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 had some experience in warfare but his interests lay elsewhere: in hanging out with his friends, boating and swimming.
Having already led one unsuccessful invasion of Scotland in 1310, Edward was desperate for a battle in 1314, but he underestimated the preparations of Bruce’s army.
After the frustrating events of the first day of battle, he camped his army in an awkward position between two streams and suffered the consequences with the next day’s defeat.
Edward fought hard during the battle, using a mace to defend himself. He had a horse killed under him and many of his household knights were killed or captured trying to protect him.
After being dragged from the battlefield, the king raced 60 miles to Dunbar from where he sailed to Berwick and safety. He faced serious opposition to his rule at home, especially from his cousin Thomas, earl of Lancaster, as a result of his defeat at Bannockburn. However, he still refused to recognise Bruce as king and led two more unsuccessful campaigns against him in 1319 and 1322.
Edward continued to face problems in England throughout his reign. Eventually his queen turned against him, and in 1327 he was deposed in favour of his young son. He died in prison soon after and his death may have been arranged by his captors.