A History of Craven

A History of Craven - Kildwick in Craven

In the year 1138 while David, King of Scotland was engaged in the siege of Norham, he detached the Picts and part of his army under the command of William son of Duncan his nephew into Yorkshire. Here they laid waste the possessions of a monastery called Sutherness (Furness Abbey) and the province called Crafna (Craven) with fire and sword.

In the work of destruction no rank or age, and neither sex, was spared; children were butchered before the faces of their parents, husbands in sight of their wives , and wives of their husbands; matrons and virgins of condition were carried away indiscriminately with other plunder, stripped naked, bound together by ropes and thongs, and goaded along with the points of swords and lances. Similar outrages had been committed in former wars but never to the same extent.

In their march north, however, some of the captors, touched with compassion, set their prisoners at liberty, as offerings to the church of St Mary at Carlisle; but the barbarous Picts dragged away their wretched captives without mercy into their own country. In short these brutal savages, to whom adultery and incest were familiar, after having fatigued themselves with acts of lust and violence, either retained the females as slaves in their own houses or sold them like cattle to other barbarians.

In this expedition was fought the battle of Clitheroe, between William Fitz Duncan and the troops of King Stephen, who attacked him in four divisions, but were routed with great slaughter. This engagement in 1138 resulted in King David of Scotland establishing William in the honour of Skipton and Crafna.

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