Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Tale of the Month

A monthly story from the city's archives.

Sep 8, 2011

City archives reveal that on 5 September 1513, preparations for an engagement against the English were made in Edinburgh.

The city was on high alert. The provost, bailies and council ordered all combatants staying in the burgh to rejoin the King’s Army and all inhabitants due to bear arms to present themselves before the provost on pain of forfeiting their life, land and goods, in order to ensure King James’ victory and safe return. (Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh)

But it was not to be. Fought on 9 September at Flodden Northumberland between a Scots army under King James IV and an English force under Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, this was numerically the largest battle between the two nations. For the Scots, the price of defeat was devastating: the English lost 1,500 men but the Scots around 10,000, including twelve earls, fifteen lords, many clan chiefs, an archbishop and the King himself. It is said that every great family in Scotland mourned the loss of a relative at Flodden.

EWH are grateful for permission to use this extract from 'The Edinburgh Book of Days' by Michael T.R.B. Turnbull, published by The History Press. www.thehistorypress.co.uk

Another September tale from Edinburgh’s archives will appear later in the month.

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