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Battle of Myton
The Battle of Myton, sometimes known as The White Battle, was fought in the meadows and open fields to the west of Myton village on the 20th September 1319. It was an unequal match, between a battle hardened Scottish army led by the Earl of Moray and a larger but inexperienced militia force raise in York and the surrounding countryside by the Archbishop of York. The English failed in their intended surprise attack. Instead they were caught, while not in battle formation, by the well armed Scottish forces in full battle array.
Lacking the heavily armoured ‘men at arms’, always the central core of an effective medieval army, who were all in the north with the King at the siege of Berwick, the English troops fled in the face of the Scottish advance. This enabled the mounted infantry of the Scottish army to leave the battle formation, to mount up and outflank the English forces. Cut off from their only retreat, across Myton bridge, the English had either to stand and fight or to attempt to swim the river Swale. In this dramatic Scottish victory thousands of English troops are said to have perished, either at the hands of the Scots or drowned in the river, with yet more taken prisoner.