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 nation of faction combating and lawlessness from which it can now not emerge for nearly two decades. King Edward II and his supporters have been continuously hostile 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 victorious Scots.
One Englishman emerged from these chaotic and disastrous years to steer resistance to the Scottish raids. Andrew de Harcla was once no longer an excellent manorial lord, yet he was once a really able commander, and twelve months after Bannockburn he led the winning safeguard of Carlisle opposed to an important 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 battling as he did so. His dependable squaddies gave him the nickname of “Black Andrew” as their means of claiming he was once pretty much as good a pace-setter 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 scuffling with within the remainder of England always interfered with and undermined his activities. His love for Anne Neville additionally aroused the hatred of a few individuals of that influential relations. whilst the animosity among King Edward and Thomas of Lancaster ultimately erupted into civil struggle, he raised the lads 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 12 months 1322 observed better Scottish raids penetrating deeper into England than ever earlier than, whereas Edward suffered a defeat much more harmful than Bannockburn. Andrew felt he needed to attempt to negotiate a extra lasting peace with the Scots, yet may perhaps by no means determine no matter if he had the help of King Edward and the courtroom favourites.
But with the potential for 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 many of the characters within the ebook are fictional. however it relies round genuine occasions and contains many actual humans from heritage. i've got learn via as many background texts as i'll locate (mostly in Lancaster college Library) to make this tale as life like as attainable. however it is essentially written from Andrew’s standpoint, as a person who needed to shield the border, and who was once by no means a member of King Edward’s court.
This is the 1st publication of a quick sequence (Lords of the excessive kingdom) that hide the restoration of England’s fortunes from utter defeat at Bannockburn to awesome triumph at Crecy, 30 years later. Many best historians have pointed out the strategies that have been devised by means of Andrew de Harcla as taking part in a tremendous half in that strategy of restoration, and it truly is his legacy that i've got attempted to exhibit in the course of the series.
Kendal - 2010
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Black Andrew (Lords of the High Country) by Jerry Bennett