Bloody Battle of Flodden remembered 500 years on

Dr David Starkey will speak at a Northumbria University conference on the Battle of Flodden to mark its 500th anniversary

The memorial near Flodden Field, Branxton
The memorial near Flodden Field, Branxton

Broadcaster and historian David Starkey will speak at a conference marking the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

This weekend Northumbria University will host the North East of England Historical Institute (NEEHI) – composed of the history departments of five North East Universities – as they mark the event with a conference and battlefield visit.

The conference – The Battle of Flodden and its Significance – runs from Friday to Sunday and brings together leading figures on the conflict. Keynote speakers are Cambridge historian Dr David Starkey, and Jenny Wormald, an expert on the equivalent period of Scottish history.

Dr Starkey specialises in the Tudor period about which he has written many books and presented TV series, including documentaries on Elizabeth I and Henry VIII.

Dr Starkey will continue the conference’s theme by sharing his recent research on Henry VIII’s personal role in England’s adoption of a warlike foreign policy after decades of peace.

Dr Starkey said: “The Battle of Flodden is absolutely pivotal as it is the battle that determines the relationship between Scotland and England.

“This conference at Northumbria University is genuinely a bi-national conference with each session reflecting both sides of the border.

“During my keynote speech I will share the major new discoveries I have made about the role of war in English policy and the adoption of a war policy by Henry VIII.”

The 1513 Battle of Flodden was one of the greatest battles fought on British soil. Casualties, which included King James IV and leading Scottish noblemen, totalled more than 12,000.

Bill Purdue, visiting professor in history at Northumbria University, will coordinate the conference. He said: “Flodden was a decisive battle, perhaps more so than Bannockburn, for, although the battles of Solway Moss and Pinkie Cleugh were to follow, there was, subsequent to it, little doubt of England’s military superiority.

“Yet, Flodden has never had the attention devoted to it that Bannockburn or even Culloden have received.

“It was only in the early 20th Century that a monument was erected on the battlefield close to Branxton village.”

The Flodden anniversary is September 9, and Lord Joicey, on whose estate the battlefield is situated, has set up the Flodden 500 group to co-ordinate events around the date.

The conference will also hear talks from academics including speakers from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Oxford, Kent, Glasgow and Galway Universities.

Delegates will tour the battlefield site in the village of Ford, in the Scottish Borders before returning to the university for a dinner and lecture from George Goodwin, author of a forthcoming book on Flodden called Fatal Rivalry.

For more information visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/flodden conference.

 

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