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The Scottish wars of Edward III, 1327-1338
Christopher A. Candy
Ph. D. Thesis, Department of History, University of Durham, (2004)
The fighting that occurred in Scotland during the first decade of Edward IIIs reign has often been recognized as important in the development of the strategies and tactics that allowed the English to win major victories against the French during the Hundred Years’ War. Despite this, few studies exist that consider the wars as their primary focus, instead using the conflict of the 1330s as either a prologue to the fighting in France to follow or as the addendum to the Wars of Independence waged against Edward’s father and grandfather. The major study that does focus solely on these wars only covers the first half of the conflict and fails to address the importance of the final three years.
This thesis aims to demonstrate the importance of Edward III’s wars in Scotland as the break from the military practices of Edward I’s reign and the key period for developing the English military machine that would fight the Hundred Years’ War. Extensive government records are contrasted with English and Scottish chronicles to provide a comprehensive narrative that shows the wars as the primary focus of political events in England at the time along with its role in military innovation. The same materials are also used to examine the numerical composition of the English military year by year and how those numbers changed as new strategies for fighting the wars became more firmly entrenched