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Timeline of Scottish History

A timeline of events in Scottish History!. Scroll through a growing chronology of events and click on them for more details and links

Bruce Defeated at Methven

Towards evening, whilst his soldiers were busy cooking their supper,and many were dispersed in foraging parties, a cry was heard that the enemy were upon them; and Pembroke, with his whole army, which outnumbered the Scots by fifteen hundred men, broke in upon the camp.

The surprise was so complete, that it can only be accounted for by the belief, that the king had implicitly relied upon the promise of the English earl. He and his friends had scarcely time to arm themselves. They made, however, a stout resistance, and at the first onset Bruce attacked the Earl of Pembroke, and slew his horse; but no efforts of individual courage could restore order, or long delay defeat; and the battle of Methven was from the first nearly a rout. The king was thrice unhorsed, and once so nearly taken, that the captor, Sir Philip de Mowbray, called aloud that he had the new-made king, when Sir Christopher Seton felled Mowbray to the earth, and rescued his master.

The king's brother, Edward Bruce, Bruce himself, the Earl of Athole, Sir James Douglas, Sir Gilbert de la Haye, Sir Nigel Campbell, and Sir William de Barondoun, with about five hundred men, kept the field, and at last effected their retreat into the fastnesses, of Athole; but some of his best and bravest friends fell into the hands of the enemy. Sir David de Berklay, Sir Hugh de la Haye, Sir Alexander Fraser, Sir John de Somerville, Sir David Inchmartin, and Thomas Randolph, then a young esquire, were all taken, along with Hugh, a chap Iain.

On being informed of the victory, Edward gave orders for the instant execution of the prisoners, but the Earl of Pembroke, with more humanity, did not carry these orders into immediate execution. Randolph, on being pardoned, deserted his uncle; others were ransomed; whilst the chaplain, with other knights who had been taken, were hanged and quartered.