J. S. Hamilton

title.none: King and Penman, England and Scotland (J. S. Hamilton)

identifier.other: baj9928.0810.029 08.10.29

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: J. S. Hamilton, Baylor University,

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 2008

identifier.citation: King, Andy and Michael A. Penman. England and Scotland in the Fourteenth Century: New Perspectives. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 269. $80 $80 978-1-84383-318-5. ISBN: 978-1-84383-318-5.

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 08.10.29

King, Andy and Michael A. Penman. England and Scotland in the Fourteenth Century: New Perspectives. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 269. $80 $80 978-1-84383-318-5. ISBN: 978-1-84383-318-5.

Reviewed by:

J. S. Hamilton
Baylor University

The articles in this volume are the fruit of a conference held at St. John's College at the University of Durham in September 2004 and represent a variety of interests and approaches, but nevertheless combine to provide a remarkably coherent picture of the current state of fourteenth-century Anglo-Scottish scholarship. The volume begins with a very useful introduction by the co- editors. This does not simply summarize the articles contained in the essays that follow, but more helpfully it provides a very thorough and thoughtful discussion of recent historiography and bibliography relating the late medieval Anglo-Scottish border.

The first three papers deal specifically with warfare. David Simpkin provides a very detailed analysis of "The English Army and the Scottish Campaign of 1310-11." Making extensive use of the wardrobe book for this year, Simpkin is able to show that a large contingent of this army was comprised not of the household retainers one would expect, but of aristocratic retinues receiving royal pay. Only three household bannerets and fourteen household knights served on this campaign, bringing with them another fourteen knights and ninety-two serjeants. Edward II likely embarked for Scotland with a force of about 1,700 cavalry and 3,000 foot. Simpkin suggests that the English may have pursued a battle-seeking strategy, but this was not to be, and in consequence "the survival of Bruce and his followers in 1310 was truly a turning point in the Anglo-Scottish wars" (27). Perhaps the most significant observation in this study is that there was no distinction between cavalrymen regardless of whether they served forty days feudal service, unpaid, or as paid.

Iain MacInnes, in "'Shock and Awe': The Use of Terror as a Psychological Weapon During the Bruce-Balliol Civil War, 1332-38," argues that Balliol's decision not to terrorize the rural population in 1332 was a mistake. In 1333 more raiding was undertaken. In 1334-35 Edward III and Balliol ravaged the lands of subjects who had rebelled in the previous summer. Fordun claims that Gowrie, Angus, and the Mearns were reduced to virtual wastelands. MacInnes argues that destruction is not "an inescapable consequence" of warfare, but rather the principle element in warfare as waged by the Bruce Scots.

David Caldwell, in "The Scots and Guns," re-examines the question of why the Scots lagged behind the English by some sixty years in the adoption of gunpowder weapons. Although the use of guns by Scots is recorded in government accounts by the 1380s, Caldwell nevertheless suggests that the siege of Roxburgh Castle in 1436 may have been the first serious use of guns by the Scots. Ultimately, he blames the failure of the Scots to adopt this new technology sooner on David II.

The next several articles deal with questions of individuals, groups, and relationships. Amanda Beam, in "Edward Balliol: A Re-evaluation of his Early Career, c.1282-1332," points to Edward Balliol's upbringing in and around the English royal court; he was the godson of Edward I himself, and frequently found in the household of the future Edward II, and later that of his half- brothers. That he would eventually be restored to his English patrimony seems to have remained a possibility throughout the reign of Edward I. He does not, however, appear to have been much in favor with Edward II at least until Bannockburn. Indeed, Beem argues that the longer his English inheritance was denied to him, the more fixated he became on his claim to the Scottish throne; without the former, however, the latter was unobtainable.

Michael Brown's, "Scoti Anglicati: Scots in Plantagenet Allegiance during the Fourteenth Century" follows on directly from Beam's re-evaluation of Edward Balliol, since Balliol was one of the most notable figures to fall into this category, and the rest of these Scoti Anglicati were men who felt that Bruce was a usurper and generally supported the Balliol claim, such as the Strathbogie earls of Atholl, the Mowbrays, the Umfravilles, and their adherents. By the 1340's, however, outside of Teviotdale very few Scots continued to adhere to the English king, although in periods of political dissension within Scotland it was occasionally possible to make use of Scoti Anglicati. Brown argues, however, that this possibility was not very fully by English kings, for example in the 1370s and 1460s.

Andy King asks in "Best of Enemies: Were the Fourteenth-Century Anglo- Scottish Marches a 'Frontier Society'?" if Englishmen and Scotsmen of either side of the borders in 1296 comprised a single community or, as has often been argued in recent years, did cross-border ties survive the onset of war? One tie that did not survive, King argues, was landholding. A recurring series of confiscations by the Bruce regime and the English crown meant that by 1323 cross-border landholding had been almost entirely eliminated. Moreover, the separate administration of English lands beyond the Tweed further limited the construction of a single frontier society. Throughout the fourteenth century, therefore, King argues "marcher gentry on either side of the border thought of themselves as Englishmen or Scots first, and marchers only second" (135).

Richard Oram, in "Dividing the Spoils: War, Schism and Religious Patronage on the Anglo-Scottish Border, c.1332-c.1400," takes a position diametrically opposed to King, supporting his position with the evidence of the Border abbeys. A final collapse of relations between the English crown and the Scottish clergy, although sometimes strained, did not occur until the war of 1384-89 according to Oram.

Sarah Layfield, in "The Pope, the Scots, and their 'Self-Styled' King: John XXII's Anglo-Scottish Policy, 1316-1334," argues for a much more pro-Scottish policy for John XXII than has usually been allowed. She takes on the thesis of Sophia Menache with mixed results. It is difficult to separate John's attitude to Flanders and Scotland, and it is also difficult to see John as hewing to any sort of pro-Scottish, or even neutral, line prior to the Treaty of Northampton. Similarly, her argument concerning John's response to the petitions of Bishop Stratford (167) seems self-contradictory. Her argument concerning the question of royal unction (170) also appears to be somewhat overstated. In the end, Menache's constitutional interpretation of John XXII's policy towards Scotland remains more convincing.

In "Sovereignty, Diplomacy and Petitioning: Scotland and the English Parliament in the First Half of the Fourteenth Century," Gwilym Dodd seeks to discover what can be learned about Anglo-Scottish relations in this period through a close examination of English parliamentary petitions. In the 1290s Edward I appears to have viewed the English parliament as having a superior jurisdiction over the Scottish parliament, yet only a handful of Scots actually petitioned the English institution. In 1305 there was what appears to be a drastic change, with some 200 Scottish petitions being presented to the receivers and triers. Closer examination reveals, however, that 2/3 of these petitions actually came from English petitioners, while the majority of the other 1/3 came from Scottish religious houses rather than private individuals. Nevertheless, there were petitions from Scottish nobles and gentry, and even one or two petitions that might be described as "common petitions." After 1306, there are very few Scottish petitions until 1334, when the victory at Halidon Hill and the recovery of Berwick led to a flurry of new activity. Hereafter, Dodd argues, the appointment of receivers and triers of petitions for Scotland reflected diplomatic positions rather than a genuine need or functioning system.

Andrea Ruddick, in "National and Political Identity in Anglo-Scottish Relations, c.1286-1377: A Governmental Perspective," seeks to draw distinctions between national identity and political identity through an examination of the vocabulary employed in English government documents. For the most part, Scottish national and political identity are interchangeable in the sources, described by phrases such as "the Scots, our enemies and rebels." There are, however, times when what Ruddick describes as an "allegiant" identity distinguishes the national from the political identity, and allowance is made for the possibility of Scots who adhere to English rule. This is deliberately fostered she argues, particularly in diplomatic documents, such as peace negotiations and truces. While all this is reasonable, it appears to be more a matter of pragmatism than any sort of theoretical construct being systematically followed in the English chancery, and does not really seem to advance our understanding of Anglo-Scottish relations in the fourteenth century.

Michael Penman, approached his study, "Anglici caudate: Abuse of the English in Fourteenth-Century Scottish Chronicles, Literature and Records," with the assumption that he would find an ever-increasing "discourse of abuse" against the English through the course of the fourteenth century, but finds instead a "dearth of abusive discourse in the first and second phases of the Wars of Independence." He suggests that this reflects a desire to return to the pre-1296 circumstances of inter-marriage and cross-border landholding. He also suggests a degree of censorship of Anglophobia in the reign of David II, anxious for peace with England. He concludes that anti- English abuse arose only slowly in the period c.1296-1424, and becomes ubiquitous a century later than might otherwise be expected.

In the volume's final essay, "Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Later Fourteenth Century: Alienation or Acculturation," Anthony Goodman begins with the visit of David II to England in 1363-64, which he judges to have been the highpoint in relations between the English and Scottish courts and nobility in the later middle ages. This cordiality, however, was eroded during the 1370s and 1380s, and the campaigns of 1384 and 1389 re-ignited cross-border animosity. The Great Schism also acted as a barrier to close interaction and cooperation, even in years of peace. And yet, Goodman argues, not all contact ceased. Licenses continued to be issued to Scots to study at Oxford and to make pilgrimages to Canterbury and other shrines. John of Gaunt, who received shelter in Scotland during the upheaval of the Peasants Revolt in 1381, thereafter cultivated a number of Scottish knights and nobles, even retaining John Swinton for life. In 1390 jousts held between English and Scottish knights in London helped reestablish connections, and Goodman points to the general shock and revulsion in Scotland at the deposition of Richard II. Perhaps Anglo-Scottish hostility in the late fourteenth century must be tempered by consideration of cordial contacts between the two royal courts. As is the case in most of the essays in this collection, Goodman suggests a more nuanced understanding the border and beyond.