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WALLACE & THE BATTLE OF STIRLING BRIDGE. In September 1297 two Dominican friars went sent to Wallace by the 'Governer of Scotland' the Earl of Surrey (appointed by English King Edward I) to make peace, but this was firmly refused. A Scottish knight in Edward's army volunteered to take some mounted knights across the River Forth at a nearby Ford. English knight Hugh De Cressingham urged a simple crossing of the wooden bridge. Surrey agreed. All day the English filed over, forming up on the flat land opposite. Wallace waited until half the English troops were across and upon his signal (a brayed horn) the Scots attacked. A party of Scots attacked from Cambuskenneth Abbey and held the Scottish side of the bridge. Some English reinforcements got across before the bridge collapsed (probably weakened by Wallace's men before the battle, the bridge was only wide enough for 2 or 3 horses abreast.) Meanwhile the Scottish horse, about 200 in number had crossed the ford and harried the English retreat. The English were driven to Berwick. Thousands were killed in the battle. Edward was forced to give up his plan but returned the following year with a much larger army and finally defeated Wallace at The Battle of Falkirk. The Battle of Stirling bridge lasted for about an hour. Surrey could only watch from the far bank of the river, unable to cross, while half his army were being slaughtered by the Scots. Soon after the death of Wallace (he was betrayed by Scottish traitor Sir John De Menteith) in 1305 there emerged the new force of Scotland, Robert the Bruce, but that's another story. In the Mel Gibson movie 'Braveheart' Gibson decided that there would be no Battle of Stirling Bridge but a Battle of Stirling. He thought that a pitched battle would look better, in movie terms, than a 'bridge' battle. Recommended reading - 'The Lion in the North' by John Prebble or any of the many biographies on William Wallace.

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โˆ™ 2007-05-08 19:41:14
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Q: How did William Wallace win the battle of Stirling Bridge?
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