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Title: Introduction: The Anonymous Face of Scottish Kingship
Author(s): Penman, Michael A
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Citation: Penman MA (2005) Introduction: The Anonymous Face of Scottish Kingship. In: David II, 1329-71: The Bruce Dynasty in Scotland, Edinburgh: Birlinn (Tuckwell Press/John Donald), pp. 1-13.
Issue Date: Feb-2005
Abstract: This is a sample chapter (Introduction) from my research monograph on David II of Scotland, 1329-71. First paragraph: Just after daybreak on Tuesday 17th October 1346 a sizeable Scottish armed force was foraging for victuals on the church manors of Ferryhill and Merrington eight miles to the south of the rich English cathedral town of Durham. According to Jean Froissart, the late fourteenth-century Hainault traveller and chronicler of courtly Europe, this body numbered about five hundred men - probably a handful of Scots knights and men-at-arms mounted on purpose-bred warhorses (or ‘runcies’), the rest highly experienced peasant footmen some of whom would be accustomed to riding stocky hackney or ‘hobelar’ ponies until a battle was engaged. The leader of this contingent was Sir William Douglas, the famed ‘knight of Liddesdale’. He had made his warrior’s reputation and an enviable landed fortune over the previous decade by recovering Scottish castles and territory in the border marches from English occupation, and in tournaments to-the-death against English knights organised during truces.2 But for the past three weeks in autumn 1346 Douglas’s battle-hardened company had formed part of a much larger army of at least ten thousand men, the first national host led across the border into England by a Scottish king for almost twenty years. This force had penetrated Cumberland and then Northumberland to raid and plunder towns, farms and churchlands to maximum effect while Edward III and most of his nobles were absent on the continent fighting Scotland’s ally, Philip VI, the first Valois king of France.
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this book chapter in this Repository. The chapter was first published in David II, 1329-71: The Bruce Dynasty in Scotland by Birlinn (Tuckwell Press/John Donald).

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