Black Andrew (Lords of the High Country) by Jerry Bennett

By Jerry Bennett

approximately “Black Andrew”

The English defeat at Bannockburn in 1314 was once not only an army defeat. It plunged the entire of britain right into a nation of faction scuffling with and lawlessness from which it's going to now not emerge for nearly 20 years. King Edward II and his supporters have been continually adversarial by means of 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 successful Scots.

One Englishman emerged from these chaotic and disastrous years to guide resistance to the Scottish raids. Andrew de Harcla used to be no longer a superb manorial lord, yet he used to be a really able commander, and 365 days after Bannockburn he led the winning safety of Carlisle opposed to a tremendous 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 - notable again from the depths of Inglewood woodland and the hillsides of the Pennines and the Cumberland fells, and revising his methods of struggling with as he did so. His unswerving squaddies gave him the nickname of “Black Andrew” as their method 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 simply challenge. He encountered a lot jealousy from different landowners within the counties, and the faction scuffling 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 finally erupted into civil conflict, he raised the boys 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 courtroom proved both incapable of doing so. The 12 months 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 possibly by no means make sure even if he had the aid of King Edward and the courtroom favourites.

But with the potential of the Scots reviving an previous 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 publication are fictional. however it relies round genuine occasions and contains many genuine humans from heritage. i've got learn via as many heritage texts as i'll locate (mostly in Lancaster collage Library) to make this tale as sensible as attainable. however it is essentially written from Andrew’s point of view, as a person who needed to shield the border, and who used to be by no means a member of King Edward’s court.

This is the 1st publication of a brief sequence (Lords of the excessive state) that hide the restoration of England’s fortunes from utter defeat at Bannockburn to remarkable 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 an immense half in that technique of restoration, and it truly is his legacy that i've got attempted to exhibit during the series.

Jerry Bennett
Kendal - 2010

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