The Battle at Halidon Hill

July 1333


Prehistory

Edward Balliol had crowned himself king in 1332. King David II. followers expelled him to England.
Supported by an english Army of the english King Eduard III. Balliol marched in Scotland in the Spring of 1333 and reached the County of Durham in April, where he began to besiege ‘Berwick-upon-Tweed’.

After two months of Siege, the Residents agreed to hand over the City if they did not receive any relief by the middle or end of July. To consolidate this Agreement, Sir Alexander Sutton gave his Sons as a Pledge to the besiegers. Meanwhile, David’s Guardian, Sir Archibald Douglas, was feeding on an Army -he had tried in vain to kidnap the english Queen, Philippa- and lined up at ‘Halidon Hill’.

The Battle

Eduard divided his troops into three divisions. Balliol led the left and the Earl of Norfolk the right.
The center was run by Eduard himself, who, like many of his Knights, improperly fought as a Foot-Soldier. The Battle, which was like a massacre, lasted all Day. The Scots had to advance over marshy terrain, where they could move heavily, to storm the Hill on which the English posted themselves. As a result, they provided the Longbowmen who delivered one salvo after another an easy Target and suffered devastating losses. The english Cavalry sat up again and fled the remaining Scots.

While the English suffered little Losses (allegedly only 14 men), the Scots lost min. 4,000 Men – including Sir Archibald Douglas and Sir Adam Gordon. An entire Generation of scottish Noblemen was wiped out or at least significantly decimated by the Battle. The Siege of Berwick, which gave up two days after the Battle, was continued.
Eduard again used Balliol as King and left him to enforce his claims to power.