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Pinkie Battlefield

Located at Pinkie Cleugh between Musselburgh and Wallyford, the Battle of Pinkie took place on the 10th September, 1547. It was precipitated by the reneging of a promise by the Scottish Parliament following the death of King James V in 1542 that the young Mary Queen of Scots could marry Prince Edward of England. Having given the promise in the Treaty of Greenwich in 1543, within a year the Scots took the view that a marriage to the Dauphin of France would give rise to a more strategically valuable alliance. Thus King Henry VIII directed the English army, under the Duke of Somerset, to begin a campaign known as the 'Rough Wooing' which involved incursions into Scotland in 1544 and 1545. Henry died in January 1547 and Somerset, now Protector or guardian of the young King Edward VI, attacked again in 1547.

The much larger, but less disciplined, Scottish army under the indecisive James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (1516-75), was caught between the English army and cannon-fire from the English fleet lying offshore. More than half of the Scottish army were killed or injured. While the Scots suffered a serious defeat, the English lost out too because the battle simply sped the marriage between Mary and the Dauphin and the alliance with France.


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