Friday, September 10, 2010

Battle of Pinkie Cleugh

"So please your noble fatherhood," answered Dame Glendinning with a deep curtsy, "I should know somewhat of archery to my cost, seeing my husband--God assoilzie him!--was slain in the field of Pinkie with an arrow-shot, while he was fighting under the Kirk's banner, as became a liege vassal of the Halidome. He was a valiant man, please your reverence, and an honest; and saving that he loved a bit of venison, and shifted for his living at a time as Border-men will sometimes do, I wot not of sin that he did. And yet, though I have paid for mass after mass to the matter of a forty shilling, besides a quarter of wheat and four firlocks of rye, I can have no assurance yet that he has been delivered from purgatory."

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh referenced in Walter Scott's "The Monastery" (above), occurred on September 10, 1547.  Pinkie Cleugh was part of the War of the Rough Wooing, which phrase Scott himself coined.

The object of these battles, five year old Mary, Queen of Scots' hand in marriage to Henry VIII's son Edward VI, failed to materialize, as Mary escaped to France.  Pinkie Cleugh is remembered in part for being the first instance of the use of British naval artillery in a land battle.  Despite a larger force, the Scottish death toll was in the thousands, while numbering only hundreds for the English.

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