Northumberland Holidays
Northumberland Holidays
Before 440
440 - 789
789 - 1000
1000 - 1400
1400 - 1700
After 1700
The History of Northumberland 1400 - 1700

Northumberland Countryside The late Middle Ages to the Civil War
For the next 300 years, the Earls of Northumberland were the dominant family in the county's history.

In the late middle ages, the wars across the Scottish border continued unabated, broken only by instances of rebellion by the Northumbrian lords against the Norman crown. The 15th century opened in 1402 with the Battle of Homildon Hill in which the Scots under Douglas were defeated by an English army led by Hotspur. In 1403, Lord Percy, the 1st Earl of Northumberland, father of Hotspur, rebelled against Henry IV - known as the Rising of the Percys. His army was defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury, in which Hotspur was killed. Further rebellions by the 1st Earl culminated in his own death in 1409 at the Battle of Bramham Moor.

For the most part, though, it was the wars against the Scots that characterised the 15th century. In 1424, Alnwick was burned by the Scots. In 1436, an English army under the 2nd Earl of Northumberland was defeated at Piperden by Douglas. In 1448, Northumberland invaded Scotland and burned Dumfries, in revenge for which Douglas burned Alnwick again. In the aftermath of the Wars of the Roses, in which Northumberland took the losing Lancastrian side, the Scots invaded Northumberland in 1462 and garrisoned the castles of Alnwick, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Warkworth. Having been relieved later that year by an English army under the Earl of Warwick, the Scots came south again in 1464 and were joined by many of the northern leaders against Henry VI, but the Scots and Northumbrian amies were soundly defeated at the Battle of Hedgley Moor. In 1471 and 1473, peace conferences were held with the Scots at Alnwick, but in 1482 an army had to be sent north to avenge Scottish depredations, forcing Scotland to accept peace terms. Hostilites with Scotland resumed in the early 16th century, leading to the decisive victory over the Scots at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

The Renaissance brought Henry VIII to the throne of England. The 6th Earl of Northumberland fell in love with Anne Boleyn, but was later forced to renounce her in favour of the king. In 1530, the Earl was ordered by the king to arrest Cardinal Wolsey. The Earl's meeting with Wolsey is recounted in Shakespeare's Henry VIII. In 1536, two brothers of the Earl took part in the Catholic uprising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace; one was beheaded at Tyburn and the other was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

The 7th Earl of Northumberland was a staunch Catholic, which led him into the Rising of the North against the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I. His aim was to restore the Catholic faith and place Mary Queen of Scots upon the throne. The uprising having come to naught, he was captured by the Scottish Regent in 1568, ransomed to Queen Elizabeth in 1572, and beheaded at York.

Northumberland took the Parliamentary side during the Civil War, although the 10th Earl of Northumberland opposed the execution of Charles I and was a strong supporter of the restoration of Charles II.

Saturday 25 November 2017