It’s 500 years today since the English army destroyed the Scots at Flodden Field, Northumberland. Some say it was the superior weapons technology of the English halberds versus the less effective Scots pikes, others say that the English lords stayed at the rear of the battle while the Scots had their leaders right at the front. And so, of course, they died first.
As did their King, James IV.
Whatever the reason, the resulting defeat meant the destruction of much of the Scottish aristocracy. My ancestral laird, John, 2nd Lord Ross, died leading his men from the front. It’s a sort of madness, leading the charge, but if you’re head of a clan, which is basically a tribe based on extended family ties and personal respect, that’s how you do it.
That’s how they did it in those days.
The battle is pretty much forgotten now, but it is one of the most important on UK soil. It relegated the Scots to a lower league, politically, and established a power-relationship between the two nations that has existed pretty much ever since.
I’m going to try and get up there this week and take some pictures of the site. If I do, I’ll upload them.