The Battle of Neville's Cross

17th October, 1346


In 1346 the English under Edward III invaded France and the French king Philip VI appealed to Scotland for help under the terms of the auld alliance. David II led an army south late in the year and stirred up trouble in northern England. On October 17th David heard about an English force nearby and set up his army in a good defensive spot on high ground at Neville's Cross. He had around 12,000 men.

When the English arrived they were loathe to attack as they had a much smaller force. Instead they sent their longbowmen into action and basically forced the Scots to charge or stand and be slaughtered by wave after wave of arrows. The Scots advanced on the English who had taken up a good defensive position and were quickly slaughtered. Robert the Steward who was leading the third and largest of the Scottish battalions withdrew from the battle and left the king and many nobles behind to be captured.

King David II was apparently hit in the face with an arrow and removed from the battlefield however in the aftermath an English knight John Coupland found the stricken Scottish king and tried to take him prisoner. David apparently knocked out two of Coupland's teeth before he was overpowered and imprisoned in the Tower.