The Great Famine was raging in Europe in 1315-1317. Ireland also suffered from the disaster. Irish natives were leaving their homes to flee the war and to seek food. The people saw a divine retribution in their suffering from the war, famine and horrible diseases. In the Middle Ages, being born and living in the early 14 th century was the hell itself.
In late 1315, Edward Bruce’s campaign got stuck in central Ireland. Search for food and shelter for his troops superseded the military purposes set before. The demolished settlements got even more desolate after being robbed by the Scottish invaders.
The army left no chance for the locals to survive in the nearest future. Total devastation was a general method of any medieval war. Edward Bruce made no exception, despite the brotherhood between the Scots and Irish advocated by him. He and his soldiers were exceptionally ruthless to the Irish population dwelling in English territories. Entire towns disappeared from the medieval maps.
In January 1316, a big Anglo-Irish army under the command of Edmund Butler appeared. It was created by the Anglo-Irish lords who had gathered for that purpose in the centre of Ireland. The newly created troops had to wipe out the Scottish enemy which was nearby.
Both the Anglo-Norman and the Scottish armies practiced an interesting way of fortification. Until now, huge manmade hills can be seen here and there along the strategic pathways of the warriors. Such hills were topped with stackets. Anglo-Normans built fortresses on embankments they made. Behind such fortification structures, there used to be military settlements.
The chances of the new Anglo-Irish army were high, given the distressed condition ofEdward Bruce’s squadrons. The Anglo-Irish soldiers also outnumbered the Scots. However, for some reason, the English let the Scots pass through in Central Ireland. That reason was the Scots’ repeated tactics used in Bannockburn. Another reason was some conflict inside the Anglo-Irish troops which made them flee the battlefield.
The Scots proved their might again, and the local population continued their miserable existence full of stressful twists and turns.