Battle Of Flodden Field, fought Sept. 9, 1513. between the Scots under King James IV. and the English under the earl of Surrey. Henry VIII. was on the continent engaged in his expedition against France when the border feuds broke into open war. James crossed the Tweed, Aug. 22, at the head of the feudal array of his kingdom, captured four border fortresses, and encamped, Sept. 6, on Flodden, the last of the Cheviot hills, in Northumberland, 8 m. S. E. of Coldstream. The earl of Surrey, to whom was intrusted the defence of the English border, summoned the gentlemen of the northern counties to join him at Newcastle, and reached Alnwick Sept. 3, with 26,000 men, where he offered battle to James in a message sent by a pursuivant-at-arms. By a skilful countermarch he placed himself on the morning of Sept. 9 between James and Scotland. The battle began between 4 and 5 o'clock P. M., and was decided in little more than an hour. The Scottish army, setting fire to its tents, descended the ridge of Flodden to secure the eminence of Brankstone, and was met by the English army, which advanced in four divisions under the command of Surrey, his two sons, Thomas and Sir Edmund Howard, and Sir Edward Stanley. Earls Huntley and Home, who led the Scottish left wing, charged the Howards so successfully with a body of spearmen that Sir Edmund was unhorsed and his division put to flight.
The battle was restored in this quarter by the advance of Lord Dacre with the reserve of cavalry. On the right wing the highlanders were unable to stand against the severe execution of the Lancashire archers. James, surrounded by some thousands of chosen warriors, charged upon Surrey in the centre of his army with such resolution as to penetrate within a few yards of the royal standard, when he was attacked in the flank and rear by Stanley, already victorious over the Scottish right. James fell by an unknown hand within a lance's length of Surrey, and all of his division perished with their king, not one of them being made prisoner. Before dawn the Scots abandoned the field in disorder. Their loss was about 10,000 men, which included the prime of their nobility, gentry, and even clergy. "Scarce a family of eminence," says Scott,but had an ancestor killed at Flodden, and there is no province of Scotland, even at this day, where the battle is mentioned without a sensation of terror and sorrow." The English lost about 7,000 men.
Scott's "Marmion, a Tale of Flodden Field," contains in the last canto an accurate and most animated description of the battle.