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Battle of the Standard

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Battle of the Standard because the holy standard of St Cuthbert was carried into battle on a cart.

Battle of Northallerton

War period:

Medieval: Civil War of Stephen & Matilda

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22 August 1138


Cowton Moor near Brompton/Northallerton in Yorkshire


English Victory



  • Strength


  • Commanders and leaders

From the Dictionary of the National Biography:

Stuteville, Robert de (d. 1186), baron and justiciar, was son of Robert de Stuteville, one of the northern barons who commanded the English at the battle of the Standard in August 1138 (Gesta Stcphani, p. 160).

  • Casualties and Losses

unknown (low)


  • Strength


  • Commanders and leaders
  • Casualties and Losses

"The Scottish army suffered a dramatic defeat, but the contemporary claims of 10,000 or more killed have to be dismissed, though it seems fairly certain that the Scots lost far more killed and wounded than did the English". From attached pdf record of the Battle


When King David I of Scotland gained the Scottish throne he tried to emulate Henry I's England, making peaceful changes and gaining control of areas of Scotland through military campaigns. When Henry I died in 1135 David saw an opportunity to win control of area in the North of England. Henry had wanted his inheritance to pass to his daughter Matilda. David had sworn an oath in 1127 to support that wish. Matilda married Geoffrey V, count of Anjou which caused many to turn against the notion. Stephen of Blois, younger brother of Theobald, count of Blois, seized the throne instead of Matilda.

When Stephen was crowned David went to war. Cumberland was ceded to him and David's son Henry was made Earl of Huntingdon. Stephen refused to sign allegiance to Stephen as he had already sworn allegiance to Matilda. David invaded England early in 1137 and a truce was agreed. Later in the year when the truce had expired David demanded that he be earl of the old earldom of Norhtumberland, a demand which Stephen refused, resiulting in David invading again.


This was the first major engagement between English and Scots since the Norman Conquest. It was one of two major battles during the Civil War of Stephen and Matilda

Full account Attached and at


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