The part of Hook Norton I live in is named Scotland End. This is a fictional account of how it got its name. The resulting article appeared in the village newsletter.

The origins of Scotland End

David McGill

When I moved to Hook Norton our friends were surprised to find that we were living at Scotland End. As a Scot they thought that I had made it up, they knew that I wouldn’t have paid for our address to have Scotland End as part of it!

However, as all residents of Hooky know it is indeed part of the village and no doubt has been for a very long time. East End, Down End and Southrop (south of the Rop Stream) are all self explanatory, but where do the origins of Scotland End lie?

The name was certainly in used by the mid 19th century. Margaret Dickins in her History of Hook Norton refers to Mr “Bourton” the butcher who was one of the village Petty Constables. John Lee Borton was born in 1832 and was listed as a butcher in the censuses from 1851 until 1901. At some point he was sent for in his capacity as a constable, this was an unpaid position, however, being in Scotland End with a friend he refused to come. This dereliction of duty was brought before a magistrate who asked where he was at that time. He replied “in Scotland” and the magistrate said that of course if Mr Borton was in Scotland he could not have expected to have been present when required.

However, the origin of the name Scotland End can be traced further back in time to the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester.

Taking place on 3 September 1651 it was the last battle of the Civil War. The Royalist army had roughly half the strength of the Parliamentarians and suffered a heavy defeat. Out of a total of just under 16,000 men some 3,000 Royalists were killed and a further 10,000 taken prisoner. Some of the prisoners were conscripted into the New Model Army and sent to Ireland. About 8,000 prisoners were deported to New England, Bermuda and the West Indies.

Charles II fled to France and his flight has been well documented. The King was accompanied by Lord Wilmot and Lord Derby and about 200 others. On 11 September they passed through Chipping Campden en route to Cirencester. Word had reached them that they were being shadowed by Parliamentarian forces so the King ordered some of his troops to head east in a bid to allow him to make good his escape.

Lord Wilmot led the diversionary troops both cavalry and infantry. Lt-General Henry Wilmot, 1stEarl of Rochester was chosen to lead this small force as he knew the country to the east of the King’s intended route to France. Wilmot’s family was descended from Edward Wilmot of Witney and in 1643 Henry Wilmot had been created Baron Wilmot of Adderbury in north Oxfordshire. The infantry comprised the surviving elements of Lord Spynie’s Foot.

Leaving the King in Chipping Campden they reached the village of Hook Norton by nightfall on 11 September. They were headed for Adderbury but made the decision to camp for the night in Hook Norton to enable the infantry to catch them up. The plan was to travel at first light the following day.

Whilst Wilmot was English, the members of Spynie’s Foot were all Scottish hailing from the Dundee area. Led by their charismatic leader, George Lindsay the 3rd Lord Spynie, they were typical of the Scots soldier of the day, ruthless in battle but compassionate in peaceful circumstances. So as not to disturb the villagers they made their camp on ground about 400 yards to the west of the church. At that time all the houses in the village were close to the church.

Wilmot’s and Spynie’s men caused no trouble in Hook Norton. As the weather worsened overnight they made the decision to wait another day before setting off for Adderbury. They had been on the move continually since the battle and felt safe in Hook Norton which was not thought to be on a direct route. The villagers offered food and the soldiers were able to draw water from springs close to their camp. It is these springs that supply water to the brewery today. 

The next morning as they readied themselves to continue their journey to Adderbury a small band of Parliamentarians appeared unseen from the north. These were members of the Essex Militia on their way home from Worcester. The Scots put up some resistance but having suffered losses against a superior force they had no option but to surrender.

Lord Spynie was committed to the Tower of London a few days later. As a punishment for siding with the King his estate was forfeited under Cromwell’s Act of Grace in 1654. However, following the Restoration of 1660 his estate was reinstated. He died without issue around 1671 and as a result the title became extinct.

Naturally the villagers of Hook Norton were distraught at what had happened on the edge of their village. The soldiers had caused them no harm during their brief stay. Since that fateful day that western part of the village has been known as Scotland End as it was the place where some of the Scots had met their end. So as not to offend the Parliamentarians the site of the skirmish was from then on known as Round Close Road, the Parliamentarians nickname being “roundhead”. To this day the site of the encounter has never been built on and thus it serves as an unofficial memorial.