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The Scottish campaign of Edward I, 1303-4

Haskell, Michael Alexander (1991) The Scottish campaign of Edward I, 1303-4. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The campaign of 1303-4 was the longest expedition led by Edward I, and involved the longest siege of his reign. Previously, however, its part in bringing about the Guardians’ surrender, early in 1304, has been understated. Based on an in-depth examination of a wide range of surviving documents, the importance of the military element in conquering Scotland has been re-evaluated. Crown strategy was planned with great care and executed with rigour. In gaining access to Scotland north of the Forth, by use of the pre-fabricated bridge built at Lynn in the early part of 1303, Edward proceeded to occupy the eastern ports, effectively placing a barrier between the Guardians and the continent. This proved to be the turning point of the campaign. Because so many cavalry served unpaid, and do not figure largely in the evidence, exact numbers are impossible to ascertain. However, by using the varied sources, reasonable estimates have been put forward for numbers throughout the fifteen months. As regards the infantry, by using the payrolls, it has been argued that more were present for longer than had previously been thought. The efforts to obtain and transport supplies, whether victuals, arms or monies, has also been examined in great detail. The evidence for purveyance suggests that it was not the poor who were burdened, but those of some status in local society. Altogether, the evidence suggests that, in England, many may have benefited from the war by the employment of their skills or the purchase of their goods. Many, however, would also have suffered, especially with regard to shipping. Lowland Scotland and northern England were the worst affected areas because they were the main theatre of operations.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1991
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:04

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