Today in History - July 22
The Battle of Falkirk
* England's Lost Colony
-- Compiled by James Finlayson-Bald
The discovery of "Croatoan"
On this date:
1227Battle of Bornhoved between the Danes under Valdemar II and the insurgents of the province of Dithmarsh who wanted to turf the Danes out of "their" land. The Danes were defeated, the province was lost to the Danish Crown, and never heard of again. They should be so free!
1298Battle of Falkirk. The English army of Edward I, long in the field (and unpaid most of the time), was beginning to despair of either feeding itself or of running the Scots army to ground, suddenly, and unexpectedly, encountered Wallace's band near Falkirk. Wallace had to offer battle although his force was numerically inferior. However he was able to deploy in a strong position, his troops protected at their front by the Westwater Burn and a marsh. He organised his spearmen in four solid rings, later to become famous as the schiltron, placed archers between the rings and cavalry to their rear. The English deployed in the conventional battles. Their van was commanded by the Earls of Norfolk and Hereford, the second battle by Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, and the main battle under King Edward. As the English knights charged, the Scottish cavalry retired the field, leaving their archers to be ridden down. The English were halted by the schiltrons and suffered some casualties. Edward ordered his archers forward, (this is said to be the first time the longbow was used), and the dense formations of Scottish spearmen melted away under a hail of arrows. As huge gaps appeared in the schiltrons the English cavalry charged in among them inflicting considerable slaughter. Wallace escaped and fled to France, leaving Edward in control of south-east Scotland.
1587The "Lost Colony" arrived at Roanoke, North Carolina. It comprised 121 persons sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh, under John White. White returned to England for supplies and returned in 1590 to find no trace of the colony, except the word CROATOAN, carved on a tree, designating an Indian tribe. John White's grand-daughter, Virginia Dare was born in the colony on Aug 18, the first child of English parents born in America. Twenty four stones were found in 1934-35 bearing inscriptions purportedly by Eleanor Dare, the child's mother. If authentic they indicate the colony moved on to northern Georgia. Their ultimate fate is unknown.
Frederick Rolfe (Baron Corvo), novelist (1860-1913)
Stephen Vincent Benet, poet (1898-1943) CP
"To abstain from sin when a man cannot sin is to be forsaken by sin, not to forsake it."
The above article was written by James Finlayson-Bald.
Edited and illustrations added by David Paul Wagner.