Preston was repeatedly seen as strategically important throughout history and was involved in many battles between England and Scotland during the medieval period. And again during the 17th and 18th century due to the political and religious divisions which existed in Preston and the rest of the country during that period.
The area played a significant role in the English Civil War and the Jacobite Rebellions. It was the Battle of Preston at Walton Bridge on 17th August, 1648, where Oliver Cromwell’s decisive victory over the Duke of Hamilton and Royalist forces led to the execution of Charles I and the establishment of the Commonwealth.
Preston later became embroiled in the Jacobite cause, the attempt to reinstate the line of Charles II and bring James (The Old Pretender) and Charles (The Young Pretender) to the English throne. To that end, a battle took place in 1745 on Preston’s Flag Market, the last to be fought on English soil.
During the following century in the 1830s and 1840s social and political unrest involving cotton workers culminated in infamous shootings on Lune Street in 1842 which in turn led to the Government creating a larger and effective army. This event is now commemorated in a statue which was unveiled on the 150th anniversary.
Preston also became the home of the 48th and 37th Regiments, based at Fulwood Barracks, also now home to the Lancashire Infantry Museum, a regimental archive and library.
Image: Plaque situated on the statue on Lune Street