By Jerry Bennett
The English defeat at Bannockburn in 1314 used to be not only an army defeat. It plunged the entire of britain right into a kingdom of faction struggling with and lawlessness from which it should now not emerge for nearly 20 years. King Edward II and his supporters have been regularly antagonistic via his cousin, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. The Northern counties of britain have been mostly missed, and left to fend for themselves opposed to the raids of Robert Bruce and the positive Scots.
One Englishman emerged from these chaotic and disastrous years to guide resistance to the Scottish raids. Andrew de Harcla was once now not an exceptional manorial lord, yet he was once a really able commander, and 365 days after Bannockburn he led the winning safeguard of Carlisle opposed to an enormous 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 - outstanding again from the depths of Inglewood wooded area and the hillsides of the Pennines and the Cumberland fells, and revising his methods of scuffling with as he did so. His dependable infantrymen gave him the nickname of “Black Andrew” as their method of claiming he was once nearly as good a pace-setter because the infamous Scottish commander, “Black” James Douglas.
But the Scots weren't his merely challenge. He encountered a lot jealousy from different landowners within the counties, and the faction scuffling with within the remainder of England consistently interfered with and undermined his activities. His love for Anne Neville additionally aroused the hatred of a few participants of that influential kin. whilst the animosity among King Edward and Thomas of Lancaster finally erupted into civil struggle, he raised the lads 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 court docket proved both incapable of doing so. The 12 months 1322 observed better Scottish raids penetrating deeper into England than ever prior to, whereas Edward suffered a defeat much more destructive than Bannockburn. Andrew felt he needed to attempt to negotiate a extra lasting peace with the Scots, yet may by no means verify no matter if he had the aid 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 quandary he needed to face…
“Black Andrew” is a piece of fiction and lots of the characters within the booklet are fictional. however it is predicated round genuine occasions and comprises many genuine humans from historical past. i've got learn via as many heritage texts as i may locate (mostly in Lancaster collage Library) to make this tale as practical as attainable. however it is essentially written from Andrew’s perspective, 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 quick sequence (Lords of the excessive nation) that conceal the restoration of England’s fortunes from utter defeat at Bannockburn to notable triumph at Crecy, 30 years later. Many best historians have pointed out the strategies that have been devised via Andrew de Harcla as taking part in a tremendous half in that means of restoration, and it's his legacy that i've got attempted to show through the series.
Kendal - 2010
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Black Andrew (Lords of the High Country) by Jerry Bennett