The Battle of Prestonpans was the first significant conflict during the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and unexpected victory for Charles Stuart's forces.

Historical ContextEdit

The Battle of Prestonpans was the first significant conflict in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. The battle took place at 4 am on 21 September 1745. The Jacobite army loyal to James Francis Edward Stuart and led by his son Charles Edward Stuart defeated the government army loyal to the Hanoverian George II led by Sir John Cope. The inexperienced government troops were outflanked and broke in the face of a highland charge. The victory was a huge morale boost for the Jacobites, and a heavily mythologised version of the story entered art and legend.

It was initially known as the Battle of Gladsmuir, but was actually fought at Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland on that town's borders with Tranent, Cockenzie and Port Seton.[1]

Events of the NovelsEdit

Dragonfly in AmberEdit

A few days before the battle, a young English soldier attempts to kill Jamie Fraser, by then known as the notorious "Red Jamie". The boy, having seen and heard an English lady being harassed by Red Jamie, takes it in mind to kill the man and rescue the woman. He fails, and in a brief struggle Jamie breaks his arm. After interrogating his young prisoner, Jamie allows the boy to live, having his men tie the boy to a tree where is fellows will find him in the morning. Using the intelligence gained, Jamie and a few of the other Highlanders take the wheels off of the English cannon and burn them.

As the men prepare for battle, Claire, with the help of Jenny Cameron, organizes a field hospital in anticipation of post-battle casualties. After the battle, Jamie describes to Claire his experience of stalking in the dark toward the government lines, hidden by the predawn and a thick fog.



  1. Battle of Prestonpans - accessed 20 June 2016 via Wikipedia