On February 27th 1545 the Battle of Ancrum Moor took place.
This was a battle during the “Rough Wooing” as King Henry VIII of England tried to persuade the Scots that the 3 year old Mary Queen of Scots to marry his son. The decisive Scottish victory would put a temporary end to English incursions into the Scottish border and lowlands. After failed negotiation with the Scottish king, in October 1542 Henry VIII sent an English army some 20,000 into Scotland, where they burnt Kelso and Roxburgh. In reply, James V of Scotland raised an army of some 18,000 troops in the west and headed for Carlisle, but was defeated in November at Solway Moss by a much smaller English force. After the death of James V, Henry aimed to unify the two kingdoms by seeking the marriage of the then, one year old Scottish Queen Mary to his own son, Prince Edward. When his proposals failed he pursued the matter through force of arms - the so called ‘rough wooing’.
As part of this campaign, in February 1545 two of Henry’s northern commanders, Euer and Laiton, again crossed the border,. Their army of around 5000 plundered Melrose town and burn down the abbey, then returned towards Jedburgh. In response the Earl of Angus raised local forces. At first outnumbered, he manoeuvred but would not engage the invaders. Once joined by other forces, including the Earl of Arran, he had more than 2000 troops. The Scots now considered their army strong enough to act and at Ancrum Moor they totally defeated the far larger English army.
The photo shows Lilliards Stone, or Lady Lilliards Stone, as it is sometimes called it marks where the battle took place and also commemorates a Teviotdale girl name Lilliard who to avenge the death of her lover slain by the Earl of Hereford’s English troops at an earlier point took part in the Battle of Ancrum Moor until she fell with many wounds.