Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Scotland in 1333 - Part III: The Battle of Halidon Hill

There was only one way to relieve to town now – wage all-out battle. On the morning of July 19th, Douglas arrayed his forces on Witches’ Knowle, north of Halidon Hill where the English were stationed. King Edward would not move from his vantage point. So Douglas felt he had no choice but to descend from his hilltop, cross the marshy ground between and attack the English on the slopes of Halidon Hill. 

By the time the Scots began uphill, arrows began to descend. Their ranks were decimated, but they pressed onward. Soon, the entire Scottish army was in retreat.

Although the Scots outnumbered the English at the onset of battle, it was Scotland that suffered that day. Thousands of Scots lost their lives, including Archibald Douglas. English casualties numbered only in the dozens. 

Of those who survived, many Scots capitulated. But the fighting was not over. Many more battles would ensue in the years after. Edward Balliol would not wear the crown for long. Young King David (the Bruce’s son) had been whisked away to safety, and his nephew, Robert Stewart (the Bruce’s grandson), had escaped the devastation of Halidon Hill.

Until later,

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