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Battle of Stirling Bridge

History -- Military history -- List of battles -- History of Scotland

The Battle of Stirling Bridge was one of the series of conflicts contained within the Wars of Scottish Independence. On September 11, 1297 the forces of William Wallace and John de Warenne[?], Earl of Surrey, and the governor of Scotland, clashed and the English forces were defeated.

In numbers the Scots had around 15,000 and the English possibly 60,000, but probably 50,000. Wallace and his force had come from besieging Dundee and were situated on the high ground of Abbey Craig, across the Forth and to the north of Stirling. The English forces sought to cross the single narrow bridge that was present and engage the Scottish force. As the English crossed the bridge, led by Hugh de Cressingham[?], they encountered marshy ground and slowly spread out towards the Scots. As soon as Wallace judged a sufficient but manageable number of troops had crossed the river he ordered a charge, one straight into the massed English force and another to cut their route of escape. The English vanguard was caught and destroyed by the Scottish forces in schiltrons, the English cavalry were ineffective on the boggy ground and many were killed. The bridge collapsed as reinforcements tried to cross and the English on the opposite side of the river then fled the battlefield. Scottish casualties were relatively light but the death from wounds of Andrew de Moray[?] was a blow to William's side, he would probably be sorely missed in the battles to come.

The victory here was the start of a series of wins that gave Wallace favour amongst the Scottish nobles and soon led to the fall of almost every English castle in Scotland.

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