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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

February 22

By 1371, Robert Stewart who ruled Scotland after a fashion would neither accept David as a king nor an even stronger English dominance in his homeland.
This post was written by Dirk Puehl the highly recommended author of #onthisday #history Google+ posts.

The Auld AllianceDirk Puehl writes - With high probability Robert Stewart's rebellion of 1363 marks one of the turning points of history in England's troublesome north and the end of the independent medieval kingdom of Scotland. Even though the English suffered a serious drawback or three, the Battle of Neville Cross and the capture of the King of the Scots, David II, was the beginning of the end. David, in English confinement since his 17th birthday returned to his native land almost an Englishman and with no heirs but King Edward III's pressure at his back to remit his enormous ransom in favour of naming a scion of the House of Plantagenet as successor to the throne of Scotland, he was a rather unwelcome monarch.

Robert Stewart who ruled Scotland after a fashion would neither accept David as a king nor an even stronger English dominance in his homeland. Invoking again the so-called "Auld Alliance" with France and buying continental mercenaries from the money that was intended as first instalment for David's ransom according to the Treaty of Berwick, he and his conspirators, the Lords of Douglas and March, suddenly proved themselves to be a real threat in Edward's back while he was campaigning in France.

Unable to put down the Stewart's revolt with his own meagre resources, King David fled to York to await Edward's reaction, while the rebels quickly threatened Northumberland and moved South with considerable strength and took Durham in late July. Edward acted promptly.

Withdrawing his support for Pedro the Cruel in Northern Spain, he recalled his sons Edward of Woodstock and John of Gaunt from that theatre and hurried them and their battle-hardened troops north to Normandy to cross the channel before the beginning of winter.

While the Stewart's undisciplined troops occupied themselves with plundering Northumbria and Durham, the Plantagenet's princes' army arrived in the North in October 1363. Lord Douglas' hastily assembled contingent was defeated at the Battle of Barnard Castle, Robert tried to withdraw back to Scotland but his withdrawal went slowly and was hindered by the large baggage carts filled with plunder that his men insisted to bring with them.

His column was literally rolled up by the English and what was left defeated on November 1st in the All Saints' Battle near Bamburgh Castle. The Stewart was taken captive and executed in London in 1364.

With a victorious Plantagenet army at his back, David could return to Edinburgh but had no choice to name an English prince as his heir - John of Gaunt was named heir apparent on Christmas Day 1363 and acceded the throne as John II of Scotland after David's dead on February 22nd 1371.

A last glimpse of Scottish independence in the Middle Ages was at least in debate, when King John II fell out with his brother Richard II, King of England, but, after the latter's untimely death in 1400, John's son Henry was crowned King of England and Scotland, the name of Scotland being a historical footnote for "The North" for a very long time.

© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.