After spotting the enemy, how long did it take for medieval scout to report back to base? Also, how did they estimate the enemy’s numbers?
The length it would take a scout to return to base would differ entirely from case to case. On some occasions, an enemy army would only be a number of miles away from the scout’s base whilst on other occasions it could be several days of travelling. It must be remembered that armies within Medieval Europe were extremely disorganized and logistically took an extremely long amount of time to march any distance. Numbers often would largely just be a guess from the number of tents or troops marching along with previous knowledge of the amount of soldiers employed or levied from a region.
There are numerous stories of armies spending days trying to find one another, with one of the most famous being that of Edward III’s defense of England against the Scottish. During this campaign, both sides spent weeks trying to locate the other and eventually the English king offered £100 and a knighthood to any individual who could find the Scottish army, which eventually led to success.