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Lancashire is an area rich in Jacobite history for two reasons. Firstly, a number of prominent Jacobite families lived in the region, which accounts for the Jacobite artefacts at Stonyhurst College, Browsholme Hall, and Towneley Hall.
Secondly two Jacobite armies have passed through Lancashire. The first in 1715 led by Thomas Forster MP which resulted in the Battle of Preston and the second in 1745 when Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Jacobite army marched down from Scotland through the north-western counties - Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire and Cheshire - on its way to Derby, and then retreated through the same counties. Both armies were joined by men from the North-West after they arrived in the region.
You can find out more about the Jacobites in Lancashire at the following places;
Browsholme Hall, near Clitheroe
Browsholme Hall has a very good collection of Jacobite memorabilia. This is due to the fact that one of the previous owners was a Jacobite sympathiser. The Jacobite artefacts include a pair of silver inlaid Scottish duelling pistols, said to have been given by Prince Charles Edward Stuart as a gift. Other Jacobite artefacts include a group of Jacobite glasses, three cups decorated with Jacobite symbols, a tartan favour and garter, a Jacobite ‘martyrs’ cushion and a print of Prince Charles Edward.
The museum has a small display of Jacobite history reflecting the role played by Preston in both the 1715 and 1745. This includes;
- The death mask of the Earl of Derwentwater, put to death after the Battle of Preston for his role in the 1715 Jacobite rising.
- A map of the battle showing barricades and houses on fire in the city centre.
- An original 1745 portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart
- A locket and miniature of the Prince given by him to a local lady during his stay in Preston in November 1745
- A Jacobite sword fragment
- Drinking glasses with Jacobite Symbols
King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, Lancaster (located within the City Museum)
This regimental museum has several items relating to the Jacobites. These items include:
• A pike from the Jacobite army which fought the Battle of Preston in 1715
• One of three medals (all Whig), from the 1745 rebellion which shows the Jacobite army as well as the Government one at Culloden
• A modern painted panel, a painting and a model of a redcoat and Jacobite Highlander, all commemorating the battle of Culloden (1746)
• Information board on ‘Jacobite Rebellions’
The Jacobite armies of 1715 and 1745 stayed in Lancaster for several days. Some buildings survive which were present in the 18th century, including the medieval church, parts of the castle and some townhouses. In Church Street there is a plaque saying that Prince Charles Edward Stuart stayed in a house nearby during the Jacobite army’s stay in November 1745.
The castle has several pikes from the Jacobite army which fought the Battle of Preston in 1715. There are also, among the 19th century buildings in the castle, surviving parts of the medieval and pre-19th century castle. These include the stables where some of the Jacobite prisoners were kept in 1746.
Samlesbury Hall was likely to have been caught up in the aftermath of the Battle of Preston in 1715 during the pursuit of local Jacobites in the area east of Preston.
This year The Samlesbury Skirmish at Samlesbury Hall (30-31 August) will feature a reenactment of the Jacobean Rebellion.
The college has a superb collection of Jacobite portraits, including:
• A portrait of James III as a baby, when Prince of Wales
• A portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart as a child (1726)
• A portrait of Prince Henry
• Other portraits of James III as an adult, Mary of Modena, Princess Louisa,
• and the Countess of Albany
• Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart as an adult
• Portraits of Lord Widdrington and his brother Peregrine Widdrington, both of whom took part of the 1715 battle on the Jacobite side. The monument to Peregrine at Great Mitton Church, near Clitheroe describes his involvement.
• Late 17th century Jacobite ivory case
• A piece of tartan associated with Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Towneley Hall belonged to the staunchly Jacobite Towneley family. Richard Towneley joined the Jacobite army when it reached Lancashire in November 1715, and he also brought a sizeable contingent of men with him.
Francis and John Towneley both fought in the Jacobite armies of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1745-46: Francis commanded the Manchester Regiment, including at the siege of Carlisle in December 1745, and John fought at Falkirk in January 1746. Reportedly some of the portraits of Roman figures included in the design have hidden Jacobite meanings.
The two busts flanking the entrance are reputedly Richard Towneley and his wife, sister of fellow Jacobite Lord Widdrington. Other items connected with Jacobitism include;
• A portrait of John Towneley, with him wearing the military honour granted to him by Louis XV for his role in the 1745 rebellion.
• A secret recess in the chapel where reputedly the family hid the decapitated head of Francis Towneley after he had been executed for his part in the 1745 rebellion
• Family tree, including those Towneleys who fought for the Jacobites
• A diary of masses kept by Thomas Anderton, the Towneley priest, between 1705 to 1727, including masses for King James III at the time of the Battle of Preston in 1715
Although Lancashire's many Catholic families supported the Jacobite Rising, Sir Henry Hoghton was a Presbyterian, MP for Preston and supporter of the Government side. He led the Lancashire Militia in the Preston fight against the Jacobites, and played a key role in the supression of Catholics after the battle. Hoghton Tower is still the home of the de Hoghtons and reveals their role in many key parts of local and mational history.
Hoghton Tower will be hosting re-enactments from both the government and Jacobite sides on 18-19 July 2015.