Born: Richard Chenevix
Trench, dean of Westminster, etymologist, 1807.
Died: James IV of
Scotland, killed at Flodden, 1513; Charles de St.
Evremond, wit and letter-writer, 1703, London; Bernard
Siegfried Albinus, eminent anatomist, 1770, Leyden;
Robert Wood ('Palmyra' Wood), traveller and
arehaeologist, 1771, Putney; Rev. Gilbert Wakefield,
theological and political writer, 1801; John Brand,
author of Observations on Popular Antiquities, 1806.
Feast day: Saints
Gorgonius, Dorotheus, and Companions, martyrs, 304.
St. Kiaran, abbot in Ireland, 549. St. Omer, bishop
and confessor, 670. St. Osmanna, virgin, about 7th
century. St. Bettelin, hermit and confessor.
BATTLE OF FLODDEN
On the 9th of September 1513,
was fought the battle of Flodden, resulting in the
defeat and death of the Scottish king, James IV, the
slaughter of nearly thirty of his nobles and chiefs,
and the loss of about 10,000 men. It was an overthrow
which spread sorrow and dismay through Scotland, and
was long remembered as one of the greatest calamities
over sustained by the nation. With all tenderness for
romantic impulse and chivalric principle, a modern
man, even of the Scottish nation, is forced to admit
that the Flodden enterprise of James IV was an example
of gigantic folly, righteously punished.
The king of Scots had no just
occasion for going to war with England. The war he
entered upon he conducted like an imbecile, only going
three or four miles into the English territory, and
there dallying till the opportunity of striking an
effective blow was lost. When the English army, under
the Earl of Surrey, came against him, he, from a
foolish sentiment of chivalry, or more vanity, would
not allow his troops to take the fair advantages of
the ground. So he fought at a disadvantage, and lost
all, including his own life. It is pitiable, even at
this distance of time, to think of a people having
their interests committed to the care of one so ill
qualified for the trust; the Many suffering so much
through the infatuation of One.
An old English proverb says:
'First hang and draw, then hear the cause by Lydford
Law.' A Devonshire poet, anxious for the reputation of
his county, attempts to shew that this summary method
of procedure originated from merciful motives:
I oft have heard of
How in the morn they hang and draw,
And sit in judgment after:
At first I wondered at it much;
But since, I find the reason such,
As it deserves no laughter.
They have a castle on a
I took it for an old wind-mill,
The vanes blown off by weather.
To lie therein one night, 'tis guessed
'Twere better to be stoned and pressed,
Or hanged, now chose you whether.
Ten men less room within
Than five mice in a lantern have,
The keepers they are sly ones.
If any could devise by art
To get it up into a cart,
'Twere fit to carry lions.
When I beheld it, Lord!
What justice and what clemency
Rath Lydford when I saw all!
I know none gladly there would stay,
But rather hang out of the way,
Than tarry for a trial!
This curious vindication of
Devonshire justice is ascribed to Browne, the author
of Britannia's Pastorals. Lydford itself is the
chief town of the Stannaries, and the proverb probably
was levelled at the summary decisions of the Stannary
Courts which, under a charter of Edward I, had sole
jurisdiction over all cases in which the natives were
concerned, that did not affect land, life, or limb.