Sunday not good for the Scots in Dunbar, but Cromwell once again excelled!
We try to be authentic of course, but were glad there was absolutely no rain as in 1650!
It was a spectacular and quite magnificent display by the English Civil War Society's hundreds of re-enactors - with an excellent PA commentary so none were in any doubt about how the battle progressed. Congratulations and sincerest thanks to them all.
Essentially, the difference between the anticipated destruction of Crowmwell's Army in a Scottish Covenanters Victory and the eventual outcome turned on a misjudged move by the Scots who, over eagerly, came down overnight from their previously commanding hilltop positions; and once down to regard their scope for a morning attack as giving them all the necessary initiative. Alas, Cromwell wisely foresaw this and cleverly moved his own soldiers and cavalry into position so that he could attack at dawn whilst the Scots were still sleeping or resting with many of their officers well away from the incessant wet weather! Cromwell's Gentlemen of the Pikes and Musketeers launched their pre-emptive attack and, in the confusion, his Ironside Cavalry then swept all before them, winning the day - and Scotland with it since Cromwell very quickly took Edinburgh.
Click on all the smaller pictures below to enlarge them
The drummers and pipes gave 'commands' that could be heard above the noise of battle
Whilst the Scots slept and relaxed overnight, Cromwell's army prepared for its surprise dawn attack; and the musketeers fired and then attacked using their butts as clubs
Cromwell's army managed to cut off half the Scots from the main battle and after two hours Victory was his! Thousands of Scots were taken prisoner may marched to Durham but some were shipped to the American and Caribbean colonies
Meanwhile back at the encampment life went on beneath the still blue sky - no rain!
Over 2000 visitors were recorded at this, the nation's largest battle re-enactment of 2016. As those who attended became aware, Dunbar 1650 was the first of a three year County cycle the Scottish Battlefields Trust is hosting that will also embrace Pinkie Cleugh 1547 next year in 2017 and Bonnie Prince Charlie's victory at Prestonpans in 2018. Visitor and re-enactor reactions were uniformly high, so it augured well this weekend for the Trust's ambitious countywide project; and they enjoyed encampment life. Only one overwhelming held request for 'improvement' next time here in 2019 and at all the other events: Can we please have a chance to meet and talk with the re-enactors in the encampment area to get their tales and to admire the detail of their uniforms and attire generally? We'll certainly see what can be achieved!
Votes of thanks are of course due ...
Responsibility within the Scottish Battlefields Trust rested with Arran Johnston and Sharon Beck who must and will surely be frequently thanked for their own heroic efforts and achievements as they attended to thousands of details such an event occasions including ticketing, website, marshalling the well appreciated town parade and tracing horses in Killiekrankie .... and of course to Dunbar Community Council, East Lothian Council, RAF Air Cadets who acted as stewards, myriad social media and our gladly supportive County newspaper East Lothian Courier.
Per ardua ad astra
Published Date: September 20th 2016