Tall, pale and thoughtful, Pembroke has been described as ‘a man of modest talents’. He was a steadfast supporter of Edward, both on and off the battlefield.
Being an experienced military commander, in 1314 he had the huge responsibility of organising the English army following the call to arms on 10 June. He set up his headquarters in Berwick and enrolled men as they gathered along the Tweed.
At Bannockburn, Pembroke’s company numbered about eighty cavalry. He stayed close to the king’s side, and when it became clear that all was lost, he led the protesting king away from the battle. Many of Pembroke’s men were killed as they fled; Pembroke himself escaped, barefoot and unarmed.
Pembroke tried without much success to keep the peace between Edward and his unruly barons after Bannockburn. He collapsed and died in France in 1324.