This Day in History: 1297-09-11

On 11th September 1297, John de Warenne, 6th earl of Surrey, gave the order for the English forces to cross the narrow, wooden bridge over the Forth at Stirling to attack the outnumbered Scottish forces, on the northern shore, led by William Wallace and Andrew Murray. De Warenne had delayed the crossing for several days to allow for negotiations, sure that the Scots would choose peace over war in the light of recent English victories and their obvious military superiority. The ensuing slaughter at the Battle of Stirling Bridge of the half-formed, stranded and enclosed English army on the northern side resulted in many deaths including Hugh Cressingham, treasurer of the English administration in Scotland. De Warenne, on the southern shore ordered the bridge destroyed and retreated immediately to Berwick.