By Jerry Bennett
The English defeat at Bannockburn in 1314 used to be not only an army defeat. It plunged the entire of britain right into a nation of faction battling and lawlessness from which it should no longer emerge for nearly 20 years. King Edward II and his supporters have been continuously hostile by means of his cousin, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. The Northern counties of britain have been principally neglected, and left to fend for themselves opposed to the raids of Robert Bruce and the successful Scots.
One Englishman emerged from these chaotic and disastrous years to guide resistance to the Scottish raids. Andrew de Harcla used to be now not a good manorial lord, yet he was once a really able commander, and 12 months after Bannockburn he led the profitable security of Carlisle opposed to an important Scottish assault. within the years that undefined, he turned the point of interest for the English resistance to the Scots within the West March – the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland - extraordinary again from the depths of Inglewood woodland and the hillsides of the Pennines and the Cumberland fells, and revising his methods of scuffling with as he did so. His dependable squaddies gave him the nickname of “Black Andrew” as their approach of claiming he was once nearly as good a pace-setter because the infamous Scottish commander, “Black” James Douglas.
But the Scots weren't his in basic terms challenge. He encountered a lot jealousy from different landowners within the counties, and the faction scuffling with within the remainder of England continuously interfered with and undermined his activities. His love for Anne Neville additionally aroused the hatred of a few individuals of that influential relatives. while the animosity among King Edward and Thomas of Lancaster ultimately erupted into civil warfare, he raised the lads of the 2 counties to confront and defeat the rebels, which earned him the short help of King Edward.
But he couldn't defeat Robert Bruce on his personal, and Edward and his favourite-ridden court docket proved both incapable of doing so. The yr 1322 observed higher Scottish raids penetrating deeper into England than ever ahead of, whereas Edward suffered a defeat much more harmful than Bannockburn. Andrew felt he needed to try to negotiate a extra lasting peace with the Scots, yet may well by no means determine no matter if he had the help of King Edward and the courtroom favourites.
But with the potential of the Scots reviving an outdated declare to a lot of the North of britain, it was once a issue he needed to face…
“Black Andrew” is a piece of fiction and many of the characters within the publication are fictional. however it relies round genuine occasions and contains many genuine humans from historical past. i've got learn via as many background texts as i may locate (mostly in Lancaster college Library) to make this tale as real looking as attainable. however it is essentially written from Andrew’s standpoint, as an individual who needed to shield the border, and who used to be by no means a member of King Edward’s court.
This is the 1st publication of a quick sequence (Lords of the excessive nation) that conceal the restoration of England’s fortunes from utter defeat at Bannockburn to awesome triumph at Crecy, 30 years later. Many top historians have pointed out the strategies that have been devised via Andrew de Harcla as enjoying an immense half in that technique of restoration, and it truly is his legacy that i've got attempted to express during the series.
Kendal - 2010
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