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Battle of Pinkie Cleugh

(Redirected from Battle of Pinkie)

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, along the banks of the River Esk on 10 September 1547, was the last battle to be fought between the Scottish and the English Royal armies and the first "modern" battle to be fought in the British Isles. It was a catastrophic defeat for the Scots caused by poor discipline and weak command.

This was historically significant as the first "modern" battle fought in Britain, demonstrating active cooperation between the infantry, artillery and cavalry with a naval bombardment in support of the land forces.

The Duke of Somerset brought his troops, cavalry and guns to the area, with naval support for his sixteen thousand men advancing along the beach. The Scots, numbering thirty-six thousand, held the better position behind the river, but lacked experience and effective cavalry. They were led by James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran , who fatally misinterpreted an English retreating manoeuvre. Hamilton ordered his men across the river in a full-out charge, in doing so lost his advantage. Somerset capitalised on this serious blunder with use of his artillery.

By the end of the battle Somerset's men had slain fifteen thousand Scots and captured fifteen hundred more, while losing only five hundred of their own men.

While Black Saturday was a disaster for the Scots, it was a dubious victory for the English since it pushed Queen Mary further away from Prince Edward.

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Last updated: 11-04-2004 12:13:18