Battle of Sark
|Battle of Sark|
|Part of the Anglo-Scottish Border Wars|
|Kingdom of Scotland||Kingdom of England|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Hugh Douglas, Earl of Ormonde||Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland|
|Casualties and losses|
|up to 600||up to 3000|
The Battle of Sark (alternatively called the Battle of Lochmaben Stone) was fought between England and Scotland in October 1448. A large battle, it was the first significant Scottish victory over the English in over half a century, following the Battle of Otterburn of 1388. It placed the Scots in a position of strength against the English for over a decade, until Edward IV ascended the English throne, and it brought Clan Douglas to greater prominence in Scotland.
After the 14th century Wars of Scottish Independence, England and Scotland continued to battle periodically along their borders. In 1448, hostilities escalated. Henry Percy, son of the Earl of Northumberland, destroyed Dunbar in May, and in June the Earl of Salisbury, Lord Warden of the March destroyed Dumfries. In reaction, William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas mustered a force with the support of the earls of Ormonde, Angus and Orkney, destroying Warkworth and Alnwick. When the Scots advanced further into Cumberland and Northumberland, Henry VI authorized the Percies to retaliate.
The stage for the battle was set when, in October, the Earl of Northumberland led a troop of 6,000 men into Scotland, where they made camp near the Lochmaben Stone. Their location proved poorly chosen, as they settled in a tidal waterway between the River Sark and Kirtle Water. Among the Scots, Hugh Douglas, Earl of Ormonde, mustered a force of 4,000 from Annandale and Nithsdale, marching against Northumberland on 23 October 1448. Northumberland took the lead in organizing his troops into three wings, which arrangement Ormonde mirrored. In spite of superior numbers and the advantage of the English longbow, the English were soon driven backwards by Scottish spearmen, where they found the peril of the incoming tide.
The number of Scots who lost their lives in the engagement varies by source from as few as 26 (Auchinleck chronicle) to as many as 600 (Pitscottie). The number of English deaths in the same sources varies from 2,000 (1,500 killed in battle; 500 drowned) to 3,000 (killed and drowned). Of the Scots, the only casualty of note was Sir John Wallace of Craigie, who was mortally wounded. Senior English casualties were more serious, including the younger Henry Percy and Sir John Pennington captured.
- Site Record for Battle Of Sark; Lochmaben Stone; Old Graitney; Stormont, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
- Rose, Alexander (2002). Kings in the North. London: Phoenix. p. 480. ISBN 1842124854.
- Rose (2002), p.481
- Thomas Thomson (ed)(1819) , Auchinleck Chronicle, Edinburgh pp.18-19
- Dalyell, John Graham, ed.(1814), The Chronicles of Scotland by Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie, vol. 1, Edinburgh
- Griffiths, R. A., The Reign of Henry VI, 1981.
- Hodgkin, T., The Warden of the Northern Marches, 1908.
- Neilson, G., The Battle of Sark, in Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Antiquarian and Natural History Society, vol. 13 1898.
- Paterson, Raymond Campbell, My Wound is Deep: History of the Anglo-Scottish Wars, 1380-1560, 1997.