This Month In Scottish History: the Non-battle of Irvine

Here for the Freedom Blog hop?  Details at the end of the post!

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Throughout history, the story of the American colonists' fight for freedom has been repeated: small and weak countries fighting against those bigger and larger.  The Scottish Wars of Independence are one such example.

Since 1286, Edward I, king of England, had involved himself in Scotland's affairs, claiming to be overland of the country.  With the death of Alexander III, king of Scots, and in the absence of a clear heir, Edward chose John Baliol as the new king, thinking to have himself a puppet on the throne.  However, after a string of offenses and humiliations, Baliol refused to send troops for the English king's war against France.  This provoked the sack of Berwick in March 1296, the vicious murder of the men, women, and children of the town of Berwick, that is said to have ended only when Edward saw his troops butchering a woman in the very act of giving birth.  (Good to know he had some standards.)

By 1297, open revolt was spreading across Scotland.  During the winter of 1296-97, Andrew de Moray, the younger, had escaped captivity by the English and begun raising men against them.  In May 1297, William Wallace killed the English sheriff in Lanark, gathered like-minded men to join him, and received the blessings of Bishop Wishart, the bishop of Glasgow, in his stand against the English.  Around the same time, Edward discovered that William Douglas had defected to the Scottish cause, and sent Robert Bruce, the young Scottish Earl of Carrick, to attack Douglas's castle.  Instead, Bruce joined forces with Douglas and others standing against England.

He soon found himself side by side with several Scottish lords, William Douglas, James the Steward, Bishop Wishart, and William Wallace.  On July 9, 1297, they gathered on the northern banks of a loch near Irvine, prepared to fight the oncoming English.  The English army, led by Henry Percy and Robert Clifford, gathered on the southern banks.

The fun and frustration of research is the many versions of an event which are told.

One colorful, but unlikely, version of the Capitulation at Irvine is that the bickering of the Scottish troops became so intolerable to the English that they simply left the field. 

A more common story of what happened at Irvine is that the Scottish lords objected to being led by one they considered their social inferior.  Infighting broke out among the Scottish ranks, resulting in the Scottish lords capitulating to the English, rather than being led by their inferior.  Wallace, unable to fight without the lords, disappeared into the north.

G.W.S. Barrow, in Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland paints a somewhat different picture, reporting that Douglas, as soon as English troops were seen, sent envoys asking if they were authorized to accept surrender.  One Richard Lundie was so disgusted with this immediate capitulation that he changed sides then and there and joined the English.

However, Barrow points out that the Scots spun out surrender negotiations for a month, during which, Wallace, unhindered by the English, was busy elsewhere laying more plans and gathering men.  The end result was that the nobles once again agreed to swear allegiance to Edward I.  You'd think by now Edward would understand that forcing oaths of allegiance from the Scottish nobles was an exercise in futility. 

However the events of Irvine are interpreted, the Scots went on, as the American colonists would four hundred years later, to successfully fight off the much stronger country of England. 

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The FREEDOM GIVEAWAY HOP!

Please join us for the fun!  An e-mail was sent to the winner of the last hop, so please check your e-mails.  I'd love to hear back from the winner!  Once again, I'm giving away a $10 giftcard to amazon.com. 

To enter, become a follower at my blog here and click LIKE on my facebook.  Both links are in the right-hand sidebar. 

For additional entries, share this post on facebook or tweet it on twitter (one extra entry apiece.)  And please tell me in your comments that you did so!!

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Just for fun, there's a poll in the right sidebar, and please tell us in your comment what you love best about the Fourth of July, or an interesting story you remember about the War of Independence or, if you happen to know and love Scottish history, about the Scottish Wars of Independence!

Happy Fourth of July, America!











Comments

  1. GFC: Ash
    Facebook: Ashley Nichole McKinsey

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  2. I follow your blog & like on facebook now.

    It's actually a wonder that even though I like Scotland and enjoy reading literature and other things about the country, I am not yet on familiar ground with the Scottish Wars of Independence. I think I would certainly benefit from reading your blog!

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    Liked your FB page
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    GFC Follower: Sakira
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    --
    Kris
    elfdrop at gmail dot com

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  14. Tweeted giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/SummersKris/status/87352471336394752

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  15. FBed giveaway: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=200112156703271&id=118674174884388

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  18. Sadly I dont knw anyone on the pole so it would be fair if i voted on an "eeny meeny miny mo" choice lol
    GFC Follower: SpadesHighReads
    Liked Facebook Page: SpadesHigh Reads

    What I like about 4th July is that it brings the WHOLE family together and celebrate over a good old BBQ Yumm! =)
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway and for participating in the Freedom Giveaway Hop!!
    Happy Holidays!! =)

    SpadesHigh @ http://SpadesHighReads.com
    TValeros18 AT gmail DOT com

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  20. tweet https://twitter.com/sarebstare/status/87408197694001152

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    Like you on Facebook-Rae Pavey

    My favorite thing about the 4th of July is the fireworks :)

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  28. GFC follower = Juana Esparza

    I Liked you on FB = Juana Esparza

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    What I like most about the 4th of July is the fireworks.

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    Facebook - Gloria Sell Schumann
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    The fireworks & picnic food.

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    FB like-sarah M.
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  49. The excitement to see the fireworks, the food delicacies of the evening, the happiness on everyone's faces...that is what makes me love Independence Day more and more each year. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE GIVEAWAY!! C:

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  53. I'm a GFC follower: Joanna Ward
    And I Liked your FB page.

    My favorite thing about the 4th of July is the fireworks & the food, especially homemade butterscotch ice cream that my dad makes.
    I also voted on your poll for Robert the Bruce. He's in a good number of the Scotland historical fictions I read.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oops... forgot to include email addy above.

    joanna9273[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Awesome contest! My favorite part of the 4th of July is the BBQ. Yummy food!

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    ‘liked’ your FB

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    FB post: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=218233991548630&id=825115

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