Sunderland lecture to explore The Battle of Flodden

John Sadler
John Sadler
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A CITY lecture will delve into the biggest and bloodiest campaign between the English and Scottish more than 500 years ago.

Last September was the 500th anniversary of the The Battle of Flodden, one of the most costly battles in British history, and historian John Sadler will be giving a blow-by-blow account at the University of Sunderland’s Community Lecture next week.

The battle is largely forgotten and took place during the reign of Henry VIII as the English king was fighting a war in France.

With James IV of Scotland honour-bound to aid the French, he declared war and crossed the River Tweed and into Northumberland.

It is estimated 15,000 died in the space of two and a half hours of the battle beginning and James fell and was hacked to death, becoming the last king to die in battle on British soil.

The toll of defeat on Scotland was huge because within two hours the Scots had lost their king and huge numbers of the political classes – the brains, leadership and military prowess of the nation.

Mr Sadler, who has been teaching war studies for the past 15 years and has 30 published titles to his name, will explain the story behind the battle.

He said: “Since this forgotten battle and especially in relation to the debate on Scottish Independence, the history has, in no small part, been rewritten for propagandist purposes.

“I have studied the battlefield for several decades and will aim to strip away the myths and lay bare the bones of reality, to present an accurate and informed portrait of what happened not just on the day itself but during the build-up and campaign beforehand.”

After the battle, 17-month-old James V was crowned King of Scotland just over a week later.

The Battle of Flodden 1513 lecture will take place on Wednesday, May 21, at the university’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s starting at 2.30pm.

People are asked to arrive at the Prospect Building between 2pm and 2.30pm to register. For more information email, or call 515 3169.