The Battle of FLODDEN (1513) resulted in a crushing military defeat for the Scots, virtually wiping out the cream of the Scots army, both men and leaders. Many thousands of Scots fell, and few families did not lose someone dear to them in the ensuing carnage, indeed the Borders suffered more than most, Sir William Douglas and almost all of Hawick's fighting men were among the dead. This was most of the able-bodied men of the town. There is a famous Scottish lament, a song of mourning, for those killed at Flodden “ THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST”
This left the Borders extremely vulnerable to English raiders and so it was in 1514 that a large party of English marauders wreaked havoc and satisfied their lust for rapine and pillage on poor defenceless Scottish Border towns.
These raids were carried out to make sure that the people of the Borders could cause the English little trouble. With great cruelty they plundered, burned and killed. They left famine and destruction behind them. Towns and houses were burned. Cattle and sheep were taken by the hundred and crops destroyed.
The people of Hawick had been scattered to the hills at the approach of yet another English raid, but there were no men left to take up arms and the situation was serious, but the need to protect their town and families mustered deep in the souls of the youth of this district and as night fell they began to gather, they assembled whatever arms they could such as spears, halberts, swords and clubs.and made off to meet the approaching enemy.
In their arrogance and lack of foresight the English set up camp for the night neglecting to post sentries to guard their encampment.