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'At Newburn Foord, Where Brave Scots Past the Tine'; Emotions, Literature, and the Battle of Newburn

A History of Heritage

Date: Friday 15th August 2014
Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Venue: Room 210, Napier Building, The University of Adelaide

On 28 August 1640 a Scottish Covenanter army defeated an English royalist force at Newburn Ford, Northumberland, and subsequently occupied Newcastle, forcing Charles I to a truce and an agreement to pay the expenses of the Scottish army. This battle, the only battle of the Second Bishops’ War, and the prior entry into England of the Scottish forces, resulted in much correspondence, propaganda, and published pamphlets. These included Zachary Boyd’s The Battell of Nevvbvrne (Glasgow, 1643) and the anonymously authored The Lawfulnesse of ovr Expedition into England manifested (Edinburgh, 1640), as well as works of propaganda such as ‘Leslie’s speech to his soldiers after they were passed the Tweed’ (in Calendar of State Papers 1640), and exaggerated accounts of the battle such as that of Sir Patrick Drummond (in Calendar of State Papers 1640-1641) or Captain Thomas Dymoke (in Calendar of State Papers 1640-1641). These works were all emotional pieces, and many of them were also clear attempts to shape the emotional responses of the audience to the battle. This can be seen in English propaganda painting the Scots as contemporary Border Reivers, come to steal clothes, money, and English women, or in Boyd’s The Battell of Nevvbvrne, which presents the outcome as a holy victory of the pious Scots over the English ‘Papists, Prelats, and Arminians.’

This paper will investigate these works and their various attempts to shape the emotional responses to the battle, both before and after the fact. It will address such questions as what emotions were present in these written works, and how were these emotions themselves presented? What was the range of emotional response to the battle, again, both before and after, but also on the opposing sides? What were the specific emotional outcomes of the various works? Finally, how did the outcome of the battle affect the emotional terms in which it was remembered and represented, and to what extent, if any, has this changed over time?

Dr Gordon D. Raeburn completed his PhD at the University of Durham, UK, in
2013. His thesis, The Long Reformation of the Dead in Scotland , investigated the changing nature of Scottish burial practices between 1542 and 1856. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Melbourne, and is working on the emotional responses to Early Modern Scottish disasters, and how these emotional responses shaped personal, communal, and national identities.