Yesterday, Friday September 21st marked the 273th anniversary of the Battle of Prestonpans.⚔
The Battle of Prestonpans took place on September 21, 1745.
It was Prince Charles Stuart’s first major encounter with government forces.
The Jacobite army, loyal to James Francis Edward Stuart and led by his son Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), achieved a stunning victory over the redcoat army, loyal to the Hanoverian George II, led by Sir John Cope.
At midafternoon on September 20, the two armies sighted one another near the East Lothian town of Prestonpans, east of Edinburgh. General Cope placed his forces in what he felt to be an unassailable defensive position, with two stone walls to his right, a seemingly impassable bog on the left, a deep ditch in front, and the sea behind. However, one of the few Edinburgh recruits, Robert Anderson of Whitburgh, knew the marshes around Prestonpans well. A Council of War was convened and the decision made to use this intelligence to reposition overnight. The Jacobites would cross the marsh and attack from the east. Cope had to rearrange his forces in a hurry, and had not fully succeeded by the time the Jacobites attacked.
The battle was over in less than 15 minutes and the outcome was the death of some 200 Hanoverian troops and the capture of 1500 more, with just 100 Jacobite casualties (30 killed and 70 wounded).
Charles was now free to invade England which he duly did on November 3, 1745.