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  Account from Richard of Hexham

‘While thus they were awaiting the approach of the Scots, the scouts whom they had sent forward to reconnoitre returned, bringing news that the King with his army had already passed the River Tees and was ravaging their province in his accustomed manner. They hastened to resist them; and, by-passing the village of Northallerton, they arrived early in the morning at a plain distant from it by about two miles. Some of them soon erected in the centre of a frame which they brought, the mast of a ship to which they gave the name of the Standard.’

‘On the top of this pole they hung a silver pyx containing the Host and the banners of St Peter the apostle, and John of Beverley and Wilfrid of Ripon, confessors and bishops. In so doing their hope was that our Lord Jesus Christ, through the efficacy of his Body, might be their leader in the struggle. They also provided for their men a sure and conspicuous rallying point, by which they might rejoin their comrades in the event of their being cut off.

Scarcely had they set themselves in battle array when tidings were brought that the King of Scots was close at hand with his whole force, ready and eager for the battle. The greater part of the knights dismounted and fought on foot. A picked force, interspersed with archers, was arranged in the front rank. The others, with the exception of those who were to deploy and reinforce the army, mustered with the barons in the centre, near and around the Standard, and they were guarded by the rest of the host, who closed in on all sides. The troop of cavalry and the horses of the knights were stationed at a little distance, lest thay should take fright at the shouting and uproar of the Scots. In like manner, on the enemy's side, the king and almost all his followers were on foot, their horses being kept at a distance. In the front line were the Picts; in the centre the king with his knights and his English allies, and the rest of the barbarian host poured roaring around them.

As they advanced in this order to battle, the Standard with its banners was visible at no great distance; and at once the hearts of the King of Scots and his followers were dismayed by terror and consternation; yet, persisting in their wickedness, they pressed on to accomplish their evil ends. On the octave of the Assumption of St Mary, being Monday, 22 August, between the first and third hours this battle began and ended. A large number of Picts were slain in the first attack, while the rest, throwing down their arms, disgracefully fled. The plain was strewn with corpses; very many were taken prisoner; the king and all his magnates took to flight; till in the end, of that immense army all were either slain, captured or scattered as sheep without a shepherd ... And the power of God's vengeance was most plainly manifested in this, that the army of the conquered was inestimably greater than that of the conquerors; for, as many affirm, of that army which came out of Scotland alone, more than ten thousand were missing, and in various localities of the Deirans, Northumbrians and Cumbrians, many more perished after the fight than fell in battle.'

 

   
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