On this day in 1745 – Battle of Prestonpans

Re-enactment of the Battle of Prestonpans. Picture: Neil Hanna/JP
Re-enactment of the Battle of Prestonpans. Picture: Neil Hanna/JP
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The Battle of Prestonpans was hailed as the first significant victory in the second Jacobite Rising, which saw a Hanoverian army under the command of Sir John Cope defeated in just ten minutes by Jacobite forces.

The Jacobite army, loyal to James Francis Edward Stuart, was led by his son Prince Charles Edward Stuart - the Young Pretender.

The victory over the redcoat army loyal to Hanoverian King George II was fought at Prestonpans, in East Lothian.

The two sides battled at 6am on 21 September 1745.

READ MORE: On this day in 1745 - Jacobite Rising begins at Glenfinnan

Some 2,000 Highlanders outfought Cope’s inexperienced foot soldiers.

Hundreds of government troops were killed or wounded and 1,500 taken prisoner as the redcoats fled the field.

The Jacobites, who suffered less than 100 troops killed or injured, also captured £5000, many muskets and ammunition.

A cairn to their memory was erected in 1953 close by the battle site.

The battlefield was immediately listed in the Scottish Government’s national inventory of significant battle sites when that was established in 2009, and re-enactments of the battle regularly take place.