By Jerry Bennett
The English defeat at Bannockburn in 1314 was once not only an army defeat. It plunged the complete of britain right into a country of faction battling and lawlessness from which it can now not emerge for nearly two decades. King Edward II and his supporters have been continually adverse via 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 successful Scots.
One Englishman emerged from these chaotic and disastrous years to steer resistance to the Scottish raids. Andrew de Harcla was once now not a superb manorial lord, yet he was once a truly able commander, and 365 days after Bannockburn he led the winning safeguard of Carlisle opposed to a huge Scottish assault. within the years that undefined, he grew to become the point of interest for the English resistance to the Scots within the West March – the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland - remarkable again from the depths of Inglewood woodland and the hillsides of the Pennines and the Cumberland fells, and revising his methods of scuffling with as he did so. His dependable squaddies gave him the nickname of “Black Andrew” as their method of claiming he used to be pretty much as good a pace-setter because the infamous Scottish commander, “Black” James Douglas.
But the Scots weren't his in simple terms challenge. He encountered a lot jealousy from different landowners within the counties, and the faction struggling with within the remainder of England continually interfered with and undermined his activities. His love for Anne Neville additionally aroused the hatred of a few contributors of that influential family members. whilst the animosity among King Edward and Thomas of Lancaster ultimately erupted into civil warfare, he raised the boys of the 2 counties to confront and defeat the rebels, which earned him the short help of King Edward.
But he couldn't defeat Robert Bruce on his personal, and Edward and his favourite-ridden court docket proved both incapable of doing so. The yr 1322 observed greater Scottish raids penetrating deeper into England than ever ahead of, 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 perhaps by no means make certain no matter if he had the help of King Edward and the courtroom favourites.
But with the opportunity of the Scots reviving an outdated declare to a lot of the North of britain, it used to be a obstacle he needed to face…
“Black Andrew” is a piece of fiction and lots of the characters within the publication are fictional. however it is predicated round actual occasions and comprises many genuine humans from background. i've got learn via as many historical past texts as i may locate (mostly in Lancaster collage Library) to make this tale as life like as attainable. however it is essentially written from Andrew’s standpoint, as an individual who needed to protect the border, and who used to be by no means a member of King Edward’s court.
This is the 1st ebook of a brief sequence (Lords of the excessive nation) that disguise 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 through Andrew de Harcla as enjoying a massive half in that technique of restoration, and it's his legacy that i've got attempted to express during the series.
Kendal - 2010
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