Battle of the Bells
|Battle of the Bells|
The Battle of the Bells was a battle fought during Robert's Rebellion between royal and rebel forces at Stoney Sept. The battle is called Battle of the Bells because at the beginning of the battle the sept tolled the city bells to warn the citizens of the battle and to persuade them to stay inside their houses. The battle was won by the rebel army although the royals were able to retreat in good order.
After the Defeat in the Battle of Ashford, on the Stormland/Reach border, Robert Baratheon turned north. Most likely, he was trying to link up to his allies, the Starks, Tullys and Arryns. It is unknown what happened between Ashford and Stoney Sept but during the journey Robert was wounded and he hid in the Sept from pursuers just before the battle began.
When Jon Connington occupied the town he ordered his soldiers to begin searching the houses looking for Robert Baratheon. They had not found him when the combined Tully-Stark army reached Stoney Sept. The rebels stormed the city's walls and attacked the army of Connington who responded by fighting back fiercely. He wounded Hoster Tully and killed Jon Arryn's cousin and heir, Denys Arryn. At the same time the two armies were battling all around them in the streets and in the alleys, even on some of the rooftops. At this point Robert came out (probably with his followers) and led the counterattack. Robert slew Rhaegar's friend and former squire Myles Mooton. Although this seemed to have turned the tide of the battle, Robert himself later maintained that Eddard Stark won it for him. Jon Connington realized the battle was lost and was able to retreat in good order.
Connington later regrets he did not burn the town in stead of ordering the search. His detractors argued that Tywin Lannister would have done it, killing Robert Baratheon before the rebel relief army arrived to rescue him, then offered pardons to Stark, Arryn and Tully to convince them to put down their swords and return home. Though this would have decided the rebellion, it would have been meant killing every last member of the town's population who would have perished with Baratheon; Connington reflects that he didn't want to be branded a murderer and wanted the glory of slaying Robert for himself, hence why he never gave the order.
The retreat by Jon Connington seems quite a feat due to the fierce fighting and the location (town, house to house fighting) would make it hard to hold the army together. Nevertheless it did not impress King Aerys who had Connington exiled and seized his lands for his failure to deal with rebels. However, this defeat forced King Aerys to realize that Robert was no mere outlaw lord to be crushed at whim, but the greatest threat House Targaryen had faced since Daemon Blackfyre.
At the Battle of the Trident the rebels were on the North bank. Robert was fleeing North when trapped in Stoney Sept.
The Mad King’s men had been hunting Robert, trying to catch him before he could rejoin your father, he was wounded, being tended by some friends, when Lord Connington the Hand took the town with a mighty force and started searching house by house. Before they could find him, though, Lord Eddard and your grandfather came down on the town and stormed the walls. Lord Connington fought back fierce. They battled in the streets and alleys, even on the rooftops, and all the septons rang their bells so the smallfolk would know to lock their doors. Robert came out of hiding to join the fight when the bells began to ring. He slew six men that day, they say. One was Myles Mooton, a famous knight who’d been Prince Rhaegar’s squire. He would have slain the Hand too, but the battle never brought them together. Connington wounded your grandfather Tully sore, though, and killed Ser Denys Arryn, the darling of the Vale. But when he saw the day was lost, he flew off as fast as the griffins on his shield. The Battle of the Bells, they called it after. Robert always said your father won it, not him.