Raids: After Berwick after Bannockburn

Part of the fun and part of the frustration of writing historical fiction is all the blanks that aren't filled in for us.  The farther back in time our fiction is set, the bigger a problem this is.  Of course, the flip side is that it also allows the writer to fill in some detail.

My current scenes require me to know what was happening between April 1 and June 9, 1318.  Short answer: England and Scotland were (still) at war.  Longer answer: The Scots, led by James Douglas, finally re-took Berwick, the last English stronghold in Scotland, on April 1, 1318.

Previous attempts to re-take Berwick (one of which included Shawn) had failed.  (One of the few times Shawn failed at much of anything, but hey, you can't win every battle.  Literally in this case.)  This time, however, Peter Spaulding, a citizen of Berwick came to the Scots offering to get them in.  Normally this would seem a terrible thing, to let the enemy into your town.  But Berwick had been a Scottish town up until the vicious sacking of Berwick by Longshanks on March 30, 1296.

Furthermore, Peter Spaulding was married to a Scottish woman who was being harassed and tormented by the English soldiers of the town.  So Peter let the Scots in and the rest...well, obviously the rest is history.

However, most history sites and books jump from the re-taking of Berwick on April 1, with a mention that the English were holed up in the castle for 11 more weeks, right up to the death of Edward Bruce in October, while fighting in Ireland.  That leaves a lot of empty time for Niall to fill.  So what was Niall doing?

Lucky for me, there's David Ross.  More tomorrow, to tell us what the Scots were doing all that time.

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