History Extra logo
The official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed

When was the last battle between England and Scotland?

Fought on Scottish soil, the last battle between these old enemies was not for territory, but to create an alliance…

A depiction of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh (10 September 1547), the last formal battle between England and Scotland. (Photo by Print Collector/Getty Images)
Published: July 29, 2019 at 1:00 pm
Try 6 issues for only £9.99 when you subscribe to BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed

Taking place on 10 September 1547, the battle of Pinkie Cleugh was the last formal battle between England and Scotland.


This decisive English victory was part of a campaign later known as the ‘Rough Wooing’, instigated in 1544 by Henry VIII in an attempt to impose a betrothal between the child Mary Queen of Scots and his own heir, who by the time of this battle had risen to the throne as Edward VI.

The armies met near the coast at Musselburgh in Lothian where, in a five-hour battle, the Scottish were ultimately surrounded by England’s more efficient and more modern fighting force.

While English losses stood at around 500, estimates suggest those of Scotland were anything between 6,000 and 14,000 – many of whom were slaughtered as they retreated. In spite of this, the English did not achieve their aim. Mary was smuggled out to their enemies and betrothed to Francis, heir to the French throne.


This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine


Sponsored content