Hundred Years War

Scotland invades northern England
Battle of Neville's Cross ©Graham Turner
1346 Oct 17

Scotland invades northern England

Neville's Cross, Durham UK

The Auld Alliance between France and Scotland had been renewed in 1326 and was intended to deter England from attacking either country by the threat that in this case the other would invade English territory. King Philip VI of France called on the Scots to fulfil their obligation under the terms of the Auld Alliance and invade England. David II obliged. Once the Scottish army of 12,000 led by King David II invaded, an English army of approximately 6,000–7,000 men led by Ralph Neville, Lord Neville was quickly mobilised at Richmond in north Yorkshire under the supervision of William de la Zouche, the Archbishop of York, who was Lord Warden of the Marches. The Scottish army was defeated with heavy loss.

During the battle David II was twice shot in the face with arrows. Surgeons attempted to remove the arrows but the tip of one remained lodged in his face, rendering him prone to headaches for decades. Despite having fled without fighting, Robert Stewart was appointed Lord Guardian to act on David II's behalf in his absence. The Black Rood of Scotland, venerated as a piece of the True Cross, and previously belonging to the former queen of Scotland, Saint Margaret of Scotland, was taken from David II and donated to the shrine of Saint Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral.

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Last Updated: Tue Mar 14 2023