Henry VIII took the throne of England upon the death of his father Henry VII, on April 21, 1509. Aspects of Henry VIII's reign are used as material for Walter Scott's "Marmion". Marmion himself is portrayed as a favorite of King Henry. The action takes place around the Battle of Flodden Field (September 9, 1513), in which King James VI of Scotland declared war on England to honor an alliance with France. James marched into Northumberland, where he was met by English forces under Earl Thomas Howard of Surrey. Surrey carried the day, in a very one-sided battle.
Day set on Norham's castled steep,
And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,
And Cheviot's mountains lone:
The battled towers, the donjon keep,
The loophole grates, where captives weep,
The flanking walls that round it sweep,
In yellow lustre shone.
The warriors on the turrets high,
Moving athwart the evening sky,
Seem'd forms of giant height:
Their armour, as it caught the rays,
Flash'd back again the western blaze,
In lines of dazzling light....