Black Douglas Ambush

Black Douglas Ambush
By mid-summer of 1327 the good, or the Black, Sir James Douglas was ravaging Weardale and the adjacent valleys of England. On 10 July a large English army, under the nominal command of the young English king, left York in a campaign to crush the highly mobile raiding Scots. The English commanders finally caught sight of their elusive opponents on the southern banks of the River Wear. The Scots were in a good position and declined all attempts to draw them into battle. After a while they left, only to take up an even stronger position at Stanhope Park, a hunting preserve belonging to the bishops of Durham. From here on the night of 4 August Douglas led an assault party across the river in a surprise attack on the sleeping English, later described in a French eye-witness account;
“The Lord James Douglas took with him about two hundred men-at-arms, and passed the river far off from the host so that he was not perceived: and suddenly he broke into the English host about midnight crying 'Douglas!' 'Douglas!' 'Ye shall all die thieves of England'; and he slew three hundred men, some in their beds and some scarcely ready: and he stroke his horse with spurs, and came to the King's tent, always crying 'Douglas!', and stroke asunder two or three cords of the King's tent.
Panic and confusion spread throughout the camp:”
Edward himself only narrowly escaped capture, his own pastor being killed in his defence. The Battle of Stanhope Park, minor as it was, was a serious humiliation, and after the Scots outflanked their enemy the following night, heading back to the border, Edward is said to have wept in impotent rage. His army retired to York and disbanded. With no other recourse, the English opened peace negotiations with the Scots which were finally concluded the following year with the Treaty of Northampton. Finally, the English recognised the Bruce monarchy and the independence of Scotland.
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Black Douglas Ambush

Black Douglas Ambush

Black Douglas Ambush
By mid-summer of 1327 the good, or the Black, Sir James Douglas was ravaging Weardale and the adjacent valleys of England. On 10 July a large English army, under the nominal command of the young English king, left York in a campaign to crush the highly mobile raiding Scots. The English commanders finally caught sight of their elusive opponents on the southern banks of the River Wear. The Scots were in a good position and declined all attempts to draw them into battle. After a while they left, only to take up an even stronger position at Stanhope Park, a hunting preserve belonging to the bishops of Durham. From here on the night of 4 August Douglas led an assault party across the river in a surprise attack on the sleeping English, later described in a French eye-witness account;
“The Lord James Douglas took with him about two hundred men-at-arms, and passed the river far off from the host so that he was not perceived: and suddenly he broke into the English host about midnight crying 'Douglas!' 'Douglas!' 'Ye shall all die thieves of England'; and he slew three hundred men, some in their beds and some scarcely ready: and he stroke his horse with spurs, and came to the King's tent, always crying 'Douglas!', and stroke asunder two or three cords of the King's tent.
Panic and confusion spread throughout the camp:”
Edward himself only narrowly escaped capture, his own pastor being killed in his defence. The Battle of Stanhope Park, minor as it was, was a serious humiliation, and after the Scots outflanked their enemy the following night, heading back to the border, Edward is said to have wept in impotent rage. His army retired to York and disbanded. With no other recourse, the English opened peace negotiations with the Scots which were finally concluded the following year with the Treaty of Northampton. Finally, the English recognised the Bruce monarchy and the independence of Scotland.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer: