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David Starkey heads to Northumbria for battle conference

Press release   •   Jul 02, 2013 00:00 BST

Historian and broadcaster Dr. David Starkey will speak at Northumbria University during a conference marking the 500 year anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

This weekend Northumbria will host the North East of England Historical Institute (NEEHI) – composed of the history departments of the five North East Universities – as they mark the historical event with a conference and battlefield visit.

The conference – The Battle of Flodden and its Significance – runs from 5-7 July and will bring together leading authorities on the battle. Keynote speakers are Tudor expert Dr. David Starkey, a Cambridge historian well-known for his appearances on television and radio, and Jenny Wormald, Scotland’s leading expert on the equivalent period of Scottish history.

Dr. Starkey, a distinguished academic and best-selling author, has popularised history as a constitutional commentator in the press and as a broadcaster and writer. His specialism is in the Tudor period, about which he has written many books and presented TV series, including the acclaimed documentaries on Elizabeth I and Henry VIII. In his most recent publication on the Tudor period, Henry: Virtuous Prince, Dr. Starkey uses new evidence to reinterpret Henry VIII’s childhood and youth.

As a keynote speaker at the conference, Dr. Starkey will continue the theme by sharing with delegates his most recent research on Henry VIII’s personal role in England’s adoption of a warlike foreign policy after decades of peace.

Dr. Starkey said: “The Battle of Flodden is absolutely pivotal as it is the battle that determines the relationship between Scotland and England. This conference at Northumbria University is genuinely a bi-national conference with each session reflecting both sides of the border.

“During my keynote speech I will share the major new discoveries I have made about the role of war in English policy and the adoption of a war policy by Henry VIII.”

The 1513 Battle of Flodden was one of the greatest battles fought on British soil yet has received relatively little attention compared to other historic battles. Casualties, which included King James IV and leading Scottish noblemen, amounted to more than 12,000.

Bill Purdue, visiting professor in history at Northumbria University, will coordinate the conference. He said: “Flodden was a decisive battle, perhaps more so than Bannockburn, for, although the battles of Solway Moss and Pinkie Cleugh were to follow, there was, subsequent to it, little doubt of England’s military superiority.

“Yet, Flodden has never had the attention devoted to it that Bannockburn or even Culloden have received. It was only in the early twentieth century that a monument was erected on the battlefield close to Branxton village.”

The Flodden Quincentenary, which falls on September 9, is expected to attract considerable interest from the media and public. Lord Joicey, on whose estate the battlefield is situated, has set up the Flodden 500 group as an umbrella organisation to co-ordinate the large number of events associated with the commemoration of the battle planned by a wide variety of bodies, including the NEEHI.

The Battle of Flodden and its Significance conference at Northumbria in July will highlight the quincentenary of the battle with talks from distinguished academics and leading authorities in their field, including speakers from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Oxford, Kent, Glasgow and Galway Universities. Delegates will tour the battlefield site in the village of Ford, in the Scottish Borders before returning to Northumbria University for a conference dinner and illustrated lecture from George Goodwin, author of the forthcoming book on Flodden, Fatal Rivalry.

Northumbria University is offering a variety of flexible conference fees to professionals and members of the public who may wish to attend individual lectures as well as a composite fee for those attending the whole three-day conference as residents on the Northumbria campus.

For further information and to book a place at one or all of the conference sessions please

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