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The Battles of Nisbet Moor, 1355 and 1402


Battle of Nisbet

 Reconstruction by Andrew Spratt


At the 1st battle of Nisbet in 1355 John Halyburton of Dirleton was killed while helping Ramsay of Dalhousie, Dunbar of Dunbar castle and William Douglas (later 1st Earl of Douglas) of Tantallon castle defeat the English garrison from Norham castle. Surprisingly, a few years later in 1363 Douglas and Dunbar turned on the Halyburtons and seized Dirleton castle in their first steps of rebellion against King David II of Scots for his attack on Kildrummy castle. This led to the battle of Lanark where Douglas and Dunbar were defeated by King David and forced to sue for peace. Dirleton was then returned to the Halyburtons.

The 1402 Battle of Nesbit Moor (or Nisbet Muir) was a small but significant clash between Scottish and English forces in the borders area north of the River Tweed.

In 1402, Scottish nobles launched a coordinated invasion of Northern England. In the initial foray, some 12,000 Scottish troops crossed into Cumberland and looted areas near Carlisle. On June 22 at Nisbet, Berwickshire, the forfeited George de Dunbar, 10th Earl of March successfully led 200 English soldiers, mainly drawn from the garrison at Berwick-upon-Tweed, against 400 Scots returning from a raid on Northumberland.h causalities included the death of Sir Patrick Hepburn younger of Hailes; and the capture of Sir John Haliburton of Dirleton, Robert de Lawedre of Edrington, Sir John Cockburn and Sir Thomas Haliburton. The date of Sir Robert Lawder's liberation does not appear to be on record but as there is a charter in The Great Seal of Scotland (number 934) confirmed at Falkland Palace in May 1411, which mentions him being "present", we might safely assume that he was freed before that date. Certainly on June 15, 1411 "Robertus Lawedyr, miles" has a safe-conduct from Henry IV of England.

Henry IV was given news of the skirmish while at Harborough on June 30, and delayed plans to suppress a Welsh rebellion so that he could deal with the large scale Scottish invasion that was then imminently expected. In the autumn a large army of Scots led by Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas harassed the English countryside as far south as the River Wear. They were eventually engaged and defeated by the Earl of Northumberland at the battle of Humbleton Hill.




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Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022