During his campaign to subjugate Scotland, Edward had cornered a group of Scottish rebels inside the walls of Stirling Castle. He sent a messenger not to parley with the Scots rebels but to give them a blunt ultimatum: give up or die. The Scottish commander, William Oliphant, politely refused.
"Well," Edward supposedly scoffed, "If he thinks it will be better for him to defend the castle than yield it, he will see." Opening his royal checkbook, the king told his engineers to get to work creating a phalanx of thirteen huge trebuchets just outside the walls of Stirling castle.
The scale of the catapult project was simply enormous. Entire sections of oak and beech forests were cut down to procure enough wood for the job. Edward ordered the lead roofs from churches as far away as St. Andrews and Perth removed and melted down to provide counterweights for the trebuchets' throwing arms.
Wagons had to haul all this material through the muddy fens and glens of the Scotch lowland to an assembly point just beyond bowshot range on the plain below the castle wall. There, a hundred royal carpenters spent months erecting the machines under the anxious gaze of the Scots garrison inside.
As the machines were finished, they were christened with names such as Kyngstone, Belfry, Segrave, Toulemonde, Gloucester, and Lincoln. Edward called the biggest of all "Loup–de-guerre," which is French for "wolf of war". A French name for an English king's war engine is not surprising, since English kings spoke French, not English, until a century later. But a name such as Loup-de-guerre would have been quite a mouthful for English speaking soldiers. Soon the big catapult's moniker was bowdlerized into the much more Anglo-Saxony "Ludgar."