The presence of Nobles and particularly that of the Monarch - and leader of his Nation - was denoted in battle by the presence and location of their respective Bannermen.
Flying high amidst the sea of pikes and spears, men and horses – the heraldic banners were beacons of leadership and a source of inspiration for the men in the maelstrom of battle who fought, as much to stay alive, as win the day.
Equally, they were magnets of death and destruction, signalling the location of their enemy to all who wished them nothing but death and defeat .
As would be expected, Banner-bearers were chosen for their strength, courage and endurance, assets without which they had little hope of survival. This was a most perilous task, as any personal defence would be hampered by custody of the banner which, in turn, would make him a personal target. In the event that a Bannerman was slain, or so badly injured he could not continue, another of his master’s entourage would raise the standard and ‘fly the flag’. Testament, if any were needed, to the unqualified courage of such a role.
At the point when it became clear the Battle of Bannockburn was lost, two of King Edward’s closest allies, Aymer de Valance and the Earl of Ulster (father-in-law to Robert the Bruce ) hastened Edward from the field and. Having been denied sanctuary at the gates of Stirling Castle, fled on the long and harrowing road to London. This chess piece is Edward’s own Bannerman and one can only speculate what fate befell him when his king fled the battlefield.