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  • Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray

    Commander of the vanguard

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Who was he?

Moray was one of Robert Bruce’s most trusted and impressive men – and his nephew.

In March 1314 he gave Bruce’s cause a welcome boost when he led a daring night attack and recaptured Edinburgh Castle after twenty years in English hands.

At Bannockburn

Moray commanded the vanguard of Bruce’s army: over 1,000 spearmen, raring to go. But on the first day of battle he was surprisingly slow to respond to the threat of Clifford’s cavalry.

Making up for lost time, he speedily moved his troops to confront Clifford’s men, risking a confrontation in open field. The schiltron bristled with weapons on every side.

In gruelling combat, Clifford’s cavalry eventually faltered and, supported by reinforcements, Moray kept up the pressure to send the English fleeing from the field.

After Bannockburn

Moray remained a lifelong supporter of Bruce. His was one of the first seals on the famous Declaration of Arbroath. After Bruce’s death, Moray was given the ultimate honour of acting as regent for Bruce’s son, the young David II.

 

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