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Macdonald of Glenalladale Attacks Cockenzie House for The Prince

Cope's Baggage Train was a significant target for capture

HRH Prince Charles Edward had been unable to lay seige to or capture either Stirling or Edinburgh Castles since he had no canons with which to attack. Tactically it meant he progressed swiftly in August and September and it left the castles' garrisons cut off, but it also meant the munitions and stores and pay chests were not captured. It was to be different with Cope and specific orders were given to Macdonald of Glenalladale, Major in the Regiment of Clanranald, that he was to go ahead with 60 Highlanders of the main body of the Prince's army through the Riggonhead Defile to capture Cope's baggage train which had been placed at Cockenzie House.

Clearly with the flow of battle away towards Preston Village a quick thinking redcoat commander could have fled east to Berwick as Cope himself did up Johnnie Cope Way. But Macdonald of Glenalladale closed any line of escape and without too much ado the baggage train was captured with extensive supplies and munitions and 5,000 in specie.

This was the first major source of funding The Prince gained that would eventually be supplemented by specie from the Royal Bank of Scotland's own Macdonald, gained by a subterfuge from within the vaults in Edinburgh Castle under the nose of its commander.

The re-enactment cameo at Cockenzie House takes place at 12 noon on Saturday September 22nd by kind permission of its management and residents today led there by, well, a Macdonald of course! Please come along and witness this historic moment, after which the prisoners taken will be marched to Prestonpans to be held at the Prestoungrange Gothenburg and interrogated there.

Trustees of the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust

Published Date: September 12th 2007

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