Anglo-Scottish War (1079–1080)
PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: Scotland vs. England
PRINCIPAL THEATER(S): Northumbria and Scotland
MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: King Malcolm III
Canmore of Scotland sought control of Northumbria.
OUTCOME: Malcolm was foiled, although warfare in the
borderlands continued sporadically.
APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MEN UNDER ARMS:
CASUALTIES: No figures available, but losses were slight
William I the Conqueror (1035?–87) ostensibly secured
Scottish homage after his invasion of Scotland in 1072.
Nevertheless, the Scottish king Malcolm III Canmore (d.
1093), son of Duncan (r. 1034–40) and the monarch who
began the consolidation of royal power in Scotland, continued
to harry the border region, north of the River Tees,
despite his having acknowledged William’s overlordship.
In 1079 Malcolm at last mounted a full-scale invasion of
English territory, overrunning Northumbria down to the
Tyne River. In response William led an Anglo-Norman
army into Scotland. The two forces clashed in numerous
skirmishes, but no major battle developed, and King Malcolm
pledged his renewed allegiance to William. William
then withdrew, taking the precaution, however, of building
a large defensive castle at Newcastle-on-Tyne. It
proved a prudent step, for Malcolm continued to raid the
border region until he was killed in 1093 by William’s son
and successor, William II Rufus (r. 1087–1100).
See alsoWILLIAM I’S INVASION OF NORMANDY; WILLIAM
I’S INVASION OF SCOTLAND; WILLIAM II’S INVASION OF
Further reading: Frank Barlow, The Feudal Kingdom
of England, 1042–1216 (London: Longman, 1972); Raymond
Campbell Paterson, My Wound Is Deep: A History of
the Anglo-Scottish Wars (Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers,