Brut or the Chronicles of England


‘The Scots went over the water of Solway ... and privily they steal away by night, and come into England, and robbed and destroyed all that they might, and spared no manner [of] thing until they come to York.  And when the Englishmen at last heard of this thing, all that might travel ‑ as well monks and priests and friars and canons and seculars ‑ come and meet with the Scots at Myton upon Swale, the 12th day of October.  Alas! What sorrow for the English husbandmen that knew nothing of war, they were quelled and drenched in the River of Swale.  And their holinesses, Sir William of Melton, Archbishop of York, and the Abbot of Selby with their steeds, fled, and come into York.  And that was their own folly that they had that mischance, for they passed the water of Swale; and the Scots set on fire three stacks of hay; and the smoke thereof was so huge that [the] Englishmen might not see the Scots.  And when the Englishmen were gone over the water, so come the Scots with their wings in manner of a shield, and come toward the Englishmen in a rush; and the Englishmen fled, for they lacked any men of Arms; for the King had them all almost lost at the siege of Berwick; and the Scots hobilers [mounted infantry] went between the bridge and the Englishmen.  And when the great host had them met, the Englishmen almost all were there slain.  And he that might wend over the water was saved; but many were drenched, Alas, for sorrow! for there was slain many men of religion, and seculars, and also priests and clerks; and with much sorrow the Archbishop escaped; and therefore the Scots called it 'the White Battle’


Explore the Battlefields Hub

Battlefields Trust NewsBattlefields Trust EventsJoin the Battlefields TrustDonate to The Battlefields Trust