The Armies & the Losses

Medieval chronicles are notorious for their inability to deal effectively with large numbers and so there is no secure information as to the strength of the two armies. It does appear that the Scottish force was the stronger but at Northallerton, as so often in later campaigns, the Scots were unable to match the number of armoured troops that the English could muster. This was to prove their greatest weakness.

Some 10,000 – 12,000 troops are claimed for the English army, including substantial numbers of armoured troops as well as many archers. It is said that the Scottish army comprised 25,000 men when it crossed the border but with those deployed in garrisons in the captured towns and castles, and others involved in looting, that there were some 16,000 men on the field at Northallerton. However, as all these calculations are based on the medieval chronicles they must be treated with care.


The records of 10,000 killed are another example of medieval exaggeration and so there is no good evidence on the numbers killed or wounded. However the losses on the English side may have been relatively limited because only one English noble, de Lacy, is recorded as having been killed.


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