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Battle of Flodden knights’ testaments on display

The testaments of three knights killed in the Battle of Flodden have gone on display. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The testaments of three knights killed in the Battle of Flodden have gone on display. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The testaments of three knights who died alongside King James IV at the Battle of Flodden have gone on show to the public for the first time.

The historical documents are included in a special exhibition commemorating the 1513 battle at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Also on display are the royal account books of James IV’s reign that show his preparations for invading England.

The 500th anniversary of the crushing defeat of the Scottish army at Flodden will be marked on September 9.

Tim Ellis, keeper of the records of Scotland, said: “We are fortunate to be able to mark the 500th anniversary of Flodden by showing for the first time some very remarkable documents from our extensive holdings.

“The rich archive of royal accounts reveal campaign preparations in fascinating detail while wills of individual soldiers give us fresh insights into the fate of the Scottish army, and the terrible losses the country suffered.”

The battle was fought between the invading Scottish army led by King James IV and a smaller English force commanded by the Earl of Surrey.

It took place near Branxton in Northumberland, not far from the border which James had crossed in support of the Auld Alliance with the French, who were under attack by Henry VIII of England.

As many as 10,000 Scots of all ranks were killed in the battle, about a quarter of the army, in what is said to be one of the darkest moments in Scottish history.

The free exhibition, Flodden: A Commemoration, can be seen at the National Records of Scotland in the city’s Princes Street until September 26.

 

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