This Day in History: 1138-08-22

On 22nd August 1138, Ilbert de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, fought against the Scots of King David I at the Battle of Northallerton (the Battle of the Standard, as it became known). King David, uncle of Empress Matilda, had made various incursions into northern England, attempting to stake claim to King Stephen of England’s territories and force Stephen to do battle on many fronts (Geoffrey of Anjou was also frequently making similar moves in Normandy). King Stephen’s English forces, under the organisation of Thurstan, Archbishop of York, reportedly killed 11,000 Scots with few English casualties. Reputedly, the field was called Bagmoor as a jibe at the amount of baggage abandoned by the fleeing Scots. The Battle of the Standard’s soubriquet was due to a ship’s mast secured to a cart from which hung the banners of St Peter, St John of Beverley and St Wilfrid of Ripon and above which was placed the ‘Body of the Lord, to be their standard-bearer and the leader of their battle’.