Why is this discovery announced now?

© 16 June 2019

Because it was achieved 20 years ago in Bannockburn Revealed (BR) and academic historians have never said anything about it. Because of the silence from them, I decided to set about proving everything, much of which had already been proved in BR by developing the concept of proof in this medieval history event and establishing the facts [i] by procedures which (it turned out) were original and utterly compelling. In 2005, the book, Bannockburn Proved, with a cover full of the high praise of several very able men, among them, Irvine Smith QC, was entered for the Saltire Research Award and no comment was made by the judge, Professor Cowan, then head of Glasgow University's campus at Dumfries who awarded the prize elsewhere. Asked about Bannockburn Proved (BP) after the competition, Cowan said he was 'familiar with it.' He wanted to return the copy to me. I refused: 'Keep it in the Campus Library, I told him.' In 2007, Cowan wrote an article in a booklet about Bannockburn published by the Scotsman. Supporters of my work read it, were outraged that the account given by Cowan had a map with Gillies Hill south and not west of Coxet Hill, a Scottish cavalry charge of 500 which chased off thousands of English archers and small folk, the appearance of whom waving sheets, was taken to be a reserve army, which struck terror into the English and forced them to flee. All these things were the official view of the History Community after seven centuries and all had been disproved in Bannockburn Revealed and again in Bannockburn Proved. They saw that Cowan had not read BP at all and were angry. I taxed him with this at a Theology Conference where he was giving a lecture, afterwards. He turned away and then with a face red with shame, turned back to reply: 'Who reads everything?' I gave him a copy of Bannockburn Revealed (published 2000) which proves the site of battle and many other things to the standard of the Scottish History Community without using the word proof, and one of The Genius of Bannockburn, (GB) the latest book which has even better proofs (and does use the word) than those in Bannockburn Proved (the only books of mine then he did not have). He said he would read them and get back to me. He never got back to me with a response to the books. He said he was giving a lecture at the Bannockburn Celebrations in 2014 entitled 'The Battle of the Book's, when I would hear his views. When I asked to be admitted to the lecture, I was refused entry by Penman, the organiser. I insisted that since I had published several important books on the battle I ought to be admitted. I had won the Constable Trophy in 1997 for The Bannockburn Years and had produced three works of scholarship BR, BP and GB, since then. I was still refused admission. Thus, I never heard what Cowan said about my books. Since they [all three] were a gift, I had a right to hear. In 2016, a report on the 2014 Conference: 'Bannockburn 2014: Battle and Legacy', (Penman, editor), carried an article by Cowan with his view of my books. The word proof was never used by him, though all the books have proofs and BP and GB several of different style in each, some of them but not all, very long and comprehensive. That was the first time I ever saw a comment by him about the book entered in 2005 for the Saltire Award, when he was judge. The first time I received any comment by an academic historian.

Cowan tried to diminish the success of BR, BP and GB, all of which proved the site of battle and, by the end of GB, every aspect of the battle that matters: the strategy, tactics, the Scots all on foot, everyone on foot, the map of the battle area that took about six years to make, full time, is fully justified in over 100,000 words in the three volumes and all the sources, some of which had never appeared translated in a single volume before, were used in several novel and important ways to prove everything: where the road of 1314 went, where Bruce killed De Bohun, where the English camped and the Scottish attack at dawn, that crossed the Carse and hemmed in the English cavalry, who had taken the best places at the front of their army, for the foxhunt of rebels they expected the next day (24th June). How the Scottish pikemen were armed, marshalled, how the pikes were set and used, how the English had been deprived of space to get up speed and were unable to penetrate the Scottish lines. Once halted, the cavalry were pulled down and slain. All the details are now known. Everything justified continually by the sources.

Why did Cowan not read Bannockburn Proved? Perhaps because he did not believe proof of such an event so long ago was possible. If so, no wonder no historian in seven centuries has ever got close to understanding the battle, let alone, proving it, as this mathematical-scientist has done. The failure to believe a proof is possible is fatal to its achievement. Trying to manage his university campus, now closed, he probably did not have time to read it. He should have disqualified himself from judging the competition. How intolerable and outrageous that when a proof of a nationally important matter like the Battle of Bannockburn is given at last after seven centuries, that the judge of the Saltire Research Award does not even read it! But notice this. On the cover of BP, is the fulsome approval of Irvine Smith QC, a judge and a historian who taught at Glasgow University for 12 years. Irvine had the finest legal mind of his generation, for, after only four years at the bar, he was chosen to defend the last man who might have been hung for murder; and got him off. Cowan and Irvine knew each other, had both appeared on the same panel of speakers. So Cowan had every reason to know just how good BP is. Another able mind, Tom McCallum, compared BP to the decipherment of Linear B, followed by several others including a distinguished theologian, Rev J Stein, who even offered to publish it, as he had a publishing house. Patrick Cadell, an ex Keeper of the Records of Scotland, reviewed BR in Scottish Local History and agreed it had 'demonstrated conclusively' that the battle was fought in the Carse. Not another word from an academic historian.

Twenty years have passed since Bannockburn Revealed was published, which proves the site of battle, that the Scots all fought on foot, where Bruce defended the road of 1314 and slew De Bohun and the best maps ever seen to that time, with a hundred pages of justification of the topography and much else. Bannockburn Proved has several proofs of the battle site, of different styles, even a discussion of them in relation to science. [Since the evidence of the battle is all collected in BR, for the first time, including the translations never seen before, of Le Baker and Trokelowe, who are both brilliant sources and they are all used in an original way to prove every issue of interest, it is better than science. For science never has all the evidence, unlike history. The probability of another source coming to light written in the early 14th century is zero. But if it did, it would almost certainly confirm all those we already possess.] The maps in BP are even better than those in BR, for the elevations, ridges and depressions have all been carefully drawn for the first time, a time-consuming process, again, every discovery of the topography detailed, written up like a lab experiment and confirmed by others, a task that took them years. That makes it science. Everything can be checked and corrected if necessary. No one else has ever said anything at all. Few historians will have read any of it for they are not used to the effort necessary to achieve such rigour. Nor would they have the time to check everything on the ground. It would take them years. The justification has hundreds, and maybe thousands, of insights. Some supporters thought I should not write The Genius of Bannockburn, because I had gone far enough already. I felt that all my experience had given me a level of insight which could discover far more. A hunch I had a duty to the Scottish people to see if what I had found could be taken further. I was right to continue. Bruce led the entire army across the Carse on foot, everyone on foot, himself out in front! He had to decide where to set his pikes and that was why he had to lead them personally. He set them twice! What a miraculous discovery that is! And he got his men to believe they could win, which was essential to them actually winning. How? Read the book. GB p235-237; p343-4. A dazzling development! The detail of how he dealt with the English cavalry charge has all been worked out and shown. He led the Scots very close to the English, because they did not see him till too late and they could do nothing to prevent it. Being close, deprived their cavalry of space to get up speed. They were easily halted, cavalry no longer, pulled down and slain.

Not a word of criticism has ever come from the historians to me about BR, BP, GB in the last twenty years. [ii] If they had been able to prove them wrong, they would have said so in the last twenty years. What indeed, could they say in opposition to these books? There is a justified map based on all the other maps and the ground. This is plainly so detailed, that it has been rigorously produced. There are numerous sequences of quoted sources from reporters present at the battle or were told about it soon after. These are all presented in support of each other, confirming everything. So there is nothing to criticise there. The only other thing in the proofs are the statements of what happened where and in what sequence and why. This follows immediately from the maps (there are a dozen, showing the various stages of the battle, with explanations of what is taking place and why).

When is the History Community ever going to accept that these books and these proofs reveal what happened at the Battle of Bannockburn? The short answer is: probably never. They do not want an outsider to get the credit for such an important result. If you read Cowan's review you will see his failed attempt to diminish the value of the research, as if other people have got there first. Not so! Cowan still has not read BR or BP. Any tiny advance made by others has been because they saw it in the three books beforehand. Oliver and Pollard, were sent copies years ago; their producer bought copies before they ever started 'work' on their last film shown in 2014, their third failed attempt to achieve anything. What must be realised is that the academic community is so envious, jealous, mean-spirited, self-protective and self-promoting, that they will tell any lies to deflect criticism and seem better than they are. These books never appeared on any bibliography but one [iii] in these twenty years and not on the Wikipaedia at all even now in June 2019. Think of it, every sort of book on Bannockburn, Armstrong's, Barrow's, Reese's, The Brown's, MacNamee's and so on, all listed there. But not the books that actually solve the problems! And did so twenty years ago!

So where do we go from here? The Bannockburn Problems have been solved, were solved years ago, to an extent never imagined by anyone, including myself. Who is there to apply to for an announcement of acceptance? Barrow and Duncan are both dead. They would never have approved of their work being side-lined, despite their errors; did everything they could to bury their errors and the messenger who exposed them. Had they lived to a hundred, they would still have been silent to protect their errors from the public view. Who else is there? Cowan is no good. He is dishonest; still has not read the books; has nothing to say about the proofs: yet the books are all about proving the results and nothing else. They are not just jolly narratives about derring do, which history is usually about. That, you see is the key: Nobody in the Scottish History Community, Bannockburn Group, has any experience of seeing a proof, or making a proof or knows what constitutes a proof of an event like this. So I must announce it myself. I am at least the expert on the subject as anyone, by now should realise. Does anyone think I am incorrect? Then let him speak up! Let him explain what it is about the proofs in these books is mistaken? No one has in all these twenty years. Why not? Because it cannot be done. The proofs consist of quotations from many sources, all combined to give a picture of the events of the battle, in very particular ground, which is very well described, mapped, fully justified and understood. Everything fits and makes sense, without contradiction. How the Scots won is now completely clear at last after seven centuries of ignorance, speculation and obstruction of the discovered truth. The fact that has so plainly alarmed Cowan, shocked him probably, is that in BR,BP and GB, the use of sources has been taken to a level never seen before, that makes proving results in events even as far as away as 1314, definitely possible, because it has definitely been done therein. That is why he has had nothing to say in his review about these proofs, when that is what the books are all about, what they are for! He does not want to read these proofs, he cannot read them, because he sees very well, without reading them, that just how they are organised and presented tells anyone that they are correct and demonstrate what they say they demonstrate, completely! Who would take that amount of trouble if they did not? The comparison of certainty between these results and science is made in every book and science loses every time! [The evidence in science is never complete. In an event in 1314, all the evidence needed is available: only a miracle would produce a new source and, if found, could only confirm what all the others already say.]

That is why I am announcing it. The Scottish People deserve to know. The research was undertaken for them, not to please the history community. They are not pleased because they have been upstaged, shown up and made to look ridiculous for swallowing all these mistaken speculations by Barrow and Duncan et al for half a century. Their cherished procedures for dealing with their subject have been shot to bits and replaced by a far more powerful rigour which is beyond their ability to challenge at this time and which gives the truth, the one thing every scholar ought to be seeking.

Who else could be applied to make the decision? Some might think the current or recent Bannockburn expert at the Heritage Centre, Scott McMaster, would be appropriate? Not so! When he got the job, I sent him a copy of Bannockburn Revealed (my nephew, who did history with him at Stirling, was a best friend of his). I invited him to ask questions to encourage him to become an expert. I asked him a few times how he was getting on with it. He had not read it after a year. I invited the Chairman, Shonaig MacPherson, to take a tour of the battle area with me and she agreed. She brought him along. A few of my supporters also came. Donald Morrison, for one, who is an expert, after years of study and hundreds of discussions with me. During the tour, c 2009, it became increasingly clear that McMaster was very ignorant about the battle. Having tea together, on the way round, I mentioned the Brut y Tywysogyon, a copy of which I had with me to show them. A page (shown on GB p159) with the date 1314 on it, mentions the battle fought among the pools. A vital source hardly seen in Scotland before. 'Did you buy that book?' said McMaster with surprise. 'Yes', I replied, 'I could not afford it but Donald bought it and lent it to me. I saw that it was too important not to have a copy. I paid him £120 for it, including postage.' His response was awe, that I should have bought a book. He knew nothing about the hundreds of others I had bought, every edition, to check the changes, in some cases. Shonaig thanked me and told McMaster to take me up on my offer to give talks at the battle area. (I gave a few without fees or expenses, always staying overnight beforehand; have given many privately). Arriving home, I wrote a 22 page summary of the facts of the battle and sent them to her. She replied that she would send this onto her 'expert' McMaster. During the film on Bannockburn by Pollard and Oliver in 2014, McMaster appeared and trotted out all the old rubbish about the Scottish Cavalry charge that defeated the English archers during the battle. This is demolished on p254 Bannockburn Revealed, the book, McMaster had not been capable of reading in a year, or since. I was not invited to appear on the film, though two of my books were bought by the producer before 'work' started.

The point is that you do not get an expert by appointing a graduate in history to the job. Some historians do not read books, many will be incapable of reading a book like BR which proves many things and is not the trifling narrative that most books on history are. Is it unkind to say this? It must be said! The 'expert' on the battle for the National Trust is understood by most of the public to be an expert and will be giving talks all over the country. McMaster is not an expert, not on anything, least of, all the Battle of Bannockburn. He still has no idea that consensus is irrelevant to the answer: what happened at the battle, any battle. At least when, as here, everything has been proved beyond any possibility of doubt. You do not get an expert by appointing someone to become an expert. The expertise has to be present beforehand. He may never achieve anything approaching expertise. In this case, the ability to read an original, advanced textbook has never been acquired.

What we are seeing here is a further tie up with other matters. Historians are not equipped to do the kinds of thinking involved in matters like solving the Bannockburn Problems. Cowan, too could not read the books: BR,BP,GB,BGB and the other three by me. That is why he did not read BP when judge of the competition for the Saltire Research Award. A book with that amount of evidence (every relevant source, not just the 4 Pollard was content with, which proved nothing [iv]), insight and logic was beyond him. Imagine him trying to read the justification of the map in BP which occupies 27,000 words? No historian will have done that. The effort is beyond them. It would mean many visits to the ground to understand it fully and close study of a whole range of maps, old and new, he had never seen before and would have trouble collecting. Cowan's utter failure to mention the word 'proof' in his review of all these books is a devastating criticism of it, for the books are concerned, all of them, with nothing but proof! The issue is: are the proofs correct? Of course they are! They consist of many quotations from the sources, as well as further insights. When sources differ (rare), these are explained, sometimes, especially in BR and GB especially, with amazing results. [v] Cowan's failure to see that, because of these books which proved everything, it was entirely appropriate to put some of the proofs at the end of Bruce's Genius Battle, [vi] a Reconstruction, for the sake of readers who had not read the books that did prove it for the first time. But these proofs in BGB do prove what needed to be proved. They are correct and even sufficient for the reader of the Reconstruction, which is a novel, a work of imagination, based on the great quantity of knowledge discovered in BR,BP,GB. Exactly what many readers wish: an answer to the question: what would it feel like to be present? Moreover, Cowan's statement that I was not the first to 'suggest' the Scots fought on foot is offensively idiotic, for I was the first to prove it in BR p254, in the year 2000. I did not suggest it. He is dishonest [vii].

One thing that bedevils Scottish History, makes it inconceivable that progress hereafter will be made, is the very dishonesty of the historians who are so likely to tell lies to get out of trouble. Instead, they need to admit their mistakes and apologise. Barrow and Duncan were unable to do that. Watson was unable to do it, as well as Cowan. They all need to change! Duncan's mistake was in failing to get the letter of Edward II of November 28th 1313 translated fully, relying instead on a summary by Bain that left out the vital date, 24th June 1314, before which he, Edward II, 'written by the King's witness, at Westminster, 28th November 1313, by the King himself,' had to be present in Scotland. So the truce was a year, not three months, as Duncan argued, falsely. See BR p115-119, where the documents and their full translations appear in both Rotuli Scotiae and Rhymer's Foedera, from which Bain's summary was made. All Duncan needed to say, was 'Sorry.' He could not bring himself to do so. Thus scholars continued to read his paper 'War of the Scots,' [viii] as it if were correct. Not so! And students were still arguing about as if it were. [ix]

What will the historians named and offended here by statements of the truth, do about it all? Do what they have been doing before: tell lies! Anyone can easily see the amount of effort put into this research over the last twenty years and before and the books full of originality and certainty, at long last, the first progress in seven centuries and great progress it is by any measure. And yet the books have all been buried by those in control, at their command, to protect 'the good name' of the history community, another lie: it is just to protect their mistakes, their speculations. That has to end! What hope of progress is there in scholarship when the professors all tell lies to conceal their mistakes? The maps in BR,BP,GB are too detailed to be incorrect. Years of work went into them, all of it rigorous, written up like a lab experiment and it has been confirmed. The use of sources, collected for the first time and translated and used properly for the first time, is very obviously far in advance of everything before, to anyone who knows anything about what went on before or even went on since by other historians, who have achieved precisely nothing.

What must change right now, for the sake of the People of Scotland who deserve to know what their history really is, is that historians must give up telling lies, become the honest men and women they are supposed to be. If they make mistakes, admit them; say Sorry! And mean it. Then the literature will not be so clogged up with errors and speculations that have no evidence and so full of falsehood, that further progress is impossible. Honesty is the first requirement of scholarship, of any decent life, indeed. They need to be educated not in following orders from those in control but in the demand to discover the truth and prove it by making the necessary efforts and learning the new ways to do it.

If Barrow, Duncan, Watson, Cowan et al are all liars, who can be applied to decide whether the matter is settled? Who should undertake that task? No historian, for any historian will be over eager to serve his own interest, cover his own mistakes, diminish the value of the proofs because no historian has ever tried to do this before and very few if any ever believed it possible to prove anything. So they have no experience of proofs: never saw one, never made one, never even tried to make one. As this experience has shown repeatedly, in the case of Barrow, Duncan, Watson and especially Cowan, recently, historians can only be expected to tell lies to deflect or escape criticism and even a consensus among them is not likely to achieve anything worthwhile for the same reasons: they are all indoctrinated with the culture of not correcting or even considering the errors of those in control of the subject, still less, challenging them. Left to themselves, they will, above all, want to go on playing at being historians as before, who do not prove anything, or discover anything new. Especially, they will want to avoid all mention of the proofs provided here and the fact that the battle is now fully understood. If so, this means that the fact that Bruce led the entire Scottish army on foot, everyone on foot, across the Carse and set his pikes very close to the English cavalry lines, resisted their charge very easily (because of the formation and technique, described), halted them so that they were cavalry no longer, pulled them down and slew them; and they unable to escape because of the bounding streams of the Carse, brimming with rainwater that had fallen for days ꟷall that will be lost to the People of Scotland, for whom all this research was done in the first place.

How did it all start? Years ago, probably, before Barrow and Duncan took office as professors, (maybe long before, centuries). That they should have been so pally was a deliberate way of concealing their mediocrity with greater force when speculation seemed the only possible way forward. The two together were able to present a united front to challenges and to support each other by reviewing the other's work favourably, which they did. Duncan's review of Barrow's book on Bruce in 1965 in SHR is glowing in its praise. When they saw BR Ch 10 (p115-118 and the rest, where the entire matter of the truce is explained: two of the sources commit the error of transposition because the order of capturing castles was of no interest to them; Duncan knew nothing about the work of Sir FC Bartlett, FRS) where Duncan's error about the length of the Truce was demolished (it was a year and not three months: very important: it meant the Scots had a full year to prepare, discover what to do and where, how to train for it etc. They even knew what the English would do: it was predictable, Bruce knew them well). Barrow's arguments are demolished in BR Ch9: the battle took its name from the stream not the place, for there is no place in 1314, not even in 1750! Plate 30 after p408, BR, shows it: a fundamental error. Barrow never even tried to correct it in the twenty years thereafter, despite revisions. The sight of all the photos of the pools on plates 14-19 would have been a shock to them, for they had committed themselves to the idea that the Carse was an area of streams. There, in BR, was the indisputable evidence to the contrary: the Carse was regularly, after heavy rain, full of pools of water which formed in the undulations of that very flat ground, in which no maps had ever shown streams. By then, Duncan had even translated pulis as streams! In 1997 in Barbour's Bruce. [x] What a disaster!

Pause and consider this event. Any Scot knows that pulis means pools, has nothing to do with streams. How did Duncan make that mistake? Because he was eccentric [xi] and wanted to leave his mark on the subject: have some little thing he had added to the sum of human knowledge. And Barrow supported him, for Barrow by 1965 (p212 3rd, 277 4th ed) had stated his theory that pow meant stream because of an old Celtic word pol and hence that polle, a Norman French word, mentioned in a letter of Edward I to his son in 1303/4 meant stream. It never occurred to either that they were, by their actions, making the proof [xii] of the site of battle and much else impossible by these speculations which had not a jot of evidence! But far worse! No Historian challenged this nonsense! So it was present in Barrow's book, the book taken as the authority, from 1965 onwards in edition after edition, at least two claiming to have been corrected. The book Duncan praised without reservation in his review of it. That is a disaster! Should never have occurred and must NEVER OCCUR AGAIN! All these historians who did not challenge it, supported it, should be ashamed! They let down the subject and the country! Once the correct translation is given: the English camped in the Carse because of the pools of water Barbour, Bk XII p467 line 395. And Brut y Tywysogyon (1314) says the battle was fought among the pools. [xiii] That is the crux of the proof. The person who proved it was going to have to change these translations against the full gravitas of these two professors and their culture of control: we are in charge and nobody criticises us. Where else does that statement by Watson [xiv] come from: 'Bannockburn Revealed?': 'We don't mention that book.'? Why not? Because her Phd, her lectureships and her Professorial Chair were all under the control of Barrow and Duncan. And all they had to do was say: 'Bannockburn Revealed is no good, do not cite it henceforth in books and papers and never mention it.' Since she had never read it, that was easy to do. She could not read that book. It would have taken her longer than the six weeks which was all she had to make her report. She has no aptitude for understanding any battle: the ground to her was a complete mystery, she had Bannockburn not just a place but a town in 1314 and the Pelstream rises in flat ground within the Carse, impossible. It rises, still, on Gillies Hill and it matters hugely! The victory depends upon the Pelstream being a thundering torrent during the battle, which it was because of the rain and Halbert's Bog, the top third of which from the hills around, decanted into it. The English were penned-in between the Pelstream and the Bannock burn where they camped around the Knoll, cavalry in the best places for the foxhunt next day. She lacks any aptitude for understanding the ground in time and space and what may be done in it. She never did know anything about all the maps that are relevant: there are many. She was prepared to view sources like Habbakuk Bisset in the 17th Century as equivalent to others written within days of the battle, for a few words. That source could know nothing about a battle in 1314 and showed it by having almost nothing to say about it ('beside the Mill of Skeoch, 4 or 5 miles from Stirling'). She writes off the Roy maps as not 'replicating the exact situation on the ground' p23 [xv] so, for her, there is no proof that Balquhidderock Wood existed in 1314. With every map back to 1750 showing Balquhidderock Wood and much other wood, in greater and greater quantity, exactly what should be expected with a smaller and smaller population as you go back in time, it would be miraculous if there were fewer trees in the battle area in 1314 than in 1750. Fewer people and worse tools means no one to cut trees when every map shows thousands of them. She forgets, or never knew, that there are, in the sources about the battle, 17 references to woodland in the battle area. The trees of the New Park, mentioned there several times, would have seeded everywhere around and the trees would have been in control, as they still are in many places there today with 25,000 people living nearby. Why would anyone suppose that woodland was a modern invention? And that there was none at the battle area in 1314? How could she be unaware that Miller showed that the New Park was still under wood after 1369? [xvi] Faced with the English camped in the Carse and the Scots on the Dryfield, with Balquhiderock Wood between, on a very steep slope, she transports them (by magic carpet?) to the Dryfield where, as Barrow believed, the battle was fought. How could that sort of 'work' be regarded as scholarship? Was it necessary to conform to Barrow or her school teacher who sited it there? Another line of 'work' cried out to be taken up. Is that unkind? How is it kind to the people of Scotland to leave them to imagine that Watson is a competent historian, capable of determining the site of battle? She is unusually incompetent for the task. The people of the country need to know that. That they do not, means they think there is some truth in her nonsense view of the battle. She is probably still regarded as an expert on the battle because she is a professor who has eaten chips on TV talking about it. Other criteria for expertise are necessary!

When no notice was taken by Barrow and Duncan to Bannockburn Revealed it was a surprise to me. Like everyone else I expected history professors to be honourable men. I had made the most important advances in the history of the battle in seven centuries. I had shown that the Scots all fought on foot, everyone of them, and where Bruce defended the Road, the only road in 1314, and where he slew de Bohun, and why they fought on foot: that the battle was fought in the Carse and that the English camped there and Bruce marched upon their cavalry lines at dawn and penned them in between the bounding streams leaving no space for the cavalry charge which was halted easily and ceased to be cavalry, who were pulled down and slain. That was all new. When they refused to support my election to FRhistS, I knew it was unfair and that my exposing their errors was the reason. Could all this have been discovered without exposing their errors? No. You have to clear the ground of untruths. Duncan's error with the length of truce was important: the Scots had a year to prepare and they needed it. Why had Duncan depended on a summary of the letter from Edward II on 28 Nov 1313? Because he was not good at Latin, as I discovered from a colleague of his. Thus he missed the fact that Edward had to be at Stirling before 24th June 1314, the date of the battle. QED. But his error with the translation in Barbour's Bruce was far worse, because, translated properly, that one line was essential to the proof of the site: The English camped in the Carse because of the pools of water to drink, a must in a campsite in midsummer for an army. Another essential was in the Brut y Tywysogyon which tells us the battle occurred among the pools. That was when I knew I had a duty to stick with the problem. Left to Barrow and Duncan and the other historians, the problem would never be solved. The answer was to prove it, to develop the concept of proof and establish it by every means in my power. Of course, I had no idea that it could be done. I knew I had to try. I had proved it already it in BR. What I decided to do was to prove it by several methods and deal with every possible objection. I was dealing with people who were dishonest and rather stupid which was why they were dishonest: to cover it up. I saw the historians were very limited in insight, understood very little, which I knew from the article Barrow published in the Scotsman c1966 where he thought Bruce intended to fight a token battle and then escape up the Bannockburn into the wilderness. What rubbish that was. If you do not intend to fight, you should get well clear of the place, miles away. I remembered this in 1990 when I began at Bannockburn. Barrow lacked the insight necessary to solve the problems.

Looking back at Bannockburn Revealed, I believe I was very polite and respectful to Barrow and Duncan but I had to prove their errors. That was a clear duty. The fact that I could do so told me that I had the insight and advocacy skills to go further and do the whole job: solve the problems, though I did not imagine then that I would take it so far. By the time I wrote GB, I had no respect whatever for them. Ch VI is about 66 pages but it definitely demolishes their ideas that pow=pol=polle=stream and hence shows that the battle was fought in the Carse by correcting their translations. The proofs of the site in GB are better than in BP, one of them about 34 pages, very comprehensive it is, but there are shorter versions there too. Realising that the historians were not equipped to understand easily the force of the logic I was producing, forced me to summarise the main chapters and make everything as crystal clear as possible. Barrows errors in GB about the five gaps in the streams in the Carse followed just 8 pages on by the same map without them, was the kind of falsification of evidence that was enough to curtail Barrow's career. But it was not alone. The further error is providing two maps which he thought proved his case that pol means stream, when they prove the exact opposite, was simply stupidity. He had forgotten that a place must have water, has a house there because of it. How could so many places take their name from a stream when most were a decent fraction of a mile or more from it and mostly out of sight altogether? Because they were built beside a pool. Imagine walking back and forth a mile every day with a pail of water! Who would build such a house? Working out how Bruce set his pikes and the rules for their use to prevent inadvertent injury to his own men and marshalling the men so that they could reach the cavalry lines across the Carse very quickly at dawn ꟷ these were important. The discovery that the Scots set their pikes twice was a great delight Ch XII: the reporters who said the Scots stopped to pray, did so because they were all clergymen! They were not praying but setting their pikes! Very close to the English. That is why Bruce had to lead the entire army out in front: to make the decision where to set the pikes. Having done so and closed off the Carse, some distance from the English cavalry lines, he realised they were still drunk or half asleep, many of them, and unable to prevent him stealing some more ground. So he moved them closer and deprived them of space to get up speed altogether. A brilliant tactical move. The other discovery was that Sir Alexander Seaton did not serve in the English army and arrive at night before the battle. He told a lie that he had fought on the English side and that he had come across to tell the Scots they must attack because the English were terrified of them. Why was it a lie? Because a survey of English morale before the battle on BR p254 showed that their morale in every source but one was vast overconfidence. Scalacronica alone thought English morale was low! Why? Because that source, the father of Sir Thomas Gray, author of Scalacronica, was captured by the Scots on day 1 and the only source still in the Scottish camp! Bruce got Seaton to tell the Scots the English were afraid, to make the Scots believe they could win! That belief was essential for them to be able to win. How could Seaton come from the English camp and say the English are terrified, when every source in The English camp repeatedly says they were certain of victory, ('Drinkhail and wassail,' Le Baker), which, given their superiority in every department, was inevitable? That one source was an Englishman captured on day 1, a prisoner in the Scottish camp. It makes sense only if Seaton (who intended to fight for the English but was late) was captured by Bruce and told to come to his tent that night and tell the lie that the English were afraid. Then all the Scots would think the English were afraid and Gray would share their belief.

What will happen about these articles in this website? Will the shame of the historians make a difference? Will they now admit after twenty years that the Bannockburn Problems have been solved at long last? Probably not. They are probably too selfish and mean-spirited to behave with any decency as before. They care more about how they look than the making the truth available to the People of Scotland. They are jealous and envious, would do anything to conceal these discoveries, eager above all to parade themselves as professional historians ꟷ far better than any amateur, even though they have discovered nothing whatever, done nothing but obstruct these discoveries. My aim is of course, to reform the Scottish History Community (the Bannockburn group at least). Change the culture so that those in control can be challenged and their errors corrected. Make honesty once again, a required aim in all circumstances. Make effort an ideal: none of them understand what this requires. And make the discovery of insights and arguments an ever present aim and acquire the skill of justified map-making, that new procedure I have devised along with the combining of sources, all the sources, which has been invaluable.

Do the People of Scotland need to have this information? Yes. It shows that Bruce was a genius who had understood the ground better than any historian since, had the imagination to use it, trained his troops, had control of them, managed them and led them in a fashion never seen before or since in a victory, in which, henceforth, every Scottish person can take greater pride in than ever before. For the discovered truth, proved, over and over again, in these books full of evidence, of maps and photos of the ground and sources galore, is far, far better than any quantity of the speculation seen before. This makes it a matter of intense pride that Scotsmen achieved this in 1314, when faced with a vastly superior army in every way. The government of this battle is a hugely intellectual success, as well as one of daring, man-management and courage. Who would ever have predicted that in seven centuries? It has been presented for all these years as a triumph of brawn over a vastly superior army which it never was. The triumph is singular, changes our understanding of Robert Bruce as King. Changes our very own identity as Scots!

How can historians be educated? Take all the insights in these three books BR, BP and GB, and the others BY, GS, BGB and The Poem, for there are more therein, and show them how to think. Why it is certain that shading in the Roy maps of Stirlingshire means woodland (despite Barrow's view), that the woodland in the Carse can be understood in 1750 from the OS map of 1860 and the population of the area can be computed to show that the trees could not be cut down, and that there is much more woodland in 1750, as we expect, because of fewer people. That the Charisma-Population Argument is a fatal objection to an army of only 6,000 Scots, even of twice that number or even thrice. That every Scot marched on foot across the Carse to face the English and set his pike very close to their cavalry and what that meant. And that Bruce led them, the entire army, out in front, because he had to make the decision about where to set the pikes and having done so, realising the overconfident English were so drunk and sleepy after a night of 'drinkhail and wassail' {Le Baker, 8) that they could do nothing if he got them up and moved even closer, which he did, saving many Scottish lives by cutting the space for the cavalry charge. Go through the entire three books and all the work on maps and point out all the insights and then young historians will be in possession of the tools to solve the other problems in our history, no matter how long ago. They will understand what insight means and that the past really can be understood and proved fully by its effective exercise, with sufficient effort ꟷnot the least important aspect of success in discovery! The discoveries of this research define the Scottish identity and will inspire it to greater heights than anything before. That is why it must be known and accepted. Right now! There is no time to lose. Twenty years have been lost already.

What can be done to verify the Maps in this case? Check the line of the Pelstream. It follows the line of the wedge cut in the ground by it. It must go to Kersemills, it must turn beyond the railway to the left, because the ground rises, approaching the Knoll and turn again to reach the mills. Check the ridging and depressions in the Dryfield. These make a battle of the kind that took place in the Dryfield impossible. Barrow would have reached for a bottle when he saw all these ridges. Why did he never investigate the ground thoroughly? As if two days could be enough. No wonder he failed very badly. The effort necessary to understand and prove anything was never there in him from the start. Look at the zig zag road, which is the same on every map right back to Roy's, the first good map. This shows that the pools are an invariant of that ground since time immemorial, from 1314 for sure when two sources actually say there were pools present in the Carse on 23rd and 24th June. You could go round with me and I would point things out, as I have often: the natural fortress that is the Dryfield to an enemy approaching the Ford. The road of 1314 is vital and simple and defines where Bruce defended the road at Milton Ford which had to be on it (no bridge) and where Bruce slew de Bohun. And there are lots of proofs to read in the books, some of them simple, others more complex, all of them correct and decisive.

Why does this work matter? Because the discoveries that Bruce was a genius, incomparably daring and brave and yet with the leadership to train and manage his men and make tactical decisions in the heat of the moment ꟷthese will be precious to every Scottish person if and when they ever hear about them. This victory was the finest move ever made by Scotsmen. It rivals the best in the world. In the character and intellectual genius of Bruce, the Scottish identity is renewed and extended and an inspiration to every Scot hereafter.

© William Scott, June 16th, 2019

PS: There is a peculiarly Scottish defect which has inhibited all forms of success by Scots throughout our history: that you must never make anything of it, or you will make the person big-headed. Best to leave it till after they are dead. Since I hope to make use of discoveries in medical science to keep me alive for twenty more years, it would mean the people of Scotland do not get the advantage of these discoveries for another twenty years. Decency in such matters is unknown among Scottish historians. Like admitting their errors.


[i] The road to Stirling that was defended, where Bruce killed de Bohun, where the main battle was fought and that the Scots all fought on foot, everyone on foot and how they managed to deal with English archers and cavalry.

[ii] Except Barrow, about shading on Roy's map. And having explanations on the maps in places not currently used in that stage of the battle, a valuable technique some have admired: in a paper submitted to the Society of Antiquaries which was refused for spurious reasons: the other that references were given in BR, the only book with all the sources translated, the best place to look for them.

[iii] David Cornell, a Phd thesis published by Yale. Probably his supervisor would have tried to get BR off the list. Watson showed (in these articles) she would have.

[iv] That Pollard thought it sufficient to have 4 sources in that film condemns the entire tribe of historians. These four do not prove anything. You need far more. GB p196 is absolutely vital, showing that the Carse is unique in having pools and they were the wrong sources anyway. With the table p 254 BR, several important things are proved; without them, very little.

[v] GB p297-300. During the battle, The Scots set their pikes twice!

[vi] In Cowan's Review of my books in Bannockburn 1314: Battle and Legacy, p235 para 3 in 2016.

[vii] The idea that a 19th century lady novelist was the first to 'suggest' it is foolish. What could she know about the battle? Without the ton of source material now available? Few women were even educated then. The reference given is unfound in three editions. If it exists, it is of no consequence. Proof is a matter of a hugely superior character to suggestion! And one beyond Cowan's ability to deal with.

[viii] Trans. RHSociety, Sixth Series, II

[ix] Wars of the Bruces, p61, Colm McNamee, 1997, 2006.

[x] The Bruce by John Barbour, translated by Duncan, published by Canongate, 1997.

[xi] On the DOST Committee he was known to be eccentric: Dictionary of the Old Scottish Tongue. I spoke to one of them at a writer's conference c2000 who volunteered the information.

[xii] Of course they did not believe proof was possible. Of course it is. I have proved it many times, in different ways in three scholarly books they never expected.

[xiii] y kyfranc en y Polles or gyfranc yn Pollys: depending on the MS, meaning 'the encounter among the pools', when the earl of Gloucester and many men of England besides and the King of England fled the field. Printed on GB p159

[xiv] In the article in this website: Making the Map just after the P.S.

[xv] The Battle of Bannockburn A Report for Stirling Council May 2001

[xvi] Miller 1923, p61; Miller 1933, p35, BP 18-38 et seq