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Battle of Ancrum Moor
27th January 1545

In the period following the battle of Flodden (1513) an uneasy truce existed between Scotland and England, but in 1542 the tensions once more erupted into open conflict. Following its Reformation in 1534, England stood independent from Catholic Europe. In response Pope Paul III sought an alliance between Scotland, France and the Holy Roman Empire against England.

After failed nogotiation with the Scottish king, in October 1542 Henry VIII sent an English army some 20,000 into Scotland, where they burnt Kelso and Roxburgh. In reply, James V of Scotland raised an army of some 18,000 troops in the west and headed for Carlisle, but was defeated in November at Solway Moss by a much smaller English force. After the death of James V, Henry aimed to unify the two kingdoms by seeking the marriage of the one year old Scottish Queen Mary to his own son, Prince Edward. When his proposals failed he pursued the matter through fource of arms - the so called 'rough wooing'.

As part of this campaign, in February 1545 two of Henry's northern commanders, Euer and Laiton, again crossed the border, this time with some 5000 troops. The army plundered Melrose town and abbey, then returned towards Jedburgh. In response the Earl of Angus raised local forces. At first outnumbered, he manoeuvred but would not engage the invaders.  Once joined by other forces, including the Earl of Aran, he had more than 1200 troops. The Scots now considered their army strong enough to act and at Ancrum Moor they totally defeated the far larger English army.

A REPORT ON THE BATTLE, PREPARED FOR HISTORIC SCOTLAND BY THE BATTLEFIELDS TRUST, IS AVAILABE FROM THE DOWNLOAD AREA ON THE LEFT.

 

   
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