By Jerry Bennett
The English defeat at Bannockburn in 1314 used to be not only an army defeat. It plunged the total of britain right into a country of faction battling and lawlessness from which it's going to now not emerge for nearly 20 years. King Edward II and his supporters have been regularly antagonistic through his cousin, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. The Northern counties of britain have been mostly neglected, and left to fend for themselves opposed to the raids of Robert Bruce and the effective Scots.
One Englishman emerged from these chaotic and disastrous years to guide resistance to the Scottish raids. Andrew de Harcla used to be now not an exceptional manorial lord, yet he used to be a truly able commander, and 12 months after Bannockburn he led the profitable safety of Carlisle opposed to an incredible Scottish assault. within the years that undefined, he turned the point of interest for the English resistance to the Scots within the West March – the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland - amazing again from the depths of Inglewood wooded area and the hillsides of the Pennines and the Cumberland fells, and revising his methods of struggling with as he did so. His dependable squaddies gave him the nickname of “Black Andrew” as their method of claiming he was once pretty much as good a pacesetter because the infamous Scottish commander, “Black” James Douglas.
But the Scots weren't his in basic terms challenge. He encountered a lot jealousy from different landowners within the counties, and the faction combating within the remainder of England continually interfered with and undermined his activities. His love for Anne Neville additionally aroused the hatred of a few participants of that influential family members. while the animosity among King Edward and Thomas of Lancaster finally erupted into civil warfare, he raised the boys of the 2 counties to confront and defeat the rebels, which earned him the short aid of King Edward.
But he couldn't defeat Robert Bruce on his personal, and Edward and his favourite-ridden courtroom proved both incapable of doing so. The yr 1322 observed higher Scottish raids penetrating deeper into England than ever sooner than, whereas Edward suffered a defeat much more destructive than Bannockburn. Andrew felt he needed to try to negotiate a extra lasting peace with the Scots, yet may well by no means verify even if he had the help of King Edward and the court docket favourites.
But with the potential of the Scots reviving an outdated declare to a lot of the North of britain, it was once a issue he needed to face…
“Black Andrew” is a piece of fiction and many of the characters within the publication are fictional. however it relies round genuine occasions and comprises many genuine humans from historical past. i've got learn via as many historical past texts as i'll locate (mostly in Lancaster college Library) to make this tale as sensible as attainable. however it is basically written from Andrew’s point of view, as an individual who needed to protect the border, and who was once by no means a member of King Edward’s court.
This is the 1st ebook of a brief sequence (Lords of the excessive state) that hide the restoration of England’s fortunes from utter defeat at Bannockburn to extraordinary triumph at Crecy, 30 years later. Many major historians have pointed out the strategies that have been devised via Andrew de Harcla as enjoying a major half in that strategy of restoration, and it truly is his legacy that i've got attempted to show in the course of the series.
Kendal - 2010
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Black Andrew (Lords of the High Country) by Jerry Bennett