mportant English Northumbrian castle located in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Its position on the border with Scotland meant it was a key fortress for the English to keep hold of and one that the Scots were always eager to capture. In 1292 Edward I chose Baliol as king of Scotland in the Great Hall of the castle. This hall and much of the castle was destroyed when a railway station was built on the site. What can be seen at Berwick are the extensive remains of the town walls. Two sets of wall remain, one from the time of King Edward II and one from the time of Elizabeth I.
King Edward ordered his army to attack the badly fortified town of Berwick. Many Scots were killed in the two days of the attack and possibly somewhere between 7000 and 17000 men, women and children were slaughtered.
Supported by Earls of Gloucester, Warwick and Cornwall, Edward took an army into Scotland. Edward directed the assaults from Berwick. The campaign was fruitless even though Gaveston managed to reach as far north as Perth. ¹
The last Scottish town to be held in English hands had been captured by Robert the Bruce. The loss of Berwick brought Edward and Lancaster together. Their common goal was to recapture the town and together with the Earl of Pembroke and Surrey they marched north. ¹
King Edward had positioned his army on Halidon Hill overlooking Berwick which he had under siege. He choose the location because it allowed him to look out for the Scots who may try and relieve the Scottish who were besieged with the town. A Scottish force tried to get to Berwick put were defeated by Edward's army. Edward III's attacks on Scotland and victory at Halidon Hill put Edward Balliol back on the Scottish throne for four more years. Robert (II), the future King of the Scots, was one of the Scottish commanders at the battle of Halidon Hill. ¹
The Treaty of Berwick, signed between King Edward III of England and David II of Scotland, allowed David to go free from prison where he had been kept for the previous 11 years. A ransom of 100,000 marks was the price of his freedom.
With just forty men, Alexander Ramsay approached Berwick Castle and finding no guards on the walls raised ladders and gained entry to the keep. There they killed the castle's commander and took control, The residents of Berwick reacted by destoying the drawbridge to the castle to prevent the Scots from leaving. A larger Scottish army was north of Berwick and Ramsay decided to wait for their arrival, but the Earl of Northumberland with 10,000 men arrived first. They laid siege to the castle and quickly recaptured it, killing all the Scots apart from Ramsay who surrendered.
The army Charles had put together was no match for the Scottish army under the command of Leslie and so the King signed the Treaty of Berwick. While the Scots returned home happy that they could deal with their own church affairs, Charles had no intensions of abiding by the terms of the treaty and used the treaty as a means of gaining time to plan his next move. This ended the first Bishops' War. ¹
Montrose entered Glasgow and a new Parliament was convened in the name of King Charles I. The Convenanting leaders escaped to Berwick. ¹
3D Virtual Reconstructions
Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past. Built using the popular game development tool Unity 3D, these reconstructions will run in the most of the popular web browsers on your desktop or laptop computer.
Uncover the lives of the hundreds of kings, queens, lords, ladies, barons, earls, archbishops and rebels who made the medieval people an exciting period of history to live through.
Selection of references used:
1. J.D. Mackie, A History of Scotland, 1978, ISBN:0-7139-1206-5
2. Caroline Bingham, The Life and Times of Edward II
3. John Harvey, The Black Prince and his age, ISBN:0-7134-3148-2