Bodleian scroll featured on Radio 4's 'Making History'

7 September 2010

The-battle-of-PinkieNick Millea, Bodleian Map Librarian was interviewed today on the ‘Making History’ programme on Radio 4. He talked about one of the Bodleian treasures, a paper roll depicting a map of the first modern battle on British soil known as ‘The Battle of Pinkie’ (1547).  The scroll featuring the drawings of John Ramsay whose name appears on the map, describing himself as a ‘Gentleman without money’ was discovered about 100 years ago in the Bodleian Library by Sir Charles Oman.

In today’s programme, the presenter Vanessa Collingridge travelled to Musselburgh to find out more about the Battle of Pinkie often referred as the last battle between independent Scots and the English and the first 'modern' battle fought in Britain. She is also on a search for the first modern map that depicted it.

On 10 September 1547, the English and Scottish armies faced each other just a few miles to the east of Edinburgh in one of the key moments of what's become known as the War of the 'Rough Wooing'. The English were using new, European-influenced, fighting techniques that included artillery while the Scots were still relying on cavalry. It resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Scots. Despite the battle’s historical importance, there is little locally that commemorates it and few know much about it.

Vanessa talked with historian Dr Fiona Watson and then travelled to both Bodleian Library in Oxford and the British Library in London to look at maps illustrating the Battle of Pinkie.

More details about the programme can be found here www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tmlh8 . The programme is also available on BBC iPlayer.

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