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The Earlieji known Printed Englijh Ballad. 











LONDON: "'' " 




I. Origin of Ballads 

II. Defcription of the Ballade of the Scottyflie Kynge 

III. Biographical Notices of John Skelton . . . 

IV. The Battle of Floddon 

V. Events in the Reign of James IV. of Scotland 

VI. Contemporary Evidence Relating to the Ballad 

VII. The Letter of the Kynge of Scottes . . . 

VIII. Commencement of the Scottifh Campaign . 

IX. Negotiations betvvreen the Englifh and Scotch 

X. Battle of Floddon Field 

Facjimile of Ballade of the Scottyfhe Kynge 












]F all varieties of poetry, the Ballad, 
in the form which it afFeds among us, 
in diftindlion to other countries, is, 
perhaps, one of the moft attradive. 
Although deriving its appellation from 
a word fignifying a dance in Italy and France, where 
the ballad was a metrical narrative, or domeftic epic, 
generally fhort, or at lead not very long, as to its 
amount, and ufed as an accompaniment to a dance, 
the Englifh ballad by no means demanded the dance 
for its accompaniment, and only fignified a fairly fhort 
narrative poem in a rhyming metre of a lively, trip- 
ping, and popular ftyle, which could be fung or chanted, 
and as fuch, was eafily diftinguifhed from the true 


poem or lay, which was compofed in an artificial and 
more ferious verfe, and was only intended for recita- 
tion. It is difficult, if not altogether impoffible, to 
trace the origin of the prefent form of the ballad in 
England. There is great probability that it is con- 
temporary with the times when the alliterative, or 
initial-rhyming poems of the Anglo-Saxon and Early 
Englifh poets were gradually giving way to the end- 
rhyming poetry which Chaucer and his school did fo 
much to dignify. 

Of our indigenous ballads, many fb-called collec- 
tions have been compiled. A mere lift of the titles 
would be tedious and of little profit here. Perhaps 
the oldeft known example is that of " King Horn," 
derived from an older and unfound ballad, yet cer- 
tainly written in the form in which it is now extant, 
as early as the thirteenth century. Another celebrated 
and early ballad, ^' Gamelyn," is of the fourteenth 
century. After this period the ballad, in the elaftic 
forms to which it lends itfelf both as to intrinfic narra- 
tional charadter, and extrinfic metrical adaptation, pro- 
vided only the quality of being capable of being fung 
be preferved, fprings rapidly into vogue among the 
copyifts, and examples of it abound. In fad, for a 
feafon, the ballad occupied a dignified pofition among 
lefs facile forms of poetry. It was a form favoured 
by the beft poets, and admired by the moft apprecia- 
tive lifteners. But, after a time, as the progrefs of 


education and the advance of literary tafte diredled 
the attention of the better claiTes to other channels 
of compofition, fo the ballad came to be negleded and 
defpifed, until at length, particularly in the feventeenth 
century, it degenerated into a vehicle for ribaldry, 
obfcenity, and fcurrility, printed in the fimpleft and 
commoneft manner, carried about the country by 
pedlars who pandered to the depraved taftes of their 
unlettered cuftomers, and, with few exceptions, worth- 
lefs in every point of its former excellence. Curioufly 
enough an exception muft be made with regard to the 
Scottifh ballads, many of which, particularly thofe 
relating to martial deeds, or military prowefs, are of 
a far fuperior chara6ler to thofe of England, which are 
found contemporary with them. The fimpler, chafter, 
and more martial fpirit of the Caledonians, no doubt con- 
tributed to this refult, and in turn was influenced by it. 
Whether the curious " Ballade," which is the fub- 
je6l of the prefent treatife, fhould take rank as the 
earlieft known printed ballad in England — or only be 
entitled to fecondary honours — mainly depends on 
what can be termed a ballad — where a fong ends, and 
a poem commences. It has, however, but one rival, 
" The Nut-browne Mayd," to which the title of a ballad 
can be hardly affigned in the fame fenfe of perfedinefs, 
and felf-completenefs that this is.* This poem may 

' It fhould be borne in mind that Mr. G. Barnett Smith com- 


be familiar to many readers, but few know its pedigree, 
and title to rank as the earlieft known printed ballad. 
Early in the fixteenth century a book was publifhed 
at Antwerp, without date or author's name, and this, 
for want of a better name, has been called " Arnold's 
Chronicle," or " The Cuftomes of London." Bale, 
Pits, Stowe, and Holinfhed, afcribe this work to 
Arnold (according to Stowe, " a citizen of London "), 
" who being inflamed with the fervente love of good 
learninge, travailed very ftudioufly therin, and princi- 

municatcd the text of this ballad to the "Athenaeum," No. 2790, 
April 16, 1881, p. 525, with defcriptive notes relating to the 
principal events in the progrefs of its difcovery. This was fol- 
lowed in the next number, p. 561, by a paragraph containing an 
extraft from a letter by ProfefTor Skeat to the editor, in which he 
writes: "I do not quite know why it is called the 'oldeft Englilh 
printed ballad.' The ballad of ' The Nut-brown Maid,' printed 
at length in my ' Specimens of Englifh Literature,' is quite a 
famous one ; every one Ihould know of it who cares for Englifh 
Literature. And it was printed in 1502." The fame paragraph 
points out that the accuracy of Mr. Barnett Smith's tranfcript is 
impugned. To this Mr. Smith, in the " Athenasum," No. 2792, 
April 30, pp. 592, 593, replied that his variations confift; "in 
nearly every inftance in the fubftitution of capital letters where 
they feem to be required, and in the uniform fpelling of a word 
or two where the original was defeftive." In this reply, alfo, 
Mr. Smith admits having for the moment forgotten the claims of 
"The Nut-brown Maid "for a date of 1502, and he adds, "But after 
all it is a fecondary matter whether * The Nut-brown Maid' pre- 
ceded by a few years the ballad of 'TheScottifh King,' or whether 
the latter was the earlier in the order of publication. The one 
paramount faft is that here — as is generally believed — is a per- 


pally in obferving matters worthy to be remembred 
of the pofteritye ; he noted the Charters, liberties, 
lawes, conftitucions and Cuftomes of the Citie of 
London. He lived in the year 15 19." Whether 
he, or any one elfe wrote the book, does not much 
matter ; it is a book entirely on mercantile fubje6ls, 
with the remarkable exception of the unexpected, and 
uncalled-for, interpolation of the anonymous poem 
which has received the name of the '* Nut-brown 
Mayd." The page in " Arnold's Chronicle," which 
precedes this poem, confifts of " The compoficion 
betwene the marchauntis of england and y*" towne of 

feftly new ballad, which muft poiTefs a ftrong and genuine intereft 
for men of letters and antiquaries." Mr. Adin Williams, another 
correfpondent to the fame periodical, in the fame column, chal- 
lenges Profeffor Skeat's ftatement that the date of 1 502 is to be 
affigned to "The Nut-brown Maid," and inclines to 1 521 as a 
nearer date of publication, although the ballad was written about 
the earlier date mentioned. He fays in continuation, "Mr. Barnett 
Smith might call his the oldeft printed ballad, with title-page and 
date, ilfued as a book, and not as a portion of a book, even if 
Arnold's 'Chronicle' is faid to have been printed before 1521. 
But what of the ' Gefte of Robin Hood,' Edinburgh, 1508?" 
Profeffor Skeat, however, in a fubfequent communication (No. 
2793, May 7, p. 623) completely demolilhes this alfertion by 
fhowing that there are two old editions of Arnold's "Chronicle," 
one printed in 1502, and the other in I 521, and fuggefts the date 
of the writing of " The Nut-brown Maid" as " about 1500, but 
that is the very lateft date that can be reafonably accepted," To 
this Mr. A. Williams acquiefces in the following No. 2974. 
May 14, p 654. 


andwarp, for the coftis of ther marchaundicis brought 
to the faid towne and leauing thens." Immediately 
before the poem is " Brokers to pay for a cloth under 
xl.s. the broker fhal haue 

Item for a cloth aboue xl.s. the broker hath 
Item C. ellis cotton cloth payth lyke a clothe &c" 

and immediately after it the book continues the even, 
bufinefs-like tenour of its way, and dilates upon " The 
rekenyng to bey waris in flaundres." The date of 
1502 or 1503 has been afcribed to the "Chronicle", 
folely for the reafon that the laft fheriffs in the com- 
piler's lift, in the firft edition, are Henry Keble and 
Nicolas Nynes, in the i8th year of King Henry 
VIII,, viz., 1502. This date may or may not be 
rightly afcribed, and need only be queftioned if the 
title of the poem of the " Nut-brown Maid " to be 
confidered a ballad ftands good. 

What is a ballad .'' or rather what was a ballad .? 
for we all know its prefent meaning. Chaucer and 
others ufed the term " balade " for a fong written in 
a particular rhythm, but that definition pafled away, 
and it came certainly to mean a popular fong on fome 
warlike feat, or adventure, love or intrigue, of more 
or lefs extent, but ftill fhort enough to be fung, and, 
as I take it, to be fung by one perfon only, there 
being no antiphonal ballads properly fo called. But 
the whole of the " Nut-brown Maid " from the 


twenty-fecond line (out of i8o) is a metrical dialogue 
between the knight and the maid, and is, moreover, 
intended to be fo : — 

Line 13. "Than betwene vs, lete vs difcufle, what was all the 

14. Be twene them too, we wyl alfo, telle all they peyne 

in fere 

15. That fhe was in, now I begynne,foo that ye me an/were." 

This removes it at once out of the category of a ballad. 
That it has hitherto been thus defcribed is of no im- 
portance, and, until this "ballade of the Scottyfhe 
Kynge" was found, it was fcarcely worth while to 
remove the " Nut-brown Maid " from the poft of 
honour. Profeflbr Skeat and others have, neverthe- 
lefs, accepted this as a ballad ; and granting that the 
" Nut-brown Maid " thoroughly fulfils all the condi- 
tions of a ballad, I ftill claim the higheft honours for 
the " Scottyfshe Kynge," on the ground that it is inde- 
pendently publifhed, that it has a title and a colophon, 
and that it ftyles itfelf a ballad, thus leaving no doubt 
as to its charadler. It, therefore, (lands at prefent as 
the earlieft printed Engliih ballad. 




HE defcription of this poem in the 
Britifh Mufeum Catalogue is as fol- 
lows : — 

" James IV. King of Scotland. A 
ballade of the Scottyfshe Kynge (com- 
mencing * Kynge Jamy, Jomy your Joye is all go ; ') 
on the battle of Floddon by John Skelton, B.L. 
Richard Fawkes. London, 15 13. 4°. Note. 4 
leaves without title page or pagination. 31 lines to 
the full page. Beneath the title is a woodcut repre- 
fenting two Knights ; and beneath the woodcut are 
the firft four lines of the letterprefs. This ballad was 
included in ' a treatyfe of the Scottes ^ publifhed later 
among * Certayne bokes copyled by Mayfter Skelton ' 
but with many variations. It is believed to be the 
firft printed Englifh Ballad." 

As far as is known this piece is unique, and its 


hiftory is fomewhat romantic. On opening the book 
is found the pen-and-ink note : — 

"*A ballade of the Scottyfshe Kynge.' This 
formed the infide of the wooden cover of an old folio 
volume belonging to Mifs Chafyn Grove of Zeals 
Houfe, Bath. The old book, with a great many 
more, had lain for years on the floor of a garret in a 
farm houfe at Whaddon, co. Dorfet (now Mifs 
Grove's), and both farm houfe and hbrary had come 
to her by family defcent, from Mr. Bullen Reynes of 
CO. Dorfet. 

" J. E. Jackfon, 

" Leigh Delamere, 
" Chippenham, 
" Hon. Canon of Briftol. 
"Nov. 9, 1878." 

This authentication is, however, fomewhat meagre, 
and it is a pity that Canon Jackfon did not enter more 
fully into the details of its difcovery. It was found, 
as defcribed, in the cover of the French romance of 
" Huon of Bordeaux," printed at Paris by Michel le 
Noir in 15 13, which was bound in oak after its 
arrival in England. Not the leafl remarkable cir- 
cumftance conneded with its finding, was that in the 
other fide cover of the book, were two leaves of a 
very fcarce trad on Floddon Field, " The trewe en- 
countre or . . Batayle lately don betwene Englade 
and: Scotlande. In whiche batayle the . Scottfshe 


Kynge was flayne " and known to be printed by- 
Richard Faques.' This gave an opportunity of com- 
paring the type and printing of the ballad and profe 
narrative, and proved that both were the work of 
Faques, who, indeed, printed at leaft one other book 
of Skelton's.* In this I moft fully concur, having had 

^ " Richard Fawkes, Faques, or Fakes, is thought by Bagford 
in his MS. Memoranda, to have been a foreigner, and to have 
printed in the Monaftery of Syon, while one Myghel Fawkes 
printed in conjunftion with Robert Copland in 1535. There is 
greater probability in the fuppofition that Fawkes was a relation 
of William Faques the king's printer (who printed from 1499 to 
I 508). Few of his books exhibit the fame flcilfulnefs of execution 
as do thofe of this latter printer. ' However that be (adds Her- 
bert), Mr Thomas Wilfon of Leeds in Yorkfhire, in a letter to 
Mr. Ames, dated April 2, 1751, informed him that Richard 
Fawkes, printer, was fecond fon of John Fawkes of Farnley Hall, 
Efqre, in the faid County ; and that in a pedigree he has, of that 
family, he is called Printer of London.' There is a loofe MS. 
note in Herbert's 'Memoranda Books' that Wyer was fervant 
to Fawkes; but I have never difcovercd a volume in which fuch 
tcftimony appears Time has fparcd very few of his publi- 
cations, and his books may be treafured among the rarities of the 
typographical art." — " Typographical Antiquities," &c., by the 
Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin, vol. iii., p. 355, ed. 1816. 

^ " Skelton's Garlande or Chapclet of Laurcll," 1523. Quarto. 

" A ryght delegable tratyfe vpon a goodly Garlande or Chape- 
let of Laurcll by mayfter Skelton Poete laureat ftudyoufly dyuyfed 
at Sheryfhotton Caftell. In y" forefte of galtrcs/ wherein ar co- 
pryfyde many & dyucrs folacyons & ryghte pregnant alle£^yves 
of fyngular pleafurc/ as more at large it doth apcre in y'' pees 
folowynge " 

"C Inpryntyd by mc Rycharde faukes dwellydg in dura rent 


an opportunity of comparing them. It feems, how- 
ever, that this fortunate difcovery was to be full of 
furprifes, for thefe two leaves were the very ones 
wanting to complete the copy of this trad in the 
library of S. Chriftie Miller, Efq., of Craigentinny, 
and Britwell, Bucks. The Ballad would, in all pro- 
bability have remained ftill longer unknown to the 
general public, as it was somewhat hidden ; being 
catalogued, as we have feen, under the heading 
*' James IV. King of Scotland" — had it not been 
kindly pointed out to me by Mr. Anderfon of the 
Britifh Mufeum, who knew my fondnefs for ancient 
ballad literature. 

The ballad, although not dated, carries with it in- 
ternal evidence of its date. Indeed, Skelton was in 
fuch hafte to fing his pasan, that he evidently a<5led 
on the firft (and incorredt) verfion of the vidory. 
It is probable that he did not know of the death of 
King James ; at any rate, he fpeaks of him all through 
as living as a prifoner at Norham : — 

" For to the Caftell of Norham 
I vnderftonde to foone ye cam. 
For a pryfoner there now ye be 
Eyther to the devyll or the trinitie." 

er els in Powlis chyrche yarde at the fygne of the j9!.^^5*CX» 
The yere of our lorde god. ^,<S,<iL<iL<iL€m\ii The. iij. day of 


And again : — 

" Of the Kynge of naucrne yc may take hedc/ 
How vnfortunately he doth now fpede/ 
In double wcllcs now he dooth dreme. 
That is a Kynge witou a realme 
At hym example ye wolde none take 
Experyence hath brought you in the fame brake." 

When Skelton re-wrote the ballad, and publifhed it 
years after, in " Skelton Laureate againft the Scottes," 
he was aware of this anachronifm and altered it : — 

" Unto the caftell of Norram 
I vnderftande, to fone ye came 
Thus for your guerdon quyt ar ye 
Thanked be God in Trinitie." 

" Of the Kyng of Nauerne, ye might take heed 
Ungracioufly how he doth fpeed 
In double delynge, fo he did dreme 
That he is Kynge, without a Remc. 
And for example he would none take 
Experiens hath brought you in fuch a brake." 

Skelton evidently confidered it important to be 
early in the field, and as, from his pofition as poet 
laureate and the King's orator, he muft needs be 
loyal above all to his royal mafter, and thoroughly 
fevere upon his enemies, he called upon Melpomene — 

"To guydc my pen, and my pen to embibc 
Illumine me your poet and your fcribe 


That with mixture of Aloes and bitter gall 
I may compound, confedlures for accordiall 
To angre the Scottes, and Irifk Kiteringes withal 
That late were difcomfedt, with battaile marcial." 

If he could do this, and fing his fong of triumph, 
there was no need of delay until authentic news of the 
vidory arrived, — fo he fet himfelf to do as he fays : — 

** So that now I haue deuifed 
And in my minde I haue comprifed 
Of the proude Scot, King Jemmy 
To write fome lytell tragedy 
For no manner confideration 
Of any forowful lamentation 
But for our fpecial confolacion 
Of al our royal Englylh Nacion." 



AVING thus eftablifhed the authorfhip 
of the ballad, it will be advantageous to 
put on record fome notices of Skelton 
himfelf There are feveral quafi por- 
traits of Skelton extant — but there is 
only one likely to be at all reliable. In the " Chape- 
let of Laurell " is one, but that is evidently from the 
fame block that reprefents the month of April in " le 
copoft et kalendrier des bergeres " printed by Guy 
Marchat, Paris, 1499. There was another portrait 
in an edition of " Dy uers Balletys and Dy ties folacious " ; 
but as this alfo did duty for Dr. Boorde (author of 
Wife Men of Gotham, &c.), it cannot be received as 
genuine. It feems fingular, that, feeing he was a well- 
known character, and popular writer, old woodcuts 
fhould have to do duty for his " vera effigies " ; but 
fuch is the cafe. 

Another portrait in an edition of " Colin Clout " 


printed by Richard Kele, is, to fay the leaft, very 
dubious, judging by previous experience ; but there is 
one, — in " Portraits 111 uft rating Granger's Biographical 
Hiftory of England," commonly known as Richardfon's 
Colledion, which really does feem a probable likenefs — 
a flat black cap forms the headpiece of a frank fmiling 
face, which is rather broad, and with pointed chin. He 
wears a flight beard and mouftache. He is drefl'ed in 
a black caflbck and coat, with a collar flightly laced, 
hair rather fliort and curling, ears fomewhat prominent. 

The only attempt at authenticating this portrait is, 
that it is " from an original pidure in the pofleflion 
of Mr. Richardfon." 

His birthplace is unknown, fome imagining he was 
born in Norfolk, others that he came from Cumberland, 
and we are in equal ignorance as to the date of his birth. 
It is afliimed that it could not be earlier than 1460, and 
the reafoning by which this furmife has been arrived at, 
is that probably one of the earlieft poems he wrote was 
that " Of the Death of the Noble prince Kynge Ed- 
warde the forth", who died 1483. It is certain that 
he fliudied at Oxford, and was laureated there fome- 
where about 1490, for in the preface to " the boke of 
Eneydos compyled by Vyrgyle," which was tranflated 
from the French by Caxton, and publiflied by him in 
1490, we find "But I praye mayfter John Skelton, 
late created poete laureate in the vnyuerfite of oxen- 
ford, to ouerfee and corredl this fayd booke." Search 


was made in the Oxford records by the Rev. Dr. 
Bhfs, who was unable to find any trace of Skelton's 
diftindion, but the poet himfelf fays : — 

" At Oxforth the vniverfyte 
Auaunfid I was to that degre ; 
By hole confcnt of theyr fenate, 
I was made poete laureat."' 

Shortly after, the Univerfity of Cambridge conferred 
an ad eundem degree on him. "An. Dom. 1493 et 
Hen. 7. nono. Conceditur Johi Skelton Poete in 
partibus tranfmarinis '^ atque Oxon. Laurea ornato, ut 
apud nos eadem decoraretur," and in 1504-5 this was 
again mentioned, and the right of wearing the habit 
which the King had granted was conceded to him. 
He was not a little proud of this habit, and in his 
poems againft Garnefche he mentions it feveral times. 

" What eylythe the, rcbawde, on me to raue ? 
A Kyng to me myn habyte gaue : " 

It feems to have been white and green, and exceedingly 
fine, for he fays : — 

" Your fworde ye fwcre, I wene, 
So tranchaunt and fo kene, 
Xall Kyi both wyght and grcne : 
Your foly is to grett 
The Kynges colours to thrcte." 

' *' Skelton Laureate defcndar agcinfl: lufty Garnyfhe well be- 
fccn Chryftofcr Chalangar, et cetera" lines 81-4. 
* Louvain, where he had alfo ftudied. 


On this habit, or on fome other portion of his attire, 
the name of his Mufe Calliope was embroidered. 

" Why were ye Calliope embrawdred with letters of golde ? 
Skelton Laureate. Orato. Reg. maketh this aunfwere &*' — 
As ye may fe, 
Regent is ftie 

Of poetes al, 
Whiche gaue to me 
The high degre 
Laureat to be 

Of fame royall ; 
Whofe name enrolde 
With filke and golde 
I dare be bolde 

Thus for to were 
Of her I holde 
And her houfholde ; 
Though I waxe olde 

And fomedele fere 
Yet is ftie fayne, 
Voyde of difdayn, 
Me to retayne 

Her feruiture : 
With her certayne 
I will remayne 
As my fouerayne 

Mooft of pleafure 

Maulgre touz malheureux." 

Skelton followed the cuftom of moft learned men 
of that age, he entered the Church, and was admitted 
to the grade of fubdeacon on the jift March, deacon 



14th April, and ordained prieft 9th June, a.d. 1498. 
It is uncertain when he was appointed tutor to Prince 
Henry, afterwards Henry VIII., but he had balked 
in the funfhine of court favour for fome time pre- 
vioufly, for he celebrated the creation of Prince 
Arthur as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chefter in 
A.D. 1489 in a compofition called "Prince Arthur's 
Creacyoun," — a piece which is not now extant, — and 
when Prince Henry was created Duke of York in 
A.D. 1494, Skelton feized the opportunity of dedica- 
ting fome Latin verfes to his patron. He feems alfo 
to have attended to the ftudies of his young charge, 
for he writes,^ 

"The Duke of Yorkis creauncer whan Skelton was 
Now Henry the VIII. Kyng of Englonde, 
A Tratyfe he deuyfid and browght it to pas, 
Callid Speculum Principis, to bcre in his honde 
Thcrin to rede ; and to vnderftande 
All the demenour of princely allate, 
To be our Kyng, of God preordinate." 

No date has been affigned to his appointment as 
Redlor of Difs in Norfolk, which preferment he feems 
to have held till his death, but that he had the living 
in 1504 there can be no doubt, for his fignature 
"Mafter John Skelton. Laureat. Parfon of DifTe," 
appears as a witnefs to the will of Mary Cooper of 
Difs in that year. Here, however, he came under 

' « Garlande of Laurell." 

THE scorrrssHE ktnge. 


the heavy difpleafure of his dlocefan, Nix or Nykke, 
on account of his marriage, condud which would 
hardly call forth fuch a heavy punifhment now-a-days.^ 

' In 1873 Mr. Walter de Gray Birch, F.S.A., difcovered 
among the MSS. of Mr. William Bragge, F.S.A., at Sheffield, an 
unpublifhed lyric by Skelton referring to this epifode in the 
domeftic life of the poet. From the allufion to the feparation of 
a hufband and wife, when the latter was "ny off progeny," we may 
fairly conclude that it was written fhortly after Skekon's enforced 
feparation from his wife, during his refuge at Weflminfter. The 
poem, which formed the fubjedl of a communication by Mr. 
Birch to the " Athenaeum," is as follows : — 

" Petevelly 
Conftraynd am y 
With weepyng y 

" Thatt we fo ny 
off progeny 
So fodenly 

" When yee are goyn 
Conforte ys noyne 
Butt al a looyne 

" With grevyly groyne 
Makyng my moyne 
As hytt where oone 

" With chance fodyne 
Boo doythe me ftrayne 
Yn every wayne 

" I cannott layne 
Nor yeet refrayne 
Myne yes tweyne 

to morne and playne. 

Schuld parte on twayne. 

Endewre mull; y. 

That fchuld nedys dy. 

That for no thyng. 

Frome foore wepyng." 


Fuller ^ fays " The Dominican Friars were the next 
he contefted with, whofe vitioufnefs lay pat enough 
for his hand ; but fuch foul Lubbers fell heavy on ail 
which found fault with them. Thefe inftigated Nix 
Bifhop of Norwich, to call him to account for keeping 
a Concubine, which coft him, (as it feems) a fufpenfion 

from his benefice We muft not forget 

how being charged by fome on his death bed for be- 
getting many children on the aforefaid Concubine; he 
protefted, that in his Confcience he kept her in the 
notion of a wife, though fuch his cowardlinefs that he 
would rather confefs adultery, (then accounted but a 
venial ;) than own Marriage efteemed a capital crime 
in that age." 

But one can hardly fancy jovial, hard-hitting 
Skelton, whofe " talke was as he wraet," as a prieft. 
As Anthony Wood " fays of him, he " was efteemed 
more fit for the ftage than the pew or pulpit," and, 
indeed, the " certayne merye tales of Skelton, Poet 
Lauriat," countenance the aftertion ; and the old ftory 
of " Long Meg of Weftminfter " ftiows him as drink- 
ing at an inn with his hoftefs, a Spanifh knight called 
Sir James of Caftille, and Will Somers, and fpeaks of 
him as being in " his mad merrie vein." Church- 
yarde writes that he was " feldom out of Princis grace " 

' " The Hiftory of the Worthies of England endeavoured by Fuller, D.D." Lond. 1662, p. 257. 
- Blifs' edition of "Ath. Oxon.," vol. i., p. 50. 

THE scorrrssHE KTNGE. zi 

— he had the favour both of his royal mailer and of 
Cardinal Wolfey. He was clofely allied in friendfhip 
with the latter in 1 519, for " Lautre envoy" to the 
"Garlande of Laurell" is dedicated "Ad fereniffimam 
maieftatem regiam, pariter cum domino Cardinal! 
Legato a latere honorificatiflimo, &c.," and Wolfey 
was not fole legate until that year, having previoufly 
been joined with Campeggio. Another paflage in his 
works fhows he enjoyed the cardinal's favour. We 
read in " Lenvoy " appended to " Howe the douty 
duke of Albany, lyke a cowarde knyght, ran awaye 
{hamfully with an hundred thoufande tratlande fcottes 
and faint harted frenchemen: befide the water of 
Twede, &c." : — 

" Skelton Laureat. obfequious et loyall 

To my lorde Cardynals right noble grace, &c. 


Go lytell quayre apace 
In mooft humble wyfe 
Before his noble grace 
That caufed you to dcuife 
This lytel enterprife 
And hym mooft lowly pray 
In hys mynde to comprife 
Thofe wordes his grace dyd faye 
Of an ammas gray. 

Je, Foy enterment 

En fa bone grace." 

On account of a circumftance, the reafon of which 


has not yet been made apparent, his pen fo lafhed the 
cardinal, efpecially in " Why come ye not to Court," 
which is a grofs perfonal attack, and " Speake parrot," 
that his eminence became his better enemy. And 
this is not to be wondered at, for in the former poem 
Skelton rails violently againft him. We may take 
one or two pafTages out of feveral, for example : — 

" But this mad Amalecke. 

Like to Amamalek 

He regardeth Lordes 

No more than potfhordes 

He is in fuch elacion 

Of his exaltacion 

And the fupportacion 

Of our Soucraine Lorde 

He ruleth al at will 

Without rcafon or fkyll 

Howbeit they be prymordyall 

Of hys wretched originall 

And his bafe progeny 

And his grefy genealogy 

He came of the ranke roiall 

That was call: out of a bouchers ftall 

For he was parde 
No doftour of dcvinitie 
Nor dodor of the law. 
Nor of none other faw. 
But a poore maifter of arte 


God faue hys noble grace 
And graunt him a place 
Endleffe to dwel 
With the deuill of hel 
For and he were there 
We nead neuer feare 
Of the feendes blacke 
For I vndertake 
He wold fo brag and Crake 
That he wold than make 
The deuils to quake." 

The cardinal caufed meafures to be taken with a 
view to apprehend him, but Skelton fled, and took 
fanftuary at Weftminfter with his old friend Abbot 
Iflip. There he remained moft probably until his 
death, which occurred 21ft June, 1529. He was 
buried in the chancel of St. Margaret's, Weftminflier. 

The quaint poet Churchyarde thus writes of the 
departed Laureate : — 

" Ohe fliall I leaue out Skeltons name 

The blolTome of my frute 
The tree wheron indeed 

My branchis all might groe 
Nay Skelton wore the Laurell wreath 

And paft in Schoels ye knoe. 
A poet for his arte, 

Whoes iudgment fuer was hie. 
And had great prafties of the pen, 

His works they will not lie. 
His terms to taunts did lean, 

His talk was as he wraet : 


Full quick of vvitte, right fharp of words, 

And flcilfull of the ftaet. 
Of reafon riep and good, 

And to the haetfull mynd : 
That did difdain his doings ftill, 

A £kornar of his kynd. 
Moft pleafant euery way, 

As poets ought to be : 
And feldom out of Princis grace 

And great with eche degre." 

It has been the fafhion to criticife Skelton for the 
language which he ufed. Pope even went (o far as to 
call him " beaftly Skelton," and Mifs Agnes Strickland 
was particularly fevere upon him ; but thefe writers 
ignore the ftate of fociety as it then was, and forget 
that both Rabelais and Skelton wrote for a purpofe ; 
Southey with better difcernment fays : " Unlefs Skel- 
ton had written thus for the coarfeft palates he could 
not have poured forth his bitter and undaunted fatire 
in fuch perilous times." 



HE battle of Floddon has had many 
chroniclers, and ftudents of hiftory are 
familiar with its details, but it is ne- 
ceffary, in order thoroughly to under- 
ftand Skelton's ballad, that the ground 
fhould be gone over yet once again. 

James IV., King of Scots, was in the feventeenth year 
of his age when he afcended the throne, having been 
born 17 May, 1471, and yet even at this early age he 
had pafTed through much trouble. He never ceafed 
to bear in mind that his father's fad and violent death 
had placed him upon the throne ; reached as it was by 
the fearful ftep of filial rebellion. The confederate 
barons rofe againft James III., who marched on Stirling, 
where Shaw, the governor of the caftle and guardian 
to the young prince, refufed him admiffion. The 
confederates approached, and the prince joined them. 


{o that both fides difplayed the Royal Standard. It 
was at Sauchie Burn, between Bannockburn and 
Stirhng, that the armies joined. The fight was very far 
from defperate, but the timorous king fled. His grey 
horfe galloping along, was frightened by a miller's wife 
dropping the pitcher which flie was filling at a well, 
and the king was thrown to the ground. He was 
carried into the miller's houfe and laid on a bed, where 
he difclofed himfelf, and defired that a prieft fhould be 
fummoned to fhrive him. The woman ran out calling 
for a prieft for the king, and a man who was paffing 
at the time, under pretence of performing this laft 
office of the church, entered the houfe and ftooped 
over the king's bed, and ftabbed him many times. The 
feigned prieft fled, and was never found.* 

' Lindfay's "Chronicles of Scotland" gives the following ac- 
count of the king's death: — " Cuming throw the toun of Bannock- 
burne, anc voman perceaved ane man cuming fafi; vpoun hors, fhoe 
being carricing in watter, cam faft away and left the jug behind 
her ; fo the Kingis hors lap the burne and flak of friewill quhair- 
fra the voman cam. The King being evill fittin, (i.e. riding badly) 
fell aff his hors befoir the mylne doore of Bannockburne, and fo 
was bruifed with the fall, being heavie in armour, that he fell in 
ancdcadlie fowne : And the miller and his wayfF harlcd him into 
the mylne, and not knowing quhat he was, keft him vp in ane nuik 
and covered him with ane cloath ; . . . . And be the Kingis 
enemies war retciring back, the King himfelff over came lying 
in the mylne, and crycd, if thair was anc prcift to mak his 
confefTioun. The myller and his wayft' heiring thir wordis, in- 
quyrcd of him quhat man he was, and what was his name. He 


His father's death preyed upon young James's mind, 
for although he was not adlively aflbciated with it, yet 
he could not but deem himfelf to have been in fome 
refpeds the caufe of the king's tragic end, as he was 
in arms againft his father at the time. 

Holinfhed fays : " his eldeft fon James the fourth 
was crowned King of Scotland and began his reigne 
the 24 of June in the yeare 1488 being not pad fix- 
teene yeeres of age, who notwithftanding that he had 
beene in the field with the nobles of the realme againft 
his father, that contrarie to his mind was flaine ; yet 
neuerthelefle afterwards, hee became a right noble 
prince & feemed to take great repentance for that 
his offenfe, and in token therof, he ware continuallie 
an iron chaine about his midle all thedaiesof his life." 

happened to fay, vnhappilie ' This day at morne I was your King' 
Than the milleris wayfF clapped her handis, and ran furth and 
cryed for ane prieft. In this meane tyme ane prieft was cuming 
by ; fum fays he was my lord Grayes fervand ; quho anfweired 
and faid " heir am I ane preift, quhair is the King ?" Then the 
milleris wayfF tuik the prieft by the hand, and led him in at the 
mylne doore, and how foone the faid preift faw the King, he knew 
him incontinent, and kneilled doun on his knies, and fpeired at the 
Kingis grace if he might live if he had guid leichment : he an- 
fweired him he trowed he might bot he wold have had a preift to 
tak his adwyce, and to give him his facrament. The preift an- 
fweired, that fall I doe haiftilie, — and pulled out ane whinger, and 
ftrak him four or fyve tymes evin to the heart, and fyne gatt him 
on his back and had him away. Bot no man knew quhat he did 
with him, nor quhair he buried him." 


This chain he increafed in weight every year by the 
addition of another hnk, and it was the abfence of this 
chain on the king's body when found after the battle 
of Floddon that caufed the rumour that he was not 
killed, but had efcaped, and would come again to reign 
over his country. 



THER principal events connedled with 
England in the reign of James IV, are 
the affiftance and countenance which 
the king gave to Perkin Warbeck, and 
his marriage with Margaret, the daugh- 
ter of Henry VII., with whom he received a portion 
of ^10,000, a jointure of £1,000 per annum, and 
yearly pin money to the value of /!33i 6s. %d. 
being fettled by the king on his confort. The 
royal pair were married in June, 1502, Margaret 
being taken to her hufband by the very Earl of 
Surrey who was deftined afterwards to meet the king, 
and conquer him at Floddon. The old chronicler^ 
tells the ftory very quaintly, " On the fixteenth of 
June King Henrie tooke his iournie from Richmond, 
with his daughter the faid ladie Margaret, and came to 

' Holindied. 


Coliwefton, where his mother the Countefle of Rich- 
mond then laie. And after he had remained there 
certeine daies in paftime and great folace, he tooke 
leaue of his daughter, giuing her his blefling with a 
fatherly exhortation, and committed the conveiance of 
hir into Scotland vnto the earle of Surreie, and others. 
The earle of Northumberland, as then warden of the 
marches, was appointed to deliuer hir vpon the bor- 
ders vnto the king of Scotland. And fo this faire 
ladie was conveied with a great companie of lords, 
ladies, knights, efquires, and gentlemen, untill fhe 
came to the towne of Berwike, and from thence vnto 
Lambert church in Lamermoore within Scotland, 
where (he was receiued by the king and all the 
nobles of that realme, and from the faid place of 
Lamberton church, ihe was conveied vnto Eden- 
burgh, where the day after hir comming thither, fhe 
was maried vnto the faid king with great and folemne 
triumph to the high reioifing of all that were pre- 

But, as hiftory not infrequently fhows, marriage 
between fcions of royal houfes does not neceffarily 
produce clofe and continued amity between the na- 
tions, and the caufes which led to the difaftrous battle 
of Floddon were not likely to be overcome by fuch 
relationfhip. Of all hiftorians whofe refearches have 
led them to treat of this fubjeft, Lingard gives the 
terfeft and cleareft account of the various events which 

THE scorrrssHE ktnge. 31 

led James to war with England. The pafTage is 
worthy to be quoted in its entirety. Of the marriage 
between James and Margaret, the hiftorian writes, 
" This new connexion did not, however, extinguifh 
the hereditary partiality of the Scottifh prince for the 
ancient alliance with France ; and his jealoufy of his 
Englifh brother was repeatedly irritated by a fucceffion 
of real or fuppofed injuries, i . James had frequently 
claimed, but claimed in vain, from the equity of 
Henry, the valuable jewels which the late king had 
bequeathed as a legacy to his daughter, the Scottifh 
queen. 2. In the laft reign he had complained of 
the murder of Sir Robert Ker, the warden of the 
Scottifh marches, and had pointed out the baflard 
Heron of Ford as the affafTin ; and yet neither Heron, 
nor his chief accomplices, had been brought to trial. 
3 . Laflly, he demanded juftice for the death of Andrew 
Barton. As long ago as 1476, a fhip belonging to 
John Barton had been plundered by a Portuguefe 
fquadron ; and in i5o6,juft thirty years afterwards, 
James granted to Andrew, Robert and John, the 
three fons of Barton, letters of reprifal, authorizing 
them to capture the goods of Portuguefe merchants, 
till they fhould have indemnified themfelves to the 
amount of twelve thoufand ducats. But the adven- 
turers found their new profeflion too lucrative to be 
quickly abandoned ; they continued to make feizures 
for feveral years ; nor did they confine themfelves to 


veflels failing under the Portuguefe flag, but captured 
Englifh merchantmen, on the pretence that they 
carried Portuguefe property. Wearied out by the 
clamour of the fufi^erers, Henry pronounced the Bar- 
tons pirates, and the lord Thomas and Sir Edward 
Howard, with the king's permiflion, boarded and cap- 
tured two of their veflels in the Downs. In the adion 
Andrew Barton received a wound, which proved 
fatal ; the furvivors were fent by land into Scotland. 
James confidered the lofs of Barton, the bravefl: and 
moft experienced of his naval commanders, as a 
national calamity ; he declared it a breach of the peace 
between the two crowns ; and in the moft peremptory 
tone demanded full and immediate fatisfacflion. Henry 
fcornfully replied, that the fate of a pirate was un- 
worthy the notice of kings, and that the difpute, 
if the matter admitted of difpute, might be fettled by 
the Commiflioners of both nations at their next meeting 
on the borders. 

" While James was brooding over thefe caufes of 
difcontent, Henry had joined in the league againft 
Louis ; and from that moment the Scottifli court 
became the fcene of the moft adlive negotiations, the 
French Ambafladors claiming the aid of Scotland, the 
Englifli infifting on its neutrahty. The former ap- 
pealed to the poverty and the chivalry of the king. 
Louis made him repeated and valuable prefents of 
money ; Anne, the French queen, named him her 


knight, and fent him a ring from her own finger. 
He cheerfully renewed the ancient alliance between 
Scotland and France, with an additional claufe recipro- 
cally binding each prince to help his ally againft all 
men whomfoever. Henry could not be ignorant that 
this provifion was aimed againft himfelf ; but he had 
no reafon to complain ; for in the laft treaty of peace, 
the kings of England and Scotland had referved to 
themfelves the power of fending military aid to any of 
their friends, provided that aid were confined to de- 
fenfive operations. 

" It now became the objedt of the Englifh envoys 
to bind James to the obfervance of peace during the 
abfence of Henry. Much diplomatic finefle was dif- 
played by each party. To every projedl prefented by 
the Englifh the Scottifii cabinet aflented, but with 
this perplexing provifo, that in the interval no incur- 
fion fhould be made beyond the French frontier. Each 
negotiated and armed at the fame time. It had been 
agreed that, to redrefs all grievance, an extraordinary 
meeting of commifiioners jfhould be held on the borders 
during the month of June. Though in this arrange- 
ment both parties adled with equal infincerity, the 
Englifh gave the advantage to their opponents, by 
demanding an adjournment to the middle of Odlober. 
Their obje(5t could not be concealed. Henry was 
already in France ; and James having fummoned his 
fubjedls to meet him on Burrow Moor, defpatched his 



fleet with a body of three thoufand men to the afTis- 
tance of Louis." 

This very clear and concife hiftorical account brings 
us down to the time of the ballad, which I fhall en- 
deavour, as far as poflible, to illuftrate by extradls from 
the writings of contemporary, or nearly contemporary, 



















ORD HERBERT was then befieging 
Tereouenne, a town in the province of 
Artois, to the fouth-eaft of Calais, and 
the Earl of Shrewfbury had been fent 
with a divifion to fupport him, when on 
21 July, 1513, Henry marched out of Calais, with an 
army of 1 5,000 horfe and foot. Near Ardres they en- 
countered a ftrong detachment of French cavalry, who 
however withdrew, having executed a part of their 
miflion, that of fupplying the town with provifions and 
ammunition. He joined the forces of Lord Herbert 
and the Earl of Shrewfbury, and fat down before the 
town, whofe fiege was to be fo flow, and whofe ultimate 
fate was deftruftion. However, unpropitious weather 
prevented the Englifh king from occupying the won- 
derful pavilion of filk and cloth of gold and blue 
damafk, and he had to inhabit a wooden houfe. The 
fiege progreffed until, to ufe the words of the chronicler 


from whom I fhall have occafion prefently to quote 
confiderably ^: — "The xi dale of Auguft beying thurf- 
day, the Kynge lyeing at the fiege of Tyrwyn, had 
knowlege that MaximiHan theperour was in y*" towne 
of Ayre. The Kyng prepared al thinges neceflarie 
to mete with themperour in triumph. The noble 
men of the Kynges camp were gorgeoufly apparelled, 
ther courfers barded with cloth of gold, of damaflce & 
broderie, there apparell all tifTue cloth of gold and 
fyluer, and gold fmithes woorke, great cheynes of 
balderickes of gold and belles of bullion, but in 
efpecial y^ duke of Buckingham, he was in purple 
fatten, his apparel and his barde full of Antelopes and 
fwannes of fyne gold bullion and full of fpangyls and 
littell belles of gold meruelous coftly and pleafat to 
behold. The Kyng was in a garment of greate riches 
in iuels as perles and ftone, he was armed in a light 
armure, the mafter of hys horfe folowed him with a 
fpare horfe, the henxmen folowed beryng the Kyngs 
peces of harnys, euery one mounted on a greate courfer, 
the one bare the helme, the feconde his graiigarde, the 
thirde his fpere, the fourth his axe, and fo euery one 
had fome thyng belonging to a man of armes ; the 
apparell of the ix henxmen were white clothe of 
golde and crymfyn cloth of gold, richely embrawdered 
with goldefmythes woorke, the trappers of the corfets 
were mantell barneys coulpened, and in every vent a 

' Hall, edit. 1548. 


longe bel of fyne gold, and on euery pendant a depe 
taflel of fyne gold in bullion, whiche trappers were 
very ryche. The Kyng and themperour met between 
ayre and the camp, in the fowleft wether that lightly 
hath bene fene. Themperour gentely enterteined the 
Kyng, and the Kyng lykewyfe hym, and after a littell 
communicacion had betwene them by caufe the wether 
was foule, departed for that tyme. The Emperor and 
all his men were at that daie all in black Cloth for the 
Emprice his wife was lately difleafed." Maximilian 
had come nominally to place himfelf as a volunteer 
under Henry. 

We now come to that portion of the eventful time 
which more particularly belongs to our fubjedl : — 
" After that the Kyng was thus retorned to his campe, 
within a day or twayne ther arryued in the army a 
Kyng of Armes of Scotlad called Lyon with his cote 
of armes on his back, and defyred to fpeke with the 
Kyng, who within fhorte tyme was by Garter cheffe 
Kynge of armes brought to the Kinges prefence, 
where he beying almoft difmayed feynge the Kyng fo 
nobly accompanied, with few woordes and metely 
good reuerence, deliuered a letter to the King, which 
receued y^ letter and redde it him felfe, and when he 
had redde it, without any more delay, he hym felfe 
aunfwered after this forte. Nowe we perceyue the 
Kynge of Scottes our brother in law & your mafter 
to be y'' fame perfon whom we euer toke hym to be, 


for we neuer eftemed hym to be of any truthe & fo 
nowe we haue founde it, for notwithftandynge his 
othe, his promife in y' woorde of Kynge & his owne 
hand and feale, yet now he hath broke his faithe and 
promife to his great difhonour and infamie for euer, 
and entendeth to inuade our realme in our abfence 
whiche he dirft not ones attempte, our perfon beynge 
prefente, but he fheweth himfelfe not to be degenerate 
from the condicions of his forefathers, whofe faythes 
for the moft parte hath euer byn violated and ther pro- 
mifes never obferued, farther then they hfte. Therfore 
tell thy mafter, firft that he fhall neuer be comprifed 
in any league where in I am a confederate, & alfo 
that I fufpecflyng his treuth (as now the dede proueth) 
haue left an earle in my realme at home whiche fhalbe 
able to defende him and all his powre, for we haue 
prouided fo that he fhall not fynde our land deftitute 
of people as he thynketh to do ; but thus faye to thy 
mafter, that I am the very owner of Scotlad and y' he 
holdeth it of me by homage,^ and in fo much as now 
contrary to his bounden duety he beinge my vafiall, 
doth rebell againft me, w^ Gods help I ftial at my 
returne expulfe him his realme and fo tell hym : fir 
fayd the Kyng of Armes, I am his naturall fubiedle & 
he my naturall lord, & y* he commaundeth me to fay, I 

' Sec Ballad :— 

" Now muft yc knowe our Kyngc for your regent/ 
jour souerayne lordc and prcfedent/" 


may boldely fay w* fauor, but the commaundementes of 
other I may not, nor dare not faye to my fouereigne 
lord, but your letters may with your honour fent, 
declare your pleafure, for I may not fay fuche woordes 
of reproche to him whome I owe only my allegeaunce 
& fayth. Then fayd the Kyng, wherfore came you 
hyther, will you receyue no aunfwere ? yes fayde 
Lio your anfwere requireth doyng and no writynge, 
that is, that immediately you (hould returne home : 
Well faid the Kyng I wyll returne to your domage at 
my pleafure, and not at thy matters fomonyng. Then 
the Kyng commaunded garter to take hym to his tente 
& make him good chere, which fo dyd, and cherifhed 
him wel for he was fore appalled : after he was 
departed the Kynge fent for all the chefe capitaynes, 
and before them and all his counfaill caufed the letter 
to be redde, the trewe tenor whereof foloweth woorde 
by worde. 




IGHT excellent, right high, and mighty 
Prince, our deereft brother & Coufyng, 
we commaunde vs vnto you in our mayft 
harty maner, & receuyed fra RafF he- 
raulde your letters quhatuntill, you ap- 
proue and allow the doynges of your commiflioners 
lately beyng with ours, at the borders of bathe the 
realmes for makyng of redrefle, quylke is thought to 
you and your counfell fhould be continuet and delaet to 
the XV daye of 06lober. Als ye write flaars by fee aught 
not copere perfonally, but by their attorneis. And in 
your other letters with our herauld Hay ye afcertaine 

' This letter, and Henry's reply, appear alfo in Harl. MSS. 
2252, and in Holinfhed, but as the variations between them are fo 
very trifling, I flill quote Hall. 


vs ye will nought entre into the treux taken between 
the maft Chriftian kyng and your father of Aragon 
becaufe ye and others of the hale liege, neither Ihould 
ne make peace, treux nor abftinece of warre with 
your common enemy without confent of all the Con- 
federates. And that the Emperour Kyng of Aragon, 
ye and euery of you be bounden to make adlual warre 
this inftant fommer agaynft your common enemie. 
And that fo to do is concluded and openly fworne in 
Paules kyrke at London vpon fainfte Markes daye 
laft by paft. And ferther haue denyed faue conduyte 
vpon our requeftes y* a Seruitor of ours might haue 
reforted your prefence, as our herauld Hay reportes : 
Right excellet, right high, and mightie Prince our 
dereft brother and Coufyng, the fayd metyng of our 
and your commiflioners at the borders, was peremp- 
torily appoynted betwyxt you and vs eftir diuers dietes 
for reformacio before contynued to the Commiflioners 
metynge, to effedle that due redrefle fuld haue ben 
made at the fayde metynge, lyke as for our parte our 
Commiflioners offered to haue made that tyme ; and 
for your part na malefadtour was then arreflied to the 
fayde diet. And to glofe the fame, ye nowe wright, 
that flaars by fee nede not compere perfonally, but by 
their attourneys,quylk isagayne lawe of GOD and man. 
And get in crimenall accion, all flaars fulde nought 
compere perfonally, na punicion fulde folowe for 
flaughter, and than vane were it to feke farther 


metynges or redrefle. And hereby apperes as the 
dede fhewes that ye wyll nouther kepe gude weyes of 
iuftice and equitie nor kindnes with vs, the greate 
wronges and unkyndnes done before to vs and our 
lyeges we ponderate quhilk we haue fuffered this long 
time in vp beryng, maynfwering, nounredreflyng of 
Attemptates, fo as the byll of the taken of in haldynge 
of baftard Heron with his complices in your cuntre, 
quha flewe our wardan vnder traift of dayes of met- 
yng for juftice and thereof was filat and ordaynt to 
be delyuered in flaynge of our liege noblemen vnder 
colour by your folkes, in takynge of vthers oute of 
our realme, prifonet and cheinet by the cragges in 
your cotre, withhalding of our wives legacie promift 
in your diuerfe letters for difpite of vs, flaughter of 
Andrewe Barton by your awne commaund quha than 
had nought offended to you nor your lieges unre- 
dreffed, and breakynge of the amitie in that behalfe 
by your dede, and with haldynge of our fhippes and 
artilarie to your vfe, quharupon eft our diuerfe requi- 
fitions at your wardens, Commiflioners, Ambafladors, 
and your felfe, ye wrate & als fhewe by vthers vnto 
vs, that ful redrefle fuld be made at the fayde metynge 
of Commiflioners, and fa were in hope of reformacion 
or at the lefl: ye for our fake walde haue defifl:ed fra 
inuaflon of our frendes and Coufynges with in their 
awne countreis that haue nought off^ended at you as 
we firfte required you in favoure of oure tendre Cou- 


fynge the duke of Geldre, quham to deftroye and 
difinherite ye fend your folkes and dudde that was in 
them. And right fa we latly defyred for our brother 
and Coufynge the maft Chriften kynge of Fraunce, 
quham ye haue caufed to tyne his countre of Mil- 
laigne, and now inuades his felfe quha is with vs in 
fecunde degree of blude, and hafe ben vnto you kynde 
witoute offenfe, and more kyndar than to vs : not- 
withftandynge in defenfe of his perfone we mon take 
parte, and therto ye becaufe of vthers haue gyuen 
occafion to vs and to our lyeges in tyme by paft, 
nouther doynge iuftly nor kyndely towardes vs, pro- 
cedynge alwayes to the vtter deftrudion of our nereft 
frendes, quha mon doo for vs quhan it fhall be necef- 
farie. In euill example that y^ wyll hereafter be better 
vnto vs quham ye hghtlye fauoure, manifeftly wranged 
your fifter for our fake in cotrary our writtes. And 
iayeng vnto our herauld that we giue you fayre wordes 
& thinkes the cotrary, in dede fuch it is, we gaue you 
wordes as ye dudde vs, truftynge that ye fhoulde haue 
emended to vs or worth in kyndar to our frendes for 
our fakes and fuld nougtight haue flopped oure fer- 
uitors paffage to laboure peax, that thei might as the 
papes halines exherted vs by his brevites to do. And 
ther apon we were contented to haue ouerfene our 
harmes & to haue remitted the fame, though vther 
informacion was made to our haly father pape luly 
by the Cardinal! of Yorke your Ambafladour. And 


fen ye haue now put vs fra all gude beleue through 
the premifles, and fpecially in denyenge of faueconduyte 
to our feruauntes to reforte to your prefence, as your 
ambaffador doctor weft inftantly defyred we fulde 
fende one of our counfayll vnto you apon greate mat- 
ters, and appoyn6lyng of dilFerentes debatable betwyxt 
you and vs, furtheryng of peax yf we might betwyxte 
the moft Chriften Kyng and you, we neuer harde to 
this purpofe faueconduite denied betwixte infideles. 
Herefore we write to you this tyme at length playnes 
of our mynde, that we require and defy re you to 
defifte fra farther inuafion and vtter deftrudlio of our 
brother and Coufyng the mayft Chriften Kyng, to 
whome by all confederacion bloude and alye and alfo 
by new bande, quhilk ye haue compelled vs lately to 
take through your iniuries and harmes without remedy 
done daily vnto vs, our lieges and fubdites, we are 
bounds and oblift for mutuall defence ilke of vthers, 
like as ye and your confederates be oblift for mutuall 
inuafions and adtual warre : Certifieng you we will 
take parte in defence of our brother and Coufyng y^ 
maift Chriften Kyng. And wil do what thyng we 
trayeft may craft caufe you to defift fra perfuite of 
him, and for denyt and pofpoyn(5t iuftice to our lieges 
we mon gyue letters of Marque accordyng to the 
amitie betwixte you and vs, quharto ye haue had 
lyttell regarde in tyme by paft, as we haue ordaint 
our herauld the bearer hereof to faye, gife it like you 


to here him and gyf him credence : right excellent 
right high and mighty Prince our dereft brother and 
Coufyng, the Trinitie haue you in kepyng. Geuen 
vnder our fignet at Edynborowe the xxvi daie of July. 

When the Kynge rede this letter, he fente it in all 
hafte to the Earle of Surrey into England, whyche 
then lay at Pomfrett, and caufed another letter to be 
deuifed to the Kyng of Scottes, the Copie where of 

Right excellent, right high, and mighty prince &c, 
and haue receiued your writyng. Dated at Edenburgh 
the xxvi daie of July by your heraulde Lyon this 
bearer, wherein after reherfall and accumulacio of 
many furmifed iniuries grefes and damages doone by 
vs & our fubieftes to you and your lieges, the fpeci- 
alites whereof were fuperfluous to reherfe, remembry ng 
that to theim and euery of theim in effedl reafonable 
aunfwere founded vpon lawe and cofcience hath tofore 
ben made to you and youre counfail, ye not only 
requyre vs to defifte from farther inuafion and vtter 
deftrudion of your brother & Coufyng the French 
kyng, but alfo certifie vs that you will take parte in 
defence of the fayd kyng, and that thyng whiche ye 
truft may rather caufe vs to defifte, from perfuite of 
him, with many contriued occafions and comunications 
by you caufeles fought and imagened, fownynge to 
the breache of y^ perpetuall peace, paffed, concluded 
& fworne, betwixte you and vs, of which your im- 


magened querelles caufeles deuifed to breake with vs 
contrarye your othe promifed, al honor and kyndnefle : 
We cannot maruayle, confideryng the auncient accuf- 
tomable maners of your progenitours, whiche neuer 
kept lenger faythe and promife than pleafed theym. 
Howebeit, yt the loue and dread of God, nighnes of 
bloud, honour of the world, lawe and reafon, had 
bound you, we fuppofe ye woulde neuer haue fo farre 
proceded, fpecially in our abfence. Wherein the Pope 
and all princes Chriftened may well note in you, dif- 
honorable demeanour whan ye lyeing in awayte feke 
the waies to do that in our fayde abfence, whiche ye 
woulde have ben well aduifed to attempte, we beynge 
within our realme and prefent: And for theuident 
approbation hereof, we nede none other proues ne 
witnefTe but youre owne writynges heretofore to vs 
fent, we beyng within our realme, wherein ye neuer 
made mencion of takynge parte with our enemie the 
Frenche kynge, but pafled the tyme with vs tyll after 
our departure from our faid realme. And now percafe 
ye fuppofynge vs too farre from our fayde realme to 
be deftitute of defenfe agaynft your inuafions, have 
vttered the olde rancour of your mynde whiche in 
couert maner ye haue longe kept fecrete. Neuer the 
lefTe, we remembrynge the brytilnes of your promyfe 
and fufpedynge though not wholy beleuyng fo much 
vnftedfaftnes, thought it right expedient and necef- 
farie to put our faide realme in a redynes for refiftyng 

THE scorrrssHE kynge. 47 

of your fayde enterprifes, hauyng firme truft in our 
Lorde GOD and the right wytnes of our caufe with 
thafliftence of our confederates and Ahes wee fhalbe 
able to refyfte the mahce of all Scyfmatyques and 
their adherentes beyng by the generall counfayll ex- 
prefTely excommunicate and interdydled, truftynge 
alfo in tyme conveniente to remember our frendes, and 
requyte you and our enemies, whiche by fuch vnna- 
turall demeanour haue given fufficiente caufe to the 
dyfherifon of yoii and your pofteritie for ever from 
the pofTybilitie that ye thynke to haue to the royalme, 
whiche ye nowe attempte to inuade. And yf the 
example of the kyng of Nauarre beynge excluded 
from his royalme for afliftence gyuen to the Frenche 
kyng cannot reftrayne you fro this vnnaturall deal- 
ynge, we fuppofe ye fhall haue lyke afliftence of the 
fayde Frenche kynge as the kyng of Nauarre hath 
nowe : Who is a kyng withoute a realme, and fo the 
Frenche kynge peaceably fuffereth hym to contynue, 
wherunto good regarde woulde be taken. And lyke 
as we heretofore touched in thys oure wrytyng, we 
nede not make any farther aunfwere to the manyfolde 
greues by you furmyfed in your letter: for as muche 
as yf any lawe or reafon coulde haue remoued you 
from your fenfuall opinions, ye haue ben many and 
often tymes fufficientely aunfwered to the fame: 
Excepte only to the pretended greues touchynge the 
denyeing of our faufeconduyte to your Ambafl^adoure 


too bee laft fent vnto vs: Where vnto we make this 
aunfwere, that we had graunted the faid faufe conduite, 
and yf your herauld would haue taken the fame with 
hym lyke as he hath ben accuftomed to sollicitee 
faufeconduytes for marchauntes and others hereto- 
fore, ye might as fone have had that as any other, for 
we neuer denyed faufeconduyte to any your heges to 
come vnto vs & no further to pafle, but we fee wel 
lyke as your fayde herauld hath heretofore mad 
finifter reporte contrary to trouthe fo hath he done 
nowe in this cafe as is manifeft and open. Fynally as 
towchyng your requifition to defifte from farther 
attemptyng againfte our enemy the French kyng, we 
knowe you for no competent iudge of fo high auctho- 
ritie to requyre vs in that behalfe ; wherfor God 
willyng we purpofe with the ayde and afliftence of 
our confederates 6c Alies to perfecute the fame, and 
as ye do to vs and our realme, fo it fhalbe remebred 
and acquited hereafter by the helpe of our lord and 
our Patrone saind: George. Who righte excellente, 
right highe and myghtie Prince &c. Geuen vnder 
our fignet in our campe before Tyrwyn the xii daye 
of Auguft.' 

When this letter was written and fealed, the Kynge 

^ This date fhows that Lyon was waiting for the King on his 
return from meeting Maximilian — the anfwer muft have been 
written the next day. 

Skelton evidently faw copies of thefc letters immediately 


fent for Lyon the Scottyfli heraulde and declared to 
hym that he had wel confidered his mafters letter, 
and therto had made a reafonable anfwere, and gaue 
to hym in rewarde a hundred angels, for which rewarde 
he humbly thaked the kyng and fo taried with gartier 
al night, and euer he fayde that he was fory to thynke 
what domage fhoulde be done in Englande by his 
Mafter or the kynge returned, and fo the nexte daye 
he departed into Flaunders wyth hys Letter to haue 
taken fhyppe to fayle in to Scotlande, but or he 
coulde haue fhyp and wynde hys mafter was flayne." 

after their arrival in England — as he makes ufe of the very 
phrafeology — " Who is a Kynge withoute a realme," when fpeak- 
ing of the_King of Navarre. 



EANWHILE the Earl of Surrey, who 
had been left by Henry to look after the 
Scots, and who had promifed " fo to do 
my duety that your grace fhall fynde me 
diligent, and to fulfill your will fhalbe 
my gladnes," fent Sir William Bulmer to look after the 
Border land. And it was lucky he did fo, for " one daye 
in Auguft, the lorde Chamberlayne and Warden of 
Scotland with vii or viii 6^ men with banner difplayed 
entered into England and brent and haryed a great praye 
in Northumberland; that hering Syr Willia bulmer 
called to hym the gentelmen of the borders with his 
archers and al they were not a thoufand men. And 
when they were nere affembled they brought the felfes 
in to a brome felde called Mylfeld, where the Scottes 
fhould pafTe. And as y" Scottes proudely returned 
with their pray, the Englifhmen brake oute, and the 


Scottes on fote like men them defended, but the 
arches fhotte fo holy together, that they made y^ 
Scottes geve place and v or vi hundred of them were 
flayne, and iii hundred or more taken prifoners, and 
the pray reckned befide a great nuber of geldinges 
that were taken in the countrey, and the lorde Hume 
lorde Chamberlayne fled and his banner taken." 

This was an unlucky beginning for the Scots, and 
it had the effedt of caufing James to take the fatal 
refolution of invading England. But he did not enter 
into it heartily, and the fuperftitious of that age after- 
wards called to mind feveral portents in connexion 
with the commencement of the campaign. Lindfay 
mentions one or two, " Att this tyme the king came 
to Lithgow quhair he was at the counfall verrie fad 
and dollorous, makand his prayeris to God, to fend 
him ane guid fucces in his voyage.^ And thair cam 
ane man clad in ane blew gowne, belted about him 
with ane roll of lining, and ane pair of brottikines on 
his feitt, and all vther thingis conforme thairto. Bot 
he had nothing on his head, bot fyd hair to his 
fhoulderis and bald befoir. He feemed to be ane 
man of fiftie yeires, and cam fait forwardis, crying 
among the lordis, and fpeciallie for the king, faying, 
that he defired to fpeak with him, quhile at the laft he 
cam to the dafk, quhair the king was at his prayeris. 

' This ftory is alfo related by Buchanan and Holinfhed. 


But when he faw the king he gave him no due 
reverence nor falutatioun, but leined him doun gruf- 
lingis vpoun the daflc, and faid, " Sir King, my mother 
has fent me to the, defiring the not to goe quhair 
thow art purpofed, quhilk if thow doe, thou fall not 
fair Weill in thy jorney, nor non that is with the. 
Fardder, fhoe forbad the, not to mell nor vfe the 
counfell of vomen, quhilk if thow doe, thow wilbe 
confoundit and brought to fhame." Be this man had 
fpoken thir wordis to the king, the evin fong was neir 
done, and the king paufed on thir wordis ; ftudieing 
to give him ane anfwer. Bot in the meane tyme, 
befoir the kingis eyis, and in the prefence of the wholl 
lordis that war about him for the tyme, this man 
evanifched away, and could be no more feine. I 
heard Sir David Lindfay, lyon herald,' and Johne 
Inglis the marchell, who war at that tyme young men, 
and fpeciall fervandis to the kingis grace, thought to 
have takin this man, bot they could not, that they 
might have fpeired farther tydingis at him, bot they 
could not touch him. But all thir vncouth novellis 
and counfall could not ftay the king from his purpofe, 
and vicked interpryfe, bot haifted him faft to Edin- 
burgh to mak provifioun for himfelf and his armie 
againe the faid day apoyntted. That is, he had fewin 
great cannones out of the Caftle of Edinburgh, 

' This is hardly reconcilcable with the fad that Lyon was then 
engaged on his cmbafTy to Henry. 


quhilkis was called the Sewin Sifteris, caftin be Robert 
Borthik ; and thrie mafter gunneris, furnifched with 
pouder and leid to thame at thair pleafure ; and in 
the meane tyme they war taking out the artillarie, the 
king himfeliF being in the Abbey, thair was ane cry 
heard at the mercatt croce of Edinburgh, about mid- 
night, proclameand, as it had beine ane fummondis, 
quilkis was called be the proclamer thairof, the fum- 
mondis of Platcok, defiring all earles, lordis, barrones, 
gentlmen, and fundrie burgefs within the toun, to 
compeir befoir his maifter within fourtie dayes, quhair 
it fould happin him to be for the tyme, vnder the 
paine of difobedience ; and fo many as war called war 
defigned be thair awin names. But whidder this 
fummondis was proclaimed be vaine perfones, night 
walkeris for thair paftyme, or if it was ane fpirit 
I cannot tell. But on indweller in the toun, called 
Mr. Richard Lawfoun, being evill difpofled, ganging 
in his gallrie, ftart foment the croce, hearing this 
voyce, thought marvell quhat it fhould be ; fo he 
crye"^ for his fervand to bring him his purs, and tuik 
ane croun and keft it over the flair, faying " I for my 
part appealis from your fummondis and judgment, and 
takis me to the mercie of God." Werrilie he quho 
caufed me cronicle this was ane fufficient landit gentl- 
man, who was in the toun in the meane tyme, and was 
then twentie yeires of aige ; and he fwore efter the 
feild thair was not ane man that was called at that 


tyme, that efcaped, except that on man, that appailled 
from thair judgmentis." 

James' wife is faid to have added her entreaties to 
prevent the campaign, but, needlefs to fay, with no 
effedl, and he croffed the Tweed on the 22nd Auguft, 
with an army ^ " whereof the brute was that they were 
two hundred thoufand, but for a fuertye they were an 
hundred thoufand good fightynge men at the left," and 
encamped on the banks of the Fill, a little river which 
flows into the Tweed. Here he feems to have 
remained until the 24th, during which time he iffued 
a proclamation, dated " TweiU hauch," (Twizell 
haugh), with a view to encourage his troops, ordaining 
"gifany man beis flane or hurt to deid in the kings 
army, and oift be Inglefman, or dies in the army, 
enduring the tyme of his oift, his aires ftiall have his 
ward, relief and marriage, of the king fre, difpendand 
with his age, quhat eild that ever he be of." 

The King then moved on to Norham Caftle, where, 
according to HoHnftied, he " ouerthrew the Barnekine, 
& flue diverfe within the caftle, fo that the Capteine 
and fuch as had charge within it, deflred the King to 
delaie the fiege, while they might fend to the earle of 
Surreie alreadie come with an armie into the north 
parts, covenanting if they were not refcued by the 
nineteenth day of that moneth, they fliould deliuer 

• Hall. 


the caftle vnto the King. This was granted ; and 
becaufe none came within the time to the refcue, the 
caftell was deliuered at the appointed day ; a great 
part of it was ouerthrowne and beaten downe." 
Moving rapidly along the Tweed, the king took 
Wark Caftle, and turned inland, taking Etal and Ford.^ 
Here he wafted precious time, if the old Chroniclers 
can be trufted, in an extremely unprofitable manner. 
James was always extremely fufceptible to female 
beauty, and, forgetful of his Wife Margaret, fuccumbed 
to the charms of Lady Heron of Ford,'^ if the 
Scotch verfion be true. Still adhering to my plan of 
giving contemporary hiftory if poflible, I quote the 
following extrad from Lindfay : — " Some fayes the 
Jadie Foord being ane bewtifull voman, the King 
melled with hir, and the bifchope of St. Androis' 
with hir dochter, quhilk was againes the ordour of 

^ Remains of all thefe caftles ftil! exift. 

' " Sir William Heron fucceeded his brother John in the year 
1498, being then 20 years old. He was high SheriiFof Northum- 
berland in the year 1526, and died 8 July, 1535. He was twice 
married. By Elizabeth his firft wife, he had a fon, William, 
who died before him ; by the fecond, Agnes, he had no ifTue." — 
No mention is anywhere made of a daughter of Lady Elizabeth 

^ A natural fon of James, by Margaret, daughter of Archibald 
Boyd of Bonfhaw, born 1495. By a difpenfation from the Pope, 
the King created him Archbifhop of St. Andrews, in 1509, and 
made him his Chancellor 1 5 1 1 . He was alfo the Pope's Legate 
a latere. 


all guid captanes of warre to begin at whordome and 
harlottrie, befoir ony guid fucces of battell or vidorie. 
But doubtles fick proceidingis is oftymes the occafioun 
of ane evill fucces. Alwayes, the King remained 
thair the fpace of twentie dayes, without battell, or no 
appeirance of the fame, quhill the moft pairt of thair 
vi6luallis war fpendit, and fpeciallie the farre north- 
land menis, and the illes menis, that they war forced 
to goe home to furnifch the fame ; and everie lord 
and barrone fend home of his fpeciall fervandis for 
new provifioun ; fo that thair abod not above ten 
thoufand men with the King, by bordereris and 
countrie men. Yitt the King tuik no fear, for he 
beleived that the Inglifchmen fhould not have given 
him battell at that tyme. But this vicked ladye Fuird, 
fieing the Kingis hoaft fo difperft, for laik of vi(5luallis, 
and knew all the fecreitis that war amongeft the 
Kingis men, and the intentioun of the King himfelfF, 
and fecreit counfall, quhilk knawledge fhoe had be 
hir frequent whordome with the King, quhilk moved 
hir to a{k licence of the King to pas innerward in the 
countrie, to fpeak with certane of hir friendis, faying 
to the King that fhoe fhould bring him all newis out 
of the fouth countrie, quhat they were doeing, or 
quhat was thair purpofe to doe, and thairfoir fhoe 
defired the King to remane thair till hir return. And 
he againe, as an effeminat prince, fubdewed and intyfed 
be this vicked voman, gave hir haiftilie credence in 


this matter, and believed all that fhoe had faid to be 
trew. So he caufed convoy her ane litle fpace from 
the hoaft as fhoe defired. But this ladie Fuird being 
myndful to keip no credit with the King, for the 
loue fhoe buire to hir native countrie, fhoe paft 
haiftilie to the earle of Surrey, quhair he was lyand 
at York at that tyme, and fhew to him the haill 
fecreittis of the King, and how many he was, and 
quhair his armie lay, and quhat poyntt they war att, 
and how his men war difperft, and paft from him for 
laik of vidluallis, and that thair was not abyding with 
him but ten thoufand of all his great armie. Quhairfoir 
fhoe counfalled the earle of Surrey to cum fordwadis 
vpoun him, afTuring him of vidorie, by hir ingyne, 
for fhoe fhould deceave the King, alfo farre as fhoe 
might, and put him in the Inglifmenis handis. Thir 
novellis being fhowin to the earle of Surrey, be this 
vicked voman, he greatlie rejoyced thairat, and thanked 
her greatumlie for hir laboures and paines, that fhoe 
tuik for hir native countrie promifeaud to hir, that 
within thrie dayes he fhould meitt the King of 



H ETHER there is any foundation for 
this ftory or not, we have it on Hall's 
authority that Lady Elizabeth Heron 
was the fubjeft of diplomatic negotiation 
between the Earl of Surrey and King 
James on 4 September in that year, the Earl then being 
at Alnwick. '* And when all men were appoynted 
and knewe what too do, The erle and hys counfayll 
concluded and determined emonge other thynges to 
fende Rouge crofle, purfiuaunt of armes with a 
trompet to the kynge of Scottes with certayne in- 
ftruccions, figned by the fayde erle conteynynge woorde 
by woorde as foloweth. 

Fyrft where there hathe bene fuyte made to the 
Kyng of Scottes by Elizabeth Heron, wyfe to William 
Heron of Forde, nowe pryflbner in Scotlande, for 
caftynge doune of the houfc or Caftell of Forde, and 


as the fayde Elizabeth reporteth vppon communicacion 
had, the fayde kynge hath promyfed and condifcended 
to the fayde EHzabeth, that if fhe any tyme before 
none, the fift daye of September, woulde brynge and 
deliuer vnto hym the lorde Johnftowne, and Alexander 
Hume, then pryfoners that tyme in Englande, he then 
is contented and agreed that the fayde houfe or Caftell 
fhall ftande without caftynge doune, brennynge or 
fpoylynge the fame : Whereunto the fayde erle is 
content with that, vppon thys condicion, that if the 
fayde kynge wyll promytte the affuraunce of the fayde 
Caftell, in maner and forme aforefayde vnder hys feale, 
to deliuer the fayde lorde of Johnftowne and Alexander 
Hume, immediately vppon the fame affuraunce. And 
in cafe the fayde kynge can and will be content to 
delyuer the fayde Heron oute of Scotlande, then the 
fayde erle fhall caufe to be deliuered to the fayde kynge 
the two gentelmen, and two other, fyr George Hume 
and William Carre." 

James detained Rouge Croix Purfuivant and fent 
his Herald Hay on the 6th September to the Earl of 
Surrey, with the meffage "as touchynge the fauynge 
from brennynge or deftroiynge, and caftynge doune of 
the Caftell of Forde, for the deliueraunce of the fayde 
prifoners. The kyng hys mafter woulde thereto make 
no aunfwer." 

Whilft James, however, wafted time at Ford, and his 
army dwindled away, Surrey was far from idle. News 


of James's entry into England firft reached the Earl on 
the 25th Auguft. He immediately fummoned a general 
mufter at Newcaftle on the firft of September; and he 
himfelf ftarted for York with five hundred men, leaving 
the next day for Newcaftle. At Durham he heard of 
the fall of Norham, and Hall goes on thus with his 
narrative : — " thys chaunce was more forowfull to 
the erle then to the Bifhoppe owner of the fame. 
All that nyghte the wynde blewe corragioufly, where- 
fore the erle doubted leaft the lorde Hawarde hys fonne 
greate Admyrall of Englande fhoulde perifti that 
nyght on the fea, who promifed to land at Newcaftell 
with a thoufand men,toaccompaynie hys father, whyche 
promyfe he accompliftied. 

The erle harde MafTe, and appoynted with the Prior 
for Saindle Cutberdes banner/ and fo that daye beynge 
the thyrty daye of Auguft he came to Newcaftell : 
thither came the lorde Dacres, fyr William Bulmer, 

' Prefumably to inflame the courage of his border troops. 
Lambe, without mentioning his authority, gives the following de- 
fcription of the banner : — "Soon after the battle of Nevil's Crofs, A, 
1 346, John Tofler, prior of Durham, made a new banner, and con- 
fecrated it to St. Cuthbcrt. The ilaft" of it was five yards long, 
covered with pipes, furmounted with a crofs, under which was a 
rod, as thick as a man's finger, fallened by the middle to the ftafF. 
At each end of which was a wrought knob and a little bell. All 
thefe except the llaff were of filver. The banner cloth of red 
velvet, faftencd to the rod, was a yard broad, and one yard and a 
quarter deep : The bottom of it was indented in five parts ; on 
both fides it was embroidered, and wrought with flowers of green 


fyr MarmaduckeConftable,and many other fubftanciall 
gentlemen, whome he reteyned wyth him as coun- 
fayllers, and there determined that on Sundaye next en- 
fuynge, he fhoulde take the felde at Bolton in Glendale, 
and becaufe many fouldioures were repayrynge to hym 
he lefte Newcaftell to the entent that they that folowed, 
(houlde haue there more rome, and came to Alne- 
wyke the thyrde day of September, and becaufe hys 
fouldiars were not come, by reafon of the foule waye, 
he was fayne to tarye there all the fourthe daye beynge 
Sundaye, whyche daye came to hym the lord Admyrall 
hys fonne with a compaignye of valyaunt Capitaynes 
and able fouldiars and maryners, whiche all came from 
the fea, the commynge of hym muche reioyced hys 
father, for he was very wyfe, hardy, and of greate 
credence and experience." 

filk and gold. In the midft of it was a fquare half yard of white 
velvet, whereon was a crofs of red velvet, on both fides of the 
cloth. In it was enclofed that holy relique, the corporax cloth, 
wherewith St. Cuthbert covered the Chalice, when he faid mafs. 
The banner cloth was fkirted with a fringe of red filk and gold ; 
and at the bottom of it hung three filver bells." 



AVING traced the courfe of Scottifli 
hiftory to this point, we may continue 
it by means of the account of the battle 
of Floddon Field, two leaves of which 
were bound up, as already related, in the 
cover of the fame book as the " Ballade of the Scottyfshe 
Kynge ;" and this is all the more appropriate, not only 
on account of the aifociation of the piece in queftion, 
but becaufe it is fcarce, was contemporary, and was 
printed by the fame printer. The tradl in Mr. Chriftie 
Miller's poffeflion is unique. It was purchafed by the 
Marquefs of Blandford, and at the fale known as White 
Knights' Library in 1819, was fold for ^13 13J. 
It has, however, been reprinted in its mutilated con- 
dition, firfl: in 1809, "under revife of Mr. Hafle- 
wood;" and fecondly in 1822, at Newcaftle, by 
Wm. Garrett, 


C Hereafter enfue the trewe encountre or . . 
Batayle lately don betwene . Englade and : Scotlande. 
In whiche batayle the Scottfshe Kynge was flayne. 

C The maner of thaduaucefynge of my lord of 
Surrey trefourier and . Marfhall of . Englande and 
leuetenute generall of the north pties of the fame 
with . xxvi . M. men to wardes the kynge of . Scott/ 
and his . Armye vewed and nombred to an/ hundred 
thoufande men at/ the leeft. 


Firfte my fayd Lorde at his beynge at Awnewik in 
Northumbrelande the . iiij . daye of . Septembre the 
.V. yere of y^ Reygne of kynge Henry the .viii. 
herynge that y^ kynge of Scottes thenne was re- 
moued from Norhme. And dyd lye at forde . 
Caftel/ & in thofe ptyes dyd moche hurte in fpoylyng 
robynge/ and brennynge/ fent to the fayde kynge of 
Scottes Ruge Cros purfeuaunte at . Armes to fhewe 
vnto hym that for fo moche as he the faid Kynge con- 
trary to his honour alJ good reafon & confcyence 
And his oothe of Fidehte for y^ ferme entartnynge of 
perpetuall peas betwene the kyng/ hygnes our . 
Souerayne lorde and hym had inuaded this Raalme/ 
fpoylad brente and robbyd dyuers and fondery 
townes and places in the fame. Alfo had cafte and 
betten downe the Caftel of Norhme And crewella 
had murdered & flayne many of the kynnes liege 
people he was comen to gyue hym bayta. And de- 
fyred hym y* for/ fo moche/ as he was a kynge and 
a great Prynce he wolde of his lusty & noble 
courage cofent therunto and tarye y" fame. And 
for my fayde Lordes partie his lordefhyp promyfed 
ye affured Accomplyfshement and perfourmauce 
therof as he was true knyght to god and the kynge 
his mayfter The kynge of fcottes herynge this/ 
meflage reynued & kept w' hym y'' fayd Ruge Cros 
purfenanta & wolde nat fuffre hym at y'' tyme to 
retourne agayne to my fayde lorde. 


The .V. daye of Septembre his lordfhyp in his ap- 
prochynge nyghe to the borders of . Scotlande/ muf- 
tred at Bolton in glendayll & lodged that nyght 
therein y' felde with all his Armye. 

C The nexte daye beynge the .vi daye of Sep- 
tembre the kynge of fcottes fent to my fayd lor of 
Surrey a harolde of his called Ilaye and demaunded 
if that my fayde Lorde wolde iuftefye the meflage 
fent by the fayd purfeuaunte ruge cros as is aforefayd 
fygnefyinge that if my lorde wolde fo doo/ it was the 
thynge/ that mooft was to his . loye end comforte. 
To this/ demaunde/ my lord made anfwere afore 
dyuers lordes/ knyghtes and gentylme nyghe . iij myles 
from the felde where ys the fayde harolde was 
apftoynted to tarye bycaufe he fhulde nat vewe the 
Armye that he coumaunded nat oonly the/ fayde . 
Ruge cros to fpeke and fhewe the feyde werdes of 
his meffages But alfo gaue and comytted vnto hym 
the fame by . Inftruccion fygned/ and fubfcrybed/ 
with his owne hande/ whiche my fayde lorde fayd/ he 
wolde . Iuftefye/ and for fo moche as his lordfhyp 
conceyued by the/ fayde . Harolde/ how . Joyous and 
comfortabe his meflage/ was to y^ fayde Kynge of 
fcottes he therfore for the more affuraunce of his 
weflage (hewed that he wolde be bouden in . x.Mli. & 
good fuertes with his . Lordfhyp to gyue the fayde 
kynge batayle by Friday e/ next after at the/ furtheft/ 
If that the fayde kynge of/ fcottes wolde/ affyne and 


appoynte any/ other Erie or Erles of his/ Realme to 
be bounden in lyke maner that he wolde abyde my 
fayde/ lordes commynge And for fomoche as the 
fayd kynge of . Scottes reeyuued ftyll with hym Ruge 
Cros purfeuaute and wolde nat fuffre hym to re- 
tourne to my lorde my/ fayde lorde in lyke and 
femblable maner dyd kepe/ with/ hym the fcottefshe 
Harolde . Hay and fant to the fayd kynge of 
fcottes with his anfwere and further offer/ as is/ 
afdre reherfed/ A gentylman of fcotlande that ac- 
companyed and came to my fayde lorde wich the 
fayd Harolde . Hay/ And thus . Hay contynued 
and was kepte clofe tyll the commynge home of 
Ruge cros whiche was the next daye after/ ' And 
thenne/ Hay was put at large and lyberte to retourne 

^ According to Hall, Rouge Croix had a narrow efcape : — 
" You haue harde before, howe Hay the Scottifshe Heraulde 
was returned for Rouge Crofle, and as fone as Rouge Crofle was 
returned he was difcharged, but he taryed with Yorke an Englifhe 
Heraulde makynge good chere, and was not returned that mornynge 
that Rouge Crofle came on hys meffage, wherefore Rouge Crofle 
and hys trompet were detayned by the feruaunte of Hay, whiche 
the daye before went for Rouge Crofl"e, aflurynge them that if 
Hay came not home before none, that he was not liuinge, and 
then they fhoulde haue their heddes ftryken of, then Rouge Croflx; 
offered that hys fervaunt fhould go for Hay, but it would not be 
excepted, but as hap was Hay came home before none, and 
fhewed of his gcntell cntertcvnynge, and then Rouge Crofle was 
dcliucrcd, and came to the Engliflie armye, and made reporte as 
you haue hearde." 


to the kynge of fcottes his mayftere to fhewe my 
lordes anfweres declaracyons and goodly/ offers as he 
had hade in euery behalue of my fayde lorde. 

C The fame daye my Lorde deuyded his Arme 
in two betaylles that is to wytte in a vauwarde and a 
rerewarde and ordeyned my lorde Hawarde Admorall 
his fone to be . Capitayne of the fayde vaunwarde/ 
and hymfelfe to by chefe Capitayne of the rerewarde, 

tr In the brefte of y' fayde vauuwarde was wt 
the fayde Lord Admorall ix . thoufande men and 
vnder Capitaynes of the fams brefte of the batayle 
was the lord . Lumleys fyr Wyllm Bulmers the baron 
of Hylton and dyuerfe other of the Byfshopryche of 
Durefmes under . Seynt; Cuthbert/ banner the lorde . 
Scrope of vpfall/ the lorde Ogle/ fyr wyllyam Gaf- 
coygne/ fer Criftofer warde/ fyr John Gueringhm 
fir waiter Griffith/ fyr John Gowers and dyuers othes 
Efquyres and gentylmen of jorkefhyre and North- 
umberlaed/ And in ayther wynge of the fame 
batayle was iii M . men. 

C The Capitayne of the right wynge was mayfter 
Edmonde hawarde fone to my feyde lorde of Surrey/ 
And with hym was fyr Thomas Butler/ fyr . John 
Boothe fyr Richarde Boolde/ and dyuerfe other 
Efquyers/ & gentylmen of Lancafshyre end Chaf- 

C The Capitayne of the lafte wynge was olda fyr 
Marmaduke. Cofteble & with hym was mayfter 


wyllm Percy his fona . Elawe willm Conftable his 
broder/ fyr. Robert Conftabla mamaduke Conftable 
willm Conftable his fones/ And fyr John Coftable of 
holdernes with dyuerfe his kynnefmen Allies and 
othea Gentylmen of yorkefhyre and Northumberlande. 

C In the brefte of batayle of the fayde rerewarde 
was . vM. mon with my falde lorde of . Surrey/ and 
vnder. Capitaydes of the fame was the lord Scrope of 
Bolton fyr Philype Tyney broder Elawe to my fayd 
lord of. Sur.rey George darcy fone and heyre to the 
lorde Darcy/ Sir Philipe Tylney broder in law to my 
faid Lorde of Surrey, Sir John Rocliff, Sir Thomas 
Methine, Sir William Scargill, Sir John Normavell, 
Sir Rauff Ellircar, Sir Ric. Abdeburghe, and dyuers 
oder Efquyers gentillmen and comyns of Yorkfhir. 
And in ather wynge of the faid rerewarde was. iij. 
thoufande men. 

C The Capitaine of the right wynge, was the lord 
Dacre of the Northe and with hym. xv. C. of the 
Busfhop of Eleis men, fent frome out of Lankafhir, 

' Here begins the miffing portion found in the book-cover, which 
is taken from a MS, in the pofl'effion of the late David Laing, 
Efq., LL.D. V.P.S.A. Scot., read by him before the Society, 
March, 1867, the accuracy of which, compared with the printed 
text he guarantees. Dr. Laing, with refpedl to the reprodudlion 
of the text, gives the following explanatory notice : " It is now 
printed with no other alterations, than correfting the pundluation, 
rcjeding ordinary contradlions in MSS. or printed books of that 
age, and ufing capital letters for proper names." 


And the capitaine of the left wyng of the faid rere- 
warde, was Sir Edwarde Stanley accompanyed hooly 
with dyuers knyghtts and gentilmen of Lancafhire. 

C My lorde of Surrey beyng thus ordered and 
accompenyed as is aforefaid removed upon. vi. myles 
to a ffelde callid Woller Haghe withynne. iij. myles 
of the king of Scottes, wher as euery man myght fe, 
how the faid King of Scottes did lye with his Army 
vpon an high hill in the egge of Cheviotte, withynne 
.ij. myles of Scotlande, wherunto he had remoued from 
Forde Caftell, ovir the watir of Till, and was encloofed 
in thre parties, with three great mountaynes, foe that 
ther was noe paflage nor entre vnto hym but oon 
waye, wher was laied marvelous and great ordenance 
of gonnes, that is to wit. v. great curtalles. ij. great 
colveryns. iiij. Sacres and. vi. great Serpentynes as 
goodly gounes as haue bene fene in any realme. And 
befide theme, wher othir dyuers fmall ordenances. 
and the fame day at night my Lorde and all the 
army did lye upon the faid grounde callid Woller 

C And conceiving the faid King of Scottes to lye 
foe ftronglye as is aforefaid, and that ther was a fair 
plaine at the nethir parte of the faid mountaines callid 
Mylnfelde, my faid Lorde of Surrey tarry ed vpon the 
fame grounde. all the next daye. the. vij, day of Sep- 
tembr and the nyght after truftyng that the King 
wolde haue remoued dounwade to the faid grounde to 


have gyven hym battell. And Teyng that the faid 
King of Scottes contynued ftill in the fame mountaine 
without remouyng in any wife and all his oofte with 
hym, my faid Lorde doutyng of the faid Kings aboid 
and tarrying, becaufe it was fufped: he wolde haue 
fled away in the night, infomyche that he was with- 
ynne. ij. myles of his oune realme fent unto hym 
Ruge Cros purfivannte at harmes. And eftfoones 
requyred hym to come doune to the faid plaine of 
Mylfeilde. wher was convenyent grounde for the 
metynge of twoe Armyes, or to a grounde bye callid 
Floddon or to any othir indifferent grounde for twoe 
batells to feght vpon. 

C At this tyme the King waxed angry and dif- 
pleafed towarde my faid Lorde, and wold not fpek 
with Ruge Cros purfivaunte but had reporte of his 
meffage, by a gentillman which made relacion ayeine 
of the fame to Ruge Cros on this maner with like 
termes. The King my maifter wills that ye fhall 
fhewe to Therle of Surrey, that it befemeth hym not 
being an Erle,fo largely to attempte a great prince, his 
grace woll take & kepe his grounde and felde at his 
oune pleafour, and not at the aflignyng of Therle of 
Surrey, whoom the King my maifter fuppofeth to 
deall with fome wichecrafte or fawcery becaufe he pro- 
cureth to feight vpon oon the faid grounde. The 
faid Ruge Cros having this anfwer, retorned ayeine 
to my Lorde and fhewed his lordfhip the fame. 


C My faid Lorde of Surrey conceivyng that the 
King of Scottes did contynually reft and remaine in 
the faid foretres invironde with the faid mountain and 
that he wolde not in any wife remove frome the fame 
to any othir indifferent grounde to abide or gyve 
batell, removed his ffelde the. viij. day of Septembre 
being our Ladies day the Natiuitie, and paffed ovir 
the water of Till, and contynually all that day went 
with the faid hoole Army in aray, in the fight of the 
faid King of Scottes, at the furtheft frome hym with- 
ynne two myles, and that night Joged vnder a wod 
fide callid Barmor Wode diredly ayeinfte the King 
aforefaid, and his army Albeit there was an hill 
betwene the hooftes for avoiding the daunger of goune 
fhoote, and not withftanding. iiij. or. v. dales paffed 
ther was litle or noe wyne, ale, nor bere, for the 
people to be refrefshed with but that all the hool army 
for the moofte parte wer enforced and conftreyned of 
necefiite to drynke water duryng the fame tyme and 
feafon without comforte or trufte of any relieff in that 
behalue. My faid Lorde of Surrey, and the faid 
army, the faid daunger and wantyng of drynke not 
withftanding, coragiouflye avaunced forewarde to get 
betwene the faid King of Scotts and his realme of 
Scotlande countenanfyng to goo towarde Scotlande or 
Barwike. The faid King conceiving this and as it is 
confeffed fered that my faid Lorde and the Army of 
Englande wolde haue gon in to Scotlande, did caufe 


his tents to be taken vp and kepyng the height of the 
mountaine, removed with his great power and puf- 
aunce of people out of the faid great forterefs towarde 
Scotlande. And forthwith the Scottes by thair crafty 
and fubtill emaginacion did fett on fire all fuch thair 
fylthy ftrawe and litter wher as they did ly and with 
the fame made fuch a great and a mervelous fmoke 
that the maner of thair araye therby couth not be 
efpyed. Immediatly, my Lorde Hawarde with the 
vawarde, and my Lord of Surrey with the rerewarde 
in thair moofte qwyke and fpedy maner avaunced 
and made towarde the faid King of Scotts as fade as 
to thaim was pofTible in aray, and what for the hilles 
and fmoke long as it was or the aray of the Scotts 
couth be conceived, and at the lafte, they appeired in 
.iiij. great batells. 

C And as foone as the Scottes perceived my faid 
Lordes to be withyn the daunger of thair ordenance 
they ihote fharpely thair gounes which wer verray 
great, and in like maner our partye recounterde them, 
with thair ordenance, and notwithftanding that othir 
our artillary for warre couth doe no good nor advantage 
to our army becaufe they wer contynually goyng and 
advanfyng vp towarde the faid hilles and mountaines, 
yit by the help of God our gounes did foe breke and 
conftreyn the Scottifhe great army that fome parte of 
thaim wer enforfed to come doune the faid hilles to- 
warde our army. And my Lorde Hawarde conceiving 


the great power of the Scottes fent to my faid (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 
vawarde was not of power nor abull to encounter 
thaim. My faid lorde of Surrey perfitely vnderftand- 
ing this with all fpede and diligence, luftely, came 
forwarde and joyned hym to the vawarde as afor was 
required by my faid Lord Hawarde, and was glad for 
neceffite to make of two battalles oon good battell to 
aventure of the faid . iiij . batelles. 

C And for fo myche as the Scottes did kepe thaim 
feuerall in . iiij . batelles therfor my Lorde of Surry and 
my Lorde Hawarde fodenly wer conftreyned and en- 
forced to devide thair army in oder . iiij . batelles and 
els it was thought it fhulde haue bene to thair great 
daunger and jeoperdy. 

C Soe it was that the Lorde Chamberlaine of Scot- 
lande ^ fayde beynge Capitayne of the firfte batayle of 
the Scotths fyerfly dyd fette vpon maifter Edmonde 
Hawarde . Capitayne of the vttermofte parte of 
the felde at the weft fyde. And betwene them was fo 
cruell batayle that many of our partie . Chesfhyre men 
and other dyd flee/ And the fayd mayfter Edmonde in 
maner lefte alone without focoure and his ftanderde 
and berer of the fame beten and hewed in peces and 
hymfel . thryfe ftryken downe to the groud. Howbeit 
* Here the miffing part ends. 


lyke a couragyous & an hardy yonge lufty gentylman 
he recouered agayne and faught hande to hade with 
one fir Dauy home & flewe hym with his owne 
handes. And thus the fayde mayfter Edmonde . was 
in . great perell and daunger tyll that the lorde Dacre 
lyke a good and an hardy knyght releued and came 
vnto hym for his focoure. 

C The feconde Batayle came vpon my lorde . 
Hawarde. The thirde batayle wherin was the kynge 
of . Scottes & mofte parte of the noble men of his . 
Reame came fyerfly vpon my fayd lord of . Surrey/ 
whiche two bataylles by the help of elmyghty god 
were after a greht confydelyete venquyffhed ouer 
comen betten downe & pvt to flyght and fewe of them 
efcaped. with their lyues fyr. Edwarde Stanley beynge 
at the vttermofte parte of the fayd rerewarde one hefte^ 
partie feynge the fourth batayle redy to releue the fayde 
kynge of fcottes batayle/ couragyoufly; and lyke a 
lufty and an hardy knyght dyd fette vpon the fame 
and ouercame & put to flyght all the fcottes in the 
fayd batayle. And thus by the grace focour and helpe 
of almyghty god victory was gy ven to the Reame of . 
England. And all the fcottyflhe ordendnce wonne & 
brought to Ettell and Barwyke in . Suretie. 

C Hereafter enfueth the names of fondry nobles 
men of the fcottes flayne at the fayde batayle & felde 
called Brainfton moore./ 

• The caft. 



Firfte y" kyng of fcotoes 
The Archelyfshop of 
feynt . Androwes. 
The byfshop of . Thyles. 
The byfshop of Ketnes. 
The Abbot ynchaffrey. 
The Abbot of Rylwenny. 
Therle of . Mountroos. 
Therle of . Craforde. 
Therle of . Argyle. 
Therle of lennox. 
Therle of . Lcncar. 
Therle of . Caftelles. 
Therle of Boothwell 
Lorde . Elwefton. 
Lorde . Inderby 
Lorde . Maxwell. . 

Mac . Cleen. 
lohn of Graunte 
The Maift of . Agwis 
Lorde . Roos. 
Lord tempyll. 
Lorde . Borthyke. 
Lorde . Aflcyll. 
Lorde . Dawiflie. 
Sir Alexander Scotlon 
Sire lohn home. 
Therlo . Arell . Conftable. 
Lorde . Lowett. 
Lorde . Forboos. 
Lorde . Coluin. 
Sir . Dauy home. 
Cuthbert home of Faf- 

Mac Keyn. 

Over & aboue the feyd pfones there at flayne of 
the Scottes vewd by my lorde . Dacre the/ noumbre 
of . xi . or . xii . thoufande mend And of Englyfshme 
flayne and taken pryfoners vpons xii.C. dyuers pry- 
foners are taken of y^ fcottes But noo Notable perfon 
faue oonly fyr/ wyllm Scotte knyght Councellour of 
the fayde kynge of fcottes and as is fayd a gentylma 
well lerned Alfo Si^" John Forma knyght broder to 
the Byfshop of Murrey which byfshop as is reported 
was &/ is mooft pryncyall procurour of this warre/ 


And one other called f? John Colehome many other 
fcottyfshe pryfoner . coude & myght haue been taken/ 
but they were foo vengeable & cruell in theyr fygh- 
tngy that/ whenne Englyfshmen had the better of 
them they wolde nat faue them/ though it fo were 
that dyuerfe fcottes offered great fumes of money for 
theyr lyues. 

IE It is to be noted that the felde beganne be- 
twene . iiij and . v. at after Noone and contynued 
within nyght if it had fortuned to haue ben further 
afore nyght many mo fcottes had ben flayne and taken 
pryfoners louynge beto almyghty god all the noble 
men of Englande tha were vpon the fame felde bothe 
lordes and Knyghtes are fafe from any hurte/ And 
none of theym awantynge faue oonly maifter Harrgy 
Gray fyr Huinfeide lyle bothe pryfoners in Scotlade 
fyr John . Gower of yorkefhyre and fyr John Boothe 
of Lancafshyre both wantynge and as yet nat founden. 

C In this batayle the fcottes hadde many great 
Auauntagies/ that is to wytte the hyghe . Hylles and 
mountaynes a great wynde with them and fodayne 
rayne all contrary to oug bowes and Archers. 

C It is nat to be doutbted but the fcottes fought 
manly and were determyned outher to wynne y*" 
Feld or to dye They were alfo as well apoynted 
as was pofTyble at all poyntes with Armoure & har- 
neys fo that fewe of them were flayne with arrowes 
Howbeit the bylles did bete and hewe them downe 
woth fome payne and daunger to Englyfshemen, 


The fayd fcottes were (b playnely determyned to 
abyde batayle and nat to flee that they put from them 
theyr horfes and alfo put of theyr botes and fhoes 
and faught in the vampis/ ^ of theyr hoofes every man 
for the moofl ptie/ with a kene and a fhape ipere of . 
V. yerdes longe and a target aforh hym And when 
theyr fperes fayled and wera fpent/ then they faught 
with great end fharpe fwerdes makyng/ lytell or no 
noys/ vithoue that ; that for the ptie many of them 
wolde defy re to be faued. 

C The felde where y^ fcottes dyd/ lodge was nat 
to be reprouyd but rather to be romended greatly for 
there many and great nombre of goodiyl tenttes and 
moche good ftufFe in the fame & in the fayd felde 
was plentie of wyne bere ale beif multon falfyfshe 
chefe and other vytalles neceffary and conuenyent for 
fuche a great Army Albeit our Army doutynge that 
the fayd vytalles hadde ben poyfoned for theyr dif- 
truccion wolde not faue but vtterly difl:royed theym. 

€ Hereafter enfueth the names of fuch noble men 
as after the Felde were made knyght/ for theyr 
valyance Ad/ in the fame by my fayd lorde therle of 
C" Firfle my lorde Scrope Sir Edmonde Hawarde 

of wpfall Sir . Guy . Oawney 

Sir willm Percy Sir . RafFe falwayne 

^ See ballad " Of the out yles ye rough foted fcottes." 



Sir . Richarde. Malleuerey 
Sir george Darcy 
Sir . w. gafcoygne y'' yoger 
Sir . willm. Medlton 
Sir willm . Maleuerdy 
Sir Thomas . Hartley 
Sir marmaduke . Coftable 
Sirxpofer . Dacre(y'' yoger 
Sir . Hohn . Hoothome. 
Sir. Nicholas . Appleyarde. 
Sire Edwarde . Goorge 
Sir . Rauf . Ellercar y^ 

Sir . John wyliyby 
Sir. Edwarde . Echinghme 
Sir . Edwarde . Mufgraue 
Sir . John ftanley 
Sir . waiter ftonner 
Sir . Nyniane martynfelde. 
Sir RafFe . Bowes 

Sir/ Briane ftapleton of 

Sir . willm . Conftable of 

Sir . willm . Conftable of 

Sir Xpofer . Oanby 

Sir . Thomas Burght 
willm . Rous 
Thomas . Newton 
Roger of Fenwyke 
Roger Gray 
Thomas Connyers 

My lorde Ogle 

Sir . Thomas ftrngewafe 

Sir . Henri . Thwaittes 

My lorde lumley 

Sir . Xpofe . Pekerynge. 

Sir . John Bulmer 


C Emprynted by me. Richarde . Faques dwllyng In 
poulys churche yerde." 

In this interefting and graphic defcription of the 
battle of Branxton Moor, or Floddon Field, it is 
worthy of notice that there is no account of the death 
of King James. It (imply records the fa6t that the 
King and his fon were flain; and, as no mention is 


made of his body being found, it is probable the 
poem was written on the fpot before the dif- 

All accounts agree as to the perfonal bravery of 
the King ; although the fuperftition of the times, as 
noted by Holinlhed, told upon him, " There 
chanced alfo manie things taken (as yee would fay) 
for warnings of fome great mifchance to follow, 
which though fome reputed but as vaine and cafuall 
haps ; yet the impreflion of them bred a certeine 
religious feare and new terror in his heart. For as 
he was in councell with his lords, to vnderftand their 
opinions touching the order of his battels, there was 
an hare ftart amongft them, which haueing a thoufand 
arrowes, daggers, and other kind of things beftowed 
at hir, with great noife and fhowting, yet (he efcaped 
from them all fafe and without hurt. The fame 
night alfo, mife had gnawne in funder the buckle and 
leather of his helmet wherewith he fhould faften the 
fame to his hed. And moreouer, the cloth or veile 
of his inner tent (as is faid) about the breake of the 
day, appeared as though the deawie moifture thereof 
hed beene of a bloudie colour." 

King James, fancying that the Englifh were giving 
way, difmounted from his horfo, and, in fpite of re- 
monftrances from his friends, charged the enemy, 
who were, however, reinforced by Edward Stanley 
and his divifion, and the Scots were thoroughly 


routed; the King, and all with him, being flain. Hall 
fpeaks moft highly of the King's prowefs in the fol- 
lowing panegyric : " O what a noble and triumphant 
courage was thys for a kyng to fyghte in a battayll 
as a meane fouldier : But what auayled hys ftronge 
harnes, the puyflaunce of hys myghtye champions 
wyth whome he defcended the hyll, in whome he foo 
much trufted that with hys ftronge people and great 
number of men, he was able as he thought to haue 
vanquiftied that day the greateft prynce of the world> 
if he had ben there as the erle of Surrey was, or elfe 
he thought to do fuch an hygh enterprice hym felfe 
in hys perfon, that fhould furmount the enterprifes of 
all other princes : but how foeuer it happened God 
gaue the ftroke and he was no more regarded then a 
poore fouldier, for all went one way. So that of his 
awne bataill none efcaped but fyr William Scot 
knight his chauncelour, and fyr Jhon forman knight, 
his feriaunt Porter, whiche were taken prifoners, and 
w' great difficultie faued." 

The body of the King having been ftripped by 
marauders, was not found until the following 
day : — 

" Well knowen it was by them that fought, and alfo 
reported by the pryfoners of Scotlande, that theyr 
kynge was taken or flayne, but hys body was not 
founde tyll the next daye, becaufe all the meane 
people as well Scottes as Englyftie were ftrypped oute 


of theyr apparell as they laye on the felde, yet at the 
lafte he was founde by the Lord Dacres, who knew 
hym well by hys pryuye tookens in that fame place 
where the battayle of the Earle of Surrey and hys, 
firfte ioyned together. 

Thys kynge had dyuerfe deadely woundes and 
in efpeciall one with an Arowe, and an another wyth 
a byll as apered when he was naked. After that the 
bodye of the kynge of Scottes was found and 
brought to Barwycke, the Earle fhowed yt too Syr 
Wyllyam Scott hys Chaunceller and Syr Jhon 
Forman hys feriante porter, whiche knewe hym at 
the fyrfte fighte and made greate lamentacyon. Then 
was the bodye bowelled, embawmed, and cered, and 
fecretly amongeft other ftuffe conueyed to Newcaftell. 
***** After thys noble vydorye therle wrote 
fyrfte to the Quene whiche had rayfed a greate power 
to refifte the fayde Kynge of Scottes, of the wynnynge 
of the battayle, for then the bodye of the kynge of 
Scottes was not fownde, and fhe yet beynge at the 
towne of Buckyngham had woorde the next daye 
after that the kynge of Scottes was flaine, and a parte 
of hys coate armure to her fente,^ for whiche vidorye 
flie thanked GOD, and fo the Earle after that the 
Northe parte was fett in a quietnes, returned to the 

^ His gauntlet. His fword and dagger are among the moft 
precious relics preferved in the Heralds' College. 



Queene with the deade body of the Scottyfshe Kyng 
and broughte it to Richemond." 

From Richmond the royal remains were taken to 
the adjoining monaftery of Sheen, in accordance with 
the teftimony of Stowe, who fays : — " After the 
battle, the bodie of the fame King being found, was 
clofed in lead, and conveyed from thence to London, 
and to the monafterie of Sheyne in Surry, where it 
remained for a time, in what order I am not certaine ; 
but fince the diffolution of that houfe, in the reygne 
of Edward the Sixt, Henry Gray, Duke of SufFolke, 
being lodged, and keeping houfe there, I have been 
fhewed the fame bodie fo lapped in lead, clofe to the 
head and bodie, throwne into a wafte room amongft 
the old timber, lead, and other rubble. Since the 
which time, workmen there, for their foolifh pleafure, 
hewed off his head ; and Lancelot Young, mafter 
glazier to Queen Elizabeth, feelinge a fweet favour 
to come from thence, and feeing this fame dried from 
all moifture, and yet the form remaining, with the 
haire of the head and beard red, brought it to 
London, to his houfe in Wood Street, where, for a 
time, he kept it for its fweetnefs, but in the end 
caufed the fexton of that church (St. Michael's, 
Wood Street) to bury it amongft other bones taken 
out of their charnell." 

Many of the Scots refufed to believe their King to 
be dead. Lindfay, referring to the Englifti fearching 

THE scorrrssHE ktnge. 83 

for the King's body after the battle, writes thus : — 
" Bot they could not find him, albeit they fond 
fondry in his luferay ; for the fame day of the feild 
he caufed ten to be in his awin luferay lyk vnto his 
awin prefent apperell, amonges quhom was tuo of his 
awin guard : the on called Alexander M'Cullo, and 
the vther the fquyer of Cleifch, who war both verrie 
lyk in makdome to the King ; and fo they tuik on of 
thame, whom they thought lykeft to the Kyng, and 
keft him in ane chariott, and had him with thame 
into England ; but trew it is they gott not the King, 
becaus they had nevir the tokin of his yron belt to 
fchow to no Scottis man." 

And in another place the fame writer declares : — 
" But ten yeires thairefter ane certane man being 
convidl of his lyfF for flauchter, offered to the duik of 
Albanie to latt him fie the place quhair the King was 
buried, and for the greater evidence, his yron belt befyd 
him in the grave. Bot this man gott no audience 
be thame that was about him, and the duik of Albanie 
defired not that fick things fhould be knawin." 

Such was the fad fate of " the fcottyfshe kynge " 
whofe charafter Holinfhed fums up in the following 
terms : — " This James the fourth was of a firme 
bodie, of iufl flature, of mofl comelie countenance, 
and of fharpe witte, but altogether vnlearned, as the 
fault of that age was. But he did diligentlie applie 
himfelfe to an old cuflome of the countrie, cunninglie 


to cure wounds, the knowledge whereof in times paft 
was a thing common to all the nobilitie, being 
alwaies vfed in the warres. He was eafilie to be 
fpoken vnto, gentle in his anfwers, iuft in his iudge- 
ments, and fo moderat in punifhments, that all men 
might eafilie fee he was vnwillinglie drawen vnto 
them. Againft the detradion of the euill, and ad- 
monifhment of the good, there was fuch worthinefie 
of mind in him (confirmed by the quiet of a good 
confcience, and the hope of his innocencie) that he 
would not onelie not be angrie, but not fo much as 
vfe a fharpe word vnto them. Amongeft which 
vertues, there were certeine vices crept in by the 
ouermuch defire to pleafe the people, for whileft he 
laboured to auoid the note of covetoufnefle (obieded 
to his father) and fought to win the favour of the 
common fort (with fumptuous feaflis, gorgeous fliewes, 
and large gifts) he fell into that pouertie, that it 
feemed (if he had liued long) that he would have loft 
the favour of his people (wonne in old times) by the 
impofition of new taxes. Wherefore his death was 
thought to haue timelie happened vnto him." 

To the above accounts of James and the Battle of 
Floddon, few notes need be added. Two or three, 
however, may render the fenfe of the ballad clearer in 
fome places. 

" A kynge a fomner it is wonder." — Skelton, in his 


difguft at James's letter to Henry, could not fpeak 
ftrongly enough, fo he ufed an epithet to him which, 
as an ecclefiaftic, was perhaps the moft fpiteful he could 
employ. A fomner, or apparitor, was accounted an 
exceedingly mean office. Chaucer, in " the Frere's 
prologue," fays : — 

" A fompnour is a renner vp and doun 
With mandements afor fbrnicatioun 
And is ybete at euery tounes ende." 

And in " the Freres tale " he enlarges, in a ftill more 
unfavoury manner on the office of Somner. 

" thre fkippes of a pye," or three hops of a magpie, 
is a term ufed to denote the fmall value of James's 
expoftulations — fee alfo " your counfeyle was not 
worth a flye." 

" Ye had bet better to haue bufked to huntey 
bakes." — Huntly bank was the place where Thomas 
of Erceldoune met the Fairy Queen, and is on one of 
the Eldoun Hills — but Skelton feems to have ufed it 
at random, and only for the fake of the rhyme ; thus in 
his verfes againft Dundas, " Dundas dronken and 
drowfy, fkabed, fcuruy, and lowfy," he fays : — 

" Dundas 
That dronke afle, 
That rates and rantis. 
That prates and prankes 
On Huntley bankes." 


Again, in " Why come ye not to Courte " ; 

" They play their oldc pranckcs. 
After Huntley bankcs : " 

and in " Howe the douty Duke of Albany," &c., 

" And for to wright 
In the difpyght 
Of the Scottcs ranke 
Of Huntley banke." 

" That noble erle the whyte Lyon," was Thomas 
Howard, Earl of Surrey, fon of the firft Duke of 
Norfolk, flain at Bofworth. He himfelf was there 
taken prifoner, attainted, and loft the earldom — as his 
father had loft his dukedom — from the fadt of his 
rebellion. After three years' imprifonment in the 
Tower his earldom was reftored, as was alfo his duke- 
dom after Floddon, when an augmentation of arms 
was granted to him, bearing on the bend of his own 
arms a demi-lion of Scotland, pierced through the 
mouth with an arrow. 

His fon, " the lorde admirall," was at the fame time 
created Earl of Surrey. 

The white lion was the badge of the houfe of 
Howard, and Holinftied explains this in the follow- 
ing way : — " Upon the honor of this vidtorie, Thomas 
Haward earle of Surrie (as a note of the Conqueft) 
gaue to his feruants this cognifance (to weare on their 


left arme) which was a white Hon (the beaft which he 
before beare as the proper enfigne of that houfe) 
ftanding over a red Hon (the peculiar note of the 
kingdome of Scotland) and tearing the fame red lion 
with his pawes." 




\)i CommiioeTj out K^nse fa\)p^pte|JC,?o 
QTo fommonouthpttflcpour foutt^^nelorfic, 



21 Epnjte afomncr it i3 toouTier 
Motoe f ^tiot falte aut) Tugec aton'ber 
Hn pour (omnmce pe toeteto malaperte 

^n^ pout f)atolt)eno tl)pnje epperte 

petbougljtpe^plie itfuUljalpauntolpe 

^utnot too^fjtlj^efkppeso'f appe/. 

^pr fqupet galpartie pe tocre to Ctopfte. 

pour topll r mne befo;ie pour fogtte* 

®o be to Ccoxnefull to pour alpe/ 

pourcounCeple ttiasnot tooxt^aflpe. 

a&eCo^e tbefrcultlje ^pi^ge/tjauce/anT) otber 

peoug!}t(o honour pour loxlie anD brother 

CrOtorpe (pr«3!ame$ l)ia noblejjracc/ 



iPox pour kpnae map tpnge foclatoape 


pour Coucrapne lorte ant) mtCetienc/ 

3!n I3pmii3 figured melcbircoecbe/ 

Sntj pe be tieiolate ao armclecl^e 

i^eia our noble cl)amppou. 

3 hpngeanopnteti auD pe benon 

Cbxual) pour counfeple pour fatier foa^s (lapue 
fol}^ ^fc^ 31 tor uc topll CufTreriapuc/ 

:Snljpcp:iout)c icottesofDunSar 

|9arl)epebe bis l3omager* 
^n\j tuterjs to bis parlpme nt/ 
pe bp^^ not pour btbotp tberin. 
pebcrepourfelfe (omiuhat to bofte/ 
CDcrfo^e pehauelottpourcopboi^e* 


pebe bouuTje tenaunte8tol}(0cftate. 

(Kpue lop vc\!x same pe pla^e cbetoate* 

Sax to tl)e caCtcll of uoxliam 

3)3nt)ct(lon^eto foonepccam* 

JFo^aprp^oncr tl)etrc notx) i^t be 

i?^tl)crto tbetieupU oatljetrimte, 

Ct)anhe^ be rapute.(I5oise our la'D^esU\tpi*l)e 

rout pxp^ 10 patte aDtoegootJ npttjC. 

pc liaueDetermtnetj tomaUeafra^e 

SDurkrugetban bepngcoutoftbe toape 

23utbpci}epo\»eranb mHbtofgo^ 

t^e toere beten taetl) pout otoncrol) 

i3ppounxianton VopU fpratatooxtje 

pei)aueloClefpoies/cote armute/ant> ttooatie 

f ebaD bet better to ijauebu&tl) tobmitepbafecs/ 

Cbauin istiglonDe to piape onp (\icl)ep;ianhe2 

jSutpe l)ab Come tople fctic to ro\oe* 

^Efiertoe pebe lapDe woto full lobe/ 


toarre toitb our hpnge to wepntaEne. 




®)at is aupnge toitoa ar eaime 

3t t)pmcxamplepc tooltiettonetalie. 

fijcperpencebatl) bitougijtpoum tbe fame b:iafec 

f!!>ttl)cout2?lea petougl) foteD fcottco/ 

toe ba)3c toell eaftb i^ou of tl)e bottea 


® f our cngip ffi)? botoes pe baue fctt e pour banegj, 

Jtisnotfpttpnscmiournoj totonc/ 


:afomnerto toetealxpnsescvotone 
Ci)atueble erir rlje tobpce Ipon. 

1^12 fonp tl)e loitie aumprall t^fuu goob. 
dSob Cauc fepuGe.tRenrp anti bis lojiOca all 
^nD Cenbe tbe frenCfbe bpnge (ucbeau other fall/ 

C-^^^"/^^^^^^'"^ cbarpte^ 
jnb sobCauenoble^ 

0»- «-"TI70'?>'T\ I»RRARY 


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