1317 (Mar/Sep?) Lintalee/Linthaughlee
Sir James Douglas bt Earl of Arundel
During the winter of 1316-17 command of the English northern forces was in
the hands of Edmund Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel. He had a large force at his
disposal but as a truce was in operation and Bruce out of the country ,in
Ireland, there was little of Scots raiding for his forces to combat. Rather than
have his force sit idle, the Earl embarked upon an ambitious plan to clear the
Jedwood Forest, to deny it as a refuge for Scottish raiding parties. Each of his
soldiers equipped with an axe they set off over a pass at Carter Bar into
Scotland. Douglas who was at his newly built Manor of Lintalee, near to Jedburgh,
with only his own personal retinue of fifty men at arms and a company of archers
set off to ambush the English van, led by Thomas De Richmond.
Hiding in the woods south of Lintalee, Douglas's archers fired a volley of
arrows into the leading group of English, then the rest of the Scots came out of
the trees to assail the leading English troops. Douglas himself slaying De
Richmond with a dagger. Quickly before the English could regroup or even realise
fully what had just transpired, the Scots disappeared back into the trees.
Arundel then withdrew from the forest out of danger. Douglas on returning to
Lintalee found a foraging party of English had stopped to eat the ready prepared
meal that Douglas and his men had left. These were given short shrift and
Shortly after this episode Robert Neville of Raby, also known as "The Peacock
of the North", decided that he had heard enough of this Douglas. He joined the
garrison at Berwick and made it known that he would be happy to do battle with
Douglas. Taking up the challenge, Douglas planted his standard outside the walls
of Berwick. Neville with a body of followers including three of his brothers
took up a defensive position on a nearby hilltop. Douglas and his men charged
the position and after a hard fight Douglas himself killed Robert Neville and
all his brothers were taken captive.
After these two episodes there were not many prepared to meet in battle with
Douglas. The English, especially the north countrymen began to think of Douglas
as the "The Black Douglas".
Kindly contribued by John Snow.