Battle of Preston re-enacted and what’s involved in it

Posted on - 20th December, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - History, Observations, Preston News
A soldier kitted out and Jacobites in a kilt

A soldier kitted out and Jacobites in a kilt

With the recent anniversary of the Battle of Preston much has been written of the battle itself. Not often explored is the role of re-enactors in such events. Here we look at the Rose and Thistle re-enactment group and how you can get involved in such Historical commemorations yourself.


Historical re-creation is an educational and entertaining activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The ages of participants range from young children to the retired.

Read more: Pictures from re-enactment of the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Preston

The battle of Preston re-enactment in 2015, at Hougton tower, was an event that the Rose and Thistle re-enactment group participated in. They represent members of John Roy Stewart’s Jacobite Regiment. Many years of research have gone into creating an accurate display of uniforms and equipment.

Drummers prepare for battle

Drummers prepare for battle

It’s not all about battles, there are opportunities for cooking demonstrations and for musicians. Historical re-enactment has a long history. The Romans staged famous battles in their amphitheatres. In medieval times tournaments were held that re-created famous battles. During the civil war the Roundheads, when on a winning streak, re-enacted a recent battle at Blackheath in 1645, despite the fact that the war was still being fought.

The role of women in the battle is also explored

The role of women in the battle is also explored

With the Romantic movement in the nineteenth century, re-enactment came of age. The romanticism of knights, castles and feasts continues to excite interest to this day.

Attention to detail in the uniforms

Attention to detail in the uniforms

Who were the Jacobites?

The Jacobites were the supporters of King James VII (of Scotland) and II (of England) and his heirs.

James II reigned over the whole of Britain from 1685 to 1689, however, due to him being a Roman Catholic he was deposed by his daughter Mary. She was a protestant as was the predominant religion of the time. James fled into exile and his supports became known as Jacobites, Jacobus being the Latin for James.

The Jacobites had support and strongholds in Scotland, hence the kilts, and parts of Northern England, particularly Northumbria and Lancashire. Their main aim was to restore James Stuart and the Stuart line and to end Catholic persecution.

In 1715 the Jacobites invaded Northern England and amassed a force of 4000 troops outside Preston. Horse troops entered Preston on the 9 th of November 1715 and occupied the town. The defending forces retreated to Wigan.

Read more: A history of ghost railway line running through Preston

By the 14th of November the Jacobites had surrendered to Government forces, 1,468 Jacobites were taken prisoner, 463 of them English.

Contact the Rose and Thistle group if you would like to be involved in re-enactments.

About the author.
Geoff is a freelance writer, photographer and video producer he specialises in transport, environmental and historical subjects. He graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in 2016 with a degree in media production. Currently studying for an MA in photography he is producing a local guide to sculpture parks and panopticans as well as a book on the history of transport in the Preston area.

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