Chronicle of Lanercost


‘My lord Thomas Randolph, earl of Moray and Sir James of Douglas, not daring to encounter the king of England and the earl, invaded England with an army, burning the country and taking captives and booty of cattle, and so pressed as far as Boroughbridge.  When the citizens of York heard this, without knowledge of the country people and led by my lord archbishop William de Meltoun and my lord the bishop of Ely, with a great number of priests and clerics, among whom were sundry religious men, both beneficed and mendicant, they attacked the Scots one day after dinner near the town of Myton, about twelve miles north of York; but, as men unskilled in war, they marched all scattered through the fields and in no kind of array.  When the Scots beheld men rushing to fight against them, they formed up according to their custom in a single schiltron, and then uttered together a tremendous shout to terrify the English, who straightway began to take to their heels at the sound.  Then the Scots, breaking up their schiltron wherein they were massed, mounted their horses and pursued the English, killing both clergy and laymen, so that about four thousand were slain, among whom fell the mayor of the town, and about one thousand, it was said, were drowned in the water of the Swale.  Had not night come on, hardly a single Englishmen would have escaped.  Also many were taken alive, carried off to Scotland and ransomed at a heavy price.’


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