Eyemouth features strongly in this year’s Borders Heritage Festival just as it did in the lead up to the Battle of Pinkie in 1547, and the town has a busy weekend ahead.
Back in the mid 16th century England was putting pressure on the Scots to agree to their infant Queen Mary marrying the young Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII. This became known as the Rough Wooing and when Edward was crowned king in 1547 the war between the two countries continued, under the direction of the Duke of Somerset.
Things came to a head in September 1547 when the Duke of Somerset marched north and the two armies met at the Battle of Pinkie on the banks of the River Esk near Musselburgh - resulting in a major defeat for the Scots.
The 21st century march to Pinkie starts at Hume Castle on Saturday, September 2, with a living history camp and a re-enactment of the surrender of Lady Home. The re-enactment of Somerset’s march to Scotland continues on Sunday at Eyemouth’ Kirk Square.
Pupils at Eyemouth Primary School have been practising a poem which they will recite in the town’s Kirk Square at 12 noon on Sunday, September 3, followed by the first of Somerset’s Proclamation to the people of Scotland. A procession along the Bantry will lead to Eyemouth Fort to view a series of skirmishes over the original fort which was constructed in 1547 by the English troops and further proclamations will be read at 1pm and 2pm.
Eyemouth Holiday Park, adjacent to the fort, is hosting an exhibition and presentations about Eyemouth Fort by the Friends of Eyemouth Fort. The fort constructed by English troops was demolished in 1550 after a temporary peace followed the Battle of Pinkie.
After the weekend events in Berwickshire ‘16th century soldiers’ will begin their march on Pinkie, to arrive at the site of the battle in time for the 470th anniversary of the battle. Some will march from Hume, while others will walk from Hutton, setting out on Thursday, September 7, and going via Eyemouth Primary School.
When the re-enactment soldiers reach Newhailes, East Lothian, the Battle of Pinkie will be fought all over again over the weekend of September 16-17. The battle is regarded by historians as one of the first modern battles fought in Britain because of the pioneering combination of horse, foot and artillery with supporting fire from naval vessels,