In the wake of the Connor Battle, Ulster finally passed to Scotland from the English lord Richard de Bourg.Along with Ireland, Scotland had another frontline in the fight with England. The Northern English territories were often assaulted by Scottish squadrons. The frontier town of Carlisle was besieged by Robert Bruce in 1315.
The year 1315 was enormously victorious for Scotland. It was the First War of Scottish Independence. The Bannockburn Battle ignited the Scots’ faith in their glory and freedom. The Bruce brothers, Robert and Edward, led their further campaigns in Ireland and the North of England. In Ireland, a triumphal milestone was Carrickfergus.
On the English northern frontline, Carlisle was chosen to be a Scottish trophy on the Eden River. It was a tremendous challenge, since the town was protected by a huge castle with high walls. Earl Andrew Harclay, an outstanding warrior, built up the defense of the town against Robert Bruce’s troops. The Scottish attack was eventually repelled, which was a painful defeat for the Scots.
In 1316, the Scots were on the verge of fully defeating the English in the Irish territory. On their sweeping way towards the heart of Ireland, they encountered little resistance. But their ruthless enemy was the nature.
Pouring rains had been chasing Edward Bruce’s troops incessantly since their invasion of Ulster in May 1315. The hostile weather yielded little food supplies for winter. Throughout Europe, it was the Great Famine outbreak. The famine was raging in Europe from 1315 to 1317. Even before the lean years, the Irish population had been badly weakened by previous wars and huge tributes.
Edward Bruce’s offensive actually exacerbated the difficult situation on the Irish land. Hunger, murders, diseases and sea storms – all these contributed to ordinary forks’ hatred against Edward Bruce. The English and Scottish armies were both blamed for the bad harvests and resulting famine.
War and famine made real apocalypses for the Irish. In such conditions, no people’s support could be awaited by any of the aggressors.