The Scottish bowmen followed up this advantage, and the fight became general; the English horse, crowded into too narrow a space, were met by the steady resistance of the Scottish pikemen, who knew, as Bruce had told them truly, that they fought for their country, their wives, their children, and all that freemen hold dear.
The terms pike, pick, mandril and slitter are applied to the collier's pick in different districts, the men being known as pikemen or hewers.
The battle closed with the celebrated stand of Reginald of Boulogne, a revolted vassal of King Philip, who formed a ring of seven hundred Brabancon pikemen, and not only defied every attack of the French cavalry, but himself made repeated charges or sorties with his small force of knights.
They were formed in four deep and close masses ("schiltrons") of pikemen, the light troops screening the front and flanks and a body of men-at-arms standing in reserve.
Three corps of pikemen in solid masses formed the first line, which was kept out of sight behind the crest until the enemy advanced in earnest.