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This book gives several levels of proof of the central questions about the battle: where it took place and how the victory was achieved. The success of this research will be shown immediately in 3 brief paragraphs.
1. For centuries it has been believed by the history community that about 6,000 Scots defeated 20,000 English. This I have demolished:
The least population of Scotland, Prof Barrow's, in 1314, is 400,000. This means there were 200,000 men and 200,000 women. Half of the men were too young or too old to fight: under 15 or over 45, say. This means there were about 100,000 Scotsmen of fighting age in 1314. If only 6,000 Scots fought in the battle, where were the other 94,000 Scotsmen of fighting age that day?
This is called the Charisma-Population Argument. A leader with the charisma of Robert Bruce should have been able to field far more than 6,000 men. In fact, the written reports of the battle tell of a Scottish army which was far larger. 15,000 Scots are likely. Bannockburn Revealed contains several compelling arguments to show this. Notice that some believe that the population of Scotland in 1314 was a million. If so, there were 500,000 males, meaning 250,000 men of fighting age. The above question then becomes: if only 6,000 fought at Bannockburn where were the other 244.000 Scots?
2. In the 7 centuries seince the battle was fought, no historian ever thought of assembling, translating and printing all the relevant written reports in one book. This happened for the first time in Bannockburn Revealed [BR]. In addition, each written report was investigated for its date of writing and its reliability, a novel procedure. Up to now, historians picked any quotation they liked to argue the case they wished to make. In 2001, for example, Dr Fiona Watson of Stirling university, in her report for Stirling Council [on p21] cited a source, The Chronicle of Melsa written in the 15th century and another source by Habbakuk Bisset in the 17th century, as if these people could know anything about the battle of 1314. Worse, the quotations given were a single phrase of a handful of words. That is, the source did not know enough to say anything more. When all the relevant written sources are printed and analysed what happened at the battle is blindingly obvious. The results will soon be seen in this website.
3. Without a good map of the entire battle area, the battle cannot be understood. The maps in Bannockburn Revealed [BR] took over a year to make. These were made by using General William Roy's maps of c1750 and excising the changes since 1314. But the most important aspect of these maps is that they were justified. The first time maps of this battle were ever justified. And it took 100 pages to do it properly. Roy had about fifty people employed to help him make his maps and close study for many years has shown the maps he made of the Stirlingshire area to be brilliant. They were not however, triangulated, a process unknown in these islands at that time. Therefore, in the second book, Bannockburn Proved [BP], Roy's beautifully and accurately drawn bogs around the battle area were carefully transposed onto the earliest OS map, the first to be triangulated. In addition, a further justification of 25,000 words was included with further insights about the terrain, each one of them a gem which had to be discovered after many visits to the site. Note that Roy was a Fellow of the Royal Society and won its highest award. He and 4 others in the map project became generals, the ablest men of the age then. Roy's maps of Stirlingshire are so detailed that gap sites in the villages are shown, houses set back from the site line, hedges and streams and hills and above all woodland. Hardly any books on this subject have ever shown the woodland. And yet the area was and still is full of woodland, a vital matter when a battle is to be understood,
The importance of a good map can be shown easily. Prof Barrow drew the Pelstream as if it were a rivulet a foot deep and a foot wide and starting from east of St Ninians, not realising its true course. It starts on Gillies Hill far to the west in 9 springs and etched out for itself a 100 yd wide channel, 100 feet deep from which, before the Town Burn was formed, it debouched straight out into the carseland, forming the northern boundary of the Carse of Balquhiderock. The southern is the Bannock Burn. In 2001, Fiona Watson, who works within a few miles of the Carse, drew the Pelstream emerging out of the ground like a rabbit out of hat. Neither of them understood the battle because they could not draw the streams. It never occurred to either to justify their maps and if they had they would have seen their errors--maybe! But worse! Neither of them noticed Balquhiderock Wood or the other woods which still surround the Dryfield of Balquhiderock and have surrounded it from time immemorial. Nobody ever cut Balquhiderock Wood because it was too much trouble and no advantage on a mainly steep north slope.
Why have Barrow, Duncan, Watson, Brown et al made so many mistakes and fouled up our history? Partly because they devoted too little time to the task. Barrow said in writing that he had walked over the battle area for two days. Watson's ignorance is more remarkable. How she learned nothing from Barrow's map made 40 years earlier or Christison's which is better than either is a deep mystery, an error- one of many so childish it beggars belief. However, this research did have the advantage of time. A full decade, full time, has been spent on this. Academics do not have this advantage. They have classes to teach, papers to mark, reputations to promote and salaries to earn. This research was performed with a total disregard for cost or time or effort and nothing else was done during it, all normal work suspended until its completion. Merely making the improved maps of the battle area in BP took a full year and a half, with innumerable additional visits to the battle area to resolve puzzles in the maps and the terrain. The maps were changed a great many times, every relevant map old and new being consulted repeatedly. No wonder this research is far better than what went before. The reason why this work is not more celebrated is that: the above historians have made many simple mistakes they will not own up to and want buried, not exposed; they do not understand this work because they are unwilling or incapable of the necessary effort- even though a dozen very able people, (some of them historians and lawyers) have made this effort and been completely convinced by it; since they could not prove this themselves it is easy to assume it cannot be done; but a lot of it is plain ignorance and stupidity. Barrow, in writing, believes there was no woodland in the entire area in 1314, apart from the New Park, despite the fact that there has been woodland in many places for centuries shown on every map worth the name and still to be seen today in places where it is still not worthwhile to cut down the thousands of trees.
Some will cavil at this attack. It is necessary! Because of their failure of scholarship- which continues!-the battlefield, the true battlefield- is under constant threat of building. Of course all their old rubbish continues to be the received wisdom in universities. Truth and our heritage is being lost because of their failures. They care more for their reputations than anything else. This is why this work does not get reviewed in the main journals. It will be said that work that is self published does not deserve a review. Nonsense! This publishing was no act of vanity. It was a duty and took all that remained of my savings at the time. The fact that so many good minds have confirmed its findings and praised them as already seen, cries out for a review. The patriotic reader here has a duty to advance this cause. It is common for new ideas--and here there are new procedures, a new scientific way of dealing with these problems-- to have to wait until all the stupid old people in charge die off. In this case, there isn't the time! If we wait for this the battle area will be under concrete.
Now let us begin with a one sentence proof that the battle took place in the Carse of Balquhiderock. It will be followed by several quotations from the written sources which clarify it for the non expert.
The main Battle of Bannockburn took place in the Carse of Balquhiderock because the Scots, who held the Dryfield of Balquhiderock, attacked at dawn the English---who had camped the night before in the Carse of Balquhiderock---IN THEIR CAMP!
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CONTENTS A Rough A4 Sketch showing the principal named features in the Bannockburn Area in 1314 is provided loose. This will define some areas of importance, in a rough way, and enable some older maps to be more accessible. This should be kept handy at all times, especially in the beginning. Exact boundaries will become clear from the text. A very accurate estimate of the area in 1314 in colour is given in the frontispiece, with details of its construction in the appendix.
MAPS: This book comes with 4 A3 size maps included loose within the book covers in order that larger maps than usual can be used for the convenience of the reader who should spread two of them around himself and refer to them continually. These are: The Roy maps joined [RMJ] which gives the map of the area in 1750 and the OS map of the area made in 1860, known here as OS , published 1865. The relevant part of the Pont Map of Stirlingshire is also enclosed for information. As the text shows, it is of no value in this subject. The map by Jefferys can be left until required by the text. Details from many other maps are given within the book in the plates section to prove particular points.
The Useless maps:
The maps in the Report for Stirling Council:
Map 1. See page 4/5
Map 2 See page 4/5(with the kind permission of the Council, who retain the copyright) These are included to make the critique of that report more accessible and to explain why this matter has not been understood before.
Map 3: The Pont 'map' of Stirlingshire, enclosed separately as an A3, the relevant part. (Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland)
PLATES: The Useful maps
The Two Maps of Stirlingshire by General Roy c1750:
Plate 5: Roy West.
Plate 14: Roy East.(By permission of the British Library)
These two Roy maps have been cropped and expanded to show the immediate area of interest and joined together to make an A3 map known as Roy Maps Joined, abbreviated to RMJ. This is the most useful map and should be referred to repeatedly. However, the original Roy maps, uncropped, reveal features which are occasionally useful. Please use a magnifier with them. In any case, RMJ itself needs to be capable of being checked by referring to the maps from which it came. The process of making RMJ can therefore be repeated by anyone with sufficient skill.Part of the OS Map of 1865 [surveyed in 1860 by Capt Pratt, RE] is included as an A3 and is known as OS  It is very useful. How the ground developed from 1750 can be seen and the validity of the Roy maps augmented. A second part is on Plate 70. The Main Road from Falkirk to Stirling across Bannock burn Plate 6: Detail from Roy West expanded: showing the main road from Falkirk to Stirling in 1750 crossing Bannock burn at Milton Ford which is at the edge of woodland on either side of the burn, even today and for centuries in the past. Plate 7: Detail from OS map (1923) showing Milton Ford on Bannock burn and how the main road no longer uses the ford in 1923. Plate 8: Detail from Harvey's map of c1988 showing the position of Milton Ford and how the main road has further straightened since 1923. Plates 9: Milton Ford, taken from the north bank facing south. Plates 10: Milton Ford, (top) taken from the north bank facing south and then, (lower) north east ie facing downstream. Plates 11: Milton Ford, the amount of flat ground on the north side, facing south. (lower): looking upstream (west): the palisade of trees today. Plates 12: Milton Ford, the open space on the north bank seen from the south bank; (lower)): Milton Ford, the above palisade of trees curving around to the present main road south from the bank. The immediate banks of the burn are like this almost everywhere on its course. Plates 13: Milton Ford, the size of the open space on the north bank seen from the south bank. (lower) Milton Ford in 1917. Plate 14: Roy East (with Permission of the British Library) Plate 15: Roy East expanded: detail showing the Carse of Balquhiderock and Balquhiderock Wood. Plate 16: Detail from 1923 OS map showing Balquhiderock Wood, the kink in the Mill lade and other details. Plate 17: List of important features on Roy East Plate 18: Detail of Roy East expanded showing these features. Shading on the Roy maps that represents woodland Plates 19: Shading 1 is woodland. 12 photos of the relevant areas of the Carse. First, here: two photos of the south of the Carse of Balquhiderock where Roy has shading. The ground is flat, therefore this shading is woodland. Why woodland is possible in a carse is explained: there is a very slight slope towards the burn. Plates 20: The Carse of Balquhiderock: two further views: no high ground. Therefore shading by Roy is woodland. Plates 21: The Carse of Balquhiderock: two further views. Plates 22: The south side of the burn in the Carse of Skeoch, facing the Carse of Balquhiderock. Plates 23: Bannock burn in the Carse of Balquhiderock, facing north. No high ground anywhere means the shading in Roy's map is woodland as it is today and as it appears in good earlier maps. Plates 24: Shading 1 is woodland: 2 views of Bannockburn in the Carse, facing N and NE, showing the trees there today. Plates 25: Shading 2 is woodland: two views of the bank on the south side of the burn between Bannockburn town and the Carse. This is a high bank along its whole length. Therefore Roy's shading is woodland for he shades only part of it. Plates 26: Shading 3 is woodland: two views of the Dryfield and Balquhiderock Wood. Plates 27: Two further views of the Dryfield near Balquhiderock wood showing the meaning of the Ushaped contour on the OS maps: it is a slight depression in which a path down through the wood has been constructed. No high ground corresponding to the shading means it is woodland on Roy's map. Plates 28: Shading 3 is woodland: The Dryfield and Balquhiderock Wood; (lower): the path starting down through the wood to the Carse. This is where the U shaped depression is on the OS map: not high ground but slightly lower ground here. Plates 29: (top) Balquhiderock Wood from the Dryfield, with the Wallace Monument in the background. (lower) Bannock burn viewed from the Dryfield at the south end of Balquhiderock Wood. Plates 30: Balquhiderock Wood: north end facing NE and centre facing NE. The Mill Lade in the Carse of Balquhiderock Plates 31: The remains of the Mill lade in the Carse of Balquhiderock: 2 views. Plates 32: The Mill lade and the Knoll: 2 views. Plates 33: The ever present pond in the Carse: 2 views. Plates 34: Temporary pool of water in the Carse of Balquhiderock (east of the Knoll) on 28.11.99 : 2 views of the largest pool. Plates 35: Two other temporary pools in the Carse in front of the Knoll (west of it) on 28.11.99. Plates 36: Two further pools in the Carse on 28.11.99 Plates 37: Another regularly formed, temporary pool north of the Knoll on 28.11.99. This pool and others above may be seen here again on 4.10.04: See Plates 60,61 Plates 38: Sauchie Crags: 2 views showing that Roy's shading is woodland Plates 39: Sauchie Crags: 2 views showing that Roy's shading on the west side of Roy West is woodland for we can see it here even today west of the crags. Plates 40: The Dryfield of Balquhiderock was a Natural Fortress in 1314: view of Bannock burn at Burnside Farm, south side. Plates 41: High steep banking in Bannock Gorge on the north side: 2 views. Plates 42: High steep banking in Bannock Gorge: 2 more views of north side. Plates 43: High steep banking between Bannockburn town and the Carse: facing south and then north east. Roy shows both shaded: woodland then. Plates 44: High steep banking as above, south side; Bannock Gorge seen from the south side in 2004: densely wooded, even today with thousands of people living close by. The Pelstream Plates 45: The Pelstream Woods: 2 views and the original line of the Pelstream. Plates 46: The Pelstream: 2 views. Plates 47: The line of the Pelstream in St Ninians, crossing Main Street. The 100yd pool and the Knoll from the south. The Position of the Battle Lines Plates 48: Position of the battle lines in the Carse of Balquhiderock: 2 views. Plates 49: Position of battle lines: 2 views. Plates 50: The Carse centre: 2 views of the Knoll and the ever present pond. Plates 51: Two views of the Dryfield and New Park area showing that they lie upon a low rounded hill. The first shows the hill, the Borestone flagstaff and Bannockburn town. The lower shows the Borestone flagstaff and St Ninians. Plate 52: Edgar's Sketch of 1745 Plate 53: Christison's Map. 53b: Christison's Battle maps. Plate 54: Barrow's Map Plate 55: Milton Ford in mild spate, Oct 2004 Plate 56: Balquhiderock Wood from the Carse; Bannockburn in the Carse in mild spate. Plate 57: Bannockburn in the Carse in mild spate. Plate 58: Bannock Gorge, near Burnside Farm, Oct 2004. Plate 59: Burnside Farm and the falls in the burn, 1906 and 2004. Plate 60: Chartershall Bridge; 2 pools in the Carse, 4.10.04 Plate 61: 2 Pools in the Carse, 4.10.04 Plate 62: Trees lining the Pelstream. Plate 63: The Knoll from the north; a modern house on the road of 1314. Plate 64: Grassom's sketch, 1817 Plate 65: Harvey's modern map of the Carse Plate 66: The road of 1314 and 1750, just south of the burn Plate 67: Pools in the Carse of Balquhiderock on 10.1.05. The pools drawn on the estimated map of 1314 can be seen here to advantage. Clear proof of the genius of the Roy Maps. The Disappearing Stream south of Cambusbarron, Gillies Hill, Upper Pelstream and Halbert's Bog Plates 68, 69,70, 71 TEXT: Why does this book matter? i Contents ii INTRODUCTION If this matter is established in Bannockburn Revealed, Why is this further work necessary? x The Topography of the Bannockburn Area in 1314 xiii The Reliability of the Maps xviii The Reliability of the Written Sources xxii Elementary Proofs xxiv First proof xxv Second Proof xxv The Traditional Beliefs about the Battle xxx How were they shown in BR to be untrue? xxxi The Charisma Population Argument xxxiii The Balquhiderock Wood Argument xxxiv Different levels of Proof xxxiv Robert Bruce's Predicament: a brief sketch xxxv The Scots won because of 4 Masterstrokes; what were they? xlii Plates: information about xliv Acknowledgements xlv Advice to the general reader. xlvi First Index xlviii 1. What old Maps are decisive? Roy's Maps! 1 1.1 Why is the Pont 'map' of Stirlingshire not useful? 1 1.2 Pont's map of Stirlingshire: critique 3 1.3 The maps in the Report for Stirling Council: critique 4 1.4 General William Roy 5 1.5 The Roy map of Stirlingshire: critique 8 2. Woodland in Roy's maps 12 3. Woodland in the Bannockburn Area in 1314 18 4. Woodland on the banks of the Pelstream and Bannock burn 20 5. Woodland on the Dryfield and limits of the New Park. 21 6. What other written sources are relevant? 23 7. The ground today 25 8. Where, roughly, was the area of conflict? 26 9. What do the chronicles say about woodland in the battle area? 29 10. The road from Falkirk to Stirling in 1314 31 11. Where exactly did Bruce camp before the conflict? 35 12. Where exactly did Bruce defend the road to Stirling against the English on 23rd June 1314, Day 1? 38 13. Where did Bruce kill de Bohun? 39 14. The Scottish Tactics 42 15. The English camp in the Carse 44 (1) The Pools of water 44 (2) The Knoll 46 (3) The ever present Pond 48 (4) Where did the English camp in the Carse? 49 16. The Scottish camp, Day 1, evening 50 17. The main battle of Day 2 52 (1) How were the English disposed? 52 (2) How did the Scots attack? 54 (a) Scottish cavalry? 54 (b) How many Schiltroms? 55 (c) How did the Scots advance? 56 (3) The first contact of the two armies? 59 18. The Position of the Battle Lines in the Carse 61 19. What has the Battle been about, then? 62 20. Gathering up conclusions. Everyone is well-established 64 21. Examination of these arguments 66 22. The above argument as a proof 69 23. Why has this never been seen before? 77 24. Why is it not possible to show Balquhiderock Wood from the NE side? 78 25. What might the Dryfielders say about this proof? 79 26. Why did historians not see this before? 88 27. What are the features that have been discovered which enable the battle site to be determined and why is it clear that they were present in 1314? 90 28. The numbers at Bannockburn 93 29. The Site of the Skirmish between Randolph and Clifford and Beaumont. The Way 95 30. Edward Bruce's fighting on Day 1 99 31. What are the mistakes which have been made in the Past? 101 33. What should be done to preserve and develop the battle site? 117 34. Conclusion 119 35. The Stirling Council Report 119 36. Why is it impossible that the battle was fought on the Dryfield? 122 37. Some possible objections 124 Woodland 124 Proving things about 1314 124 Peat in the Carse 127 The Knoll: coal mining 1907-1958 129 38. Metahistory 131 39. The Relation of this History to Science 136 Epilogue 137 BIBLIOGRAPHY 138 APPENDIX 144 1. Graeme Whittington's paper on the Roy maps of Fife, Scottish Geographical Magazine Vol 102, September, 1986. critique: part 1: 144 part 2: 146 2. The Military Survey of Scotland 1747-1755: G. Whittington and A.J.S Gibson Historical Geography Research Series No 18 July 1986. critique. 146 3. Rev Thomas Miller's Papers of 1915, 1923, 1931 and 1933. Some comments 148 (1) Miller's Mistake? 149 (2) Miller and Peat in the Carse 150 4. CRITIQUE of The Battle of Bannockburn, a report for Stirling Council, May 2001, by Dr Fiona Watson and Dr Maggie Anderson 152 5. Making an estimated map of the area in 1314; details of its construction. 176 Chartershall, Roads and Bridges Number of houses in 1314 [preliminary]; the Mill lade in the Carse, Milton Farm and Balquhiderock Farm; Woodland in the New Park, 176 Woodland in the Carse, Trees on the Knoll, Trees on the south slope of the burn, The Pelstream in the Carse, Curves in the burn at Chartershall, 177 Pottes, The path across the burn at Burnside farm 178 Woodland in the Gorge, Further insights in the Roy map, The size of Balquhiderock Wood 180 The shape of Balquhiderock Wood in 1314 Trees on the slope at Pelstream 1, 181 The road south of Milton Ford, Drawing the streams Bogs and roads in 1314, The Pelstream west of St Ninians, The road between Milton and St Ninians 182 The line of the burn between Milton and the Carse, junction of burn and Carse, Further natural defences to the west, Cultenhove Res, The oxbow in the burn NE of Milton, the stream from Gillies Hill into Halbert's bog, Position of Halbert's Bog's northern line on modern maps, 182 The Disappearing Spring at Cambusbarron, Hagg's Wood 183 The Puzzle of The Pelstream and Halbert's Bog The Direction of flow between Halbert's and Milton Bog 184 Position of Halbert's Bog on modern maps. Drawing the bogs, 184 Escarpment south of the burn and NE of Bannock 'village' The Escarpment south of the burn, Indicating steep slopes, 185 Width of the Knoll, Skeoch bog, Livilands Bog Houses (2) reprise plus, House at Bannock? At Broadley's? 187 Houses at St Ninians, Newmarket, Bearside 188 Pools of water in the Carse 188 Bannock burn and Pelstream at the time of the battle, widths, 188 Bend in the road between St Ninians and Stirling, 189 Question about the height of the Knoll, Risers in the Carse, 189 The risers into Livilands bog, Pelstream 1 The recent pool near P1, the second riser in St Ninians, 3 risers in summertime.The few tiny streams, 191 Woodland by the burnside after the Carse, Height of the Knoll, Height of Carse floor, 190 Where did the English cross into the Carse? 190 Blackfield Mire, Farm at Balquhiderock, Cottage gardens at St Ninians, Farming at Torbrex, Scale of the map, The Battle Line, Escarpment inside Dryfield, 191 Elevations and dryness of Dryfield, The Pelstream in the Carse of Stirling 194 Whins of Milton,The two elongated pools in the east Carse, The Join of P1 and P2, The line in RMJ between the Mill lade 194 in the Carse along the NE side of Balquhiderock Wood to P2. Whorls in the burn south of Chartershall. How good is this map? 196 Differences between this map and the previous map in BR 196 6. A query about Barbour's account answered. 198 7. Why John Barbour is not a primary source. 199 8. Further proof of the Knoll: the Map of Thomas Jefferys, 1746 199 9. Bridge across the burn at the south edge of Balquhiderock Wood 200 10. Population of the battle area in 1314 and 1750 200 11. Sources of error in the above 205 12. The Population of Scotland in 1314 207 13. The status of the above analyses 208 14. The Population of Scotland before 1314 208 15. The status of the above analysis 214 16. Woodland again 214 Post scriptum 215 Some Important references 218 Second Index 218