Alternate History

Battle of Knayton (Anarchy)

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Battle of Knayton

The Battle of Knayton was the decisive battle in the Scottish invasion of England (1714-1717). It took place




Battle of Shipton

Battle of Knayton
Battle of knayton

May 21st, 1714


May 21st, 1714


14 km west of Knayton


Overwhelming Scottish victory, decisive English defeat


Flag of Scotland Kingdom of Scotland

Flag of England Kingdom of England

Flag of the Isle of Man Man


Flag of Scotland George Murray

Flag of Scotland Vaham of Claverhouse

Pavillon royal de France Arthur Dillon, Count Dillon

Flag of England Henry Belasyse

Flag of the Isle of Man Alfred Havelsock


41,000 men under the command of George Murray, 300 French soldiers brought from France by Arthur Dillon

25,000 men under Henry Belasyse, 2000 men under Alfred Havelsock

Casualties and Losses

Approximately 6000 Scotsmen, all 300 french soldiers in addition to Arthur Dillon

about 20,000 men total

 on May 21st, 1714, 14 km West of the English hamlet of Knayton. The battle resulted in a decisive Scottish victory and the routing of the entire English army sent out to face the Scottish invaders, paving the way for Scotland's conquest of Northern England and Yorkshire.


When the Great Plague reached England in 1706, Scotland and England had been contemplating merging. However, the Plague disrupted the infrastructure and economy of England, convincing Scotland that joining would not be the best idea. The plague finally died down in England in 1714, and Scotland seized its chance to finally dominate its northern neighbor. In February, Queen Anne dispatched Jacobite generals George Murray and Vaham of Claverhouse with 41,000 men. They ravaged their way south, finally reaching and capturing the port town of Blyth. There they were joined by The Irish-French General Arthur Dillon, with 300 French mercenaries. There they waited until April 29th before setting out to the South-East. Upon reaching the town of Knayton, they learned that the English army was waiting in ambush for them 14 km to the west. George Murray, the supreme commander of the army, sent cavalry out to lure the enemy army from the trees in which they were hiding.


The English commander, Henry Belasye, decided to face the Scotsmen head-on and positioned his men at the bottom of Rosemary Hill. George Murray positioned his men at the top of the hill.


A badly rendered battle map for the Battle of Knayton


The English began the battle with a cavalry charge, but it was repulsed by the Scottish left flank


The Scottish then advanced and traded shots with the English infantry


The English, their center weakening beneath the onslaught, attempted to smash the Scottish left, by routing their light infantry. The moment in captured in this famous painting by Scottish artist John C. McFarland (1830 - 1881)

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