Such was Bruce’s success at uniting a disparate nation, the army that flocked to Bruce’s banner at Bannockburn came from every corner of Scotland. This swordsman was from Lothian in the Scottish Lowlands, in the following of Sir Alexander Seton, Seneschal Steward of Scotland and from the family of the husband of Bruce’s sister.
Remarkably, Seton was on England’s side up until the eve of Bannockburn.
His decision to switch allegiance and throw his weight behind his king was both timely and significant.
Changing allegiance is a characteristic echoed all too often in the annals of Scottish history, but possibly only Alexander Seton left it quite so precariously late. His defection to the Scottish side on the eve of battle is likely to have been a reflection of his allegiances to whichever side best served his interests. His English allegiance started after he was captured in the pursuit after the Battle of Methven in 1306 by John Mowbray, he subsequently did homage to Edward I of England to swear his loyalty.
Given that Bruce and his brothers had done so previously, it is, at best, mitigation. Alexander defected to Bruce’s camp on the eve of Bannockburn with the alleged words “Sir, this is the time if ever you intend to undertake to reconquer Scotland. The English have lost heart and are discouraged.” Words that gave Bruce added encouragement for the epic task ahead.