this was all forgiven and forgotten after Bannockburn and Bruce’s rise to the Scottish throne, which he held for over two decades. This book analyzes the lives of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the two Scottish heroes like never before.
William Wallace: Brave Heart
Sir William Wallace of Ellerslie is one of history's greatest heroes, but also one of its greatest enigmas—a shadowy figure whose edges have been blurred by myth and legend. James MacKay uses all his skills as a historical detective to produce this definitive biography, telling the incredible story of a man who, without wealth or noble birth, rose to become Guardian of Scotland. William Wallace, with superb generalship and tactical genius, led a country with no previous warlike tradition to triumph gloriously over the much larger, better-armed, and better-trained English forces. 700 years later, the heroism and betrayal, the valiant deeds and the dark atrocities, and the struggle of a small nation against a brutal and powerful empire, still create a compelling tale.
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