/The Scots Establish Power in Ireland in 1315

The Scots Establish Power in Ireland in 1315

After the victorious Carrickfergus battle, all Irish kings arrived in Carrickfergus to greet the new King ofIreland,  Edward Bruce. His reign was set up in Ulster, not in entire Ireland. However, from Ulster it appeared possible to conquer the whole island.

As a matter of fact, the Scottish monarch was a better variant for the Irish as compared to any originally Irish king. The local Irish kings could never divide the throne between themselves.

After the triumphal offensive by Edward Bruce in 1315 with the conquest of Carrickfergus, a major stronghold near Belfast, King Edward II of England plotted a delayed retaliation. The English king ordered his Dublin viceregent, Edmund Butler, to get an army together. For that purpose, a council of English-Irish lords was convened.

The most powerful lord was Richard de Bourg, the Earl of Ulster, and the father-in-law of Robert Bruce. The Scottish troops had already invaded his mountainous lands in Ulster from North to South. The Irish allies of Edward Bruce craving for putting it across the Englishmen, were heading to Leinster province.

On their way, the Scots burnt the town of Dundalk to ashes. By this action, the dwellers had to see that their English landlords could not protect them any longer. It was the discretion of the Scottish troops what settlements to destroy.

It appeared increasingly clear that if the English failed to reconquer Scotland immediately, the Scots, assisted by the Irish, would invade entire Ireland soon. The English-Irish earls, dukes and barons were losing lands, rent, merchandize, armors and revenues.

It was a gradual process for the English to realize how to withstand Edward Bruce.

In Ulster, Richard de Bourg had established a virtually invincible kingdom. He wanted to make his personal reprisal against Robert Bruce. The brother of his son-in-law had invaded Ulster and deprived him of his lands, which was a deadly insult for Richard. His troops comprised 20 battalions, the number equal to the Scottish military manpower.

On the way to his battlefield, Richard de Bourg’s supplies were cut off. With a deceptive maneuver, Richard, who had spent all his life in combats, got assaulted by Bruce’s army from the flanks. That grew into the bloodiest battle in the Scottish campaign.

The chronicles read “the whole field was covered with weapons, armors and dead soldiers”. The warriors inflicted each other incredibly cruel blows by swords, stones and spears. It was the Battle of Connor, another triumphal duel by the Scots. Defeated Richard de Bourg lost both power and home in the Connor Battle. Eventually he had to flee. Ulster became totally Scottish.

2018-12-24T13:02:30+00:00November 6th, 2018|Scotland and Ireland|