The History of Leith

October 3, 2011

England has sustained three times as much damage at sea from the Scots as they have from us

The Bartons were an able race, and their fame did not die when James IV.’s most brilliant sailorman fell in the unequal conflict with the Howards in August 1511. His brothers Robert and John, only just less celebrated than himself, had been associated with him in some of his exploits against the Portuguese. They continued and maintained the family fame ; and the fighting Bartons of Leith were known and held in wholesome respect by all the seafaring folk of Western Europe.
In 1513 the English ambassador complained to James IV. that the Bartons had done Englishmen so much harm, perhaps by way of reprisal for the slaughter of their brother Andrew, that they were greatly excited against them. ” England has sustained three times as much damage at sea from the Scots as they have from us,” wrote Lord Dacre, Henry’s able but unscrupulous commander on the Border, with the Leith sailormen in his mind. No wonder Henry VIII. wrote in his wrath to James IV. : ” As to Hob a Barton and Davy
Falconer their deeds have shown what they be.” They had. ” Two ships of Leith have taken seven prizes of the Islande Flote (the English Baltic trading fleet)

source-The Story of Leith

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