Centuries-old muster roll found in castle archive

A medieval document, described as the most significant in the region relating to the Battle of Flodden, has been discovered in the archive of Alnwick Castle.

The muster roll, dated February 1514, is a calling to arms of the tenants of the 5th Earl of Northumberland and lists the names and equipment of English archers that are more than likely to have taken part in the conflict.

It was uncovered as part of the preparations for the wider Flodden 1513 project to commemorate the battle’s 500th anniversary.

Chris Hunwick, castle archivist, said: “The muster roll is without doubt the most significant document in the region relating to the battle and, after researching its content, we have learned much more about the equipment used at the battle.”

But Chris is stumped by a specific location named on the roll – the Cottagers of the Hest Hend – and wonders if anyone can help.

The muster roll will be displayed in an exhibition space next to the castle’s visitor admissions. For more details, visit www.alnwickcastle.com. For Flodden 1513 information, see www.flodden1513.com