The Second Battle of Preston, 1715

The Last Battle on English Soil

Jonathan David Oates

The second battle of Preston fought in 1715 was the last between formed military units in England. It was the most decisive Jacobite defeat of the Jacobite rebellions yet one in which the Anglo-Scottish Jacobite army was initially successful. The book contains contemporary pictures and manuscript evidence never previously published.
Date Published :
April 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Century of the Soldier
Illustration :
17 b/w ills, 12 b/w photos, 5 maps, 158 tables, 3 graphs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781915070319
Pages : 274
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7 inches
Stock Status : Available


Preston was the first battle of the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and the last to be fought on English soil. This book provides a new account of the events leading up to the campaign, focusing on events in England but not neglecting those in Scotland and on the Continent. It then moves on to explore the movements of both armies, British and Jacobite, without neglecting civilian forces, as they marched through Northumberland, the Scottish Lowlands and then into Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire. It deals with both civilian and military actions, at the strategic and tactical level.

Both armies (generals, officers and men) are then examined — who they were, their strengths and weaknesses. Their training, equipment, origins, and experience are surveyed. The main chapter concerns the three-day Battle of Preston. It describes how the armies prepared for battle, how their initial deployments were made and why. There is then a detailed narrative of the attacks on the Jacobite positions in Preston by the British forces led by General Wills. An in-depth account of the fighting is provided, with analysis. The events of the second and third days of the battle are recounted, focusing on the surrender negotiations and the dissent within the Jacobite army, prior to their total capitulation. The importance of the battle is analyzed.

Finally, there is the need to count the cost of the battle. This had been heavy for the attacking army and light for the defenders. However, the true cost to the defeated army only became apparent after the defeat. Some of the Jacobites were executed but far more were transported to the American colonies and the West Indies, while others died in gaol; in 1717 the remainder were released.

The appendices provide listings of some of the men who fought the battle, with their parish of origin and former occupations.

About The Author

The author’s undergraduate thesis and doctorate from Reading University, both covering responses in north eastern England to the Jacobite rebellions. As the most prolific author on this topic, he has also has numerous articles, record society publications and books published on this topic, covering 1689-1746, about the battles, sieges and some of the key personalities. This is his third book about the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and his eleventh book on Jacobite themes. He is an archivist by profession and has also written books about true crime, family history and the local history of Ealing.

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