General Pergrine Lascelles ..."remained forsaken on the field"
Whilst Gardiner was Mortally Wounded Lascelles Could Walk Off
Colonel [later General] Peregrine Lascelles was in command of the 58th Foot at the Battle of Prestonpans. As his lines were over run he slipped and fell and, on rising, found himself surrounded by Jacobites who immediately disarmed him. Yet good fortune smiled. The Jacobite group of some fifteen Highlanders and their Officer left Lascelles alone to resume the pursuit of other fleeing redcoats.
Lascelles decided that this was his opportunity to depart the field of battle and he walked straight through the Highlanders lines to Seton - where he procured a horse and rode off!
His story was vindicated at the Inquiry which Cope insisted was held the following year and is affirmed at St Mary's Church Whitby where the memorial tablet here below can be found.
The inscription reads:
To the Memory of PEREGRINE LASCELLES
General of all and Singular his MAJESTY's
Forces, who served his country from the year 1706.
In the reign of QUEEN ANNE he Served in Spain
and in the battles of Almanara, Saragossa, and Villa-Viciosæ
Performed the Duty of A brave and Gallant Officer.
In the Rebellion of the Year 1715 he Served in Scotland;
and in that of 1745,
after a fruitless exertion of his Spirit and ability
at the disgraceful rout of Preston pans,
he remained forsaken on the field.
In all his dealings Just and disinterested,
Bountiful to his Soldiers, a Father to his Officers,
A man of Truth and Principle, In short An HONEST MAN
he dyed March ye 26th 1772 in the 88th year of his age
58th or 47th Regiment of Foot?
The Regiment was originally raised by Colonel Sir John Mordaunt, a lifelong Whig supporter of Sir Rober Walpole, in 1741 but Lascelles assumed command in 1743. It was ranked as the 58th Foot finally becoming the 47th in 1751. Lascelles had risen to General and Knight of the Bath in 1747 and his Regiment went to North America in 1750 serving in Nova Scotia in the French and Indian War. They later served with Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham and in the defence of Montreal before returning to England in 1760.
Sir John Mordaunt, although becoming General, fared less well, reorganising Cumberland's armies after Hawley's defeat at Falkirk and serving as Third Reserve at Culloden. He was suspended from duty by George II after the failure of a speculative expedition he commanded to take Rochefort in 1757.
Published Date: July 14th 2008