Sunday, July 27, 2008

After the Battle

I believe we have had enough of Sir Thomas for the present, but I would like to revisit him later.

What happened after the battle?

Well as mentioned in an earlier post only those with good horses got away, and although we have no direct evidence, the lesser classes, would have suffered the normal fate of the defeated in medieval battles. They had no value for ransom, (although in this very “uncivil” civil war it does not seem that even a potential ransom would have saved you) and they were therefore hunted down and slaughtered by the victors.
The Earl of Buchan fled north into his heartland, after a brief stop at the Grenago stane to lament his fate, (I will have a post on the Grenago Stane later), and may have sheltered briefly at Fyvie Castle, but his flight led ultimately to England. It is not clear who accompanied him, but David de Brechin is said to have fled south to his castle of the same name.

Fyvie Castle
For and accurate location of Fyvie castle follow the attached link
What followed was an exercise in terror, designed to destroy forever the Comyn power, and send a clear message to others that the King of Scots could do as he pleased and the distant and embattled King of England was powerless to help his “friends” in Scotland..
It brings to mind a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war.

We have to remember that Robert, although innovative and flexible in his conduct of the war, was very much a man of his time, and was more than capable of acts of incredible savagery when the situation required it. To modern eyes what followed would be considered an act of “ethnic cleansing” (or maybe more accurately “dynastic cleansing”, which in a feudal system would affect all from top to bottom).
Robert unleashed his brother Edward, who after pursuing the fleeing enemy, brought some of them to bay at Aikey Brae, defeated them, and then proceeded to devastate Buchan from end to end.
The evidence for the rest of the campaign is apocryphal in nature, and has the Earl of Buchan taking refuge at Fyvie castle, but there is no record of any fighting there, so either this was not the case or Edward simply by-passed it on his way north, and the Earl “slipped away” to England.

Next Post – The Herschip of Buchan

No comments: