Local Society and the Defence of the English Frontier in Fifteenth-Century Scotland: The War Measures of 1482

Jackson W. Armstrong


This paper examines the Scottish parliament’s arrangements for defence laid down in 1482, just before the conflict best known for the arrest of King James III at Lauder, and for the final loss of Berwick-upon-Tweed to England. Whereas some have viewed these war measures as futile, this revision argues that they were intended for a particular purpose. Such highly specific ordinances for war can be shown to have relied upon existing networks of lordship, kinship, and friendship in local border society. At the same time, the implication of the march wardens, and their followings, in the king’s detention is telling of the degree to which the Scottish marches towards England were neither an isolated nor peripheral province in this period.

Full Text: