- Battle of Pinkie Cleugh
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Pinkie Cleugh
September 10 1547
Musselburgh, Lothian, Scotland
result=Decisive English Victory
commander1=Earl of Arran
commander2=Duke of Somerset
strength1=Between 23,000 and 36,000
casualties2=500 killed|The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, along the banks of the River Esk near
Musselburgh, Scotlandon 10 September 1547, was part of the War of the Rough Wooing. It was the last battle to be fought between the Scottish and the English Royal armies and the first "modern" battle to be fought in the British Isles. It was a catastrophic defeat for the Scots caused by the use of Naval artillery by the English for the first time in a land battle in Britain. In Scotland it is known as Black Saturday.Fact|date=August 2008
This was historically significant as the first "modern" battle fought in Britain, demonstrating active cooperation between the infantry, artillery and cavalry with a naval bombardment in support of the land forces.
Background to the War
In the last years of his reign King Henry VIII had tried to secure an alliance with Scotland, and the marriage of the infant
Mary Queen of Scotswith his young son, the future Edward VI. When persuasion and diplomacy failed, he launched a ruthless war against Scotland, an episode known as the Rough Wooing.
After Henry died, Edward Seymour, uncle to Edward VI, became Protector with the title of Duke of Somerset and with initially unchallenged power. He too wished to forcibly ally Scotland to England by marrying Mary to Edward, and also to impose an
Anglican Reformationon the Scottish church establishment. Early in September 1547, he led a well-equipped army into Scotland, supported by a large fleet.
Somerset's army was partly composed of the traditional county levies, summoned by Commissions of Array and armed with longbow and bill as they had been at the
Battle of Flodden, thirty years before. However, Somerset also had several hundred German mercenary arquebusiers, a large and well appointed train of artillery, and 6000 horse, including a contingent of Spanish mounted arquebusiers under Don Pedro de Gamboa. The cavalry were commanded by Lord Grey, and the infantry by the Earl of Warwick, Lord Dacre of Gillesland, and Somerset himself.
Somerset advanced along the east coast of Scotland, to maintain contact with his fleet and thereby keep in supply. Scottish
Border Reiversharassed his troops but could impose no major check.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Regent, the Earl of Arran, had levied a large army, consisting mainly of pikemen with contingents of Highland archers. Arran also had large numbers of guns, but these were apparently not as mobile or as well-served as Somerset's. His horse consisted only of 2000 lightly equipped riders under the Earl of Home, most of whom were potentially unreliable Borderers. His infantry were commanded by the Earl of Angus, the Earl of Huntly and Arran himself.
Arran occupied the slopes on the west bank of the River Esk to bar Somerset's progress. The Firth of Forth was on his left flank, and a large bog protected his right. Some fortifications were constructed, in which cannon and arquebuses were mounted. Some guns pointed out into the Forth, to keep English warships at a distance.
September 9, part of Somerset's army occupied Falside Hill (then known as Fawside), three miles east of Arran's main position. In an absurdly chivalric gesture, the Earl of Home led 1500 horsemen close to the English encampment and challenged an equal number of English cavalry to fight. With Somerset's approval, Lord Grey accepted the challenge, but engaged the Scots with 1000 heavily armoured men-at-arms, and 500 lighter demi-lances. The Scottish horsemen were badly cut up, and chased west for three miles. This action cost Arran most of his cavalry.
Later during the day, Somerset sent a detachment with guns to occupy the Inveresk Slopes, which overlooked the Scottish position. During the night, Somerset received two more anachronistic challenges from Arran. One request was for Somerset and Arran to settle the dispute by single combat. Another was for 20 champions from each side to decide the matter. Somerset rejected both proposals.
On the morning of
September 10, Somerset advanced his army to close up with the detachment at Inveresk. He found that Arran had moved his army across the Esk by a Roman bridge, and was advancing rapidly to meet him. Arran knew himself to be outmatched in artillery, and therefore tried to force close combat before the English artillery could deploy.
Arran's left wing came under fire from English ships offshore. (Their advance meant that the guns on their former position could no longer protect them.) They were disordered, and pushed into Arran's own division in the centre.
On the other flank, Somerset threw in his cavalry to delay the Scots' advance. The Scottish pikemen successfully drove them off with the English suffering heavy casualties. Lord Grey himself was wounded by a pike thrust to the face.
However, the Scottish army was now stalled, and under heavy fire from three sides from ships' cannon, artillery, arquebusiers and archers to which they could not reply. When they broke, the English cavalry rejoined the battle. Many retreating Scots were slaughtered, or drowned as they tried to swim the fast-flowing Esk or cross the bogs.
Although they had suffered a resounding defeat, the Scottish government refused to come to terms. The infant Queen Mary was smuggled out of the country, and sent to
Franceto be betrothed to the young dauphin Francis. Somerset occupied several Scottish strongholds and large parts of the Lowlands and Borders, but without peace, these garrisons became a useless drain on the Treasury of England.
A violent Reformation in Scotland was only a few years away, but Scots refused to have Reformation imposed on them by England. During the battle, the Scots taunted the English soldiers as "loons [persons of no consequence] , tykes and heretics". A thousand monks from various orders formed part of the Earl of Angus's division. Many died in the battle.
Of the Scottish prisoners, few were nobles or gentlemen. It was claimed that most were dressed much the same as common soldiers, and therefore not recognised as being worth ransom.
Although the Scots blamed traitors within their own ranks for the defeat, it is probably fair to say that a Renaissance army defeated a Mediaeval army. Henry VIII had taken steps towards creating standing naval and land forces, which formed the nucleus of the fleet and army with which Somerset gained the victory.
It should be noted that the longbow continued to play key roles in England's battles and Pinkie was no exception. Though the combination of bill and longbow which England used was old, the pike and arquebus tactics used in continental armies did not make it obsolete as the bill and bow could still hold their own against them at this stage in the development of firearms.
The battle-site is now part of
Clans at Pinkie
The following is a list (currently incomplete) of clans that fought at the battle of Pinkie.
Clan Livingstoneaka Clan MacLea
Clan Stuart, forces of the royal House of Stuart
"Famous Scottish battles", Philip Warner, Leo Cooper, London, 1975, ISBN 0-85052-487-3"Burke's Country Gentry" under Henderson of Fordell & "History of Inverkeithing & Rosyth" by W.M.Stephen,1921.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pinkie House — is a historic house, built around a three storey tower house located in Musselburgh, in East Lothian, Scotland. The house dates back to the sixteenth century, although it was substantially enlarged in the early 17th century, and has been altered… … Wikipedia
Pinkie — may refer to: * Pinkie (Lawrence painting), a 1794 portrait by Thomas Lawrence *Pinkie Brown, the antihero of Graham Greene s novel Brighton Rock *Stuart Pinkie Bates, a musician who played the Hammond organ with Neil Hannon s band, The Divine… … Wikipedia
Battle of Flodden Field — Infobox Military Conflict caption=Also called the Battle of Branxton partof=the War of the League of Cambrai conflict=Battle of Flodden Field date=September 9, 1513 place=Near Branxton in Northumberland, England result=Decisive English victory… … Wikipedia
Battle of Prestonpans — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Prestonpans caption=Jacobite forces at the Battle of Prestonpans partof=Jacobite rising date=21 September 1745 place=Prestonpans (near Edinburgh), Scotland result=Jacobite Victory combatant1=… … Wikipedia
Clan MacFarlane — A Victorian era, romanticised depiction of a member of the clan by R. R. McIan, from The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, published in 1845. Clan MacFarlane (Scots Gaelic: Clann Mhic Pharthalain) is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan claims a… … Wikipedia
Clan Campbell — Crest badge … Wikipedia
Anglo-Scottish Wars — The Anglo Scottish Wars were a series of wars fought between England and Scotland during the sixteenth century.After the Wars of Scottish Independence, England and Scotland had fought several times during the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth… … Wikipedia
The Rough Wooing — was a term coined by Sir Walter Scott and H. E. Marshall to describe the Anglo Scottish war pursued intermittently from 1544 to 1551. It followed from the failure of the Scots to honour the terms of the 1543 Treaty of Greenwich, by which the… … Wikipedia
Tudor dynasty — Royal house surname = Tudor estate = England coat of arms = country = Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of France parent house = Lancaster and York titles = Duke of Richmond, Honour of Richmond founder = Henry Tudor and Elizabeth… … Wikipedia
Clan Colquhoun — A crest badge suitable for a member of Clan Colquhoun Clan Colquhoun is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan motto shown above in the crest best translates to if I can. Contents … Wikipedia