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Bruce and Balliol Scottish Raids 1272AD-1371AD

At the forefront of Scottish raids on Northern England in the 13th and 14th Centuries was King Robert the Bruce, a member of a family of Norman origin which originally settled around Hartlepool in Durham and Skelton in Cleveland. Robert was succeeded by his son David Bruce in 1329 but both kings were challenged by their rivals John and Edward Balliol, Scottish kings who were the son and grandson of Hugh Balliol of Barnard Castle in Teesdale.

November 1272 – KING EDWARD I (England)

Edward becomes King of England.

1291 – EDWARD SELECTS SCOTTISH KING (Berwick Castle)

Edward hosts a meeting at Berwick to decide who should be Scottish King. Twelve claimants attend including Robert Bruce and John Balliol. Edward appoints Balliol, son of Hugh Balliol of Barnard Castle.

1291 - HUGH'S CAMERA AT HEWORTH

The prior of Durham, Hugh of Darlington has recentl;y completed a camera at Heworth near Gateshead. A camera is a kind of house. The Heworth neighbourhood is noted for its hunting forests which the Prior will no doubt enjoy.

1296 – BISHOP ACQUIRES TEESDALE (Teesdale)

Balliol, fed up with being Edward’s puppet, leads the Scots on an invasion of Northumberland. He is defeated at Dunbar in April, and Edward removes the Scottish coronation stone from Scone - effectively deposing Balliol and making himself King of Scotland. Ever the opportunist, Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, seizes Balliol’s estates in Teesdale because the nobleman is in prison.

1297 – BRAVEHEART ATTACKS (Northumberland)

William “Braveheart” Wallace takes up the Scottish cause against English domination in Scotland. He attacks Northumberland, burning Hexham, Corbridge and Ryton but is driven back from Newcastle.

1298 – EDWARD DEFEATS BRAVEHEART (Falkirk)

The government moves to York while Edward, assisted by Bishop Bek, defeats the Scots under Wallace at Falkirk. Wallace is executed.

1307 – BRUCE LOSES HARTLEPOOL (Hartlepool)

Last year Robert Bruce took over the crown of Scotland which had been vacant since Balliol was deposed. Edward confiscates Hartlepool from Bruce and takes Teesdale back from Bishop Bek and gives it to Guy Beauchamp. The English invade Scotland to subdue Bruce but Edward dies at Burgh on Sands in Cumbria. Edward II replaces him.

1309 – PERCIES BUY ALNWICK (Alnwick)

The Percy family purchase Alnwick from Bishop Bek of Durham. It may not have rightfully been his to sell.

1312 – KING’S LOVER CAPTURED (Scarborough)

Edward II gives Scarborough Castle to his male lover, Piers Gaveston, who is later captured by rebels and executed.

1312 – ROBERT BRUCE ATTACKS NORTH-EAST (Durham and Hartlepool)

Bruce burns and plunders Durham in a raid as far south as Hartlepool - his family's ancestral home. The men of Northumberland pay him 2,000 in a truce at Hexham.

1312 - GOVERNMENT AT YORK AGAIN (York)

Government is moved to York while Edward fights the rebellious Earl of Lancaster who builds a stronghold at Dunstanburgh in Northumberland. On December 12, Robert Bruce fails to take Berwick from the English after a dog barks and alerts the town guards.

June 24, 1314 - BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN (Bannockburn, Scotland)

Bruce invades England and regains Tynedale, which declares him king. On June 24, the English are routed at Bannockburn. Edward flees to Berwick by boat and then onto Hartlepool and York. Scottish raids reach as far as Swaledale.

1319 – ENGLISH DEFEATED IN NORTH YORKSHIRE (Myton on Swale)

Edward’s army of 8,000 fails to capture Berwick. The English take flight and the Scots raid as far as York. An army headed by Nicholas Flemming, Mayor of York, is defeated at Myton on Swale near Boroughbridge by the Scots under the Earl of Moray.

March 1322 – EDWARD IN BATTLE (Boroughbridge and Byland, North Yorks)

Edward’s forces under Andrew Harclay defeat the Earl of Lancaster at Boroughbridge. Lancaster has supported Robert Bruce. The Scots plunder Stockton and Hartlepool and on October 14 Edward II is almost captured during a raid at Byland.

1323 - LIMBS DISPLAYED AT NEWCASTLE AND YORK (Newcastle)

Andrew Harclay is executed for visiting Robert Bruce in Scotland to make peace without Edward’s consent. Harclay’s limbs are displayed on York bridge, and at Carlisle and Newcastle Castle.

1324 - PEACE TREATY FAILS (Bishopthorpe, York)

A peace treaty drawn up at York last year between England and Scotland loses the support of Bruce.

1325 - DURHAM DEFENCES (Dalden near Seaham)

Jordan Dalden is granted a licence to build a tower at Dalden for protection against the Scots. Meanwhile Durham’s defensive walls are restored.

1327 - TEN THOUSAND SCOTTISH SHOES (Weardale)

Edward II dies a nasty death involving a red hot poker and his son becomes Edward III. Bruce invades Northumberland and Durham and evades Edward in Weardale where a Scottish camp leaves behind 10,000 pairs of shoes and many other items. Edward encamps in Weardale for a month hoping to encounter the Scots.

June 7, 1329 - BRUCE DEAD (Cardross, Strathclyde)

Robert Bruce of Scotland dies and is succeeded by his son David II.

1331 - WARKWORTH PERCYS (Warkworth)

Edward III sells Warkworth to the Percys.

September 24, 1332 - EDWARD BALLIOL OF SCOTLAND (Scone, Scotland)

Edward Balliol becomes King of Scotland. He will be deposed and restored a number of times during his reign.

July 19, 1333 - HALLIDON HILL (Halidon Hill, Berwick)

Balliol, the deposed King of Scotland, besieges Berwick with the support of Edward III. The English capture Berwick and the Lothians.

August 18, 1335 - SCOTS ATTACK HARTLEPOOL (Hartlepool)

Scots invade the Tees valley via Cumberland as far as Hartlepool. Hartlepudlians take refuge at sea. Scots resent the rule of Edward Balliol, an English puppet.

1342 - DAVID BRUCE TAKES DURHAM (Newcastle and Durham City)

Balliol is deposed as King of Scotland and replaced by David II who attacks Newcastle but cannot break the walls. David seizes Durham after a seven day siege before returning to Scotland.

August 1346 - HARTLEPOOL PROVIDES SHIPS FOR CALAIS SIEGE (Hartlepool)

Newcastle, Hartlepool and Bamburgh provide ships for the siege of Calais following victory over the French at Crecy. Newcastle provides 17 ships, 314 men; Hartlepool five ships, 145 men; Bamburgh one ship, nine men. Edward III captures Calais and so now has control of the English Channel.

October 17, 1346 - BATTLE AT NEVILLES CROSS (Durham City)

Scots under David II attack Hexham and Blanchland and head for Durham. Assembling at Bearpark they battle with English forces at Nevilles Cross. Scots outnumber the English but are defeated. David is discovered hiding under a bridge on the River Browney and is held prisoner for 11 years.

1349 - BLACK DEATH STRIKES

The Black Death is sweeping north. It is so virulent it is likely that it will wipe out many villages.

October 17, 1357 - DAVID BRUCE RANSOMED (Berwick)

In the Treaty of Berwick, the English agree to hand over David II to the Scots in return for a ransom. The Scots never pay the fee.

1371 - KING DAVID II DIES (Edinburgh)

David II dies at Edinburgh Castle and is succeeded by his nephew Robert II, a less effective king who reigns until 1390.

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