Battle of Annan

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Battle of Annan
date December 17, 1332
place at Annan (Dumfries and Galloway)
output scottish victory
consequences Collapse of Edward Balliol's rule
Parties to the conflict

Flag of Scotland.svg Kingdom of Scotland

Balliol arms.svg Balliol House


Douglas Arms 1.svg Archibald Douglas John Randolph, 3rd Earl of Moray
Moray Coat of Arms.svg

Balliol arms.svg Edward Balliol

Troop strength
unknown unknown



The Battle of Annan was a battle during the Second Scottish War of Independence . On December 17, 1332 supporters of the Scottish King David II attacked Edward Balliol , who was supported by England and who also claimed the crown, in Annan . Balliol was only just able to escape to England.


After his victory at the Battle of Dupplin Moor and his coronation as King of Scots in September 1332, Edward Balliol moved to Galloway, which his father, John Balliol , owned until the end of the 13th century . There, supporters of the House of Balliol had risen against the rule of David II. Balliol was able to secure the possession of Galloway quickly, while Andrew Murray , who exercised the regency for the supporters of the House of Bruce in place of the underage David II as Guardian , did not have enough troops to put Balliol in a field battle. At Roxburgh he tried in vain to catch Balliol by surprise and take him prisoner. However, the plan failed completely, because Murray could not capture Balliol, but ended up in Balliol's captivity himself. After Murray's capture, Archibald Douglas became the new Guardian of Scotland. Allegedly, Douglas and the Earl of March are said to have concluded a truce with Balliol that was limited to February 2, 1333 after the capture of Murray. Then a Scottish parliament should decide whether David II or Balliol should be considered the Scottish king.

Assault on Balliol's entourage in Annan

Balliol felt so safe that he dismissed his English supporters and only traveled with a small entourage to Annan, where he wanted to spend Christmas. In Annan numerous members of the local nobility submitted to him, but also Alexander Bruce, 1st Earl of Carrick . The submission of a cousin of David II may have strengthened Balliol's belief that his adversaries would no longer pose a threat. Archibald Douglas, Simon Fraser , the Earl of Moray and other Scottish magnates formed a strong force, moved to Annan on a night march and raided the property where Balliol was staying at dawn on December 17, 1332. Apparently the attack came as a complete surprise to Balliol's entourage. In the following battle they suffered heavy losses, including Balliol's brother Henry , Walter Comyn and John Mowbray were killed. Alexander Bruce was recognized by the Earl of Moray and only escaped death because he spared him. Balliol himself was only just able to save from capture. He is said to have fled to Carlisle on an unsaddled horse, only half dressed .


The shameful defeat of Annan destroyed Balliol's aura as Dupplin Moor's winner. As a result, his unstable rule in Scotland quickly collapsed. Most of his supporters had to flee to England. In England, King Edward III decided. thereupon openly supporting Balliol. Balliol was able to gather a small army again with English help, with which he crossed the Scottish border again in March 1333 and began the siege of Berwick .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ranald Nicholson: Edward III and the Scots. The formative Years of a Military Career . Oxford University Press, Oxford 1965, p. 103.
  2. ^ Ranald Nicholson: Scotland. The later Middle Ages . Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh 1974, p. 127.
  3. ^ Ranald Nicholson: Edward III and the Scots. The formative Years of a Military Career . Oxford University Press, Oxford 1965, p. 104.