1018 – Battle Of Carham

17th century depiction of the Malcolm II (his actual appearance is unknown)

17th century depiction of the Malcolm II (his actual appearance is unknown)

With Malcolm II as king and Owen of Strathclyde supporting him, an important battle was fought against Earl Uhtred of Bamburgh and his Northumbrian army at Carham, near Roxburgh. The Battle of Carham (sometimes referred to as the Battle of Coldstream) is generally believed to have been fought in 1018, though it may have been two years earlier, in 1016. The outcome was victory for Malcolm and the restoration of Lothian to Scotland.

There seems to be no surviving details of the battle itself except for the outcome being a Scottish victory and an English loss. It is said, though, that Aldhun, the bishop of Durham, died of a broken heart upon hearing of the loss. It is traditionally believed that the victory significantly increased Scotland’s hold on Lothian; however there is a school of thought that the area was in fact granted to Kenneth II by England’s Edgar the Peaceful in 973, and that the battle actually led to no significant change to the control of Lothian.

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