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BATTLE OF FLODDEN 1513

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  BATTLE OF FLODDEN
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The site of the Battle of Flodden fought on 9th September 1513 over arable fields close to the village of Branxton. In response to Henry VIII's invasion of France in 1513, the French King Louis XII requested that his ally, King James IV of Scotland, create a diversion by invading England. With Henry away in France, the Earl of Surrey took command of an army of 26,000 men and faced the 35,000-40,000 strong army of of James IV close to the border near the village of Branxton. In the battle that followed, Surrey defeated the Scots. James IV and a large proportion of the Scottish nobility were killed.

The Scots deployed themselves on top of Flodden Hill and waited for the Earl of Surrey to attack. Surrey marched his men around to the north side of the feature forcing the Scottish King James IV to abandon his ground and march across the top of the Flodden plateau to Branxton Hill on the northern side. The Scots descended the hill in disciplined silence with the determination of the advance so shocking Edmund Howard's brigade that they promptly fled. The offensive power of the Scottish infantry lay in fifteen foot pikes. The Scots, however, were inexperienced in the use of such weapons and failed to deliver any killing impact. The English rallied and as battle raged on in the valley below the plateau, the only Scottish commanders remaining on top of the Flodden plateau were the Earls of Lennox and Argyll, with their contingent of Highlanders and Islanders. They were subjected to an attack by a brigade led by Sir Edward Stanley who easily defeated the Scots and suddenly found himself in occupation of the top of Branxton Hill behind the main Scottish lines. James was now surrounded, with Lord Dacre on the left flank, Lord Thomas Howard on the right and the Earl of Surrey before him. At the end of the day, 9,000 Scots and 4,000 Englishmen lay dead on Flodden Field. King James himself was slain resulting in decades of political instability after his death.

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