James IV and Earl of Surrey take to Twitter

In advance of the 500 years commemoration of the Battle of Flodden the Earl of Surrey and King James IV of Scotland have taken to twitter
In advance of the 500 years commemoration of the Battle of Flodden the Earl of Surrey and King James IV of Scotland have taken to twitter

The Battle of Flodden is getting closer, the armies are on the move and the Scottish King and commander of the English army are keeping their followers up-to-date via Twitter.

The team behind the 500th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Flodden have taken to Twitter to give 21st century followers a real-time taste of preparations to fight medieval-style.

In the lead-up to the September 9 battle date, Scottish King James IV, Thomas Howard Earl of Surrey, the commander of the English army, and other historical figures are sharing their thoughts en route to the battlefield in north Northumberland.

Using historical sources for their tweets, the @JamesIV_Surrey account is keeping followers up to date with the key milestones in the story of the battle, as they happened, exactly 500 years ago.

Signing off their tweets by name, the characters will also give insights into the real people involved.

The Earl of Surrey posted on July 29th “I hear that King James has gathered his people and launched his fleet. He is preparing for battle.

“We are still waiting to hear what today’s plans will be!”

The Twitter campaign is part of the Flodden 1513 cross-border £1.3 million ecomuseum project, which is creating a ‘museum without walls’ at sites across England and Scotland that are connected to the battle.

Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project co-ordinator Alistair Bowden, said: “Today, people follow their favourite stars on Twitter; in the 16th century the leaders of the English and Scottish armies were the news-makers of their day.

“We’re trying to imagine what they would have shared with their Twitter followers, as the tension rose between the nations and the two opposing forces set out for the battlefield.

“We’re aiming to bring history to life by using historical sources to give people an insight into the whole build up to the bloody battle that played such a significant part in eventually uniting England and Scotland.”

Scottish King James IV made the first move when he responded to Henry VIII’s departure to fight the French, by planning an invasion of England, in support of the Scottish-French Auld Alliance.

This prompted the first tweet from the Earl of Surrey on July 1: “Henry set sail for Calais yesterday and I’ve been left behind to guard against the Scots. Is this an opportunity or threat? Surrey.”