Letter from the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, with news of the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Falkirk (July 22, 1298)

On Saturday the Feast of St. Peter’s Chains (August 1st), there came a messenger from Sir Walter de Langestone, Bishop of Coventre and Lychfeld, and Treasurer to our Lord the King of England, bringing a letter from the said Bishop to the Mayor, and Alderman, and Barons, of London, in these words:

“To his dear friends, the Mayor and the Barons of London, Walter, by the grace of God, Bishop of Chester (1), greeting and true friendship.  Because we well know that you willingly will hear good tidings of our Lord the King and of his affairs in Scotland, we give you to understand that on the Monday next before the Feast of Saint James (July 25th), there came tidings unto the Lord the King where he was staying, six leagues beyond Edeneburg, that the Scots were approaching directly towards him.  As soon as he had heard this, he moved with his host towards the parts where the Scots were; and on the morrow the King arrived in good time, and found his enemies prepared to give battle.  And so they engaged, and, by the grace of God, his enemies were soon discomfited, and fled: but nevertheless, there were slain of the enemy in the day’s fight 200 men-at-arms, and 20,000 of their foot-soldiers; wherefore we do hope that affairs yonder will go well from henceforth, by the aid of our Lord.  Unto God (we commend you).  Written at Acun, on Sunday after the feast of St. James, in the 26th year of our Lord, the King Edward.”

And so the said messenger was given by the hands of the Chamberlain the sum of 26 shillings by order of the Mayor, John le Blunt, and of John de Canterbury, Thomas Romeyn, Nicholas de Farndone, Nicholas Pyckot, William de Betoine, and John de Donestaple, the then Chamberlain, Aldermen.


1) The Bishop of Lichfield and Convetry often used this name.


Originally in Letter Book C, folio 23, in Norman French

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