Battle of Humbleton Hill

by Ellen Castelow

With the English King Henry IV otherwise occupied suppressing a revolt led by Owen Glendower in Wales, the Scots seized upon their chance for a quick raid across the border.

In August 1402, a large Scottish force some 10,000 strong, commanded by Archibald, Earl Douglas invaded England. Looting as they went, they reached Newcastle before turning for home, heavily loaded with their ill-gotten gains.

The Scots however found their way home blocked at Millfield by an English force led by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and his famous son Harry Hotspur.

Although Douglas took up position on the slopes of Homildon Hill, now known as Humbleton Hill, the formation he adopted presented a rather large target for the English longbowmen.

Scottish mounted troops did try charging the English archers, all however perished under the hail of arrows. After this the Scots either surrendered or fled. Douglas himself was captured, along with several other Scottish nobles.

Click here for a Battlefield Map

Key Facts:

Date: 14th September, 1402

War: None (Scottish pillaging expedition)

Location: Near Wooler, Northumberland

Belligerents: Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Scotland

Victors: Kingdom of England

Numbers: England between 14,000 – 20,000, Scotland around 10,000

Casualties: Unknown

Commanders: Henry Percy (England), Archibald, Earl Douglas (Scotland)


The Battle of Humbleton Hill

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