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Source 4: Will of Thomas Maule of Panmure, 1513

It is difficult to know precisely how many Scots and English died at the battle of Flodden. Historians have studied the works of Scottish and English chroniclers, such as Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie and Raphael Holinshed, and published lists of the dead. It is believed up to 10,000 Scots died and almost every noble family suffered a loss of some kind. The death of so many of Scotland’s nobility weakened the effectiveness of the government and administration in the early years of James V’s reign.

One of the ‘Knights and Gentlemen’ who fought for his king and country was Sir Thomas Maule of Panmure. In 1764, Robert Douglas wrote about him in his book, The Peerage of Scotland:

He attended King James to the battle of Flowden, and, to his singular honour, when many of the first quality left the king before the armies engaged, he, though well advanced in years, and very corpulent, would not desert him, but fought with remarkable courage, and received many wounds, of which he instantly died in the field.

(Quoted in The Battle of Flodden, Lt. Col. Fitzwilliam Elliot, (Edinburgh 1911) p.208)

On 16 August 1513, Sir Thomas drew up a will to make arrangements for his estate on the event of his death. He was killed at Flodden on 9 September. The image shows his will, written in Latin, with fragments of a bishop’s seal still attached to the document.

This is one of the earliest surviving wills in the National Records of Scotland which is set out neatly in a particular order. The document starts with a form of financial account that sets out the value of everything that Thomas owned, followed by a list of debts that were owed to him. The next part lists the debts that he owed other people and after all the figures were added and subtracted, the document records the final value of his estate.

His list of goods, mostly animals (oxen, cows, pigs and sheep), some crops (wheat, barley and corn) and just £10 of household items came to the value of £444 13s 4d. He was owed £2 but owed others £149 12s. The final balance of his estate came to £297 1s 4d.

The second last paragraph in the document which starts In dei nomine Amen is his actual will where he declares what he wants done with his estate. The last paragraph is the confirmation by William, Bishop of Brechin that his wishes were carried out. It is written in different handwriting, is dated 10 April 1514 and bears the remains of the bishop’s seal.

Image shows the testament of Sir Thomas Maule of Panmure. National Records of Scotland reference: GD45/17/5

Translation of the will of Thomas Maule

16 August 1513
In the name of God, Amen. I Thomas Maule of Panmure, knight, preparing myself for the royal battles for the defence of the king and realm; since there is nothing more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than the time of death, thus it is that I leave my testament in this form. In the first place I give and bequeath my soul to the almighty God, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to the whole celestial firmament, and my body that it may be duly buried.

Item I bequeath for the benefit of my soul £16. Item I bequeath to the Friars Minor of Dundee £3 12d to pray for the benefit of my soul. The rest of all my goods, I give and bequeath to my daughters, and I constitute Christian Graham, my spouse, and William Maule, my son, my executors, that they implement this my wish, just as they may faithfully answer to the Highest Judge.



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