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The Battle of Bannockburn

The Scots fall to their knees and pray to the Almighty and then in four divisions meet the English at Bannockburn. The English outnumber the Scots 3 to 1. It's a slaughter.... of the English. The first English division jumps to meet the Scots before orders are given. The division bogs down, blocking the followup forces who were unprepared. The English turn to run but can't get across the Bannock (a ditch filled with tidal water.) The Scots destroy them in detail. It will be known as the most decisive battle of the First Scottish War of Independence. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Scots really kicked some English backside. I can't do it justice here in a few sentences but clearly the English made a number of really bad moves when they crossed the Bannock and were subsequently trapped against the ditch as they tried to retreat. The Scots also used their pikes effectively. It is an interesting tactic that will eventually render knights obsolete because it is easier, and quicker to train many men to use a pike than it is to equip and train a single knight.

A Curse from the Flames

The Grand Knight Templar, Jacques de Molay, is friend to King Philip the Fair of France and godfather to the King's daughter, but he is to be put to the flames. As he stands before the crowd in front of Notre Dame Cathedral he declares his innocence of himself and the Knights. Infuriated the King orders the pyre lit. As the flames rise up Jacques de Molay calls out a mighty curse that King Philip and Pope Clement V will be joining him soon.... and the curse works! The Pope will die a month later and King Philip will die at age 46 after an unspecified hunting accident and each of his succeeding sons will die an early death. [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am aghast. Whatever sins the Grand Master may have committed, I doubt he deserved this. The Templar's assets were reassigned to their rivals, the Knights Hospitaliers, and a very large sum was transferred to the King. The Templars will be on the run and find a haven in Scotland. The legend will live on into the modern day.

Adultery is a Family Affair

Years before, King Philip the Fair of France purchased the Nesle Estate and built one of the earliest tennis courts. Now the estate has been courting disaster with rumors of adulterous affairs conducted by the king's daughters: Blanche and Margaret. Queen Isabella of England (also a daughter of King Philip) suspects adultery of her two sisters with their accompanying knights. King Philip, having a reputation for being pure of heart (and heartless as a statue) has the two knights tortured and killed. His two daughters are shaved and imprisoned for life. Queen Isabella herself will eventually have her own adulterous affair, but the one to pay the price will be King Edward II of England. [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Queen Isabella has a reputation for being both beautiful and dangerous. As you can see, being a relative of a monarch is no guarantee that you will live out the day. Just as a Roman general once commented about King Herod of the Bible, "I'd rather be Herod's pig than his son". Herod the Great tended to go through sons fairly quickly and even had his wife killed though he loved her.

See Also


  1. Maxwell, Herbert. The Chronicle of Lanercost, 1272-1346. Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons. 1913. pp. 206-210. (BOOK)
  2. Murison, Alexander Falconer, King Robert the Bruce, Edinburgh: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1899. pp. 92-. (BOOK)
  3. Battle of Bannockburn, Wikipedia
  4. Edward Bruce, Wikipedia
  5. Edward II of England, Wikipedia
  6. Knights Templar Legends: Knights Templar in Scotland, Wikipedia
  7. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror, Ballantine, 1979. pp. 43-44. (BOOK)
  8. The Knights Templars and Their Fate. languedocmysteries.info. 2011.
  9. Tour de Nesle Affair - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Isabella of France - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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