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The Battle of Prestonpans was the first battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The government commander Sir John Cope had failed to meet the Jacobite army on the way to Edinburgh so he waited for them at Prestonpans. Cope was expecting an attack from the west but the Jacobites were led on a little-known path through a bog (which Cope had thought would provide some protection for his army) and were able to attack from the east.

Despite their inferior weapons and lack of artillery, the Jacobites overran Cope's army, killing 500 and capturing 1500 while sustaining little loss of life themselves.

The victory at Prestonpans meant that almost all of Scotland was under Jacobite control, which gave the Jacobites the morale boost they needed. Bonnie Prince Charlie believed that his army was invincible and many more men were encouraged to join them.

This plan was taken from 'An Impartial History of the Late Rebellion in 1745', by S Boyse

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Plan of the Battle of Prestonpans

1740s

Prestonpans; battles; Jacobites; armies; plans; Bonnie Prince Charlie; Charles Edward Stuart; Hanovarians; Sir John Cope; clans; zoomable

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (maps)

The Battle of Prestonpans was the first battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The government commander Sir John Cope had failed to meet the Jacobite army on the way to Edinburgh so he waited for them at Prestonpans. Cope was expecting an attack from the west but the Jacobites were led on a little-known path through a bog (which Cope had thought would provide some protection for his army) and were able to attack from the east.<br /> <br /> Despite their inferior weapons and lack of artillery, the Jacobites overran Cope's army, killing 500 and capturing 1500 while sustaining little loss of life themselves.<br /> <br /> The victory at Prestonpans meant that almost all of Scotland was under Jacobite control, which gave the Jacobites the morale boost they needed. Bonnie Prince Charlie believed that his army was invincible and many more men were encouraged to join them.<br /> <br /> This plan was taken from 'An Impartial History of the Late Rebellion in 1745', by S Boyse