It's the stuff to do with Scots coming south.
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As soon as there was a whiff of trouble in England, they came down sensing blood and revenge. Edward I had made things worse by defeating the Scottish nobility, so they went on the warpath with leaders William Wallace and Robert Bruce. Soon it became a seasonal activity to raid the north. In and , the men stormed further south, burning and looting Northallerton, Wetherby, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge. Ripon was only spared in return for a ransom of 1, marks.
The following year, while Edward was busy trying to take back Berwick on Tweed which had fallen to Robert Bruce, a Scottish contingent headed for York. The city was largely undefended with its men seconded to take part in the Berwick campaign. But when they failed to enter the city and capture Queen Isabella, the troops set off for home.
The Anglo-Scottish Wars (or Wars of Scottish Independence)
One thing they hadn't bargained for was the Archbishop of York , who in the meantime had raised an army of 10, untrained men, which set off in pursuit of the Scots. They met at Myton near Boroughbridge, where the Ure joins the Swale. Although they outnumbered the Scots, the English army was inexperienced and ill-equipped. After crossing the river at Myton Bridge, they were attacked and began to flee.
But the Scottish forces had control of the bridge, forcing the English to hold their ground or brave the water. Many drowned or were slaughtered, including some monks whose corpses were left on the field, their white habits drenched with blood.
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Hence the name: The White Battle. By the s a degree of peace had been brokered, York lost its significance as the war capital and the machinery of Government returned to London. While Edward II's reign was the important period, Dr Wright says he will also be stressing the importance of the Battle of the Standard as a precedent.
It was fought near Northallerton in , as one of two major struggles in a war between English King Stephen and Empress Matilda during the period aptly known as The Anarchy. The centre of their position was marked by a cart which had a mast from which were flown the consecrated banners of the minsters of York, Beverley and Ripon: thus the name of the battle.
God must have been listening that day. Despite resisting a number of attacks, the Scottish lines eventually broke after hours of hand-to-hand combat.
Robert the Bruce's Forgotten Victory: The Battle of Byland by Graham Bell
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