As one the rank-and-file infantry soldiers that formed the core of the fighting train of any Earl, Lord or Knight. Armed only with a sword and shield in the thick of a medieval battle, the rank-and-file swordsman was a virtually anonymous and saddled with a thankless task of staying alive long enough to keep the enemy at bay or even win the day.
This is a Swordsman in the ranks of Sir Ralph Morthermer. Despite his position of trust in the English war machine, Sir Ralph made one move, which was to change the course of history -
Cautiously watching the bigger game unfold, Robert Bruce was still at the Court of Longshanks in 1305. Monthermer had been sharing an informal evening with the English King, who had let slip that he intended to have Bruce arrested the next morning. He then took one of biggest risks of his life by sending Bruce a warning, in the shape of the sum of twelve pence and a pair of spurs. Bruce took the hint immediately and fled the English court, returning to Scotland, there to write a quite different chapter in the history of the two nations.
All of nine years later Monthermer was captured at Bannockburn. Bruce discharged the debt by releasing him without ransom, but only after they had dined together. In one of the mysteries of Bannockburn legend, Monthermer was duly returned to the English court - but was dead within a few months…