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 Post subject: Casualties - Battle of Preston 1648
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Garstang
According to Cromwell (whose army had only 100 casualties):-
"Cromwell estimated the Royalist losses at 2,000 killed and 9,000 captured"

Anyone any idea what might have happened to the prisoners or where the dead were interred?


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 Post subject: Re: Casualties - Battle of Preston 1648
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:32 am
Posts: 323
Location: Preston
I understood that the final rout of the Royalists took place just outside Warrington. Cromwells' army pursued them south down what is now the A49 and several thousand took refuge in St Oswald's Church at Winwick where the survivors eventually surrendered. Opposite the church at Winwick was later the site of a mental hospital built in the 19 C and there were stories of human and horse bones, canon & musket balls and other weapons being discovered when the hospital was being built. It's now a modern housing development. The M6 Warrington North slip road emerges onto the A49 at this location.

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 Post subject: Re: Casualties - Battle of Preston 1648
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:32 am
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Location: Preston
St Oswald's web site only mentions that Cromwell's forces used the church causing much damage but also refers to the Battle of Red Bank which when googled leads to the Battle of Winwick Pass. From this account it appears that there was a series of engagements along the route and presumably casualties at each. At Winwick 1000 were killed and 2000 taken prisoner; another force of about 2,700 surrendered at Warrington and the last remnants (3000) at Uttoxeter. Many died of disease, ill treatment and some were shipped off to the West Indies as slaves. Full article:

http://newton-le-willows.com/index.php? ... &Itemid=27

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 Post subject: Re: Casualties - Battle of Preston 1648
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:26 pm
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Location: Garstang
Thanks, Dave. I believe the casualty figures, however, refer to the Preston action alone and are from :-
Bull, Stephen; Seed, Mike (1998). Bloody Preston: The Battle of Preston, 1648. Lancaster: Carnegie Publishing Ltd

I`ve never read of (or seen) any signs of burials of such numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Casualties - Battle of Preston 1648
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:06 am 
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I wrote a piece on transportation for a course I did in 2009. This is the section related to Cromwell and transportation...more interesting are the reference documents and websites I used as my source material. There's obviously a long article to be written on the Royalist prisoners of the Preston battle.

"I read “The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913” with a view to understanding which offences were punished with Transportation and whilst that website did give me some background I did feel it left many unanswered questions. One of those sort of unanswered questions highlighted was that Transportation was seen as an alternative to Benefit of Clergy and Whipping; I was unclear as to what Benefit of Clergy was and of its significance in law. The website also mentioned that the 1st Act authorising Transportation was passed in 1718 (The Transportation Act), but I was aware that convicts had been transported before then, in fact, that many convicts had been transported during The Civil War period [fn 2]. So, another question was how could people be Transported when there seemed to be no legal basis for it?

In order to get some deeper background on Transportation I read J M Beattie’s “Crime and the Courts in England, 1660-1800”. Beattie’s work had a 70 page chapter on Transportation (pages 450 – 519) which clarified the subject considerably.

My original thoughts on the use of Transportation as a punishment were correct. Cromwell had indeed introduced Transportation for convicts who had been sentenced to death. But, Beattie also mentions that Transportation had in fact been introduced and used by James I since 1602 and was related to a “stillborn attempt to introduce the galley sentence in England”. The Transportation of convicts prior to 1718 was done, not by statute, but by the device of a royal pardon (or in Cromwell’s case by order of The Protector); this fact surprised me.

Convicts were pardoned usually from a death sentence on condition they agreed to be transported, initially to the East and West Indies and also to the “young” colony of Virginia in The Americas. Before The Civil War the numbers of persons Transported totalled but a few hundred persons. However, during the Civil War and Protectorate Cromwell had much larger numbers Transported. Many of Cromwell’s Transportees (in addition to “common” criminals) were prisoners of war from his campaigns in Scotland and Ireland and numbered many thousands.

This use of Transportation by virtue of Royal (or Protector’s) Pardon was continued after The Restoration in 1660 and (according to Beattie) was used because of evidence of growing dissatisfaction with the lack of effective secondary punishments short of the death sentence."

Crime and the Courts in England 1660-1800 by J. M. Beattie
American Historical Review, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Jan. 1934) pages 232-249
American Historical Review, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Oct.1896) pages 12-33

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org.uk/


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 Post subject: Re: Casualties - Battle of Preston 1648
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Garstang
That presumably would apply to many of the 9,000 prisoners taken at Preston. I believe a number were also executed at and near Preston. Or am I getting confused with 1715?

It looks like "Benefit of Clergy" might have been a loophole that was not granted to the prisoners:-

By strict definition, 'Benefit of Clergy' was the right of exemption from trial in a secular court by those in Holy Orders: which later included all who could read. (This was abolished by 1841).


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