The Tudor Society

9 September 1513 – The Battle of Flodden

Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

On the 9th September 1513, while Henry VIII was away, busy campaigning against the French, James IV and his Scottish troops crossed the border and challenged the English force, which was headed by Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, at Flodden in Northumberland.

Before leaving for France, Henry VIII had left his wife, Catherine of Aragon in charge of England as Governor of the Realm and Captain General of the Forces. She was Regent and was to manage the kingdom, with the help of a council, while Henry was fighting France, with the help of Imperial forces. Flodden was a victory for Catherine. After about three hours of fighting, the English army had defeated the Scots, killing most of the Scottish aristocracy, including two abbots, two bishops, twelve earls and King James IV himself. The English army lost around 1,500 men, whereas the Scottish army lost 5,000 – 17,000, depending on which source you believe.

Catherine of Aragon wrote to Henry VIII of the victory:

This battle hath been to your grace and all your realm the greatest honour that could be, and more than ye should win all the crown of France. Your grace shall see how I can keep my promise, sending you for your banners a king’s coat.

At least she only sent him James IV's coat. She had originally wanted to send the King of Scotland’s body.

The battle was also a victory for the Earl of Surrey, and his reward was being restored as the Duke of Norfolk.

Click here to watch a documentary on the battle site and battle.

(Taken from On this Day in Tudor History by Claire Ridgway)

There are 4 comments Go To Comment

  1. C

    Wasn’t it the second Duke (the father of the Duke in the illustration) who was the victor at Flodden and had his title restored?

    1. C - Post Author

      Aaagghh, yes, of course, why on earth did I put that picture?! I’ve got both in my image directory so I’ll attach the correct one now – thanks.

  2. l

    I also thought it was his father, the 2nd Duke of Norfolk?

    1. C - Post Author

      It was, that’s just me adding the wrong image. Sometimes it’s dangerous to do things before you’ve had a cup of coffee!

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9 September 1513 – The Battle of Flodden