Translated document details fate of 1513 war horses

The Flodden Memorial at the site of the battle. Photo: Stephen McKay
The Flodden Memorial at the site of the battle. Photo: Stephen McKay

Volunteers in Britain have cast a spotlight on the fate of horses that survived one of the defining battles in the nation’s history, translating a document that has sat unread for hundreds of years.

The Battle of Flodden unfolded in Northumberland on September 9, 1513, when an invading Scots army under King James IV clashed with an English army under the Earl of Surrey.

The English forces emerged victorious and James IV was killed in the battle.

Nearly 300 horses survived the battle, in which thousands of soldiers died.

The horses were known to have been given away after the battle, but a document from the time, which has just been translated by volunteers with the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum, casts fresh light on their fate.

The document provides in-depth details of each of the 297 animals, including their colour, conformation and new owners.

The document is housed at Britain’s National Archives.

Berwick archivist Linda Bankier, who led the team of transcribers, said the horses were distributed in Northumberland, Cumberland, North Yorkshire, and Lancashire.

“It is thought that the horses were given out to people who were still up North and had taken part in the Battle of Flodden.

“To get such great detail on the colours, size even the description of ears of horses from that time was quite unprecedented and really very special.”

The research results will be displayed to the public for the first time on March 29-30 at Heatherslaw Mill.

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