Bloody battle between Scots and English to be staged again

The Battle of Pinkie will be re-enacted next month some 470 years after the Scots fought the English near Musselburgh. PIC: Contributed.
The Battle of Pinkie will be re-enacted next month some 470 years after the Scots fought the English near Musselburgh. PIC: Contributed.
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One of the biggest ever battles to take place on home soil is to be fought again 470 years after the bloody engagement between the Scots and the English in East Lothian.

The Battle of Pinkie pitted up to 19,000 English troops against 23,000 Scots in September 1547 to determine who should marry the young Mary Queen of Scots.

Arran Johnston, director of the Scottish Battlefields Trust, as Earl of Arran who commanded Scots soldiers to defeat at Battle of Pinkie. PIC:Contributed

Arran Johnston, director of the Scottish Battlefields Trust, as Earl of Arran who commanded Scots soldiers to defeat at Battle of Pinkie. PIC:Contributed

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It was a disastrous engagement for the Scots under the Earl of Arran with estimates of between 6,000 and 10,000 men killed in action near Musselburgh.

The Scottish Battlefields Trust will recreate the battle on September 16 and 17 as part of the 2017 year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

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The battle will be staged in the grounds of Newhailes House, Musselburgh. PIC: National Trust for Scotland.

The battle will be staged in the grounds of Newhailes House, Musselburgh. PIC: National Trust for Scotland.

The event, to be held in the grounds of Newhailes House, will also highlight how the battle site is under threat from further development.

The Scots suffered heavy losses at Pinkie when its army attacked across the River Esk into the teeth of ferocious cavalry charges and a hail of arrows, cannon and gunshot.

Far from securing a union with England through a marriage between Mary and Henry VIII’s son Edward, the battle pushed Scotland closer to France with Mary subsequently betrothed to the Dauphin.

SBT said the Battle of Pinkie held particular significance because of the pioneering combination of horse, foot and artillery with supporting fire from naval vessels.

It is widely viewed as one of the first modern battles to be fought in Britain.

Arran Johnston, Director of the Scottish Battlefields Trust said: “The Battle of Pinkie was truly one of Scotland’s biggest and most dramatic battles and I’m delighted that we’re able to bring it back to life for the first time – allowing the opportunity to truly understand its significance.

“We hope this event is the start of growing recognition for a battle that changed the course of history, and is something that will encourage greater protection for the battlefield site in future years.”

The recreation of Pinkie will be held over two days. The re-enactment will include a re-imagining of the thunderous cavalry charge with guests invited to walk through historical encampments, meet fighters and take part in a number of activities from the period.

The infant Mary Queen of Scots will also make an appearance.

The battle will also be commemorated on its anniversary, Sunday September 10, with a traditional ceremony led by the Old Musselburgh Club at the battle’s memorial stone.

They will be joined by members of the Lothian Levy re-enactment group which will send an English and Scottish foot-soldier along the route taken by the invading English army from Eyemouth to the battle site.