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Preston, battle of

Preston, battle of, 1648. The first civil war ended in 1646 when Charles I gave himself up to the Scots at Southwell. Late the following year, he signed an ‘Engagement’ with the Scots, agreeing to a presbyterian church order for three years. In the spring of 1648 a series of uncoordinated risings heralded the second civil war. In July a sizeable Scottish army under Hamilton crossed the border near Carlisle, shadowed by Lambert. Cromwell wound up his operations in Wales and hastened to join Lambert. Hamilton missed his chance to crush Lambert before the junction could be effected at Knaresborough. The parliamentary force then crossed the Pennines to cut off Hamilton's retreat to Scotland. Hamilton had substantially more men, but they were badly strung out and were caught still disorganized outside Preston on 17 August. When the royalists withdrew south during the night, a running fight developed. Hamilton's infantry surrendered at Warrington: he and his cavalry were eventually rounded up at Uttoxeter. The defeat at Preston spelled Charles's doom since the army leaders now regarded him as a man of blood, impossible to deal with. The king was executed in January 1649 and Hamilton six weeks later.

J. A. Cannon

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Preston, battle of

Preston, battle of, 1715. The Jacobite rising in Northumberland was under the command of Thomas Forster, member of Parliament for the county. He occupied Holy Island for one day, failed to take Newcastle, and joined with Scottish Jacobites at Rothbury. The rebels then made for Lancashire, where they hoped to find support, moving through Brampton, Penrith, and Kendal. At Preston they were bottled up by Hanoverian forces led by Carpenter and Wills, and capitulated on 14 November. Forster subsequently made a daring escape from Newgate and joined the pretender abroad.

J. A. Cannon

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