Fletcher and Flodden
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Fletcher Statue

By Thomas Clapperton

In 1513, over seventy men from the town marched to Flodden Field with their king, James IV. Legend has it that only one survived, his name was Fletcher. On his return he cast a captured English standard around his head to describe that all others had perished in battle. The figure of Fletcher with the English standard is captured in a memorial by the Galashiels sculptor, Thomas Clapperton outside the largest meeting place in Selkirk, the Victoria Halls.

The Flodden and Fletcher story is major part of Selkirk’s heritage and as such is remembered at the climax of the annual Selkirk Common Riding where each trade incorporation casts a flag in the Selkirk market place. This event takes place on the second Friday after the first Monday in June and is observed by the towns people, visitors and friends some of which travel from the other side of the world to attend. This casting is preceded by the age-old custom of riding the Burgh Marches. This riding of Selkirk’s boundaries dates from when land boundaries were checked by horsemen to ensure that the ownership of the towns land was secure. Although this is no longer a necessary role it is an essential part of the Common Riding and some 400 horsemen, women and children take part.