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quickly dispelled. The foot coming up next day, Thursday the tenth, the whole assembled at the market cross, where the chevalier was proclaimed with the usual formalities. Here they were joined by a great many gentlemen, with their tenants and servants, many of them men of influence in the country, but still all papists. Orders were issued for the march to be continued on the Friday, but these orders were countermanded; and next morning, when the order for marching was renewed, information reached them that general Wills was advancing from Wigan to attack them, and was nearly in sight. This was intelligence so very unexpected, that it met at first with no credit, but was speedily confirmed by messengers from all quarters.*
The friends of order and good government had not been inactive, though their exertions were unknown, or, to their own ruin, by the rebels wilfully overlooked. No sooner was it known that they had reached Lancaster, than the loyal inhabitants of Liverpool, together with a great many country people who fled thither, carrying along with them their most valuable effects, took every possible precaution for the safety of that important place. A third part of the avenues of the city were laid under water, and where this could not be done, intrenchments were thrown up, upon which were placed seventy pieces of cannon. The ships in the harbour, too, were all put off from the shore so as to be beyond the reach of the rebels, even though they had gained possession of the town.t Major general Wills, who commanded in Cheshire, was also ordered to draw together what force he could command, and, if possible, to seize upon the passes of Warrington bridge and Preston, to prevent any communication between the rebels and their friends in and about Manchester. For this purpose, he ordered several regiments quartered in Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, and the adjacent country, to rendezvous at Warrington bridge on the tenth of the month, when he would put himself at their head. Wills
* Patten’s History of the Rebellion, pp. 96, 97. + Complete History of the Rebellion, p. 70.
arrived in Manchester on the eighth, where he had advices from general Carpenter, stating, that he had the day before left Durham on his way to Lancaster, where the rebels then were; and Wills, in return, sent to acquaint Carpenter of the precise time that he also would be at Lancaster, that their measures might be taken in unison. General Carpenter's coming to Lancaster, however, was prevented by the rebels marching to Preston.
On Friday, November the eleventh, general Wills, with Wynn, Honeywood, Munden, and Dormer's dragoons, and Preston's regiment of foot, set out for Wigan, where Pitt's regiment of horse, and Stanhope's dragoons were in quarters, leaving orders for Newton's dragoons, who were on their march from Worcester to join him, to remain at Manchester, to prevent any movement on the part of the disaffected in that quarter. On his arrival at Wigan, learning that Forster was still at Preston, the general gave orders for his troops to march for that place early next morning, and astonished the rebels, now on their march to Warrington, by meeting them at the bridge of Ribble. A small body of the Highlanders had posted themselves at this bridge, and Forster, at the head of a few horse, performing the part of his own scout, was among the first that descried the approach of the king's troops. Mr. Patten he instantly sent back to the town to notify the circumstance, and gave orders for the necessary preparations, while he himself went to examine a ford in the river, with a view to send out a party to come behind the king's troops and attack them in the rear. He soon found, however, that he had enough to do to defend himself, and the scheme was probably never again thought of.*
The party of foot belonging to the rebels that had taken possession of the bridge of Ribble were picked men of M'Intosh's battalion, one hundred strong, and commanded by colonel John Farquharson of Invercauld, a bold determined man, and an excellent officer, who could easily have defended the bridge till the whole of the rebels had drawn themselves out of the town, but, with the same stupidity or infatuation
* Patten's History of the Rebellion, p. 97.
which had marked all their measures, he was ordered to retreat into the town.* Conduct so extraordinary astonished the king's troops, and led the general to expect the development of some stratagem new and unheard of in the art of war; for he could not conceive of advantages so very obvious being thrown away without the expectation of others far more decisive in return. He, therefore, proceeded with the greatest caution, causing the hedges and fields to be carefully examined, and the way laid completely open for his cavalry. Finding every thing clear, he concluded that they had abandoned Preston with the view of escaping into Scotland by forced marches, which he thought it impossible for them to accomplish; but, learning that they had only retreated into the town, where they were determined to defend themselves to the last, he immediately entered the field on the back of it, and, occupying the enclosures, so disposed of his troops as best to be able to attack the place, and prevent them from sallying out or retreating.
In the meantime, the rebels, not at all discouraged, applied themselves resolutely to the defence of the place, barricading the streets, and posting themselves in the by-lanes, houses, &c. to the best advantage. The gentlemen volunteers were drawn up in the church-yard, under the command of the earl of Derwentwater, viscount Kenmure, and the earls of Nithsdale and Winton. Derwentwater behaved with great resolution. Stripping to the waistcoat he exerted himself among the men, cheering them on, giving them money to cast up trenches, and animating them to a vigorous defence. He also ordered Mr. Patten to bring him regularly an account from all the attacks, and particularly where succours were wanted, which Patten did till his horse was shot under him. The rebels had formed four main barriers, the first a little below the church, which was committed to the care of brigadier
• It was in the lane terminated by this bridge, that, in the year 1648, the Scots, under the ill-fated duke of Hamilton, maintained a desperate conflict with Oliver Cromwell, at the head of the parliamentary forces, for upwards of four hours, when that great commander narrowly escaped losing both his life and his military glory at the same time.--Rushworth's Historical Collections Abridged, vol. vi. p. 468. Burnet's Memoirs, &c. &c.
MʻIntosh, and the gentlemen in the church-yard were to see to the support of this barrier in particular. The second, at the end of a lane leading into the fields, was committed to the charge of lord Charles Murray. The third, called the windmill, was under the care of the laird of MʻIntosh ; and the fourth, on the street leading to Liverpool, was committed to major Miller and captain Douglas.*
General Wills having viewed the disposition of the rebels, and finding all the avenues strongly barricaded, and two pieces of cannon planted on each, resolved to make two attacks, and disposed of his troops accordingly. For the attack of the avenue leading to Wigan, a captain and fifty dragoons, draughted out of each of the five regiments of horse, with a major and lieutenant colonel to command them, were ordered to dismount, and added to Prestou's regiment of foot, commanded by lord Forrester their lieutenant colonel, and Honeywood's regiment was ordered to remain on horseback to support them. This attack was led by brigadier Honeyman.
For the attack of the avenue leading to Lancaster, which is on the opposite side of the town to that of Wigan, the regiments of Wynn and Dormer, with a squadron of Stanhope's, were ordered to dismount, under the command of brigadier Dormer. The regiments of Pitt, Munden, and a squadron of Stanhope's, remained on horseback to support this attack, so that the whole troops were employed.
The first attack was made upon the barricade below the church, commanded by brigadier M'Intosh, who received the king's forces with great gallantry, keeping up such a fire from the barricade and the adjoining houses that they were compelled to retreat. Lord Forrester, in the meantime, had entered the avenue that leads to Wigan, and finding it impossible to force the barricade, took possession of two large houses within fifty yards of it. From these houses, one of them especially, which overlooked the whole town, he very
much annoyed the rebels. He did not, however, succeed in forcing
* Patten's History of the Rebellion, pp. 100, 101. John, Duke of Argyle, p. 220.
Campbell's Life of
the barricade, but he burned the houses between him and it, and threw up breastworks as well to protect his own men as to prevent any of the rebels by that avenue making their escape. In these attacks a number of brave men lost their lives on both sides; but the loss was much greater on the part of the king's troops than on that of the rebels; the former being particularly exposed, and the latter fighting in a great measure under cover. Few persons of note were killed of either party. The principal, on the part of the rebels, were captain Peter Farquharson, Mr. Clifton, brother to Sir Gervase Clifton, and a colonel Burton. The first of these was a gentleman of great spirit and uncommon bravery. Being wounded through the bone of the leg, he endured much torture under the hands of the surgeon. When brought into the White Bull, the house where all the wounded men were carried to be dressed, he called for a glass of brandy, and said, “ Come lads, here is our master's health; though I can do no more, I wish you good success." His leg was unskilfully cut off, and he died presently after.* of the slain among the king's troops the most eminent was major Preston, who was shot through the body a little above the breast, and made prisoner by captain Wogan, who, at the hazard of his own life, saved him from being cut in pieces after he had fallen into the hands of the rebels. “ He was a man of great gallantry and composed courage, as was visible by his exposing himself in the danger and in the manner he did, for he was spent in a long languishing consumption, even to a skeleton, and toid the rebels, that the wound he had received had only shortened his days two or three months, which, seeing it was in the service of his king and country, he said he far preferred it to the lingering death he expected.”+ He died in the hands of the rebels.
Though in this first day's strife the royal arms had had rather the worst of it, it afforded no hope for the rebels. During the night, Wills was busily employed in examining the different positions, and gave orders for making a communication between the two divisions of his army that they
* Patten's History of the Rebellion, p: 104.
t Ibid. p. 127.