ROBERT THE BRUCE ACHIEVES THE DREAM (Illustration) Visual Arts Biographies Famous People Film Medieval Times Social Studies World History

The original Scotichronicona 15th-century chronicle (or legendary account) by Scottish historian Walter Bower—contains this depiction of the Battle of Bannockburn.  Robert the Bruce (the Scot) wields an axe while Edward II (the Brit) flees toward Stirling Castle.  The drawing, c. 1440s, is the earliest-known rendering of the famous battle.  Click on it for a better view.


William Wallace had a vision: Pro libertate ("For freedom"). Within ten years after his death, the Scots had achieved his dream. In 1314, at Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce crushed an English army twice the size of his own.

It had not been an easy process.

Legend has it that after one of his defeats, Robert the Bruce hid in a cave to avoid capture himself. While in the cave, he watched a spider trying to make a web. The spider kept falling and starting again. Inspired by those continued efforts, the Bruce told himself:

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

He did just that and finally led his country to the brink of independence from England.

By the time of Bannockburn, Longshanks (a nickname for Edward I) was dead and his son, Edward II, ruled England and Wales. A weak and ineffective king, Edward II (the first Prince of Wales) was no match for the Scottish forces.

After Bannockburn, the Scots set forth their terms of Independence in the Declaration of Arbroath, signed at Arbroath Abbey in 1320. Even the man who had betrayed William Wallace, Sir John Monteith, signed the Declaration.

It remains one of the greatest declarations by people fighting to be free. The pope, who at that time wielded great influence between nations, himself approved the declaration of Scottish independence.

But declaring independence, and actually being free, are different things.

Although the battle of Bannockburn did not completely end the fighting, the English had to deal with compelling evidence of Scottish will. An army half the size of Edward II's was victorious. Peace between the two countries was finally negotiated with the Edinburgh-Northampton Treaty of 1328.

Wallace's dream was realized. Scotland was independent, and Robert the Bruce became King Robert I.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Apr 26, 2019

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"ROBERT THE BRUCE ACHIEVES THE DREAM" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2001. Jan 19, 2020.
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