Journal of the Movements of King Edward I in Scotland, 1296

scotlandThe following account is a short journal that describes the expedition of Edward I into Scotland. Starting on March 25, 1296, it runs to September 16th, and describes the various movements and events very tersely. This was Edward’s first expedition to Scotland, and proved to be very successful. He deposed the Scottish king John Baliol and removed the Coronation Stone from Scone to Westminster. Another view of this expedition can be seen in A Plea Roll of Edward I’s Army in Scotland, 1296.

In the twenty-fourth year of the reign of king Edward of England, Easter day fell on the day of the Annunciation of our Lady. On the Wednesday in Easter week, being the twenty-eighth day of March, the before-named king Edward passed the river Tweed with 5000 armed horse, and 30,000 footmen, and lay that night in Scotland at the priory of Coldstream, and the Thursday at Hutton, and on the Friday he took the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed by force of arms without tarrying. On the same day, sir William Douglas, who was within the castle, surrendered it, and the king lay that night in the castle, and his people in the town, each person in his house which he had taken; and the king remained there nearly a month.

On the day of St. George, 24th April, news came to the king that they of Scotland had besieged the castle of Dunbar, which belonged to the earl Patrick, who held strongly with the king of England. It was upon a Monday that the king sent his troops to raise the siege. Before they came there the castle had surrendered, and they of Scotland were within. When the troops of the king of England came there, they besieged the castle with three hosts on the Tuesday that they arrived before it. On the Wednesday, they who were within sent out privately, and .on Thursday and Friday came the host of Scotland all the afternoon .to have raised the siege of the Englishmen. And when the Englishmen saw the Scotchmen, they fell upon them and discomfited the Scotchmen, and the chase continued more than five leagues of way, and until the hour of vespers. And there died sir Patrick de Graham, a great lord, and 10,055 by right reckoning.

On that same Friday [April 27], by night, the king came from Berwick to go to Dunbar, and lay that night at Coldingham, and on the Saturday at Dunbar, and on the same day they of the castle surrendered themselves to the king’s pleasure. And there were the earl of Atholl, the earl of Ross, the earl of Menteith, sir John Comyn of Badenoch the son, sir Richard Suart, sir William de Saintclair, and as many as fourscore men-at-arms and seven-score footmen. There tarried the king three days.

On Wednesday [May 1], the eve of the Ascension, the king went to Haddington; on the Sunday after to Lauder; on Monday to Roxburgh, to the Friars Minors; on the Tuesday to the castle, and the king tarried there fourteen days. On the fifteenth day, being Wednesday, he went to Jedborough; on the Thursday a to Wyel, on the Friday to Castleton, on the Sunday afterwards back to Wyel; on the Monday to Jedborough, on the Friday to afterwards to Roxburgh, the Monday afterwards to Lauder, the Tuesday to the abbey of Newbattle; the Wednesday to Edinburgh to the abbey, and caused to be got ready three engines casting into the castle day and night. On the fifth day they treated of peace. On the eighth day the king slept at Linlithgow, and left the engines under good guard throwing before the castle. On the Thursday he went to Stirling, and they who were within the castle fled, and none remained but the porter, who surrendered the castle; and there came the earl of Strathern “to the peace,” and there tarried the king five days.

On the Wednesday before the feast of St. John [June 20], the king passed the Scottish sea, and lay at Auchterarder, his castle. On the Thursday at St. John of Perth, a good town, and there abode Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; this same day was St. John the Baptist’s day. On the Monday he went to Kincleven castle, on the Tuesday to Cluny castle, and there abode five days; the Monday after to Inverqueich castle; on the Tuesday to Forfar, a castle and a good town; on the Friday after to Fernwell; the Saturday to Montrose, a castle and a good town, and there abode the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday; and there came king John of Scotland to his mercy, and surrendered entirely the realm of Scotland to him, as one who had done amiss. Likewise there came to his mercy, the earl of Mar, the earl of Buchan, sir John Comyn of Badenagh, and many others.

On the Wednesday [July 11] he went to Kincardine in the Mearns, a manor. On Thursday he was in the mountains, to Glenbervy; on the Friday to Durres, a manor among the mountains; on the Saturday to the city of Aberdeen, a good castle and a good town upon the sea, and there he tarried for five days. And there was brought to ham his enemy, sir Thomas Morham, whom air Hugh de Saint John took, and eleven others in arms with him.


On the Friday [July 6] after he went to Kintore; on the Saturday to Fyvie castle; on the Sunday to Banff castle; on Monday to Cullen manor; on Tuesday he was in tents upon the moor, on the river of Spey, which he crossed on Wednesday, and lay on the opposite side of the same river at the manor of Rapenach, in the county of Moray; on Thursday he was at the city of Elgin, a good castle and a good town, and there he abode two days.

On Sunday [July 29] he was at the manor of Rothes; on the same day the king sent sir John de Cantelow, air Hugh le Spencer, and sir John Hastinus to search the district of Badenagh; and the bishop of Durham with his people he sent back over the mountains by another road from that which he himself took. On the Monday he went to Invercharrach, where there are no more than three houses in a row in a valley between two mountains; on Tuesday to Kildrummy, a castle of the earl of Mar, and there abode the Wednesday, the day of St. Peter, in the beginning of August. On Thursday he was at the hospital of Kincardine in the Mearns; on Saturday at the city of Brechin; on Sunday to the abbey of Aberbrothock, and it is reported that the abbot told the Scots that there were only women in England. On Monday he was at Dundee; on Tuesday at Baligerny, the red castle; on Wednesday at Perth; on Thursday at the abbey of Lundores, and there he remained the Friday, St. Laurence’s day. On Saturday he was at the city of St. Andrews, a castle and a good town; on Sunday at Markinch, where are only the minster and three houses. On Monday he was at the abbey of Dunfermline, where nearly all the kings of Scotland lie. On Tuesday to Stirling, and there he remained on Wednesday, the day of the Assumption of our Lady. On Thursday to Linlithgow; on Friday a to Edinburgh, and there he remained the Saturday. On the Sunday to Haddington; Monday to Pinkerton, near Dunbar; Tuesday to Coldingham; Wednesday to Berwick. And he conquered the realm of Scotland, and searched it, as is above written, within twenty-one weeks, without any more.

At Berwick he held his Parliament; and there were all the bishops, earls, barons, abbots, and priors, and the sovereigns of all the common people; and there he received the homages of all, and their oaths that they would be good and loyal to him. To the well regulated people he forthwith gave up all their own goods and those of their tenants; the earls, barons, and bishops he permitted to enjoy their lands, provided they came at All Saints to the parliament at St. Edmunds. Then he appointed the earl of Warren to be guardian of the land, and sir Hugh de Cressingham treasurer, sir Walter de Agmondesham chancellor. Then he tarried at Berwick three weeks and three days, arranging his affairs, and set out on his road to England on the Sunday after the feast of the Holy Cross [September 16].

This text was first published in Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, ed. by Joseph Bain (Edinburgh, 1881) vol.2.

This entry was posted in Primary Sources and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.