Crossing the Border : a study of the Scottish military offensives against England c.1369-c.1403
Scottish military offensives against England from 1369 were largely the product of governmental policy, and involved the participation of much of the political community of the realm. They were launched with careful timing, taking account of international developments and domestic problems in England. In the reign of Robert II they involved close co-operation with France and succeeded militarily, enabling the Scots to regain English-occupied lands in southern Scotland and achieve diplomatic gains. Military success encouraged the Scots to the point where they were willing to engage in attacks on England beyond the ambition of their French allies. Diplomatic gains, however, fell well short of forcing English recognition of Scottish independence. Hopes of achieving this aim by military means were ended in the reign of Robert III when the Scots were heavily defeated in 1402. English hopes of reconquest were similarly dashed in 1403 when victory in the north brought only severe political unrest. Relations between the realms were never to be so consistently conflictual again. War was not fought, however, with only political objectives in mind or other 'rational' factors such as the quest for financial gain. The Scots went to war, and their leaders organised it, for emotive reasons also, such as hatred of the English and enjoyment of martial endeavour for its own sake. There is no sign that the impact of war in the years under consideration led to the development of a distinctive set of attitudes and mode of social behaviour among the Scottish borderers.