Background on Agaynst the Scottes

Connected Background



Introduction and Background to

The poem has been recognised as a revision of A Ballade of the Scottysshe Kynge, and includes a rectification on the death of James IV, which was uncertain at the time Skelton wrote A Ballade of the Scottysshe Kynge. The improvements, as Scattergood lists, are to benefit the factuality of the poem, more so than its artistic quality. The newly incorporated facts were known from 22 September 1513 onwards, and Skelton would appear to have devised the poem shortly after this date. The text features in an edition of Certayne Bokes of Lant (ca. 1545), editions by Kynge and Marshe (ca. 1554), Day (ca. 1560) and Marshe’s Workes (1568) (Scattergood 422). The opening line of the poem, ‘Agaynste the prowde Scottys claterynge’ reinforces the prominent image of Scottish pride, which is seen reflected in many English texts written after the Anglo-Scottish conflicts.