During the winter of 1316-17 command of the English northern forces was in the hands of Edmund Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel. He had a large force at his disposal but as a truce was in operation and Bruce out of the country ,in Ireland, there was little of Scots raiding for his forces to combat. Rather than have his force sit idle, the Earl embarked upon an ambitious plan to clear the Jedwood Forest, to deny it as a refuge for Scottish raiding parties. Each of his soldiers equipped with an axe they set off over a pass at Carter Bar into Scotland. Douglas who was at his newly built Manor of Lintalee, near to Jedburgh, with only his own personal retinue of fifty men at arms and a company of archers set off to ambush the English van, led by Thomas De Richmond.
Hiding in the woods south of Lintalee, Douglas's archers fired a volley of arrows into the leading group of English, then the rest of the Scots came out of the trees to assail the leading English troops. Douglas himself slaying De Richmond with a dagger. Quickly before the English could regroup or even realise fully what had just transpired, the Scots disappeared back into the trees.
Arundel then withdrew from the forest out of danger. Douglas on returning to Lintalee found a foraging party of English had stopped to eat the ready prepared meal that Douglas and his men had left. These were given short shrift and quickly despatched.
Shortly after this episode Robert Neville of Raby, also known as "The Peacock of the North", decided that he had heard enough of this Douglas. He joined the garrison at Berwick and made it known that he would be happy to do battle with Douglas. Taking up the challenge, Douglas planted his standard outside the walls of Berwick. Neville with a body of followers including three of his brothers took up a defensive position on a nearby hilltop. Douglas and his men charged the position and after a hard fight Douglas himself killed Robert Neville and all his brothers were taken captive.
After these two episodes there were not many prepared to meet in battle with Douglas.