On this day in Tudor history, 16th August 1513, the Battle of Spurs took place at Guinegate, or Enguinegatte, in France.
It actually wasn't a pitched battle at all, as the French knights fled the scene, but that didn't stop Henry VIII claiming victory and doing a bit of exaggerating.
I explain what exactly happened on this day in 1513 in today's talk.
Also on this day in history:
- 1533 (16th or 17th August) – Death of Thomas Skevington, Abbot of Beaulieu and Bishop of Bangor, at Beaulieu. His body was buried at Beaulieu and his heart buried on the north wall of Bangor Cathedral, before the picture of St Deiniol.
- 1549 – Death of Sir Christopher More, landowner and administrator. He was buried in St Nicholas's Church, Guildford, in the Loseley Chapel. More was a JP and Sheriff during the reign of Henry VIII and was appointed, in 1539, to the guard of honour prepared for Anne of Cleves in late 1539.
I have seen the fantastic huge painting of the Battle of the Spurs which was in Hampton Court and it is really impressive and the French Ambassador had to look at it on every visit as it was meant to show a great victory, but of course it was a skirmish rather than a battle. The French actually rode out in armour to attack the English, so it’s not accurate to call it a none battle. It was only the fact that the English outnumbered them that they turned around and fled. In the skirmish several flags or standards were taken and I guess a Duke of high status is a good prize, but nobody was really hurt, pride maybe.😂 The English King of course then exaggerated and thus the Battle of the Spurs rather than the Skirmish of a Few Standards. Mind you the capture of standards was a shameful thing to the side which lost them and the French would have been embarrassed.
There was a great victory for the English in September 1513, that being the defeat of the Scottish army under James iv by the Earl of Surrey, organised by Henry’s wife while he was away in France, that of Flodden. Katherine even sent the coat of the dead coat to Henry, but she actually wanted to send his head. So Katherine 1 Henry 0.