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Battle of Falkirk

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22 July 1298


Falkirk, Scotland


English victory


Kingdom of Scotland

  • Strength;

Half that of the English

  • Commanders and leaders
  • Casualties and losses

Kingdom of England

  • Strength;

Twice that of the Scots

  • Commanders and leaders
  • Casualties and losses


This Battle followed that at Stirling Bridge where the Scottish hopes and morale had been raised by their victorious outcome. The surrender of castles at Dundee, Roxburgh and Edinburgh further encouraged the Scots. Wallace ordered an invasion of England and he and his troops advanced into Berwick and Northumbria and laid siege to Carlisle where the garrison held out. Wallace then ravaged Cumberland and Durham, returning over the border with the spoils.

Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron Clifford mustered a force and followed the Scottish army, crossing into Annandale and laying it to waste in revenge, and then returning the England.

Edward returned to England from France in March 1298 having heard of Wallace's activities. He summoned his English and Scottish barons to a Parliament at York. The Scots did not show. William Wallace with widespread Scottish support had raided Northumberland, arousing bitter feelings.


See and for Battle Maps from

Edward enlisted a considerable army by June 1298, including Welsh and Irish infantry contingents along with men experienced in the French Wars. The army was too large for Wallace to oppose in the field, and he fell back, destroying everything of use to the invading army as he went. Bishop Bek's army was nearly starving at Dirleton castle and had to raid local crops. Edward halted at Kirkliston where he waited for provisions to arrive by sea.

Wallace mustered an army of about 30 000 and marched to Falkirk. There was unrest in the English force with Welsh fighting with the English and threatening to join Wallace because of the food shortages.

Two Scottish Barons - the Gilbert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus and the Sir Patrick de Dunbar, 8th Earl of Dunbar & March - dissatisfied with Wallace, rode after dark to the English to betray Wallace, telling Edward of Wallace 's plans. With the surprise element gone Wallace decided against committing his out numbered army to a night attack.


Edward rampaged laying waste Fife and the Borders before returning to England.

Wallace resigned his post as Guardian soon after Falkirk.

The following became Guardians of Scotland.

Wallace tried to organise further resistance to the English but seven years after Falkirk the Guardians handed him overt to Edward and Wallace was hung, drawn and quartered for treason.

Notable connections

Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron Clifford (England) fought with Edward I at the Battle of Falkirk and was rewarded with Governorship of Nottingham Castle.


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References, Sources and Further Reading

  • Famous Scottish Battles - Philip Warner 1975 - Barnes and Noble
  • Scotland - The History of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson