Who were they?

In the Scottish army, many foot soldiers, armed with axes, knives and short spears, took their place within the schiltrons: a vicious and deadly combination. 

They were ready to attack anyone who managed to get past the spearheads of the spearmen.  If any knights were thrown from their horses, they were on hand to dart out to stab and gore into gaps in armour.  If a knight was dismounted, they would be dragged back into the schiltron and held for a hefty ransom. 

At Bannockburn

On 24 June, Bruce ordered that no mercy be shown in battle until victory was clear.  Even the Earl of Gloucester was dispatched by the Scots infantry. 

Many of these fighting men would have come from the western island of Islay, following their leader Angus Óg MacDonald, in support of Bruce. They would have worn the most basic armour for protection, but proved an effective and lethal part of Bruce’s infantry.