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SCOTTISH        

SCOTTISH

Historical Overview

The Battle of Flodden or Flodden Field or occasionally Battle of Branxton (Brainston Moor) was a conflict between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. The battle was fought in the county of Northumberland in northern England on 9 September 1513, between an invading Scots army under King James IV and an English army commanded by the Earl of Surrey. It was an English victory. In terms of troop numbers, it was the largest battle fought between the two Kingdoms. James IV was killed in the battle, becoming the last monarch from the British Isles to suffer such a death to date.

Flodden was essentially a victory of bill used by the English over the pike used by the Scots. As a weapon, the pike was effective only in a battle of movement, especially to withstand a cavalry charge. The Scottish pikes were described by the author of the Trewe Encounter as "keen and sharp spears 5 yards long." Although the pike had become a Swiss weapon of choice and represented modern warfare, the hilly terrain of Northumberland, the nature of the combat, and the slippery footing did not allow it to be employed to best effect. Bishop Ruthall reported to Thomas Wolsey, 'the bills disappointed the Scots of their long spears, on which they relied.'

The infantrymen at Flodden, both Scots and English, had fought in a fashion that in essence would have been familiar to their ancestors, and it has rightly been described as the last great medieval battle in the British Isles. This was the last time that bill and pike would come together as equals in battle. Two years later Francis I defeated the Swiss pikemen at the Battle of Marignano, using a combination of heavy cavalry and artillery, ushering in a new era in the history of war. An official English diplomatic report issued by Brian Tuke noted the Scots' iron spears and their initial "very good order after the German fashion" but concluded "the English halberdiers decided the whole affair, so that in the battle the bows and ordnance were of little use."

Despite Tuke's comment (he was not present), tactically, this battle was one of the first major engagements on the British Isles where artillery was significantly deployed. John Lesley, writing sixty years later, noted the Scottish bullets flew over the English heads while the English cannon was effective, the one army placed so high and the other so low.

The Scots advance down the hill was resisted by a hail of arrows, an incident celebrated in later English ballads. Hall says the armoured front line was mostly unaffected, confirmed by the ballads which note some few Scots were wounded in the scalp and, wrote Hall, James IV sustained a significant arrow wound. Many of the archers were recruited from Lancashire and Cheshire. Sir Richard Assheton raised one such company from Middleton, near Manchester. He rebuilt his parish church St. Leonard's, Middleton, which contains the unique "Flodden Window." It depicts and names the archers and their priest in stained glass. The window has been called as the oldest known war memorial in the UK. The success of the Cheshire yeomanry, under the command of Richard Cholmeley, led to his later appointment as Lieutenant of the Tower of London

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Army Lists

900AP used at Usk 2014
  • 14 Kiel
  • 14 Kiel
  • 4 border LH
  • 4 border LH
  • 8 LF xbow
  • 14 Kiel superior +2
  • 2 guns
  • 2 guns
  • 2 heavy gunnes
  • 2 heavy gunnes
  • 4 Gendarmes
  • Ambushing 8 highlander types


800AP used at Roll Call 2013 by Don Avis
  • Keil 14 ave, arm, pike
  • Keil 14 ave, arm, pike
  • Keil 14 ave, arm, pike
  • 8 Highlanders ave, bw*, Imp ft, Swordsman
  • 4 LH ave, x/bow, lt lance, swordsman
  • 4 LH ave, x/bow, lt lance, swordsman
  • Keil 14 ave, arm, pike
  • 8 Highlanders ave, bw*, Imp ft, Swordsman
  • 2 Heavy Guns
  • 2 Heavy Guns
  • 1 GC
  • 3 TCs
based on the army of Flodden

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Sunday 19 of January, 2014 20:10:26 GMT by admin. (Version 6)

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