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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thriller Thursday: Adam Hepburn

This is a short history of my 17th great grandfather on my mother's side.

Sir Adam Hepburn of Hailes succeeded his grandfather Patrick Hepburn.

He was one of the Scottish Commissioners sent to England in 1423 to treat for the release of King James I from captivity, which they happily accomplished.

He took prominent part in public affairs, and when the estates of the Dunbar and March families were forfeited in 1434 he was sent to take possession of the Castle Dunbar.

In 1435 the Earl of Agnes with Adam Hepburn of Hailes and Ramsay of Dalhousie, defeated the Northlumberland yeomen, under the leadership of their Eral, at Piperdeeanin Northlumberland. According to Bower the Scots took 1500 prisoners, but other authorities name a small number.

The name Hepburn is probably a local one derived from lands in Northumberland, at one time disputed territory between England & Scotland. Chalmers (Caledonia ii440) believed that these lands lay in Morpeth ward, where there ia a place now called Hebron; but it seems more probable that the surname was taken from Hebburn in the parish of Chillingham, where a amily of that name flourished from the 13th century or earlier till late in the 18th century when it ended in an heiress. Their 'bastle' was still standing in Chillingham Park in the 19th century.

The house of Hepburn of hailes is traditionally reported to have been founded by an Englishman taken prisoner in the regin of King David II, and long detained for non-payment of a ransom, who, having on one occasion rescued the Earl of March from a savage horse, was rewarded by the grant of lands in Eath Lothian. (Hector Boece, bellenden's translations, 1536. Book xiv 235b).
Hepburn is believed to have intrigued with the widowed Queen Mary of Gueldres, a young and beautiful woman. He attached himself to the party of the Boyds, and was concerned in the seizure of King James III at Linlithgow on 9 July 1466, for which he obtained a remission from Parliament dated 13 October that year.

Adam Hepburn of Dunsyre is one of the several illustrious jurors on an Azzize, 5 March 1470/1, which acquitted Andrew Ker of Cessford of aiding and abetting James Douglas "traitor from England within Scotland", for his association with Robert Lord Boyd after he was declared a rebel, and other accusations, all of which Ker had denied. Others on the jury were Archibald, Earl of Angus, David, Earl of Craufurd, Alexander, Lord Kilmaurs, James, Lord Hamilton, and Sir Alexander Lauder of Haltoun. (Hist. MSS).

He was killed inthe Battle of Flodden.

The Battle of Flodden or Flodden Field was fought in the county of Northumberland in northern England on 9 September 1513, between an invading Scots army under King James IV and an English army commanded by Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey. It ended in a victory for the English and was the largest battle (in terms of numbers) fought between the two nations

This conflict began when James IV, King of Scots declared war on England to honour the Auld Alliance with France by diverting Henry VIII's English troops from their campaign against the French king Louis XII. Henry VIII had also opened old wounds by claiming to be the overlord of Scotland which angered the Scots and the King. At this time England was involved in the War of the League of Cambrai – defending Italy and the Pope from the French (see Italian Wars) as a member of the "Catholic League".
Using the pretext of revenge for the murder of Robert Kerr, a warden of the Scottish East March who had been killed by John "The bastard" Heron in 1508, James invaded England with an army of about 30,000 men in 1513. In keeping with his understanding of the medieval code of chivalry, King James sent notice to the English, one month in advance, of his intent to invade. This gave the English time to gather an army and, as importantly, to retrieve the banner of Saint Cuthbert from the cathedral of Durham, a banner which had been carried by the English in victories against the Scots in 1138 and 1346. After a muster on the Burgh Muir of Edinburgh, the Scottish host moved to Ellemford and camped to wait for Angus and Home, and then crossed the River Tweed near Coldstream. By the 29 August, Norham Castle was taken and partly demolished. The Scots moved south capturing the castles of Etal and Ford. A later chronicler, Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie, tells the story that James wasted valuable time at Ford enjoying the company of Lady Heron and her daughter.

The battle actually took place near the village of Branxton, in the county of Northumberland, rather than at Flodden — hence the alternative name is Battle of Branxton. The Scots had previously been stationed at Flodden Edge, to the south of Branxton, which the Earl of Surrey compared to a fortress. Surrey moved to block off the Scots' route north and so James was forced to move his army and artillery 2 miles to Branxton Hill. When the armies were within 3 miles of each other Surrey sent Rouge Croix pursuivant to James who answered that he would wait till noon. At 11 o'clock Lord Howard's vanguard and artillery crossed the Twissell Bridge. (Pitscottie says the king would not allow the Scots artillery to fire on the vulnerable English during this manouevre.)The Scots army was in good order in 5 formations, after the Almain (German) manner. On Friday afternoon the Scots host descended without speaking any word to meet the English.

According to English report, first the groups commanded by the Earls of Huntly, Arran and Crawford totalling 6000 men engaged Lord Howard and were repulsed and mostly slain. Then James IV himself leading a great force came on to Surrey and Lord Darcy's son who bore the brunt of the battle. Lennox and Argyll's commands were met by Sir Edward Stanley.

Western side of the battlefield, looking south-south-east from the monument erected in 1910. The Scottish army advanced down the ploughed field, the English down the grassy field in the foreground, and they met, presumably at the valley boundary between the two fields.James was killed within a spear length from Surrey and his body taken to Berwick. The 'rent surcoat of the King of Scots stained with blood' was sent to Henry VIII at Tournai. The biggest error the Scots made was placing their officers in the front line, medieval style. A Scottish letter of January 1514 contrasts this loss of the nobility with the English great men who took their stand with the reserves and at the rear. The English generals stayed behind the lines in the Renaissance style. The loss of so many Scottish officers meant there was no one to coordinate a retreat.

Flodden was essentially a victory of bill used by the English over the pike used by the Scots. As a weapon, the pike was effective only in a battle of movement, especially to withstand a cavalry charge. The pike had become a Swiss weapon of choice and represented modern warfare. The hilly terrain of Northumberland, the nature of the combat, and the slippery footing did not allow it to be employed to best effect. Bishop Ruthall reported to Wolsey, 'the bills disappointed the Scots of their long spears, on which they relied. The infantrymen at Flodden, both Scots and English, had fought in a fashion that in essence would have been familiar to their ancestors, and it has rightly been described as the last great medieval battle in the British Isles. This was the last time that bill and pike would come together as equals in battle. Two years later Francis I defeated the Swiss pikemen at the Battle of Marignano, using a combination of heavy cavalry and artillery, ushering in a new era in the history of war. An official English diplomatic report issued by Brian Tuke noted the Scots' iron spears but concluded: 'the English halberdiers decided the whole affair, so that in the battle the bows and ordnance were of little use.

Despite Tuke's comment (he was not present), tactically, this battle was one of the first major engagements on the British Isles where artillery was significantly deployed. John Lesley, writing sixty years later, noted the Scottish bullets flew over the English heads while the English cannon was effective, the one army placed so high and the other so low. The battle is considered the last decisive use of the longbow, yet through the 16th century the English longbowmen continued to have success, as in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. Many of these archers were recruited from Lancashire and Cheshire. Sir Richard Assheton raised one such company from Middleton, near Manchester. In gratitude for his safe return, he rebuilt St. Leonard's, the local parish church. It contains the unique "Flodden Window" depicting each of the archers, and the priest who accompanied them, by name in stained glass.

Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk was given an augmentation of honour to commemorate the Battle of Flodden FieldAs a reward for his victory, Howard was subsequently restored to the title of "Duke of Norfolk", lost by his father's support for Richard III. The arms of the Dukes of Norfolk still carry an augmentation of honour awarded on account of their ancestor's victory at Flodden, a modified version of the Royal coat of arms of Scotland with an arrow through the lion's mouth.

Soon after the battle there were legends that James IV had survived; a Scottish merchant at Tournai in October claimed to have spoken with him, Lindsay of Pitscottie records two myths; "thair cam four great men upon hors, and every ane of thame had ane wisp upoun thair spear headis, quhairby they might know one another and brought the king furth of the feild, upoun ane dun hackney," and also that the king escaped from the field but was killed between Duns and Kelso. Similarly, John Lesley adds that the body taken to England was "my lord Bonhard" and James was seen in Kelso after the battle and then went secretly on pilgrimage in far nations.

Every noble family in Scotland was supposed to have lost a member at Flodden. The dead are remembered by the song (and pipe tune) "The Flowers of the Forest";

We'll hae nae mair lilting, at the yowe-milking,
Women and bairns are dowie and wae.
Sighing and moaning, on ilka green loaning,
The flowers of the forest are all wede away.

Surrey's army lost 1,500 men killed. There were various conflicting accounts of the Scottish loss. A contemporary French source, the Gazette of the Battle of Flodden, said that about 10,000 Scots were killed, a claim made by Henry VIII on 16 September while he was still uncertain of the death of James IV. Italian newsletters put the Scottish losses at 18 or 20 thousand and the English at 5000. Brian Tuke, the English Clerk of the Signet, sent a newsletter stating 10,000 Scots killed and 10,000 escaped the field. Tuke reckoned the total Scottish invasion force to have been 60,000 and the English army at 40,000. George Buchanan wrote in his History of Scotland (published in 1582) that, according to the lists that were compiled throughout the counties of Scotland, there were about 5,000 killed. A plaque on the monument to the 2nd Duke of Norfolk (as the Earl of Surrey became in 1514) at Thetford put the figure at 17,000.

Notable men who died included:

James IV , King of Scots (1488–1513); died in battle
Alexander Stewart, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Lord Chancellor of Scotland; died in battle
Lieutenant General Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll; died in battle
Sir Alexander Boswell of Balmuto; died in battle
Thomas Boswell of Auchinleck; died in battle
John Campbell of Auchreoch; died in battle
Donald Campbell of Duntroon; said to have died in battle
Sir Duncan Campbell, 2nd of Glenorchy; died in battle
George Campbell of Cessnock; died in battle
Niall Campbell of Melfort; died in battle
John Carnegie, 5th of Kinnaird; died in battle
William Craig, of Craigfintray Castle, Aberdeenshire; died in battle
Robert Elwold (Elliott, leader of the Elliott Clan); died in battle
Alan Cathcart, Master of that ilk; died in battle
George Douglas, Master of Angus; died in battle
Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig
Sir William Douglas of Glenbervie; died in battle
John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton; died in battle
Alexander Elphinstone the Younger; died in battle
Alexander Elphinstone, 1st Lord Elphinstone
William Graham, 1st Earl of Montrose; led part of the Scottish vanguard; died in battle
John Hay, 2nd Lord Hay of Yester; presumed died in battle, body not recovered
James Henderson (or Henrysone), Laird of the barony of Fordell, Fife; Lord Justice Clerk; killed along with his eldest son, see below.
(Robert) Henderson, eldest son of above; killed with his father.
Adam Hepburn, 2nd Earl of Bothwell
George Hepburn
Andrew Herries, 2nd Lord Herries of Terregles
David Kennedy, 1st Earl of Cassilis
Alexander Lauder of Blyth
George Leslie, 2nd Earl of Rothes
John Lindsay, 6th Earl of Crawford, Scottish field commander.
Uchtred MacDowall, 9th of Garthland; died in battle
Thomas MacDowall of Renfrewshire son of Uchtred; died in battle
Lachlan MacLean, 10th Captain of Clan MacLean
John Maxwell, 4th Lord Maxwell[24]
John Mure of Rowallan; died in battle
Thomas Otterburn; died in battle
Sir Alexander Napier; died in battle
Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie; died in battle
Sir John Ramsay of Trarinzeane;died in battle.
Sir John Rattray, Lord of that Ilk; died in battle
John Ross, 2nd Lord Ross of Halkhead; died in battle
William Ruthven of that ilk; died in battle
Sir Christopher Savage; died in battle
John Sempill, 1st Lord Sempill of Eliotstoun; died in battle
George Seton, 5th Lord Seton; died in battle
William Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Caithness
Sir John Somerville of Cambusnethan; died in battle
James Stewart, laird of Traquair; died in battle
Matthew Stewart, 2nd Earl of Lennox; died in battle
Sir Iain MacFarlane, 11th Captain (Chief) of Clan Pharlane; died in battle
Lord Stuart Garry, 3rd captain of Clan Garry
Sir Brian Tunstall; died in battle
Sir Peter Houstoun, of Houston, Lanark, Knight, died defending James IV
[edit] Battlefield todayThe battlefield still looks much as it probably did at the time of the battle, but the burn and marsh which so badly hampered the Scots advance is now drained. A monument, erected in 1910, is easily reached from Branxton village by following the road past St Paul's Church. There is a small car park and a clearly marked and signposted battlefield trail with interpretive boards which make it easy to visualise the battle. Only the chancel arch remains of the medieval church where James IV's body was said to have rested after the battle – the rest is Victorian, dating from 1849 in the "Norman" style.

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