The Armies & the losses


Commanders: Sir William Meton, Archbishop of York; Sir John Hotham, Bishop of Ely and Chancellor of England; Nicholas Fleming, mayor of York

The English army was a rapidly assembled militia force, apparently drawn mainly from the city of York, but joined by countrymen en route. It also included so many clerics that the forthcoming engagement was sometimes known as The White Battle. But critically it lacked men at arms, the essential core of an effective medieval army, who were almost all in the North with Edward II at the siege of Berwick. Though apparently greatly outnumbering the Scots, some sources claiming as many as 20,000 troops, it was an inexperienced and ill equipped force.


Commanders: Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, and Sir James of Douglas.

The Scottish army is said to have been substantially outnumbered, the contemporary sources claiming there were 10-15,000 men. But this was a battle hardened force, well equipped and well led. Both their leaders were highly experienced soldiers, having served as divisional commanders at Bannockburn.


One source suggests 1000 English were killed, of whom 300 were priests, but other accounts claim some 4,000 were killed, including the Mayor of York, and about 1000 drowned in the Swale.


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