- Sieges of Stirling Castle
There have been at least eight sieges of
Stirling Castle, a strategically important fortification in Stirling, Scotland. Stirling is located at the crossing of the River Forth, making it a key location for access to the north of Scotland. The castle changed hands several times between English and Scottish control during the Wars of Scottish Independence(1296-1357).
In 1299, the castle was in English hands, when the constable, John Sampson, was besieged by the Scots. In 1304,
Edward I of Englandbesieged the Scots, deploying siege engines to force the garrison to surrender. In 1337, a siege by Sir Andrew Murrayfailed to retake the castle. Between 1571 and 1585, the castle was besieged three times by Scots factions during the reign of James VI. In 1651, Oliver Cromwellcaptured the castle during his invasion of Scotland. The final siege took place in 1746, when Charles Edward Stuartbesieged the castle during the final Jacobite Rising.
iege of 1304
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Siege of Stirling Castle
First War of Scottish Independence
date=April 1304 – 20 July, 1304
Stirling Castle, Scotland
Edward I of England
strength2=12 siege engines, unknown number of troops
After the defeat of
William Wallace's Scots army at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, it took Edward I six years to gain full control of Scotland. The last stronghold of resistance to English rule was Stirling Castle. Armed with twelve siege engines, the English laid siege to the castle in April 1304. For four months the castle was bombarded by lead balls (stripped from nearby church roofs), Greek fire, stone balls, and even some sort of gunpowdermixture. Impatient with lack of progress, Edward ordered his chief engineer, Master James of St. George, to begin work on a new, more massive engine called Warwolf(possibly a trebuchet). The castle's garrison of 30, led by William Oliphant, eventually surrendered on July 20 after Edward had previously refused to accept surrender until the Warwolf had been tested.
Historians disagree on what eventually led the garrison to surrender. One explanation says that Edward succeeded in filling the moat with earth and stone and prepared scaling ladders and ropes, and the garrison saw their fate and offered their surrender. Another says that Edward managed to breach a wall with a ram, which convinced the garrison to surrender. A different possibility is starvation. Despite previous threats, Edward was comparatively lenient with the rebels. He only executed the man who had previously betrayed the castle to the Scots. William Oliphant was imprisoned in the
Tower of London.
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