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Standard, battle of the

Standard, battle of the, 1138. The border between Scotland and England was far from settled in the 12th cent. and David I of Scotland was eager to acquire Northumbria and Cumbria. The civil war in England between Stephen and Matilda gave him an opportunity to intervene and a period of border campaigning ended in August with a Scottish foray into north Yorkshire. It was met by a local force under Thurstan, archbishop of York, and Raoul, bishop of Durham, on the 22nd at Cowton Moor, south of Darlington. The English fought under the banners of St Cuthbert, St Peter of York, St John of Beverley, and St Wilfrid of Ripon, which accounted for the name ‘battle of the Standard’. Though the saints were successful and the Scots defeated, the encounter was not decisive. David retained possession of the northern counties and was residing at Carlisle when he died in 1153.

J. A. Cannon

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