Neil Oliver's Love Letter to the British Isles


45. The Battle of Flodden, Northumberland

Season 1, Ep. 45

This week Neil marches with us across the wild beauty of Northumberland to a battleground

that broke Scotland’s heart.

In 1513 Margaret Tudor watched as her husband, the glamours renaissance king, James IV of Scotland, set off to invade England and do battle with her brother, Henry VIII. When Henry invaded France James felt duty bound to honour the Auld Alliance, a treaty of mutual assistance between Scotland and France. In retaliation he led the largest Scottish army ever to invade England across the border. James' powerful force bristling with the latest military technology met an English army led by the Earl of Surrey at Flodden. It was a brutal and bloody battle, fought with formidable pikes imported from the continent, cannon fire, slaughter and a deadly arrow to the King’s face.

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