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BATTLE ARRAY OF THE SCOTS.
including those in sir Marmaduke Constable's wing) turning inexplicably westwards along the north margin of this morass.52 Giles Musgrare, an Englishman, probably an outlaw, who happened to be in the Scottish camp, gave it as his opinion that his countrymen were about to cross the Tweed near Cornhill and ravage the Merse. 53
Still greater was the surprise of the Scots when they saw the English suddenly wading through the middle of the swamp that they had thought impassable. James at once rightly conjectured that the enemy were making for Brankston hill, the occupation of which, rising as it does to within a few feet of the altitude of Flodden, would have enabled them to cut his lines of communication with Scotland. With true military genius, he at once ordered the camp refuse on Flodden to be set on fire, and, taking advantage of the clouds of smoke with which a south-easterly wind enveloped the whole range, he transferred his forces and artillery to the summit of Brankston before the lord admiral, who had arrived at its foot, had the least idea of the sudden move he had made.
In marching from Flodden hill, James, we are told, arranged his forces in five lines composed of square pike-shaped battalions.54 He himself, with the royal standard of Scotland being in the third line, was protected by two other lines on either side.55 Each line, except that of the king which was larger than the others, and has been estimated as high as 20,000 men,56 was, it would seem (judging from the fact that the names of the leaders of these lines occur in pairs, Home and Huntley, Crawford and Errol, Argyle and Lennox), composed of two brigaded battalions, each containing four French captains, and
(Angli) sub vesperum loco undique munito et paludoso, se ostentant.' — Ep. Reg. Scot. p. 187 ; Ridpath, Border History, p. 492 n.
53 Floddon Field, 8th fit, vv. 5-8.
54. Omnes copias in quinque acies dispertit; ea ratione ut tertium agmen in quo signum regium erat, at omnes viri insignes militabant, duplici utrinque acie tanquam duobus cornibus clauderetur.'-Paolo Giovio, Hist. sui temp. p. 148.
38 • Exercitus Scotorum divisus fuit in quinque ordines et distributus in tarmas quadrangulares : contorum (quos picas nunc vocant) similitudinem referentes : omnes ab exercitu Anglico aequali spatio distantes.'—Letter to Card. Bainbridge, Rotta de Scocesi, App. p. 4.
Scocesi (como dissi) facte havieno
le lor acie quadrate : equale in punta
-Ibid. p. 29.
about 5,000 men. The peculiar pike-shape of the battalions may have been adopted in deference to the latest theoretical rules of military science imported from beyond the seas, or, more apparent than real, may have been caused by the diagonal line of march from Flodden to Brankston.58 In fact as it advanced on Brankston that fatal afternoon, the formation of the Scottish host must have borne, however strange and fanciful it may seem, a strong resemblance to the nine of diamonds, that 'curse of Scotland.' First came the foremost vanguard composed of the two battalions, the earl of Home's border horse, and the earl of Huntley's Gordon highlanders ; then the battalions of the earls of Crawford and Errol; third, in the centre, the royal division, followed by one less clearly distinguished than the others but which appears to have been formed by the battalions of the Seigneur
57 · Nel primo corno overa il franco havvardo
percossero, col conte de Arelia :
octo Francciosi per gubernatori.
soldati, & se fur piu, non molti forono
se mosser dopo con ben dece millia.
dopo si mosse la bandera regia
-Rotta de Scocesi, pp. 31, 32. The letter to Cardinal Bainbridge mentions the forty French captains.-Ibid. app. p. 3.
58 Through the kindness of the Rev. F. J. Foakes-Jackson, I have examined the unique collection of early military books in the library of Jesus College, Cambridge, in the hope of finding an ideal arrangement of troops like that adopted by James IV. and his French advisers, La Motte and Aussi, but though all sorts of singular shapes, such as wedges and shears, are recommended, I have found nothing exactly bearing on the point. I noted especially among these books, The Arte of Warre, “written first in Italian by Nicholas Machiavell & set forthe in English by Peter Whitehorne, student at Graies Inn MDLX.,' which contains good plans of the battles of Guarigliano, 1503, and St. Quentin, 1557 ; Instruction des Principes et Fondements de la Cavallerie, 'per Jean Jacques de Wallhausen, capitaine de la louable ville de Danzick. Francfort, MDCXVI;' and Le Gouvernement de la Cavallerie Legere · par George Basta, Governeur General en Vngrie & Transilvanie pour feu l'Invictissime Empereur Rodolphe II. Rouen, 1627,' with diagrams of the 'exploits' at Driel, Ordingen, and Ingelmunster.
d'Aussi and the earl of Bothwell, while the Highland battalions of Argyle and Lennox brought up the rear. When the enemy halted and turned north to front the advancing English, the configuration of the ground was such that the fourth division, that of d'Aussi and Bothwell, found itself hidden from the view of the enemy in a small valley, and was thus able to act as an important reserve for assisting both the royal division and the farther rear-guard.59
The king at once gave the command for the vanguard, that is to say his first and second divisions, to descend the hill in good order like Germans guarding perfect silence, so that when the smoke rolled away the admiral was alarmed to find the four battalions bearing down on him only a quarter of a mile away, and sent in all haste the Agnus Dei that hung at his breast to his father as a signal that he was to bring up the rear-guard with all speed to join his left wing commanded by Constable.60
The removal of the Scottish artillery to Brankston hill had permitted the earl of Surrey to cross unchallenged the Sandyford burn near Crookham with the ordnance that the admiral had been forced to leave behind in wading through Brankston moss. Meanwhile, it would seem that the right wing of the rear-guard, about 3,000 strong,
59 • Il signor Dausi capitan Francese,
con quindici migliaia in un squadrone,
- Rotta de Scocesi, p. 32. * My Lorde Hawarde conceiving the great power of the Scottes, sent to my said [Lorde] of Surrey his fader and required hym to advaunce his rerewarde and to joine his right wyng with his left wyng, for the Scottes wer of that might that the vanwarde was not of power nor abull to encounter thaim, My saide lorde of Surrey perfitely vnderstanding this with all spede and diligence, lustely, came forwarde and joyned hym to the vanwarde as afor was required by my said Lord Hawarde, and was glad for necessite to make of two battalles oon good battell to aventure of the said iiij battelles.'— Trewe Encountre, Laing Ms. in Proceedings Soc. Ant. Scot. vii. p. 148. The English is provokingly vague; the Latin account says the admiral waited donec altera ala ultimi agminis conjungeretur extremæ parti agminis sui.'—Letter to Cardinal Bainbridge, Rotta de Scocesi, app. p. 4. This leaves no doubt that Surrey's right wing (Dacre) was to have joined the admiral's left (Constable), but in consequence of the violence of the Scottish attack on the admiral's right (Edmund Howard) it was ordered chemin faisant to hasten to the relief of this last. That Dacre did command a wing of Surrey's division is clear from his own letter to Henry VIII. (see note 63). The idea that he was stationed with an independent squadron to give assistance where necessary is a mistake of Paolo Giovio. The distance from the bottom to the top of the hill is clearly given as 500 paces - cujus radices a cacumine quingintis passibus distabant.'—Rotta de Scocesi, ibid.
commanded by lord Dacre, instead of joining Constable, pushed forward as rapidly as ever possible to support Edmund Howard, whose division appears to have made more progress towards Brankston hill than the rest of the vanguard. At any rate Edmund's was the first to be engaged, receiving as it did at the extreme west of the field the shock of the charge of the battalion composed of Border horse led by lord Home the chamberlain of Scotland, linked with that of the earl of Huntley's Gordon highlanders. Sir Brian Tunstal, a knight of the same stainless character as his father, whose loyalty to the Red Rose had remained unshaken amid all the tergiversations of the civil wars, was the first Englishman ‘to proffer stroke.'61 Swinging his halbert about him he brought sir Malcolm Keen and others staggering to the ground, then rushing into the midst of the descending host he was cut off from all succour, and sank overpowered by some twenty Scots. The battle had begun in good earnest. In the words of the ancient ballad, which with its stately metre has about it so much of the true ring of the glorious song of Brunanburh,
• there was gurding forth of gunns: with many great stones,
that all the dale dunned : of their derfe strokes. '62 At the first boom of the Scottish cannon the men of Tynemouth and Bamburghshire in the wing of the rear-guard that lord Dacre was bringing up to support Edmund Howard, took to their heels. Edmund's Cheshire followers, already half-mutinous at not being led by a Stanley, and cowed by the fall of the heroic Tunstal, immediately followed their example.63 Some of the leaders manfully stood their
61 Floddon Field, 8th fit, v. 41.
62 Scotish ffeilde, 11. 324-329. 63 " At Branxton, that victorious field, as I was not of sufficient power of my country folks to be a wing of my Lord Treasurer's hoste, he assigned to me Bamburghshire and Tinmouth, to assiste me with there powers, which at the first shott of the Scottish gonnys fled from me and tarried no longer.'— Raine, North Durham, introd. p. vi. So, too, the Baggaley ballad.
' in wing with these wees : was my Lord Dacres,
-Scotish ffeilde (Lyme MS.), 11. 331, 332. It may be explained that'wees' or wyes' mean 'men,' and 'bredd' or 'braid,' ‘onset.'
CHARGE OF DACRE'S HORSE.
ground: sir John Booth of Barton; sir William Warcop, a young Yorkshire knight ;64 sir Thomas Fitzwilliam, from beside Rotheram ; Christopher Savage, and others, these
• wold neuer flee: for noe feare that cold happen,
but were killed lik Conquerors: in their King's service.' 65 Edmund Howard himself was thrice laid low, and was only saved by the timely arrival and unselfish devotion of John Heron.66 Even then, as he was hurrying towards the main body of the vanguard, sir Edmund was in danger of being cut off by the troop of sir David Home, but at this moment a successful charge, delivered by lord Dacre with the leries of Gilsland and Alston moor, and
* The horsemen light from Esk and Leven,' 67 fifteen hundred in all, drove off the victorious borderers, and saved the discomfiture of the extreme right from spreading a panic through the other divisions of the English army.
The lord admiral in the centre of the vanguard had been attacked by the earls of Crawford and Errol, with whom was George Lesley, earl of Rothes.68 At every step Howard called loudly for the king, saying, in reference to the alleged taunts of James as to his evasive policy on the high seas, ‘Now I flee not at thy approach. Thou who boastedst of having sought me ererywhere in vain, where art thou ? Show thyself, and we will prove which has the greatest strength !'89 Instead of the king, he encountered the earl of Crawford, and the two, armed with axes, fought undecisively together for
61 Scotish ffeilde, 1. 341. He is called Sir Robert in the Craven ballad.
67 The text, manifestly corrupt, has · Hexham Leven.'— Floàdon Field, 5th fit, v. 54; ed. Federer, p. 51.
68 • Ne valse per che assai fussero forti
il conte de Crafordia & de Arelia :
- Rotta de Scocesi, p. 39. Pinkerton, Hist. of Scotland, ii. p. 457, notices the mistake of Huntley for Lesley in the earliest list of the slain.
eco non fuggo hor a te vegno, tu che havermi cercato in ciascun passo te vanti, ov sei ? hor lassati vedere,
et provarem chi havra maggior potere.'-1bid. The admiral would give no quarter, not even to the king bimself óneminem quantumvis nobilem Scotum, etiam si esset rex ipse, captionem facere : sed occidere.'—Letter to Bainbridge, p. 4.