Inventory Battlefield

Battle of PrestonpansBTL16

Date of Battle: 21 September 1745

Status: Designated


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Designation Record and Full Report Contents

  • Name
  • Summary Information
  • Overview and Statement of Significance
  • Inventory Boundary
  • Historical Background to the Battle
    • The Armies
    • Numbers
    • Losses
    • Action
    • Aftermath and Consequences
  • Events and Participants
    • Context
  • Battlefield Landscape
    • Location
    • Terrain
    • Condition
  • Archaeological and Physical Remains and Potential
  • Cultural Association
    • Commemoration and Interpretation
  • References


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
East Lothian
NT 40786 74152
340786, 674152

Overview and Statement of Significance

The battle of Prestonpans is significant as the opening battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising, the final attempt to restore the Stuart dynasty to the throne by force. The Jacobites resounding victory boosted their cause, leaving them in control of Scotland and opening the path south into England for them. It also forces the government to withdraw some of their experienced forces from the continent to deal with the threat.

Prestonpans was the first significant conflict in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. The Jacobite army, comprised mainly of Highlanders led by Bonnie Prince Charlie (grandson of the exiled King James VII and II), marched south to meet the Hanoverian troops.

The ensuing battle was a resounding victory for the Jacobite army. The Government army in Scotland was effectively destroyed during the battle, with hundreds of soldiers killed and over a thousand prisoners taken. The rapid defeat of the Hanoverian force demonstrated the effectiveness of the Highland charge in the face of the well-equipped Government troops. The victory gave considerable momentum to the Jacobite cause, boosting recruitment in the following months and ultimately giving their army the confidence to march into England in November 1745.

Inventory Boundary

The Inventory boundary defines the area in which the main events of the battle are considered to have taken place (landscape context) and where associated physical remains and archaeological evidence occur or may be expected (specific qualities). The landscape context is described under battlefield landscape: it encompasses areas of fighting, key movements of troops across the landscape and other important locations, such as the positions of camps or vantage points. Although the landscape has changed since the time of the battle, key characteristics of the terrain at the time of the battle can normally still be identified, enabling events to be more fully understood and interpreted in their landscape context. Specific qualities are described under physical remains and potential: these include landscape features that played a significant role in the battle, other physical remains, such as enclosures or built structures, and areas of known or potential archaeological evidence.

The Inventory boundary for the Battle of Prestonpans is defined on the accompanying map and includes the following areas:

  • Tranent Churchyard and lands to the north. The location of the Jacobite camp which was bombarded by Government artillery the night before the battle.
  • The northern part of Tranent and grounds to the east and west. The location of various Jacobite positions on the day before the battle.
  • Lands to the east and north-east of Tranent up to Seton. The route of the dawn march of the Jacobite army from the churchyard in Tranent across the marshland mapped on Roy's map.
  • The fields surrounding Seton West Mains farm and Seaton village. The main area of initial fighting where the Jacobite charge made contact with the Government line as determined through recent fieldwork.
  • The land surrounding Seton Chapel. The rear of the Jacobite deployment and the potential for burials related to the combat.
  • The location of the 18th century wagonway and lands to the south-east including Bankton House and grounds, the former location of Preston House and policies, the location of Gardiner's Hawthorn tree and Johnnie Cope's Road. The path of the rout and the location of the slaughter of the Government troops within the parklands of the properties.
  • The well preserved landscape characteristics of the battlefield including the open fields to the west of Seton, the route of the Government rout towards Bankton House and views across the battleground from Tranent church.
  • Cockenzie House and gardens. The location of the Government baggage train the night before and during the battle.

Historical Background

Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender to his detractors and Bonnie Prince Charlie to his supporters, landed in Scotland on 25 July 1745, and initiated a Jacobite rising that quickly grew to pose a major threat to the Hanoverian regime. Initially, it was the Highland clans which gathered under the Jacobite colours and this army marched south, its numbers growing all the while. The Government army in Scotland, under Sir John Cope, comprised around 3,000 men and was tasked with nipping the insurrection in the bud. Edinburgh fell to the Jacobites without a struggle while Cope, having failed to intercept the Jacobites in the Highlands, transported around 2,500 troops south by sea from Aberdeen to Dunbar.

The Government army had landed at Dunbar on 17 and 18 September and marched on 19 September to camp west of Haddington. On 20 September, on news of the Jacobite army approaching from Edinburgh to the west, it marched to counter them, deploying in a cornfield to the west of Seton, thus controlling the main coastal route running east from Edinburgh. Rather than attempt a frontal assault on such a well deployed enemy, the Jacobites marched around to the south and deployed on a ridge to the west of Tranent. This forced the Government army to redeploy closer to Preston village, facing south. However, on reaching their position on the high ground the Jacobites found that a marsh (Tranent meadow) lay between the two armies, and so their initial plan to launch a frontal assault from this position was abandoned. In the meantime, a Jacobite detachment advanced to the north and deployed in Tranent churchyard, closer to the Government position. Cope responded with his artillery and after incurring some casualties the Jacobite advance guard withdrew.

To force the battle on their terms, the Jacobites descended the hill early on the morning of 21 September and marched east and then north, negotiating the marsh. They appeared in three columns immediately to the west of Seton at about 5 am and deployed in two lines. Cope had some prior warning of this move from his piquets and so deployed once more to counter them, rapidly bringing his army round to face eastward. In the early morning mist the Jacobites deployed too far to the north and left a wide gap in their frontage which resulted in both armies outflanking the left of the other.

As the Jacobites charged, the Government cavalry attempted to stop the Jacobite right but failed and were repulsed. In their flight they carried with them their artillerymen, who left their officers to discharge a single round at the charging Jacobites. As the Jacobites came on, significant numbers of the largely untested Government troops on both flanks broke and fled before they came to hand-to-hand fighting, and in so doing they disordered some of their reserves. Although some of the Jacobite forces pursued the fleeing troops, the majority turned on the Government infantry's now exposed right flank. The charging Jacobites received a volley from the Government troops, but this did little to break their momentum and after firing their own muskets, which they then threw down, they ran forward with drawn swords. What remained of the Government battle formation was immediately broken, with just a few units offering any further resistance. Within no more than ten minutes the Jacobites were in control of the field and had captured both the baggage and artillery of the Government troops. While Cope managed to retreat with some of his infantry, by way of a lane beside Bankton House (a mansion house to the west of the battlefield), large numbers of his army were captured. Cope reached Berwick with only about 450 troops.

The Armies

At this stage in the campaign the Jacobite army was still largely composed from Highlanders, though later on it was to take on a more mixed character with Lowlanders and regular French troops.

The Government army in Scotland consisted of a large number of raw recruits that lacked the experience and training to implement their contemporary European infantry tactics effectively.

Both armies at Prestonpans had between 2000 and 3000 troops on the field. The Scots Magazine, as quoted by Reid (1996), states that the Government army numbered 2,191 rank and file, exclusive of officers, sergeants and drums. Though Reid further suggests that this number may be slightly too high, with the actual figure closer to 2,034 rank and file, based on figures provided by Colonel Whitefoord (who commanded the artillery during the battle) from Dunbar. Numbers given by one eyewitness in the 1746 enquiry into the battle suggested a total figure of around 2500, and Halford-MacLeod's analysis of Lord Loudoun's paper's indicate an even higher total figure of around 2,800, although agreeing with the numbers of rank and file, at 2,192. However, Colonel Whitefoord noted the effective return of infantry had fallen from 1699 at Aberdeen to 1467 at Dunbar, a loss of almost 250 men for this stage of the campaign alone, so the higher figures may not represent the numbers present and fit for combat by the time of Prestonpans.  The Government regiments consisted of, from left to right, Hamilton's 14th dragoons, Murray's 57th Foot, then an amalgamated battalion made up from eight companies of Lascelle's 58th Foot and two companies of Guise's 6th; then five companies of Lee's 55th Foot. An advance guard had been made up from 136 men from these units and they were to join the right of the line at the last minute. One squadron of Gardiner's 13th Dragoons were placed to the right of the artillery on the far right, while a further squadron under Gardiner himself was placed behind the artillery to make way for the returning advance guard which fell in to the right of the infantry. The artillery, which was manned by sailors, was accompanied by a guard of 100 men and another fifty (Highlanders) were assigned to guard the baggage toward Cockenzie.

The numbers given for the Jacobite army at Prestonpans vary signifcantly in different accounts. Cope himself suggested 5500, likely to attempt to improve his own image after the defeat. Lord Elcho gave a figure of around 3000, while John Home settled on a total of around 2400, and James Johnstone proposed a mere 1800 men. The Jacobite army at Prestonpans was deployed in three battalions. On the right, under the Duke of Perth, were the MacDonald regiments of Clanranald, Glengarry and Keppoch, totalling some 850 men. The second division under Lord George Murray was supposed to form alongside them but due to a miscalculation in Perth's movement north they ended up some distance apart, with Murray's left formed on the marsh. Murray was in overall command of the Duke of Perth's regiment, the Stewarts of Appin, and the Camerons under Lochiel, giving a total of around 900 men. The third battalion was commanded by Charles and positioned behind the two wings in the gap left between the right and left. This consisted of around 500 or 600 men. In the reserve, there was a small cavalry unit of 36 men, who remained close to Tranent through the action. The Jacobite army therefore likely consisted of around 2,350 infantry and 36 cavalry, although Halford-MacLeod suggests a higher figure of at least 2850 in total.


No further information.


Reported losses on the Government side range from 150 to 300, though given the ferocity of the fighting, especially in the rout, the upper figure seems the most likely. The London Post published on 4 October 1745 listed 300 killed and 500 taken prisoner by the Jacobites. The article also posts the names of 19 officers killed, one of these possibly captured. Halford-Macleod's assessment of Colonel Whitefoord's papers concurs with the number of around 300 killed, but suggests a further 368 wounded and 836 captured. Whitefoord himself states there were 956 prisoners, while Lord Loudoun suggests a higher figure of 4-500 killed.

Jacobite losses appear to have been much lower, as would be expected as the victors. They probably only suffered in the region of around 100 killed and wounded, though accurate figures do not seem to exist.


Late in the afternoon of 20 September, a small Jacobite force consisting of fifty men from Lochiel's regiment was stationed as an advance guard in the burial ground of Tranent parish church, at the north end of the village. They were, however, withdrawn when Government artillery opened fire and caused losses. After some heated debate, demonstrating the tendency to disagreement which was to become a serious problem as the campaign continued, the Jacobite high command, under Lord George Murray, eventually persuaded Charles to sanction a flanking march which would bring the army through the marsh and put them in a position to attack from the east. Vital here was the knowledge provided by a local man called Robert Anderson, who knew the marsh well as he often went hunting there. Early on the morning of 21 September, the army set out and via a defile at Riggonhead safely manoeuvred around the marsh not far to the south of Seton. Despite making good progress, the Jacobite army did not manage to take the enemy entirely by surprise and they were spotted by sentinels before the attack could be launched. Cope quickly stood his army to, wheeling his army to the left to bring them about facing east, an apparently well exercised manoeuvre that would have put the new right on the same position of the old left. The army lined up to the east of the wagon way used to carry coal from the pits on the hill to the port at Cockenzie.

Cope posted his artillery, which consisted of six one and half pound cannon and six mortars, on the right. A single shot from each of the cannon and the mortars was all that could be mustered in the face of the Jacobite charge as it came at them out of the mist. Firing their muskets at close range, the Jacobites drew their swords and closed to hand strokes. Even before the artillery pieces were fired the artillery crews turned and bolted ' the guns were fired by the officers after the crews fled. These men ran headlong into Gardiner's dragoons behind them, who had been deployed to the left of the artillery and behind it. Whitney, who was in command of Gardiner's squadron to the left of the guns, tried to lead his men forward but they stalled and he was wounded. A general rout of the cavalry on the right followed and according to some accounts Gardiner himself was cut down after abandoning his horse and fighting on foot at the head of a small band of infantry (Duffy 2004, 10).

The cavalry on the left fared no better and their commanding officer was shot very early on. Lt-Colonel Wright's men turned and fled, taking their reserves with them. The infantry line, under Colonel Lascelles, lasted a few minutes longer and managed to deliver at least one volley, but the Jacobite left wing under Murray began to roll them up from the right flank left exposed by the retreat of Gardiner's horse. The line collapsed and the redcoats fled en masse to the west, where their flight was interrupted by the walled enclosures of Preston and Bankton Houses. Many men were cut down as they tried to scramble over the high walls, while others simply turned and surrendered. Luckier fugitives made it to the road to the west of Bankton House and along it they fled up hill to the south, the road for ever since being known as Johnnie Cope's Road.

Within around 10 or 15 minutes from the first shot being fired, the entire Government army had been routed. The Jacobites had proved themselves in battle, though their victory was against generally inexperienced troops. No other battle of the rising was going to be won so easily.

Aftermath & Consequences

This was the first battle of the 1745 uprising and was a resounding victory for the Jacobite army. It was a dramatic demonstration of the effectiveness of a Highland charge in the face of well equipped troops using the current best military practice. The Government defeat was later blamed on the inexperience of the greater part of the Government army, and there can be no doubting that later engagements, involving battle-hardened troops, were not to prove so easy for the Jacobites.

The victory gave considerable momentum to the Jacobite cause and carried them forward with more confidence to their next military challenge, though important lessons were not learnt, particularly regarding the limitations within the high command. The nature of the attack, an infantry charge with swords, and its devastating effect gave the Jacobites a fearsome reputation among their foes and enhanced their own self-belief, perhaps overly so. Victory also made French involvement appear more likely but, as it turned out, this involved no more than the supply of weapons and the arrival of a number of Scots and Irish troops serving in the regular French army. The scale of the Jacobite success and its possible implication for the future of the British Isles was not, however, lost on the Government, which wasted little time in withdrawing large numbers of troops from Flanders and returning them home to put down the rising.

Events & Participants

The battle was the first encounter between the Jacobites and the Government army in the 1745 rising. It resulted in the effective destruction of the Government army in Scotland and paved the way for a major escalation in recruitment to the Jacobite cause. Victory at Prestonpans made possible the march into England by the Jacobite army in November of 1745. However, it also prompted a serious response by the British government, which withdrew considerable numbers of troops from the continent in order to meet the threat, leading ultimately to their victory at Culloden the following year.

Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, was born in 1720 and was the grandson of the deposed King James VII & II. His father, James Frances Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, had made previous unsuccessful attempts to restore his line to the British throne, and Charlie, the Young Pretender, subsequently took up the cause. Landing at Glenfinnan on 19 August 1745, he embarked on an eight month campaign which initially met with some success, entering Edinburgh without resistance and then swiftly routing a Government force at Prestonpans, before advancing into England. His army reached as far as Derby by December, but by this point the campaign was already beginning to unravel. The Jacobites withdrew to Scotland, and despite continued attempts to gain the upper hand, including a victory at Falkirk, they were slowly driven back into the Highlands and their final fate at Culloden. After the battle, Charlie was able to escape back to the continent, and would never again openly return to Britain, despite initial attempts to resurrect his cause. As the years passed he grew increasingly bitter about his defeat, before he finally died an overweight alcoholic in Rome in 1788.

Also present on the field were a large number of Jacobite clan chiefs. These included Clanranald, Glengarry and Keppoch on the right wing and the MacGregors, the Appin Stewarts and the Camerons on the left, with the Atholl Brigade and the MacLachlans in the centre. Command of the Jacobite right wing fell to the James Drummond, the Duke of Perth, while the left was under Lord George Murray. Murray was one of the senior commanders of the Jacobite army in the '45 Rising. Born at Huntingtower Castle near Perth in 1694, at aged 18 he served with the British Army in Flanders. Murray and two of his brothers took part in the Jacobite Rising in 1715, after which he had to flee into exile in Europe. He returned and commanded part of the Jacobite forces at Glenshiel in 1719. Murray was wounded in the battle and again forced to escape to Europe after the Jacobite defeat. After being pardoned for his involvement in 1725, Murray returned to Scotland and in 1728 married Amelia Murray, heiress of Strowan. Murray initially refused to join the 1745 rising, but later sided with the Jacobites once more, being made a lieutenant-general by Charles. He commanded the left wing in the Jacobite victory at Prestonpans, but opposed the subsequent plan to advance into England. During the debate at Derby, Murray was a strong supporter of withdrawing to Scotland. Murray commanded the rearguard during the retreat, but Charles increasingly distrusted him. At Culloden, Murray unsuccessfully attempted to convince Charles of the unsuitability of the location for the Jacobite army. In the aftermath of the defeat Murray attempted to gather the remnants of the force at Ruthven Barracks, but with the failure of the Rising and Charles' flight back to Europe Murray had no choice but to return into exile himself at the end of 1746. This third exile would be his last, and he never returned to Scotland before his death in 1760 in Holland.

The Government army was commanded by Major General John Cope who had seen action on the Continent in both the wars of the Spanish Succession and Austrian Succession. Though he was cleared by a board of enquiry after the battle, his ignominious defeat was to tarnish his reputation severely. A notable loss on the Government side was Colonel Gardiner, a local man who resided at Bankton House who was said to have been killed or wounded beneath a hawthorn tree which was still standing in the early 20th century. A memorial to him is located in the gardens of Bankton House.


The Jacobite risings intermittently spanned more than half a century between 1689 and 1746. Their motivation was the return of the exiled Stuart monarchs to the throne, James VII & II having been ousted in 1688 by the Glorious Revolution. The last of the risings commenced in 1745 when Charles Edward Stuart arrived in Scotland from France in July, raising his standard at Glenfinnan on 19 August. His aim was to put his father, known by his supporters as King James VIII & III, on the throne in the place of the Hanoverian George II.

Following Charles' call to arms, a number of Highland chiefs joined the Jacobite cause, bringing with them their retainers and dependants. The Jacobite army, which initially consisted of just over 1,000 men, mainly from the MacDonald and Cameron clans, marched eastward in order to recruit more men. The Government and Crown were quick to react, sending a force under the command of General Sir John Cope in pursuit of Charles, which narrowly missed an encounter with the Jacobite host on several occasions. Charles and his army arrived in Perth in early September, where they were joined by Lord George Murray, who had played an active role in the earlier Jacobite risings in 1715 and 1719.

Having strengthened his force and found an experienced military commander in Murray, Charles marched south, while Sir John Cope put his troops aboard ships in Aberdeen and sailed to Dunbar where he received the news that the Jacobites were in Edinburgh. Cope marched toward the city, intent on delivering it from Jacobite hands, but on 21 September was intercepted at Prestonpans to the east of the city. After a determined charge by the Jacobites the Hanoverian line broke and Cope's troops were chased from the field in a merciless pursuit.

Following victory at Prestonpans, the Jacobite army continued south, hoping to collect support from England before moving on London. Although there was some enthusiasm for the Jacobite cause south of the border, this did not translate into the swelling of the army's ranks as Charles had hoped. Upon arriving at Derby, it became clear that advance further south was futile, especially as two Government armies were now in pursuit, one of them led by the Duke of Cumberland. They had also received false information, possibly from a spy within their own ranks, that a third army lay between them and London. On 6 December, Charles made the decision to withdraw to Scotland. Following a rear-guard action at Clifton the Jacobite army crossed back over the border on 20 December.

In response to the return of the main Jacobite army (a second, smaller force had been recruited in the north), General Hawley marched from Edinburgh with 8,000 Government troops and the inevitable battle took place at Falkirk on 17 January 1746. Although by rights a Jacobite victory, Charles failed to follow up his slim success on the field and from that point on the Government forces took the initiative. Abandoning the siege at Stirling on 1 February 1746, the Jacobite army turned north and by 21 February had arrived in Inverness, which had been evacuated by most of its Government garrison, consisting largely of Independent Highland units, just a couple of days before. Charles took up residence while his army divided into several units and commenced a relatively successful programme of engaging Highland forts and garrisons including Fort Augustus, Fort William, Blair Castle and Fort George. However, the tide was about to turn in favour of the Government forces and the end was fast approaching.

The Duke of Cumberland, after taking command of the main Government army in Edinburgh, quickly marched north via Perth and Aberdeen. After crossing the Spey on 12 April, Cumberland's force, which numbered some 9,000 men, rapidly closed on Inverness, being provisioned by the fleet which shadowed the army's progress close off shore. In response to this threat Charles reunited what he could of his army and prepared to do battle near his new headquarters at Culloden, on ground then known as Drummossie Moor.

The tired and starving Jacobite army was in no fit state for a pitched battle, and on 16 April, at the battle of Culloden, the 60 year struggle to restore the Stuart dynasty to the throne came to a final, bloody end with their total defeat by Cumberland's force. In the aftermath, the very way of life of the Scottish Highlands, long a Jacobite stronghold, would be forcibly and violently transformed.

Battlefield Landscape

Recent fieldwork has established that the initial fighting occurred in the fields which now surround the Seton West Mains farm. Primary accounts indicate that this area was open arable ground, with the Jacobites charging through the stubble of the last harvest. This flat, open terrain, of the type normally considered ideal for cavalry, also proved to be good for the Highland charge on this occasion. The field lay between two areas of marshy ground to the north and south. Although these marshes have since been drained the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map does indicate the location of an extensive marshy area on the south and a much smaller area on the north. The southern marsh is clearly shown on Roy's map from the 1750s, running from east to west and then turning up to the north to terminate just to the south of the village of Seton. Roy's map also clearly shows a trackway crossing the marsh and it seems highly likely that this was the point at which the Jacobite army crossed the wet ground, bringing them out onto the plain just to the west of Seton.

The battle was fought within an industrialized landscape, with a number of coal pits supported by a wagonway which ran down the hill from the south to the harbour at Cockenzie. The wagonway has long been associated with the battle and it was certainly an important feature on the field during the battle as both armies would have run across it during the rout which followed the Jacobite charge. A portion of the wagonway survives across the level ground immediately to the west of Seton West Mains Farm.

Tranent church, which was occupied by the Jacobite troops the day before the battle, was rebuilt in the 19th century but stands within the original churchyard. Likewise the grounds of Bankton House, alongside the western side of which the road which Cope and the remnants of his escaping army fled along can still be seen. Preston House, which stood immediately north of Bankton House, is no longer standing although some of its park walls are extant encompassing both the sports ground and the community centre which sit either side of Preston Road. To the north, Cockenzie House and gardens are also still extant, now within an area of more modern development, and the original 17th century house is still present on the site, although it underwent alteration in the late 20th century.

A limited area of the rout, on the north side of the modern road, also probably remains under fields. A detached area, comprising the grounds of Bankton House and an area of former garden on the north side of the road (playing fields which were once the grounds of Preston House), separated from the field by modern development, may yield further evidence of the rout. In this general area, as well as to the immediate rear of the initial engagement (Thorntree Mains), burials have been reported and there is the potential for mass graves.

The battle was fought on flat open agricultural ground surrounded by areas of marshland. This low coastal plain slopes gently northward to the sea, overlooked by a higher ridge of ground to the south occupied by Tranent. Although this landscape has undergone substantial alteration through the drainage of marshland and the expansion of nearby villages, the topography and key characteristics of the landscape of the battleground can still be identified and understood. The area of the initial fighting is still farmland and the spatial relationship between the low lying agricultural fields and the high ridge occupied by Tranent and the Jacobite's view from the churchyard overlooking the Government army within the fields of Seton survive well. The route of Government rout from the battlefield to Bankton House can still be traced on the ground, incorporating the preserved portion of the wagonway and the site of the hawthorn tree.

An extensive portion of the landscape has been destroyed by mineral extraction immediately to the south and south east of the battlefield. An open-cast mine has removed a swathe of the land occupied by the 1745 marsh and the east-west B1361, two other roads and the mainline railway cut across the edges of the battlefield. The A1 bypass lies a short distance to the south, crossing the areas of the first Jacobite deployment and flank march.

Overall, the semi-industrial character of the battlefield landscape is still predominant. The power station, which is a major feature in the modern landscape, has impacted on the battlefield area with a rail line, coal store and pylons running across the landscape. The battlefield area includes parts of the former mining towns of Tranent, Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton, while a considerable portion of the land between the main battle site and the old core of Preston village is now occupied by housing.


Prestonpans is fortunate to have a number of highly detailed maps that show the location of the battle, and these are supported by some equally informative eyewitness accounts. Despite what at first sight may appear to be extensive modern development in the area, some of the contemporary features, such as Bankton House, then known as Olive Stab, and the churchyard at Tranent are still to be seen, while the line of the wagonway can still be traced.

Both the Government and Jacobite lines lay along an arc approximately running north - south to northnorthwest - southsoutheast. The Jacobite line was positioned to the west of Seton, where the marshy ground was negotiated. A number of the secondary accounts mention the wagonway, to the west of which the Government line was formed in the face of the Jacobite attack. Although this may be the case, the feature is not apparently mentioned in any of the eyewitness accounts, nor does it feature on the main contemporary battle maps (it is on Blakeney's map but he was not an eyewitness). The wagonway, which was first built in 1722, can be traced on Roy's map from the 1750s, which shows it running from the pit head at Coalhill to the south-west of Tranent and continuing down to the north to the harbour at Cockenzie. The route can still be traced on the ground today, at least in places. The core of the battlefield is located to the north of the modern railway on open ground to the east of modern Prestonpans and south of Cockenzie and Port Seton, where it has up until now managed to avoid being subsumed beneath settlements which have grown so much since 1745.

A very useful 19th century map, based on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, shows the battle lines marked in relation to the wagon way, though we now know that the Government line was further to the east. This map shows a farm called Thorntree Mains behind the Government centre, which is named after the famous Hawthorn tree under which Gardiner was said to have been killed. This farm no longer exists as it was buried beneath coal workings at some point in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Interestingly, there is a pit marked 'Johnnie Cope's Hole' to the north of this farm and another marked 'Thorntree colliery' to the south. The thorntree was still standing in the 1899, though by that time was reinforced with iron rods and bands (Hannah 2003). By the 1920s, stumps could still be seen but the tree itself was dead. There are reports of burials in 'Thorntree Field' and the memorial cairn raised in 1932 is said to be 400 yards and 35 degrees west of north from where the tree originally stood, which would again place it in the area of coal workings to the north though possibly in an area to the south of this area of disturbance in still open land.


With reference to the southern marsh, there is a good account of Cope's initial position, when he was facing south late on 20 September provided by Atkinson, who was aide-de-camp to Murray, on the Jacobite side:

'The General (Cope) had on his right two enclosures surrounded by stone walls from six to seven feet high, between which there was a road about twenty feet broad, leading to the village of Prestonpans. Before him was another enclosure, surrounded by a deep ditch filled with water and from ten to twelve feet broad, which served as a drain to the marshy ground. On his left was a marsh which terminated in a deep pond, and behind him was the sea, so that he was enclosed as in a fortification. (Atkinson 1745, in Newcastle Journal).

Although it disappeared long ago, the marsh is clearly shown on Roy's map from the 1750s, running from east to west and then turning up to the north to terminate just to the south of the village of Seton, at which point can be seen Atkinson's 'deep pond'.

Roy's map clearly shows a trackway crossing the marsh just to the south of the pond, through the Riggonhead defile, and it seems highly likely that this was the point at which the Jacobite army crossed the wet ground, bringing them out onto the plain just to the west of Seton.

Prior to the discovery of the location of the initial encounter the battle was thought to have been fought some distance further to the west, which would have placed it within a more industrialised portion of the landscape ' both then and now. The tramway which was used to carry coal down the hill from the pits around Tranent to the port at Cockenzie has long been associated with the battle, certainly within the histories written during the modern era. Many battle maps accompanying these history books show the Government troops standing to the west of the wagonway and the Jacobites to the east, the latter having to charge across the line in order to reach the enemy. Other maps have the Government line situated on the wagonway with the Jacobites again to the east of it. It is now clear however that the main encounter occurred some distance to the east of the line, with the Government army several hundred metres away from it and Jacobite lines even further away to the east.

This does not reduce the importance of the wagonway, a surviving portion of which can be seen running across the level ground to the west of the main encounter site. It was a feature present on the field during the battle and both armies would have ran across it during the rout which followed the Jacobite charge. The industrial character of the landscape has obviously been enhanced since 1745 and these now include a rail line which serves the power station. The power station itself is a major feature in the landscape and includes a coal store and pylons which run across the landscape to the south.

In addition, an extensive portion of the landscape has been destroyed by mineral extraction immediately to the south and south east, removing a swathe of the land occupied by the 1745 marsh on the southern side. A realignment of the 1745 east-west road and a more recent north to south road cuts across the western edge of the main encounter site, though this latter route may correspond to an old coal road shown on some of the contemporary maps. The A1 bypass lies a short distance to the south, crossing the areas of the first Jacobite deployment and flank march. The mainline railway follows the southern edge of the battlefield.

A limited area of the rout, on the north side of the modern road, also probably remains under fields. A detached area, comprising the grounds of Bankton House and an area of former garden on the north side of the road (playing fields which were once the grounds of Preston House), separated from the field by modern development, may yield further evidence of the rout. In this general area, as well as to the immediate rear of the initial engagement (Thorntree Mains), where burials have been reported, there is the potential for mass graves.


There is extensive modern development to the north and to the south of the battlefield, while on the west development has extended over part of the area of the rout. Though there were already some industrial installations in the area by 1745, these have been extensively developed in subsequent centuries. A large industrial area, including an area of former open cast coal removal, has encroached on the battlefield, together with a rail line which serves the coal store at the power station, though it may have affected only a very small part of the area of the action. An extensive swathe of landscape has been destroyed by mineral extraction immediately to the south and south-east, removing part of the probable area of the 1745 marsh, which lay on the southern edge of the field. A realignment of the 1745 east-west road and a more recent north-south road cut across the heart of the action, while the A1 bypass lies a short distance to the south, crossing the areas of first Jacobite deployment and flank march. The mainline railway follows the southern edge of the battlefield. Remarkably, despite its location within such a heavily altered landscape, the location of the main encounter remains largely as agricultural fields.

There may be expected to be good survival of lead bullet distributions, which should closely relate to the nature and extent of the action. A limited area of the rout, on the north side of the modern road, also probably remains under fields. A detached area, comprising the grounds of Bankton House and an area of former garden on the north side of the road, separated from the field by modern development, may yield further evidence of the rout, where Government troops were funnelled through the narrow gap of the road between the boundaries of gardens on both sides. In this general area, as well as in the area of the initial engagement, where burials have been reported, there is the potential for mass graves.

A small area on the south side of the B1361 may yield limited surviving physical evidence for the extent of the marsh. The same is true on the north-east side of the battlefield, where a more extensive area of potential former marsh is identified on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, but not accurately defined.

Archaeological & Physical Remains and Potential

Recent investigations have demonstrated that the site of the battle has survived surprisingly well, and have pinpointed the site of the initial encounter, where the Jacobite charge hit the Government line; further to the east than most modern history books had placed it. Instead of being positioned to the west of or indeed directly on the old coal wagonway it is now clear that the Government line was in fact positioned several hundred metres to the east of this position, in an area still to this day occupied by relatively open farmland. This area is still relatively open farmland and finds of musket shot, fired by both Government and Jacobite troops, cannon shot and other items have provided vital information on the battle's early stages.

Numerous landscape features associated with the battle survive or can be traced within the battlefield area. Tranent churchyard is still extant and retains some of its 18th century character, despite the church being demolished and rebuilt in the early 19th century. The area to the north of the churchyard remains as farmland and has the potential to accommodate battle archaeology, particularly in relation to the bombardment of the churchyard and the Jacobites within by Government artillery on the day before the battle.

Government troops were pursued to the west as far as the walls of Bankton House and Preston House (a mansion house to the west of the battlefield), where a number of them were killed after becoming trapped against the park walls of these properties. An adult skeleton was encountered in the garden of a house in Polworth Terrace, immediately to the north-east of Preston House, during the building of an air raid shelter during WWII and it is possible, though not certain, that this was a Government soldier killed close to the walls of Preston House. Some vestige of the walls can still be seen at the bottom of the garden at Polworth Terrace.

Bankton House, though now converted to flats, still stands to the south-west of the battlefield and has a 19th century memorial to Gardiner within the grounds. Johnnie Cope's Road, which runs to the south along the west side of the garden, marks the route of his escape.

Preston House, which sat to the north of Bankton House within its own grounds, was demolished in the 1930s and the site is now occupied by Prestonpans Community Centre. A small archaeological evaluation of geophysical anomalies within the grounds of the community centre revealed evidence for the demolition of the original building. The grounds have further archaeological potential for future work.

Graves relating to the battle were recovered in an area to the west of the B6371 during drainage operations in the 18th century. The 18th century reports refer to a number of bodies with well-preserved clothing, a little north-east of the farm steading at Thorntree Mains (formerly located adjacent to the current eastern edge of Prestonpans). Further graves were discovered in this area in the mid 20th century and re-buried next to the 20th century cairn memorial located close to the battlefield. There is high potential for more burials and possibly mass graves to be located within this area.

The coal wagonway, which ran across the battlefield in 1745, was constructed in 1722 by the York Building Company and was still in use in the 20th century. Today it can be partially traced as a trackway running through fields to the north of the main railway line and to the west of Tranent. A surviving portion of the wagonway has provided some evidence of action in the form of carbine balls but the evidence recovered around Seton West Mains farm suggests that these relate to the pursuit of Government troops rather than the main battle site. Fields immediately to the east and west of the southern part of the wagonway are protected as a scheduled monument due to the presence of prehistoric crop marks.

The location of the hawthorn tree under which Colonel Gardiner is said to have been wounded, thereafter dying in either the manse of Tranent church or on a mattress in his own garden according to two different accounts, is marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map (NT 3399 6742). The location is to the immediate east of Thorntree Colliery, adjacent to a north to south running track. Although the tree was dead by the early 20th century, this location may just survive on the eastern boundary of the area which today still has the remnants of the wagonway running through it, coal having been extracted from the north and housing now filling the space to the east. It is also memorialised in the names 'Thorntree Field' and 'Thorntree Mains'.

The battlefield sits within a semi-industrial and partially developed landscape, all which may have impacted on the physical evidence. However, there have been numerous reports of finds of musket balls from gardens, suggesting that evidence of the battle may still be present in some form even within built-up areas.

Cultural Association

The battle has very strong cultural associations and was at the time depicted in various ways by newspapers and magazines. A number of ballads were written about the action, including Sir John Cope Trode The North Right Far by Robert Burns, and Johnnie Cope and Celebration Song, both written by Adam Skirving, a local farmer in the area, not long after the event. The battle was further immortalized by Sir Walter Scott in his novel Waverley. The battle also features in the novel Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The strong local impact of the battle is reflected in a number of place-names and associations. The road which runs north to south to the west of Bankton House has been popularly called Johnnie Cope's Road since the battle; it being the route of retreat taken by Cope and his broken army. The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map shows a number of sites clearly named after the battle, including Johnnie Cope's Hole, and Thorntree Colliery, both coal mining sites on the battlefield.

An obelisk to the Government commander Colonel Gardiner, the former owner of Bankton House, was erected in the gardens in the mid 19th century. A 20th century stone cairn memorial sits at the side of the B1361 just to the west of the former route of the wagonway.

There is also a grave marker for Captain John Stewart of Physgill, killed in the battle, within the graveyard at Prestongrange Church. The inscription specifically refers to the battle, reading "Here lyeth the remains of John Stuart of Phisgul, a Galloway gentleman and Cap. in Lessel's Regmt, a man of true bravery who died honourably in defence of his King and country, and of civil and religious liberty, being barbarously murder'd by four Highlanders near the end of the Battle fought in the field of PReston on the 21st Septr 1745."

The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust have an active programme of events including guided walks, battle interpretation and re-enactments and a touring tapestry depicting Bonnie Prince Charlie's journey from his arrival in Scotland to the battle of Prestonpans. The Trust has a long term ambition to erect a visitor centre dedicated to the battle.

Commemoration & Interpretation

No further information.



Archibald, Malcolm. Scottish battles, Chambers mini guides. Edinburgh: Chambers, 1990.

Cadell P. 1947 'The battle of Prestonpans', J Soc Army Hist Res, 25 (1947), 113-5.

Duffy, C. 2003 The '45. : Cassell Military, London & New York.

Grant C. 1946 'The battle of Prestonpans', J Soc Army Hist Res, 24 (1946), 150-60.

Hamilton, W. An Ode on the Victory at Gladsmuir 21 Septemr. 1745. [Edinburgh?: s.n]., 1745.

Home, J. 1802 The History of the Rebellion in the Year 1745. : A. Strahan for T. Cadell Jun. & W. Davies, London.

Howes, A. 2002 'An account of Prestonpans, 1745', J Soc Army Hist Res, 80 (2002), 32-5.

Jarvis R. C. 'Cope's forces: August 1745', Notes and Queries, 192 (1947), 117-20, 136-40, 164-9.

Margulies, M. 2007 The Battle of Prestonpans 1745. NPI Media Group, Exeter

Pollard, T. and Ferguson, N. 2010 Prestonpans Battlefield Project Report. GUARD report 2815, University of Glasgow.

Reid, S. 2004 Battles of the Scottish Lowlands, Battlefield Britain. Pen & Sword, Barnsley.

Sadler, J. 1996 Scottish Battles: From Mons Graupius to Culloden. Canongate, Edinburgh.

Stewart, M. J. A. 2003 The Battle of Prestonpans : reasons and its aftermath. Prestoungrange historical series 14. : Prestoungrange University Press, Prestonpans.

Sumner, P. 1950 'The 13th Dragoons at Prestonpans, 1745', J Soc Army Hist Res, 28 (1950), 144-5.

Tomasson, K. & Buist, F. 1967 Battles of the '45. Pan, London.

Whyte, lan, and Kathleen Whyte. On the Trail of the Jacobites. London: Routledge, 1990.

Information on Sources

This is a very well documented battle including a number of contemporary plans showing the deployment of the armies, the earlier manoeuvres and the contemporary terrain. There are a number of eye witness accounts from participants on both sides, some of which give good topographic descriptions (see below). There are also a number of contemporary battle maps which show the battle in some detail. A good idea of the contemporary landscape is provided by Roy's map of the 1750s, which provides more subsidiary detail than the battle maps.

Although a substantial number of secondary works deal with Prestonpans, there is not a substantial modern study of the battle. A concise modern overview is given by Reid (1996).

Primary Sources

National Library of Scotland

Nicholas Donald. 'An account of proceedings from Prince Charles' landing to Prestonpans', Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, Scottish History Soc, 50 (1958), 199-216.

National Archives

SP 36/68 Sir John Cope, at Lauder, to the marquis of Tweeddale, with details of the failed engagement between his troops and the Highlanders, which took place on a field near Prestonpans. Folio 209 1745 Sept. 21

SP 36/68 Account by an ensign in Capt. James Nimmo's Company of volunteers defending Edinburgh of the rebels advance on the city and of the defeats of H.M. forces at Tranent near Prestonpans, Sept. 12-18. Folio 238b 1745 ? Sept.

SP 36/68 Sir John Cope, at Berwick on Tweed to Marquis of Tweeddale enclosing a list of officers in the various regiments under his command killed, wounded or taken prisoner by the rebels, with an account of the defeat of his forces by the rebels at Prestonpans. Advises that La Roque's regiment of 600 Dutch troops are due to be landed there the next day to supplement to 460 dragoons he has with him already. 1745 Sept. 22

SP 36/68 Dr. John Waugh, Chancellor of the diocese of Carlisle to Mr. Robinson, enclosing a copy of an account, dated 21 Sept., of the battle between H.M. forces and the rebels at Prestonpans as witnessed by one of two merchants of Dumfries who went to Sir John Cope's camp at Tranent for intelligence of the situation. 1745 Sept. 23

SP 36/68 Earl of Derby, at Knowsley, to [Newcastle], enclosing a letter from [Provost] George Bell of Dumfries, dated 21 Sept. informing him of the progress of the rebel Highland army; with a postscript that battle had taken place early that morning between General Cope's army (consisting of 2,300 regular foot soldiers and 500 Highlanders, together with 2 regiments of dragoons, Hamilton's and Gardiner's) and 7,000 Highlanders near the village of Cockenzie near Prestonpans, and that Cope's army had been beaten. 1745 Sept. 23

SP 36/68 John Waugh, Chancellor of Carlisle, to Newcastle, enclosing 3 accounts of the battle between Sir John Cope's forces and the rebels near Prestonpan all dated 21 Sept., the first 2 sent to him by Mr. Goldie of Dumfries, the third by the Provost of Annan: 1) an account by one of 2 merchants of Dumfries sent to Cope's camp to gain intelligence of the situation. 1745 Sept. 23

SP 36/69 John Nocks, Postmaster at Preston, to the Postmaster General, in London, with an account of the defeat of Sir John Cope's forces, near Prestonpans by 7,000 of the rebels, and advising that Lord Derby, the Lord Lieutenant, and Lord Strange are expected to arrive in the town shortly to organise its defence. 1745 Sept. 25

SP 36/69 [Major-General] James Oglethorpe to Newcastle, informing him that the Lord Lieutenant and archbishop had successfully raised 41 companies and £20,000 by their association in the county, and enclosing: 1) letter from General Guest, at Edinburgh Castle, to Major Brown, dated 24 Sept. 1745 Sept. 28

SP 36/70 George Shelvocke, at the General Post Office, to Andrew Stone, esq., enclosing: 1) a letter found near Poole from J.W. to Squire Welde (a member of a notorious papist family) in Purbeck, dated 22 Sept. 2) a letter from John McMillan, postmaster of Lancaster, to the Postmaster General, dated ?31 Sept. 1745 Oct. 4

SP 36/70 John Nocks, Postmaster of Preston to the Postmaster General, with a description and further debaits of 2 officers from the battle of Prestonpans who had been interviewed there after travelling post. Folio 158 1745 Oct. 5

SP 36/70 Major Mountague Farrer, at Carlisle, to Mr. Vere, reporting on the latest estimates of the numbers of the rebel Highland army, with details of which clans had recently joined it. Encloses a plan [missing] of the battle near Prestonpans Folio 236 1745 Oct. 7

SP 36/71 Thomas Pattinson, mayor of Carlisle, to [Newcastle], enclosing a list of soldiers that had entered the town after fleeing from Edinburgh, [after the battle at Prestonpans]. Requests instructions on how to deal with them, and to whom to apply to for their subsistence. 1745 Oct. 9-17

SP 54/8/71 Alexander Ogilvie of Prestonpans, on the movement of troops and arms about that area: with note from Sir Hugh Dalrymple reporting that Winton's men are instructed to meet at Pinkie to receive arms and ammunition 1715 Sept 16

SP 54/15/4B Commissioners of Customs, concerning the pirate ship at Stranraer, and reporting the boarding of the ship John and Marion of Prestonpans, Alexander Hogg master, by two Customs sloops 1725 Feb 11

SP 54/26/24 Lord Advocate Craigie, reporting the flight of the dragoons from their camp outside Edinburgh, when the Jacobite army approached the city; on his attempt to catch the soldiers and his meeting with Brig Fowkes at Musselburgh; following the news of Cope's arrival at Dunbar, the dragoons intend to march to Prestonpans. 1745 Sept 16

SP 54/26/32 [Charles Edward Stuart to James Stuart] 1) Reflecting on his successful campaign and his subjects: 'I have got their hearts to a degree not to be easily conceived by those who do not see it'; on his enjoyment of the Highland life; reporting his men's insistence that he put a price on King George's head; wishing that the Earl Marischal was with him; and regretting that his family has made an enemy of the Duke of Argyll, undated

SP 54/26/35 Lord Advocate Craigie to Secretary Tweeddale. Reporting that, on his arrival in Berwick, he found Sir John Cope there with 450 dragoons: Cope and Lord Mark Kerr are disputing the command. Concerning the problems caused by the defeat at Prestonpans; and on the need to secure Edinburgh Castle, which contains large amounts of money and ammunition, but only has provisions enough to withstand a month's siege 1745 Sept 23

SP 54/26/39 Unsigned letter concerning the consequences of the defeat at Prestonpans; on the possibility of invasion from overseas; also reporting that Sir James Stewart [of Goodtrees] seems to be trusted by the Jacobites 1745 Sept 27

SP 54/26/54 Robert Bewey of Prestonpans: declaration concerning the numbers enlisting with the Jacobites in Edinburgh [1745 Oct 4]

SP 54/26/71 Prestonpans: plan of the battle, 21 Sept 1745 [1745]

SP 54/26/185 Government officers taken prisoner at Prestonpans: petition on behalf of Robert Taylor, imprisoned at Carlisle; reporting the assistance he gave them during their captivity c 1746

SP 54/27/37 Parole taken by army officers after their capture at Prestonpans, dated 28 Sept 1745 at Holyrood House. With Viscount Strathallan's permission for Col Charles Whitefoord to go to Lesley House, Fifeshire and remain there under the terms of his parole, dated 12 Dec 1745

T 1/321/32 [Lord George Murray] to Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, concerning the Battle of Prestonpans. 1745 Sept. 21

British Library

Army, of England. Obligation by the officers on parole taken prisoners at Prestonpans 1745. Copies. Add. 36595 ff. 66, 68, 70, 71

Extracts from the 'Caledonian Mercury' rel. to the battle of Prestonpans 1745.


A true and full account of the late bloody and desperate battle fought at Gladsmuir, betwixt the army under the command of His Royal Highness Charles Prince of Wales, &c. and that commanded by Lieutenant General Cope, on Saturday the 21st September, 1745. To which is prefix'd occasional reflections on the amazing happy success... And hereto is added complete lists of prisoners and the killed and wounded. 1745.

Brown, I. G. & Cheape, H. 1966 Witness to Rebellion: John MacLean's Journal of the 'Forty-Five and the Penicuik Drawings. Tuckwell Press.

Other primary sources

A Report of the Proceedings and Opinion of the Board of General Officers, on their Examination into the Conduct, Behaviour, and Proceedings of Lieutenant-General Sir John Cope, Knight of the Bath, Colonel Peregrine Lascelles, and Brigadier-General Thomas Fowke. (1749). [ebook] Dublin: George Faulkner. Available at: [Accessed 30 Jan. 2019].

Cartographic Sources

National Library of Scotland

A plan of the Battle of Tranent (Prestonpans) fought Sept[embe]r 21st 1745 ; manuscript map, c.1745; National Library of Scotland: Acc.8392

Plan of the victory of Falkirk Muir fought the afternoon of January 16 1746, Battle of Preston, September 1745, J.M.: 3 manuscript maps on 1 sheet; c. 1746, EMS.s.164

Sites of the Battles of Pinkie and Prestonpans, and other interesting historical events. Annotation onto Ordnance Survey map 1855; National Library of Scotland: EMS.s.732

British Library

Add. 4326 B ff. 183-188

Maps and Plans. Plan of Battle of Prestonpans, by Lt.-Col. J. Wren 1745-1784 Add. 57637 f. 15

Murray (James). Duke of Athole. Correspondence with Lt.-Col. Wight and the other prisoners after the battle of Prestonpans 1745. Copies. Add. 36592 ff. 68 b, 73, 74

Prestonpans, Order of battle of the royalist troops, return of prisoners, etc., at 1745. Add. 36592 ff. 63 b, 65, 80, 81

Prestonpans,co. Haddington. Verses on the Cattle of Gladsmuir near circ. 1746. Add. 33954 f. 79

Prestonpans, co. Haddington. Plan of Battle of Prestonpans, by Lt.-Col. J. Wren 1745-1784 Add. 57637 f. 15

Wren (Jordan). Lt.-Col. 40th Regt. of Foot. Plan of Battle of Prestonpans, 1745-1784 Add. 57637 f. 15

Secondary Sources

Burton, J, Griffiths, R & Tullis, P. 1804 Ascanius; or, The young adventurer: in which is given a particular account of the battle of Prestonpans, and the death of Col. Gardiner. Martin, Edinburgh.

Burton, J, Griffiths, R & Tullis, P. 1821 Ascanius; or, The young adventurer: containing an impartial history of the rebellion in Scotland in the years 1745-6. Martin, Edinburgh.

Cadell P. 1947 'The battle of Prestonpans', J Soc Army Hist Res, 25 (1947), 113-5.

Doddridge, P. 1782 Some remarkable passages in the life of the Honourable Col. James Gardiner, who was slain at the battle of Prestonpans 21st September 1745. Buckland, Strachan, Rivington, Crowder & Field.

Duffy, C. 2003 The '45. Cassell Military, London & New York.

Graham, D. 1812 An Impartial History of the Rise, Progress, and Extinction of the late Rebellion in Britain in the years 1745 & 1746. T. Johnston.

Grant C. 1946 'The battle of Prestonpans', J Soc Army Hist Res, 24 (1946), 150-60.

Hamilton, W. An Ode on the Victory at Gladsmuir 21 Septemr. 1745. [Edinburgh?: s.n]., 1745.

Halford-MacLeod, R. (2018). The Battle of Prestonpans: A New Look at the Evidence from the Loudoun Papers, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California. Auchtermuchty: HALMAC Publishing.

Home, J. 1802 The History of the Rebellion in the Year 1745. A. Strahan for T. Cadell, Jnr & W. Davies, London.

Hook, M. & Rose, W. 1995 The Forty-Five: The Last Jacobite Rebellion. HMSO, London.

Howes, A. 2002 'An account of Prestonpans, 1745', J Soc Army Hist Res, 80 (2002), 32-5.

Jarvis R. C. 'Cope's forces: August 1745', Notes and Queries, 192 (1947), 117-20, 136-40, 164-9.

Maclean Kybert, S. 1988 Bonnie Prince Charlie: a biography. Unwin Hyman, London.

Nicholas, D. 1958a 'An account of proceedings from Prince Charles' landing to Prestonpans', in Miscellany of the Scott Hist Soc, 9 (1958), 199-216.

Nicholas, D. 1958b 'Letters for a spy', The Stewarts, 9 (1958), 193-204.

Reid, S. 2004 Battles of the Scottish Lowlands, Battlefield Britain. Pen & Sword, Barnsley.

Sadler, J. 1996 Scottish Battles: From Mons Graupius to Culloden. Canongate, Edinburgh.

Stewart, M. J. A. 2003 The Battle of Prestonpans : reasons and its aftermath. Prestoungrange historical series 14. : Prestoungrange University Press, Prestonpans.

Sumner, P. 1950 'The 13th Dragoons at Prestonpans, 1745', J Soc Army Hist Res, 28 (1950), 144-5.

Tomasson, K. & Buist, F. 1967 Battles of the '45. Pan, London.

Whyte, Ian, and Kathleen Whyte. On the Trail of the Jacobites. London: Routledge, 1990.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Preston Market Cross

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Related Designations

  1. Preston,market crossSM90242

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

Seton Collegiate Church

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    Designation Type
    Garden & Designed Landscape
  2. Seton Collegiate ChurchSM13368

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

About the Inventory of Historic Battlefields

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

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