The Battle of Boroughbridge

by Ellen Castelow

The Battle of Boroughbridge was the culmination of a lengthy dispute between King Edward II and his cousin Thomas, Earl of Lancaster.

The rebel forces of Lancaster were retreating northwards following their defeat by the king at Burton on Trent, when they found their way blocked by 4,000 royalists commanded by Sir Andrew de Harcla, Warden of Carlisle.

The royalists had taken position on a narrow bridge that crossed the River Ure on the Great North Road. Using a defensive spear wall, protected by archers, the rebels were prevented from crossing.

The Earl of Lancaster was captured and later executed. 

Click here for a Battlefield Map

Key Facts:

Date: 16th March, 1322

War: Despenser War

Location: Boroughbridge, Yorkshire

Belligerents: Kingdom of England (Royalists), Marcher Lords

Victors: Kingdom of England (Royalists)

Numbers: Royalists around 4,000, Marcher Lords around 1,000

Casualties: Unknown

Commanders: Andrew Harclay (Royalists), Thomas Earl of Lancaster (Marcher Lords – pictured to the right alongside St. George)


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