Young and impulsive, de Bohun was the nephew of the Earl of Hereford, eager to make his name on the battlefield.
There are two versions of what happened to de Bohun on 23 June.
According to one English source, de Bohun rode at the front of the Edward’s army as they approached the Scottish troops. Seeing the Scottish spearmen were formed up and ready to fight, he tried to return to warn his fellow Englishmen. However, Robert Bruce chased him down and killed him before he could escape, and Henry's squire was also killed trying to defend his body.
According to a later Scottish account, de Bohun spotted Bruce while he was inspecting the troops ahead of the battle. Realising this was his chance for glory, de Bohun charged at Bruce with his lance, and Bruce, in a highly risky move, took up the challenge. At the last moment, de Bohun missed the king and Bruce brought his axe crashing into Bohun’s head, killing him instantly and breaking his axe.
This brutal clash between the two heroic horsemen was a huge morale boost for the Scots, and a serious blow to English confidence. This story is why you usually see King Robert depicted with an axe, including in our own statue.