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.
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- In profile: Mary, Queen of Scots
- Mary, Queen of Scots’ tragic life (podcast)
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.