English cavalry retreat from Kelso

(150 words)

Historical Context Note


When Charles I of England and Scotland, in association with his Archbishop William Laud, decided to bring the Church of Scotland more into line with its more high-church English counterpart, it met with outrage from Scots. A group of Presbyterian Scottish lords drew up a 'National Covenant' to voice their protest and demands, and defied the King's authority by abolishing episcopy in Scotland.

Charles took the view that he could - and should - quash the Covenanting movement by military force, and took an army of 20,000 men to the English side of the border, at Berwick-upon-Tweed, while the Covenanters responded by setting up camp across the border at Kelso. The Earl of Holland led a cavalry charge to drive the Scots into retreat, …

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