This Day in History: 1296-04-27

On 27th April 1296, John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, commanded the only major field action of that year in the war between Edward I and the Scots.  This was the Battle of Dunbar when the Scots were comprehensively defeated. Some estimates put the Scottish dead at 10000 with 100 lords, knights and men at arms taken prisoner. Roxburgh, Jedburgh, Edinburgh and Stirling were soon to surrender to Edward’s forces over the next two months. The Chronicle of Lanercost records: ‘On the fifth of the kalends of May, at the ninth hour of Friday … when the Earl of Warenne and barely a fifth part of the King’s army were preparing to go to bed, they [Scots] showed themselves boldly on the brow of a steep hill, provoking their enemy to combat. And although their columns were in close order and strong in numbers, before it was possible to come to close quarters [with them], they broke up and scattered more swiftly than smoke.’