- The Rough Wooing
The Rough Wooing was a term coined by
Sir Walter Scottand H. E. Marshallto describe the Anglo-Scottish war pursued intermittently from 1544 to 1551. It followed from the failure of the Scots to honour the terms of the 1543 Treaty of Greenwich, by which the infant Mary Queen of Scotswas betrothed to Edward Prince of Wales, the son and heir of Henry VIII. The war had the opposite effect of that intended: rather than agree that Mary be married to Edward, the Scots sent their queen to France, where she was betrothed to the Dauphin Francis, the son of Henry II. The war itself can be divided into two distinct phases. The first, while Henry was still alive, was principally a campaign of large-scale intimidation, England's main military effort being directed against France. The second phase under Protector Somerset saw a much more serious onslaught on Scotland, with major invasions in 1547 and 1548.
1286 Has Come Again
In December 1542
James Vdied, aged only thirty, leaving as his sole heir the week-old Princess Mary. For Henry the death of James and the accession of an infant female, his grand-niece, to the Scottish throne opened up an entirely new set of possibilities: here was a way of breaking Scotland's French alliance forever and tying the country to the interests of England. His own son and heir, Edward, was the right age to be a prospective bridegroom for the Scottish Queen. His recent victory at the Battle of Solway Mosshad put a number of important Scottish noblemen in his hands, some of whom had Protestantleanings and could be expected to support the proposed marriage as the price of their freedom; and there were others like Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angusand Patrick Hepburn, 3rd Earl of Bothwell, banished by James in 1540, who were ready to return to Scotland to act as Henry's agents.
It looked as if history was about to turn in a great circle; that, as
J. D. Mackieonce wrote, the year 1286 had come again: Scotland, for a second time, had a child queen and England a Prince Edward. Scotland and England, long divided by war, would be united by marriage. There was, however, one critical difference: the Tudor lion was not a reincarnation of Edward I but of Henry V. With his great Continental rivals Francis I and Charles V now locked in the final act of a life-long struggle, Henry began to dream again of lost empires in France. The last great military effort of his reign was a return to the war of his youth. Against this background Scotland was a secondary consideration.
Still, the position was serious enough. Henry saw himself not just as Mary's guardian, and prospective father-in-law, but as her heir. Before the end of 1542 a great many of the Solway Moss prisoners were released after agreeing to work for the marriage of Mary and Edward. These men were the first of the 'assured' Scots, a kind of pro-English
fifth column. But some of the most important prisoners — the earls of Glencairn and Cassillis, and the lords Maxwell, Fleming, Sommerville and Grey — had also agreed to a further secret treaty, in which it was expressly stated:
"And whether the said daughter shall chance to come to his majesty's hands or not, or shall fortune to die hereafter...I think it shall be highly for the wealth of Scotland if it will please his Grace to take the whole rule, dominion, and government of the realm upon him..."
Faced with the dangers of an active English party, and the possibility of a follow up to Solway Moss, the question of who was to control the Scottish government at this dangerous time was of particular importance. There is little doubt who the best man was —
Cardinal David Beaton, an experienced diplomat, politician and administrator, as well as a leading churchman. But Beaton was known to be Henry's main enemy, and an effective advocate both of the Catholic faith and the Auld Alliance. With Beaton in charge Henry is likely to have taken much more forceful action against Scotland. Beaton appears to have tried to take control of the regency government shortly after the death of James; but the person who emerged in the dominant position, after a brief power struggle, was James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran, heir presumptiveto the throne of Scotland.
History has been less than kind to James Hamilton, and often with good reason. As a soldier he was a disaster; as a politician he was a mediocrity. Yet despite his many and obvious weaknesses he was to perform an invaluable service. Scotland was in a far weaker position after Solway Moss than after Flodden: her army had been humiliated; a powerful section of the nobility was pledged to work for the English; the growth of Protestantism threatened to give a new edge to the factional conflicts that inevitably followed from a royal minority. In these circumstances a strong governor would most likely have prompted a major English invasion. Arran was the man for the moment. He gave the appearance of malleability, and Henry was soon deluded into believing that he could be turned to his purpose. But Arran was his own man, driven by a deep personal ambition. He evaded, he temporised, he trimmed. In his own way he probably did as much to preserve Scottish independence as Albany had in the 1520s.
When the Scottish Parliament met in March 1543 it immediately defined the rules of the game, not waiting for the full English proposal: Mary would not be delivered to the land of her prospective husband until she was ten; no fortresses were to be handed over to the English; Scotland's laws and liberties were to be preserved; even if the marriage was concluded Scotland was still to be governed by a native ruler; and if there were no heirs to the marriage then the crown would pass to the next lawful successor.
The problem was that Henry had considerably overestimated the influence, and even the motives of his assured Scots. Glencairn and Cassillis certainly pushed Henry's case; but against a background of deeply rooted suspicion of the English and their motives, they could make little real progress. In the same month as Parliament met, its English counterpart passed a new subsidy act in which the dead James was referred to as "the pretensed King of Scottes being but a usurper of the Crowne". Further reference was made to "the crimes, treasones, and rebellions" of his predecessors against their English lords and that Henry was entitled to claim "his right and title to the said Crowne and Realme". Of course, this was little more than verbal dressing, and the king was hardly likely to push for the marriage of his only son to the daughter of "a usurper". Nevertheless, it did nothing to reassure wavering Scots opinion.
Throughout the spring and summer the anti-English party grew in strength. Beaton, with the backing of many of the nobility, was in the ascendant. Towards the end of July he had assembled an impressive army. He then advanced on
Linlithgow, where the young queen had her nursery, with the intention of moving her to the safety of Stirling Castle, well out of Henry's reach. Unable to match the Cardinal soldier for soldier Arran had no choice but to comply. Alarmed by these developments Henry offered to send Arran an army of 5 000 men. He declined, saying that the aid of 5 000 Englishmen would cause 20 000 Scots to desert him.
With a political earthquake underway in Scotland, the treaties of peace and marriage concluded at
Greenwichon 1 July, 1543were little better than a masquerade. The Scots refused to renounce the league with France or to send Mary to England before her tenth birthday. The fruits of Solway Moss were withering.
Arran ratified the treaties on
25 August, although they were not binding until approved by Parliament. But before this approval could be obtained Henry acted with almost inconceivable stupidity and arrogance. Some Scottish merchant ships were seized on the grounds that they were trading with France, though such arbitrary action was contrary to the Greenwich agreements. Scotland was outraged. Even the commercial classes, broadly Protestant in spirit, were angered by this interference in their right to trade and lined up behind Beaton. Arran was so shaken by the reaction that he made his final peace with Beaton; and in December Parliament both revoked the Greenwich treaties and renewed the Auld Alliance. Scotland's brief flirtation with the Reformation was also at an end, at least for the time being. A new war was now inevitable.
Sir Ralph Sadler, a leading English diplomat, who had spent some uncomfortable weeks in Edinburghin 1543, reported a conversation he had with the Scottish diplomat Sir Adam Otterburn, who said that the feeling in the country against Mary's marriage to Edward was so strong that even if the nobility consented "yet our common people and the stones in the streets would rise and rebel against it". Henry had depended for the success of his schemes on a revolution in religion and politics strong enough to make England and Protestantism more attractive than France and Catholicism; but the time for such a revolution had not yet come.
The Wooing Begins
Even before the December Parliament revoked the Greenwich treaties Henry was preparing for war. In September the Duke of Suffolk was instructed to advance with an army on Edinburgh and seize Beaton and Arran. But it was far too late in the season to mount a full-scale operation. Instead the king authorised a fresh outbreak of border raiding, which began in October and continued throughout the winter. By March 1544 a total of 124 villages and hamlets had been destroyed and huge quantities of livestock taken to England. In each place the raiders struck Henry ordered that a notice should be pinned to the church doors, saying "You may thank your Cardinal for this.". His efforts were also aided in Scotland by the rebellion of Matthew, Earl of Lennox and some of the other pro-English faction, though in the end this came to nothing.
It was obvious that Henry was expecting too much from his Scottish allies. He simply did not have sufficient force to back up their limited efforts. He was now allied with the Emperor Charles and, as a consequence, huge numbers of English troops were despatched to the Continent in early 1544 to begin a war against France. Angered by the rejection of the Greenwich agreements he was still anxious for some form of action against his enemies, though this could only take the form of a large-scale punitive raid. Command of the operation was given to Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, an experienced soldier. To avoid past transport difficulties, and to carry him to the heart of the country, Hertford was to arrive by ship. The instructions he was given were chillingly precise;
"...Put all to fyre and swoorde, burne Edinborough towne, so rased and defaced when you have sacked and gotten what ye can of it, as there may remayn forever a perpetual memory of the vengeaunce of God lightened upon them for their faulsehode and disloyailtye. Do what ye can out of hande...to beate down and overthrowe the castle, sack Holyrood house, and as many townes and villages about Edinborough as ye may conveniently, sack Lythe and burn and subvert it and all the rest, putting man, woman and child to fyre and sworde without exception, where any resistance shallbe made agaynst you, and this done passe over to Fyfelande and extende like extremityes and destructions in all towns and villages whereunto ye may reach convenyently not forgetting the Cardinalles town of St Andrews, as thupper stone may be the nether, and not one stick stande by another, sparing no creature alyve within the same, especially such as either in frendeship or bloosd be alyed to the Cardinal."
Henry's understanding of Scotland's geography was even weaker than his understanding of its politics. Hertford had to tell him that the scheme was too ambitious, and that operations were best limited to the Forth estuary. He also tried to persuade Henry of the wisdom of fortifying and holding the important harbour of
Leith, rather than destroying it, with no success; for the king was set on vengeance. Hertford set out from Tynemouthwith 114 ships on 26 April. By early May he entered the Forth. Leith was occupied and used as a base for the systematic destruction of the Scottish capital.
While at Leith Hertford was joined by a force of some 4 000 border horsemen, which were used to raid the countryside around Edinburgh, destroying all within a seven mile radius, including
Craigmillar Castle. A seaborne force was also sent across to Fife, setting fire to Kinghornand some adjacent towns, in token fulfilment of part of Henry's orders. Hertford then returned overland to England on 15 May, after destroying Leith. The campaign of devastation carried on all the way back to Berwick. The worst atrocity was committed at Dunbarafter, as Hertford relates, the town was taken by surprise:
"And by reason that we took them in the morning-who, having watched all night for our coming, and perceiving our army to dislodge and depart, thought themselves safe of us, were newly gone to their beds: and in their first sleep closed in with fire – the men, women and children were suffocated and burnt."
This was only the beginning. In the two years from June 1544 something like 160 raids were mounted across the border. Most were fairly small scale: major forays like Hertford's were not typical. England was carrying on a war by degrees, intended to make normal life in southern Scotland virtually impossible. Accurate accounts were kept by the English of their campaign of economic warfare. In the period up to December 1544 alone 192 "towns, towers, stedes, barmkyns, parish churches, and castell houses" were taken and burnt. Livestock rustled in the same period amounted to 10 386 cattle, 12 429 sheep, 1 296 horses and 200 goats. Every tactic was employed, including extending the concept of 'assurance' to whole groups of people, who were then expected to attack their neighbours. The Armstrongs of
Liddesdalewere the first of the border clans to accept English assurance. Many others became collaborators, either out of fear or out of greed. Bad as it was none of this brought the marriage of Edward and Mary one step closer.
Sir Ralph Evers (alternatively spelt "Eure"), the lord warden of the middle marches, along with Sir Brian Layton, the captain of
NorhamCastle, kept the pressure up over the winter season. On one occasion they burnt the tower of Broomhouse around the ears of an elderly lady and her family, to the horror of the local country people. But what was worse for them they also burnt Melrose Abbey, desecrating the ancient tombs of the earls of Douglas, including the victor of the 1388 Battle of Otterburn. Angus, still playing someting of a double-game, could not ignore this insult to his family's honour. He waited for the right occasion. It came in February 1545 when Evers and Layton advanced in the direction of Jedburghwith an army estimated at 5 000 men, a mixed force of English borderers, foreign mercenaries and assured Scots, including many Armstrongs. As a badge of identification all wore a red cross outside their armour.
On learning of Evers' approach, Angus and Arran came to Melrose. Keeping to the high ground they shadowed the enemy force until it set up camp in the valley of the
River Teviotbetween Monteviot and the village of Ancrum. They were observed by the Scots from the vantage point of Peneil Heugh Hill, overlooking Ancrum Moor. On 27 February, Evers, attacking what he believed to be an inferior force, was routed at the Battle of Ancrum Moor. As the fight turned against the English the assured Scots, some 700 men, tore off their red crosses and turned on their former allies. As the army disintegrated the local people, including many women, seeing a chance of revenge, grabbed whatever weapons came to hand and joined the pursuit, with calls of 'Remember Broomhouse'. Over 600 of the English force were slain, including Evers and Layton, and 1000 were taken prisoner. Scottish casualties were light. According to local legend they included a country girl, known only as Maiden Lillard, whose lover had been killed by the English on one of their raids. She died fighting with a sword in hand, and a monument now stands to her on the battlefield with the following inscription:
"Fair Maiden Lillard lies under this stane."
"Little was her stature, but muckle was her fame;"
"Upon the English loons she laid mony thumps."
"And, when her leggs were cuttit off,"
"She fought upon her stumps."
The Battle of Ancrum Moor may not have been one of the great engagements in the wars between Scotland and England, but it was certainly the most serious military reverse ever suffered during the reign of Henry VIII. The news of the victory soon spread, and was received with some jubilation in both Paris and Rome. Francis, who had been at war with Henry since the previous year, celebrated the occasion by mounting a seaborne attack on
Portsmouthand the Isle of Wight. Panic spread across the whole of the northern border. To restore the situation Henry appointed Hertford, who since the Edinburgh raid had been with the king in France, as captain-general in the north, with orders to repair Norham and other border fortresses as quickly as possible.
Arson and Assassination
For Francis the unexpectedly tough Scottish resistance to England opened up the prospect of a war on two fronts. In September 1544 the English army had captured the port of Boulogne, to the fury of the French king. Francis wanted revenge and, to this end, he decided to send a French auxiliary force to Scotland, with the aim of helping them take the offensive in northern England. Command of the expeditionary force was given to Jacques de Montgomery, Seigneur de Lorges, one of the captains of the king's Scots Guards. Arran was pleased to receive the promise of aid. Although
Coldinghamand other places had been captured from the English after Ancrum Moor, Scotland was too weak in specialist troops and artillery to follow up the success with an advance into England.
Before the French arrived the English attempted to open negotiations in April on the basis of the Greenwich treaties. A convention of the nobility was held in Edinburgh to discuss the proposal. Cassillis, speaking on behalf of Henry, said that if the treaties were accepted the king would overlook the injuries he had received in the past, a quite astonishing assertion, considering that a good part of southern Scotland lay in ruins. Not surprisingly the convention declared the treaties of peace and marriage to be at an end. Cassillis informed Henry on
20 Aprilthat his offer had been rejected, and recommended that he organise an immediate invasion. Henry was in no doubt that Beaton was responsible for the failure of the peace proposal, and encouraged Cassillis to begin plotting the cardinal's assassination. Shortly afterwards Hertford began to concentrate troops on the border, including German, Spanish and Italian mercenaries.
Montgomery landed at
Dumbartonat the beginning of June with an impressive force of 3 500 professional soldiers. In response the Privy Council decided to hold a national muster at Roslin Moor on 28 Julyto join with the French on a cross-border invasion. But a good proportion of the pro-English nobility, including Angus, had slipped back into their old treasonable practices. Arran's expedition was effectively undermined by a widespread conspiracy even before it set out, so it is no surprise that the march to England was a disappointing failure. By the middle of August the army, the vanguard commanded by Angus and his associates, was on the retreat, having done no more than burn a few Northumbrian villages. Angus, Cassillis and others were soon urging Hertford to launch a fresh invasion to "further the peace and marriage." With the government unable to protect them many of the Scots on the border rushed to accept assurance. Once again the military initiative passed to the English.
Soon after Arran and the Franco-Scots army left the border, Hertford laid his own plans. He waited until the harvest was gathered before acting, at a time when he could do the most damage. His army advanced towards Kelso in early September. At his approach one hundred people, including twelve monks, barricaded themselves in the Abbey, which could only be taken by assault. In the confusion a few of the defenders managed to escape, though most were slaughtered by the Spanish mercenaries.
Kelso Abbeywas systematically destroyed, as were the other great border abbeys of Melrose, Jedburgh and Dryburgh. They were never rebuilt, so what is left stands today as a reminder of Hertford and the Rough Wooing. The destruction continued throughout the surrounding countryside until 23 September, when Hertford returned to England.
Ugly as it was, Hertford's second raid was as politically barren as his first. Only a handful of self-seeking nobles and some religious reformers continued to support the marriage. Numbered among them was a preacher named
George Wishart, an agent of the English, who was a particular inspiration for John Knox. It is possible that Wishart was part of the plot to murder Beaton, though the evidence is not conclusive. All that is certain is that he was burned as a heretic on 1 March, 1545in the cardinal's town of St Andrews. Soon after the plot to murder Beaton took its final form.
29 Maya group of Fife lairds broke into St Andrews Castleand murdered Beaton. This was a political act, a success for King Henry, which is sometimes draped in a garb of religious revenge: for Beaton was killed not primarily as a persecutor of Protestants — surprisingly few died at his hands – but as an enemy of England. Almost none of the men who entered the castle that day were motivated by religious principles; and even Knox — who hated Beaton – was to describe some of the murderers as "men without God." The morality of the act seems to have escaped most contemporaries; even the Catholic Charles V congratulated Henry on disposing of a great enemy. His assassins, soon to be known collectively as the Castilians, blockaded themselves in the castle, holding it as an English outpost for a year.
28 January, 1547Henry VIII died, having achieved none of his main aims in Scotland or France. In his place came a boy king, Edward VI. Hertford, the new king's uncle, was created Duke of Somerset and named as Protector of England. Uppermost in his mind was the marriage of his royal nephew. To Scotland's cost he set about pursuing this with a greater determination than the late king. The Wooing was now to enter its deadliest phase.
Protector Somerset was in many ways a remarkable man. As a soldier he had made his reputation in the brutally efficient raids of 1544 and 1545. But he had also fought in France, and was one of the first to realise that Henry's political and military strategy had failed because no clear priorities had been set; because, in other words, the late king had tried to deal with two sets of problems at the same time, often using the wrong methods. Who was better placed than Somerset to conclude that the campaign of violence and terror in Scotland had been a complete failure? The Scots were remarkably resilient. Not only in the recent past but throughout history they had shown the capacity to recover quickly from invasion. For centuries of military effort all England had to show was
Berwick-upon-Tweed; and in the recent wars, despite extensive collaboration, it had only managed to secure a precarious hold of the castle in Langholm. Something more decisive was required if the marriage of Edward and Mary was to be achieved: not just temporary raids and quick victories, but a permanent English presence in Scotland. There were to be no more adventures in France; Scotland and the marriage question were to have all of England's attention.
By the end of August Somerset was ready. His army, which was mustered at Newcastle, amounted to about 17 000 fighting men, supported by pioneers and other specialists. Most of the ordinary English soldiers were armed, as usual, with bows and bills, although some came with hand guns and the long Continental pike. The army was also well supplied with artillery. But the important difference was that about a quarter of the force — over 4 000 men — consisted of mounted troops, a large proportion of which were heavy cavalry, in addition to lighter border horse. Hertford had, in essence, created a modern army, having absorbed all the lessons of contemporary warfare on the Continent, where contests like Marignano showed how effective a combination of artillery and cavalry could be against infantry.
Arran had reacted quickly to the news that the English were approaching the border. Afraid that the country might be suffering from war-weariness he decided to demonstrate the gravity of the situation by sending the fiery cross throughout the kingdom. This extraordinary procedure, of ancient Celtic origin, was more commonly used to summon Highland clans. It certainly had the desired effect: over 20 000 men answered the call, almost certainly the largest Scottish army to take the field since Flodden. To block the English advance on Edinburgh a position was taken up on the west bank of the River Esk, to the south of
Musselburgh. Arran was strong both in numbers and position; yet his army was essentially an anachronism, a hang over from the feudal past, with few of the specialist troops that Somerset had gathered. Most of the soldiers were armed with the Swiss pike, the same weapon carried to such little effect over thirty years before at Flodden. On Saturday 10 Septemberthe two sides met at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, where, once again, artillery and cavalry were used to devastating effect.
17 Septembernews of Somerset's great victory reached London, where huge bonfires were lit in celebration. John Knox declared the defeat to be the judgement of God on the perjured Arran and all who assisted him in the 'unjust quarrel'. For most Scots 10 September, 1547would simply be remembered as Black Saturday.
News of the defeat was carried by Arran himself to
Mary of Guise, the Queen Mother, at Stirling. Mary acted with calm resolution. Expecting Somerset to advance into central Scotland she sent her infant daughter closer to the Highlands, to take refuge at Inchmahome Prioryon the Lake of Menteith, while sending word of the disaster to King Henry II of France. Although Arran was to hold on to power for another seven years, the defeat at Pinkie considerably weakened his authority. He was so unpopular that it was soon reported that the women of Edinburgh were ready to stone him to death. Mary of Guise, on the other hand, was to grow steadily in stature, especially after the arrival of the French army in 1548.
After Pinkie, Somerset occupied Leith without opposition, though he did not have the time or the resources to take Edinburgh, let alone advance to Stirling. He was content to re-open negotiations for the marriage and to continue his policy of establishing fortified bases throughout the south-east. Rather surprisingly he did not trouble himself to fortify and hold the important port of Leith, despite having suggested this to Henry VIII some time before. This was a serious oversight.
Haddingtonwas to be chosen as the headquarters of the English occupation, which proved to be a major strategic error.
Somerset used every means to make the marriage acceptable to the Scots, including a major propaganda offensive, among the first of its kind in history. In 1547, just before the English invasion, "An Exhortacion to the Scottes" was published in London, saying that the Treaty of Greenwich had been rejected because of the influence of "Priests and Frogges". James Henderson, the author, appealed to an ancient sense of Britishness, describing the French as "auncient enemies rather than auncient frendes". He advocated that the two kingdoms be merged into one, and that the terms Scot and English should be abolished in favour of Briton. But neither hard blows nor soft words made the marriage and Britishness any more acceptable to most Scots.
The defeat at Pinkie, and Mary of Guise's appeal for French aid, opened up a new prospect for Henry II. He would not in any circumstances allow the country to go under, which would have been a serious blow for French prestige. But ever since Flodden Scotland had been an awkward and often bloody-minded ally. What if she could be tied more directly to the French interest? What, in other words, if the little Scottish Queen were betrothed to the Dauphin Francis, born in 1544, rather than Edward of England? The new marriage proposal was to be the price of major French aid for Scotland. Arran, who had ambitions for Mary to marry his own son, was bought off with the rich French duchy of Châtellerault.
In June 1548 the French army arrived at Leith — since abandoned by the English — under the command of Andre of Montalembert, Sieur de Essé. Bases were established at
Dunbarand Blackness, as well as Leith, which was to be the most important of all. The army, in excess of 5 000 men, was made up of professional soldiers of many nationalities, German, Swiss and Dutch, as well as French. They brought with them the latest equipment, including hand guns and artillery. Montalembert's force was the most recent in a long line stretching back to that of Jean de Viennein 1385. But there was an important difference from the past: this time the French had come to stay.
Shortly after his arrival the French commander was joined by Arran with 5 000 Scots troops. It was now clear that the base at Haddington was the key to the English occupation of the south-east, so a combined Franco-Scottish force quickly invested the town. As the guns and mortars began their work Parliament met at a nunnery near to the town on
7 July. Here the price for the French aid was finally settled: it was agreed that Mary be sent to France to become the prospective wife of Francis. Shortly afterwards the six-year-old queen sailed from Dumbarton. She was not to return to Scotland for thirteen years.
The departure of Mary was a fatal blow for Somerset. Victory in battle, occupation, propaganda and collaboration had all failed to achieve his fundamental political goal. In desperation he revived the old claim of suzerainty and threatened France with war if the marriage of Mary and Francis went ahead. In Scotland the conflict acquired an ugly and bitter character. Arran refused quarter to any Scot taken in arms for the English; Somerset responded by a threat to treat all Scots as rebels against the English crown. It is said that the Scots bought English prisoners from the French with the intention of torturing them to death.
Haddington was a good place to defend, standing, as it did, on a low plain with no surrounding hills. With its new fortifications modelled on the Italian style it was virtually impregnable; and this is surely why the site appealed to Somerset. Yet in looking at it from the point of view of a military engineer the Protector had failed to consider wider logistical problems. In the end the whole strategy hinged not on the strength of forts, or the courage of English soldiers, but on the problem of supply. Jean de Bauge, the French historian of the campaign of 1548 and 1549, captured the essence of Somerset's problem; "But I know not, if they considered, that these otherwise great conveniences, were attached with notable disadvantage, that the place was not to be succoured with men or munition without a prevailing army."
Somerset's whole garrison policy was a failure. It had been conceived as a less expensive and more effective alternative to periodic invasions, but it proved to be a massive drain on resources. The siege of Haddington was temporarily raised only after the earl of Shrewsbury entered Scotland in August 1548 with an army of 15 000 men, almost as many as had taken part in the Pinkie campaign; yet no sooner had it left than the town was once more under attack. To solve the insuperable problem of supply one English commander, the earl of Rutland, introduced a policy of compulsory requisition from local farmers. This only had the effect of alienating the Scots, even those who had accepted assurance, still further. In the end Somerset was reduced to hanging on in Scotland, hoping that Henry would be the first to tire of the effort. In the race of will and resources England was the loser, not France.
In August 1549, with Somerset facing military ruin in Scotland, and growing political problems at home, Henry added to the pressure by beginning a war for the recovery of Boulogne. Faced with this new threat it was no longer possible to keep up the increasingly frantic effort in Scotland. The following month Rutland was sent north with 6 000 men to bring out the garrison of Haddington, undefeated in battle but weakened by hunger and disease. Somerset's domestic, military and foreign policy had now completely unravelled. Not long after the evacuation of Haddington he was replaced as head of government by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, soon to be created duke of Northumberland. Dudley accepted the inevitable and opened peace negotiations with Henry II.
The position of Scotland was an important part of the negotiations leading up to the Treaty of Boulogne. Dudley was prepared to hand over all the castles and forts in Scotland, with the exception of those at
Roxburghand Eyemouth, which he saw as an essential part of a buffer zone on the east march. This was a major barrier to progress in the talks, though it was eventually agreed that they would be evacuated and demolished. In return the Scots and French agreed not to build new fortifications on the sites. English troops did, however, continue to hold both fortresses until the Treaty of Boulogne was confirmed by the Anglo-Scottish Treaty of Norham in June 1551. Scotland had survived its last major struggle with England with the help of France; but ironically only a few short years later it was France, the new suitor, that was to be seen as the greater threat to her national independence.
* Beaugue, Jean de, "History of the Campaigns of 1548 and 1549", 1707.
* "Calendar of Scottish Papers, 1547-1563", ed. J. Bain, 1898.
* "Calendar of State Papers of Edward VI, 1547-1553", ed. C. S. Knighton, 1992.
* "Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of King Henry VIII", ed. J. S. Brewer & R. H. Brodie, 1965 reprint.
* Patten, William, "The Expedition into Scotland of Edward Duke of Somerset", 1548.
* Balfour Paul, J., "Edinburgh in 1544 and Hertford's Invasion", in Scottish Historical Review, vol. 8, 1911.
* Bush, M. L., "The Government Policy of Protector Somerset", 1975.
* Donaldson, G., "Scotland:James V to James VII", 1965.
* Ferguson, J., "1547: The Rough Wooing", in Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 258, 1947.
* Head, D. M. "Henry VIII's Scottish Policy: a Reassessment", in the Scottish Historical Review, vol. 61, 1981-2.
* Mackie, J. D., "Henry VIII and Scotland", in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, fourth series, vol 29, 1947.
* Merriman, M., "The Assured Scots: Scottish Collaboration with England during the Rough Wooing", in the Scottish Historical Review, vol. 47, 1968.
* Pollard, A. F., "The Protector Somerset and Scotland," in the English Historical Review, vol. 13, 1898.
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