On March 16th, 1322, the Battle of Boroughbridge was fought between King Edward II of England and a group of rebellious barons.
The battle was the result of an extended period of heated relations between the King and the Earl of Lancaster, stemming from Edward’s weak and ineffective leadership.
Edward’s reign was marred by military failures, ineffective leadership and fractious domestic politics. This resulted in the steady decline of the monarch’s authority which came to the fore when the Earl of Lancaster – one of Edward’s most powerful subjects – turned on the King after a failed campaign in Scotland in 1319.
The King was victorious at the Battle of Boroughbridge. His victory resulted in the execution of the Earl of Lancaster and, more importantly, the reassertion of his dominion and authority over England.
The battle itself took place near the town of Boroughbridge in northwest York. The Royal forces, comprising 4,000 men, faced the 1,000 strong baronial forces of the Earl of Lancaster, Hereford and the Baron of Clifford. While the casualties remain unknown, the Royal victory was decisive.
The resurgence in authority which King Edward II experienced after this battle was short-lived, however. In 1327, the King was deposed in a coup and was succeeded by his son, Edward III.