Tall, strong and handsome, Edward was king of England and leader of the English army.
Coming to the throne in 1307, he continued his father’s war against Bruce but lacked his father’s political and military skill. He was well trained in all the skills of knightly warfare but his interests lay elsewhere: in hanging out with his friends, boating and swimming.
Edward left himself little time to form a battle plan, and underestimated the commitment of Bruce’s army.
After the disastrous events of the first day of battle, he refused to consider taking time to rethink, and suffered the consequences with the next day’s defeat.
Edward remained in the rear of his army during the battle. Only at the end did he fight in person, using a mace to good effect.
After being dragged from the battlefield, the king raced 60 miles to Dunbar from where he sailed to Berwick, safety – and humiliation. He refused to recognise Bruce as king and led two more campaigns against him.
Edward never gained the full support of his subjects and by 1322 he faced rebellion. In 1327 his queen turned against him, and he was deposed in favour of his young son. He was killed in prison soon after and his death may have been a particularly unpleasant one...