The rival armies met at the Sauchieburn near Bannockburn, and James soon fled.
This determination closes the first chapter of his life; the second, from 1304 to 1314, is occupied by his contest for the kingdom, which was really won at Bannockburn, though disputed until the treaty of Northampton in 1328; the last, from 1314 to his death in 1329, was the period of the establishment of his government and dynasty by an administration as skilful as his generalship. It is to the second of these that historians, attracted by its brilliancy even amongst the many romances of history and its importance to Scottish history, have directed most of their attention, and it is during it that his personal character, tried by adversity and prosperity, gradually unfolds itself.
In the career of Bruce, Bannockburn was the turning-point.
As a result of Bannockburn, Bruce's queen was restored to her husband; Stirling was delivered up to the Scots; the north of England was ravaged, and Carlisle and Berwick were besieged.
The last part of Bruce's life, from 1315 to 1329, began with an attempt which was the most striking testimony that could have been given to the effect of Bannockburn, and which, had it succeeded, might have altered the future of the British Isles.