Flodden Field, 1513 “False Borderers”
Flodden Field, Battlefield 1513, Branxton, Northumberland and the behaviour of the borderers
Flodden was fought on 9th September 1513 and was a disaster for Scotland. As night fell over the battlefield her King, James IV, the flower of the Scots nobility and thousands of lesser fighting men lay dead on the field. Thomas Dacre, the Warden of the West March was present with a large force of Border horsemen.
There were those who did well out of the battle. The Scottish Lord Hume’s Borderers kept as clear of the fighting as possible following the dictum of their chief who remarked that the man did well that day who stood and saved himself. They employed the night in plundering the dead and wounded.
The Reivers of Tynedale likewise concentrated on essentials and plundered the baggage of the victorious English and stole their horses. The Bishop of Durham commenting on the behaviour of the Borderers in a letter to Henry VIII in France, wrote that:
“The Borderers be falser than Scots and have done more harm than the Scots did- I would that all the horsemen in the Borders were in France with you for there should they do much good, whereas here they do none, but much harm for they never alighted from their horses but when the battle joined they fell to reiving and robbing as well on our side as of the Scots, and have taken much goods as well as horses and cattle. And over that they took diverse prisoners of ours and delivered them to the Scots, so that our folks as much fear the falsehood of them as they do the Scots”.
Location: Northumberland, Branxton
OS sheet 74 NT GR 890370
Image filename: Flodden Field PA Record ID: N4019