Battle of Dalrigh
The Battle of Dalrigh known as the Battle of Dail Righ, Battle of Dalry or Battle of Strathfillan, was fought in the summer of 1306 between the army of King Robert I of Scotland against the Clan MacDougall of Argyll who were allies of Clan Comyn and the English. It took place at the hamlet of Dalrigh near Tyndrum in Scotland. Bruce's army, reeling westwards after defeat by the English on June 23 at the Battle of Methven, was intercepted and all but destroyed, with Bruce himself narrowly escaping capture; the battle took place sometime between July and early August. By the late 13th century, the Clan MacDougall had emerged as the most powerful of the descendants of Somerled, a former king of the Hebrides. Alexander MacDougall, the head of the family, was related by marriage to King John I of Scotland and his nephew John Comyn, he attained high office when John was king, being appointed Sheriff of Lorn in February 1293. Alexander managed to extend his power still further at the expense of the MacDonalds of Islay and the Campbells of Loch Awe, whom he defeated in battle sometime in the mid-1290s.
The outbreak of the War of Independence in 1296 placed the MacDougalls on the side of the Scottish patriots. This changed in the most dramatic fashion in February 1306. Soon after Bruce seized the crown, the MacDougalls and other families with Balliol and Comyn associations became allies of the English. In June 1306, Robert Bruce and his army were caught unprepared in their night camp on June 23 at the Battle of Methven, west of Perth, by Aymer de Valence, an English general acting for Edward I. What was left of his army retreated westwards, towards the mountains of Argyll; when they reached Strathfillan they found their path blocked at Tyndrum by a large force of Macdougalls, said to have numbered 1000 men, commanded by Alexander's son, John of Lorne known as John Bacach-'the Lame.' We do not know Valence's exact location at this time, but it is that his army was not far to the east in pursuit of his defeated enemy. Unable to retreat Bruce's little army of 300 to 500 including women, the aged, etc. and a guard of Highland men was forced into battle in disadvantageous circumstances in western Perthshire near the border with Argyll.
The exact site of the battle is known in Gaelic as Dail Righ-the King's Field-though it is uncertain if this was the name at the time or added afterwards by the chroniclers. Locals have placed the battle at a number of local place-names; the only sources we have for the Battle of Dalrigh are pro-Bruce, tend at every turn to put a favourable interpretation upon the King's actions. John Barbour has him'boldly waiting' to engage John in battle, though'his followers were all too few'. However, Bruce's army had just been would have needed time to recoup. Barbour provides some justification for such an interpretation, providing no description of preparations or dispositions-as he does elsewhere-, just an account of a quick and close engagement. Bruce's remaining horses were killed by the Macdougall axemen, who wounded many of his men, including Sir James Douglas and Gilbert de la Hay. Under considerable pressure Bruce did his best to disengage. In this There was no mark of cowardice, they kept together.
With skill and valour there wrought he. He daunted those that would pursue So none durst leave their cloe array, For he was never far away. Bruce was so involved in action with the rearguard that he found himself at one point alone and under attack between a hill and the lochside, a pass so narrow that he could not turn his horse. According to tradition, Bruce was so hard pressed that one of his assailants tore off the studded brooch that fastened his cloak. Known as the "Brooch of Lorn" it was in possession of the Campbells until 1826 when it was turned over to the MacDougall family. For the king to be placed in such a position unsupported, provides some further evidence of the weakness of the royal forces; the enemy was fought off and the army retreated to safety. After Dalrigh Bruce, now styled dismissively as'King Hob' in English propaganda, was little better than a fugitive pursued by his many enemies, both domestic and foreign. For a time his party took refuge in the mountains of Atholl.
From here the king sent Queen Elizabeth, his daughter Marjorie Bruce, his sister and Isabella MacDuff the Countess of Buchan to the relative safety of Kildrummy Castle, near the River Don in Aberdeenshire. With James Douglas and a few others he escaped southwards into the territory of his friend Maol Choluim II, Earl of Lennox. From here he was helped to cross over to the Kintyre Peninsula by way of Bute, where he was aided by Aonghus Óg Mac Domhnaill, chief of the Macdonalds and a bitter enemy of the Macdougalls. Bruce was given temporary refuge in Dunaverty Castle, a location far too exposed and dangerous to remain in for long, he fled from here into a uncertain future, not reappearing on the stage of history until the early spring of 1307. The recovery of his cause from this point counts as one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of warfare. Two years after Dalrigh the Macdougalls were destroyed at the Battle of Pass of Brander. Barbour, The Bruce, trans, A. A. H. Duncan, 1964. Bower, Scoticronicon, ed. D. E. R. Watt, 1987–96.
Fordun, John of, Chroni
Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 3rd Baron Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, was an English nobleman and powerful Marcher lord who gained many estates in the Welsh Marches and Ireland following his advantageous marriage to the wealthy heiress Joan de Geneville, 2nd Baroness Geneville. In November 1316, he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1322 for having led the Marcher lords in a revolt against King Edward II in what became known as the Despenser War. He escaped to France, where he was joined by Edward's queen consort Isabella, whom he may have taken as his mistress. After he and Isabella led a successful invasion and rebellion, Edward was subsequently deposed. For three years, Mortimer was de facto ruler of England before being himself overthrown by Edward's eldest son, Edward III. Accused of assuming royal power and other crimes, Mortimer was executed by hanging at Tyburn. Mortimer, grandson of Roger Mortimer, 1st Baron Mortimer and Maud de Braose, Baroness Mortimer, was born at Wigmore Castle, England, the firstborn of Marcher Lord Edmund Mortimer, 2nd Baron Mortimer, Margaret de Fiennes.
He was born on the Feast of Saint Mark, a day of bad omen. He shared this birthday with King Edward II, which would be relevant in life. Edmund Mortimer was a second son, intended for minor orders and a clerical career, but on the sudden death of his elder brother Ralph, Edmund was recalled from Oxford University and installed as heir. According to his biographer Ian Mortimer, Mortimer was sent as a boy away from home to be fostered in the household of his formidable uncle, Roger Mortimer de Chirk, it was this uncle who had carried the severed head of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd of Wales to King Edward I in 1282. Mortimer attended the Coronation of Edward II on 25 February 1308 and carried a table bearing the royal robes in the ceremony's procession. Like many noble children of his time, Mortimer was betrothed at a young age, to Joan de Geneville, the daughter of Sir Piers de Geneville, of Trim Castle and Ludlow, they were married on 20 September 1301. Their first child was born in 1302. Through his marriage, Mortimer not only acquired numerous possessions in the Welsh Marches, including the important Ludlow Castle, which became the chief stronghold of the Mortimers, but extensive estates and influence in Ireland.
However, Joan de Geneville was not an "heiress" at the time of her marriage. Her grandfather Geoffrey de Geneville, at the age of eighty in 1308, conveyed most, but not all, of his Irish lordships to Mortimer, retired: he died in 1314, with Joan succeeding as suo jure 2nd Baroness Geneville. During his lifetime Geoffrey conveyed much of the remainder of his legacy, such as Kenlys, to his younger son Simon de Geneville, who had meanwhile become Baron of Culmullin through marriage to Joanna FitzLeon. Mortimer therefore succeeded to the eastern part of the Lordship of Meath, centred on Trim and its stronghold of Trim Castle, he did not succeed, however, to the Lordship of Fingal. Mortimer's childhood came to an abrupt end when his father was mortally wounded in a skirmish near Builth in July 1304. Since Mortimer was underage at the death of his father, he was placed by King Edward I under the guardianship of Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall. However, on 22 May 1306, in a lavish ceremony in Westminster Abbey with two hundred and fifty-nine others, he was knighted by Edward and granted livery of his full inheritance.
His adult life began in earnest in 1308. This brought him into conflict with the de Lacys, who turned for support to Edward Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce, King of Scots. Mortimer was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland by Edward II on 23 November 1316. Shortly afterwards, at the head of a large army, he drove Bruce to Carrickfergus and the de Lacys into Connaught, wreaking vengeance on their adherents whenever they were to be found, he returned to England and Wales in 1318 and was occupied for some years with baronial disputes on the Welsh border. Mortimer became disaffected with his king and joined the growing opposition to Edward II and the Despensers. After the younger Despenser was granted lands belonging to him, he and the Marchers began conducting devastating raids against Despenser property in Wales, he supported Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford, in refusing to obey the king's summons to appear before him in 1321 as long as "the younger Despencer was in the King's train." Mortimer led a march against London, his men wearing the Mortimer uniform, green with a yellow sleeve.
He was prevented from entering the capital. These acts of insurrection compelled the Lords Ordainers led by Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, to order the king to banish the Despensers in August; when the king led a successful expedition in October against Margaret de Clare, Baroness Badlesmere, after she had refused Queen Isabella admittance to Leeds Castle, he used his victory and new popularity among the moderate lords and the people to summon the Despensers back to England. Mortimer, in company with other Marcher Lords, led a rebellion against Edward, known as the Despenser War. In January 1322 Mortimer attacked and burnt Bridgnorth but, being outnumbered, was forced to surrender to the king at Shrewsbury. Mortimer joined Lancaster at the Battle of Boroughbridge in March 1322 and warrants for his arrest were issued in July. A death sentence was passed upon Mortimer but this was commuted to life imprisonment and he was consigned to the Tower of London. In August 1323 Mortimer, aided by Gerald de Alspaye, the sub-lieutenant or valet of
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway; the Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, the City of London established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre. Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714. Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 claim descent from the Normans; the completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown.
Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. From the 1340s the kings of England laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, his daughter Elizabeth I the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World. From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland.
Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament; this concept became established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain; the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles; the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre.
By the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum. Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie. From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title King of Great Britain; the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex and Wessex; the Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, it absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex became dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England. In 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he regarded as a turning point in his reign; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred." Asser added that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly... and made it habitable once more." Alfred's "restoration"
Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon, or trooper; the designation of cavalry was not given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height and inertial mass over an opponent on foot. Another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent; the speed and shock value of the cavalry was appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages. In Europe cavalry became armoured, became known for the mounted knights.
During the 17th century cavalry in Europe lost most of its armor, ineffective against the muskets and cannon which were coming into use, by the mid-19th century armor had fallen into disuse, although some regiments retained a small thickened cuirass that offered protection against lances and sabres and some protection against shot. In the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. However, some cavalry still served during World War II, notably in the Red Army, the Mongolian People's Army, the Royal Italian Army, the Romanian Army, the Polish Land Forces, light reconnaissance units within the Waffen SS. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, or as mounted infantry in difficult terrain such as mountains or forested areas. Modern usage of the term refers to units performing the role of reconnaissance and target acquisition. In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles.
These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of own disposition of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, restoration of command and control, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, breakout operations, raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the "armored" designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was performed by light chariots; the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The chariot was adopted by settled peoples both as a military technology and an object of ceremonial status by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom of Egypt as well as the Assyrian army and Babylonian royalty; the power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, but was offset by the difficulty of raising large forces and by the inability of horses to carry heavy armor.
Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Iranic Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC. At this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was much more difficult than mere riding; the cavalry acted in pairs. At this early time, cavalry used swords and bows; the sculpture implies two types of cavalry. Images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse; as early as 490 BC a breed of large horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour, but large horses were still exceptional at this time. By the fourth century BC the Chinese during the Warring States period began to use cavalry against rival states, by 331 BC when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians the use of chariots in battle was obsolete in most nations.
The last recorded use of chariots as a shock force in continental Europe was during the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC. However, chariots remained in use for ceremonial purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph, or for racing. Outside of mainland Europe, the southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, but by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain a century chariots were obsolete in Britannia; the last mention of chariot use in Britain was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were limited to those citizens who could afford expensive war-horses. Three types of cavalry became common: light cavalry, whose riders, armed with javelins, could harass and skirmish.
County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is a cathedral city; the largest settlement is Darlington followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. It borders Tyne and Wear to the north east, Northumberland to the north, Cumbria to the west and North Yorkshire to the south; the county's historic boundaries stretch between the rivers Tyne and Tees, thus including places such as Gateshead, South Shields and Sunderland. During the Middle Ages, the county was an ecclesiastical centre, due to the presence of St Cuthbert's shrine in Durham Cathedral, the extensive powers granted to the Bishop of Durham as ruler of the County Palatine of Durham; the county has a mixture of mining and heavy railway heritage, with the latter noteworthy in the southeast of the county, in Darlington and Stockton It is an area of regeneration and promoted as a tourist destination. Many counties are named after their principal town, the expected form here would be Durhamshire, but this form has never been in common use.
The ceremonial county is named Durham, but the county has long been known as County Durham and is the only English county name prefixed with "County" in common usage. Its unusual naming is explained to some extent by the relationship with the Bishops of Durham, who for centuries governed Durham as a county palatine, outside the usual structure of county administration in England; the situation regarding the formal name in modern local government is less clear. The structural change legislation which in 2009 created the present unitary council refers to "the county of County Durham" and names the new unitary district "County Durham" too. However, a amendment to that legislation, refers to the "county of Durham" and the amendment allows for the unitary council to name itself "The Durham Council". In the event the council retained the name of Durham County Council. With either option, the name does not include County Durham; the former postal county was named "County Durham" to distinguish it from the post town of Durham.
The ceremonial county of Durham is administered by four unitary authorities. The ceremonial county has no administrative function, but remains the area to which the Lord Lieutenant of Durham and the High Sheriff of Durham are appointed. County Durham: the unitary district was formed on 1 April 2009 replacing the previous two-tier system of a county council providing strategic services and seven district councils providing more local facilities, it has 126 councillors. The seven districts abolished were:Chester-le-Street, including the Lumley and Sacriston areas Derwentside, including Consett and Stanley City of Durham, including Durham city and the surrounding areas Easington, including Seaham and the new town of Peterlee Borough of Sedgefield, including Spennymoor and Newton Aycliffe Teesdale, including Barnard Castle and the villages of Teesdale Wear Valley, including Bishop Auckland, Willington and the villages along Weardale The Borough of Darlington: before 1 April 1997, Darlington was a district in a two-tier arrangement with Durham County Council.
The Borough of Hartlepool: until 1 April 1996 the borough was one of four districts in the short-lived county of Cleveland, abolished. The part of the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, north of the centre of the River Tees. Stockton was part of Cleveland until that county's abolition in 1996; the remainder of the borough is part of the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire. The county is parished. Durham Constabulary operate in the area of the two unitary districts of County Durham and Darlington. Ron Hogg was first elected the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner for the force on 15 November 2012; the other areas in the ceremonial county fall within the police area of the Cleveland Police. Fire service areas follow the same areas as the police with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service serving the two unitary districts of County Durham and Darlington and Cleveland Fire Brigade covering the rest. County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service is under the supervision of a combined fire authority consisting of 25 local councillors: 21 from Durham County Council and 4 from Darlington Borough Council.
The North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust are responsible for providing NHS ambulance services throughout the ceremonial county, plus the boroughs of Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, which are south of the River Tees and therefore in North Yorkshire, but are part of the North East England region. Air Ambulance services are provided by the Great North Air Ambulance; the charity operates 3 helicopters including one at Durham Tees Valley Airport covering the County Durham area. Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team, are based at Sniperly Farm in Durham City and respond to search and rescue incidents in the county. Around AD 547, an Angle named Ida founded the kingdom of Bernicia after spotting the defensive potential of a large rock at Bamburgh, upon which many a fortification was thenceforth built. Ida was able to forge and consolidate the kingdom. In AD 604, Ida's grandson Æthelfrith forcibly merged Bernicia and Deira to create the Kingdom of Northumbria. In time, the realm was expanded through warfare
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe, his long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death. Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella of France, her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup d'état against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337; this started. Following some initial setbacks, this first phase of the war went exceptionally well for England; this phase would become known as the Edwardian War. Edward's years were marked by international failure and domestic strife as a result of his inactivity and poor health.
Edward III was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king. Admired in his own time and for centuries after, Edward was denounced as an irresponsible adventurer by Whig historians such as William Stubbs; this view has been challenged and modern historians credit him with some significant achievements. Edward was born at Windsor Castle on 13 November 1312, was referred to as Edward of Windsor in his early years; the reign of his father, Edward II, was a problematic period of English history. One source of contention was the king's inactivity, repeated failure, in the ongoing war with Scotland. Another controversial issue was the king's exclusive patronage of a small group of royal favourites; the birth of a male heir in 1312 temporarily improved Edward II's position in relation to the baronial opposition. To bolster further the independent prestige of the young prince, the king had him created Earl of Chester at only twelve days of age. In 1325, Edward II was faced with a demand from his brother-in-law, Charles IV of France, to perform homage for the English Duchy of Aquitaine.
Edward was reluctant to leave the country, as discontent was once again brewing domestically over his relationship with the favourite Hugh Despenser the Younger. Instead, he had his son Edward created Duke of Aquitaine in his place and sent him to France to perform the homage; the young Edward was accompanied by his mother Isabella, the sister of King Charles, was meant to negotiate a peace treaty with the French. While in France, Isabella conspired with the exiled Roger Mortimer to have Edward deposed. To build up diplomatic and military support for the venture, Isabella had her son engaged to the twelve-year-old Philippa of Hainault. An invasion of England was launched and Edward II's forces deserted him completely. Isabella and Mortimer summoned a parliament, the king was forced to relinquish the throne to his son, proclaimed king in London on 25 January 1327; the new king was crowned as Edward III at Westminster Abbey on 1 February at the age of 14. It was not long before the new reign met with other problems caused by the central position at court of Roger Mortimer, now the de facto ruler of England.
Mortimer used his power to acquire noble estates and titles, his unpopularity grew with the humiliating defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Stanhope Park and the ensuing Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, signed with the Scots in 1328. The young king came into conflict with his guardian. Mortimer knew his position in relation to the king was precarious and subjected Edward to disrespect; the tension increased after Edward and Philippa, who had married at York Minster on 24 January 1328, had a son on 15 June 1330. Edward decided to take direct action against Mortimer. Aided by his close companion William Montagu and a small number of other trusted men, Edward took Mortimer by surprise at Nottingham Castle on 19 October 1330. Mortimer was executed and Edward III's personal reign began. Edward III was not content with the peace agreement made in his name, but the renewal of the war with Scotland originated in private, rather than royal initiative. A group of English magnates known as The Disinherited, who had lost land in Scotland by the peace accord, staged an invasion of Scotland and won a great victory at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in 1332.
They attempted to install Edward Balliol as king of Scotland in David II's place, but Balliol was soon expelled and was forced to seek the help of Edward III. The English king responded by laying siege to the important border town of Berwick and defeated a large relieving army at the Battle of Halidon Hill. Edward reinstated Balliol on the throne and received a substantial amount of land in southern Scotland; these victories proved hard to sustain, as forces loyal to David II regained control of the country. In 1338, Edward was forced to agree to a truce with the Scots. One reason for the change of strategy towards Scotland was a growing concern for the relationship between England and France; as long as Scotland and France were in an alliance, the English were faced with the prospect of fighting a war on two fronts. The French carried out raids on English coastal towns, leading to rumour
First War of Scottish Independence
The First War of Scottish Independence was the initial chapter of engagements in a series of warring periods between English and Scottish forces lasting from the invasion by England in 1296 until the de jure restoration of Scottish independence with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328. De facto independence was established in 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn. England attempted to establish its authority over Scotland while the Scots fought to keep English rule and authority out of Scotland; the term "War of Independence" did not exist at the time. The war was given that name retroactively many centuries after the American War of Independence made the term popular; when King Alexander III ruled Scotland, his reign had seen a period of peace and economic stability. On 19 March 1286, Alexander died after falling from his horse; the heir to the throne was Alexander's granddaughter, Maid of Norway. As she was still a child and in Norway, the Scottish lords set up a government of guardians.
Margaret fell ill on the voyage to Scotland and died in Orkney on 26 September 1290. The lack of a clear heir led to a period known as Competitors for the Crown of Scotland or the "Great Cause", with several families laying claim to the throne. With Scotland threatening to descend into civil war, King Edward I of England was invited in by the Scottish nobility to arbitrate. Before the process could begin, he insisted that all of the contenders recognise him as Lord Paramount of Scotland. In early November 1292, at a great feudal court held in the castle at Berwick-upon-Tweed, judgement was given in favour of John Balliol having the strongest claim in law. Edward proceeded to reverse the rulings of the Scottish Lords and summoned King John Balliol to stand before the English court as a common plaintiff. John was a weak king, known as "Toom Tabard" or "Empty Coat". John renounced his homage in March 1296 and by the end of the month Edward stormed Berwick-upon-Tweed, sacking the then-Scottish border town.
In April, the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Dunbar in East Lothian and by July, Edward had forced John to abdicate. Edward instructed his officers to receive formal homage from some 1,800 Scottish nobles. Throughout Scotland, there was widespread discontent and disorder after the dominion exercised by the English Crown, acts of defiance were directed against local English officials. In 1297, the country erupted in open revolt, Andrew de Moray and William Wallace emerged as the first significant Scottish patriots. Andrew de Moray was the son of Sir Andrew de Moray of Petty. Andrew and his father were both captured in the rout after the Battle of Dunbar in April 1296. Andrew the younger was held captive in Chester Castle on the Anglo-Welsh border, from which he escaped during the winter of 1296-97, he returned to his father's castle at Avoch on the northern shore of the Moray Firth, where he raised his banner in the name of Scotland's king, John Balliol. Moray gathered a band of like-minded patriots, employing hit-and-run guerrilla tactics, began to attack and devastate every English-garrisoned castle from Banff to Inverness.
The entire province of Moray was soon in revolt against King Edward I's men, before long Moray had secured Moray, leaving him free to turn his attention to the rest of the northeast of Scotland. Wallace rose to prominence in May 1297, when he killed Sir William Haselrig, the English sheriff of Lanark, members of his garrison at Lanark with the aid of Sir Richard Lundie; when news of Wallace's latest attack on the English rippled throughout Scotland, men rallied to him. The rebels were supported by Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, who longed for the defeat of the English; the blessing of Wishart gave the patriots a mark of respectability. He was soon joined by others. In early June and Douglas planned a symbolic strike to liberate Scone, the seat of the English-appointed Justiciar of Scotland, William de Ormesby, it was from Scone, a site held sacred by the Scots, that Ormesby had been dispensing English justice. Ormesby was hastily fled. On hearing about the start of an aristocratic uprising, Edward I, although engaged in events in France, sent a force of foot soldiers and horsemen under Sir Henry Percy and Sir Robert Clifford to resolve the "Scottish problem".
On receiving reports that Sir William Douglas had defected to the rebels, Edward dispatched Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, together with his father's vassals of Annandale, to attack Douglas's stronghold in Lanarkshire. Whilst traveling north to face Douglas, Bruce began to think about where his loyalties lay, he decided to follow the Scottish cause, being quoted as saying, "No man holds his flesh and blood in hatred, I am no exception. I must join my own people and the nation in whom I was born."The confederacy of men that Bruce joined included James the Steward, Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow and William Douglas. Dissension broke out in the Scottish camp when the Scottish and English armies met in July 1297 near Irvine; the aristocratic revolt halted before it started, but its leaders led long and futile negotiations. It has been suggested that this was a deliberate move in order to provide space and time for Wallace to levy and train men. Percy and Clifford assumed that this was the end of the problem and retired back to the south, only to be followed once more by Wallace and Moray.
These two divided their forces and in a short time again forced the English south of the Forth, leaving them holding only the castle of Dundee. While laying siege to Dundee Castle, Wallace heard that an En