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Stepping Stones to Defeat: Coming Ashore at Dunbar

Legend has it that Cope climbed stone steps ashore at Dunbar ...

... electing not to walk the plank one assumes!

Bob Cunningham has been out and about Dunbar harbour seeking the origins of the legend. And he was there with a purpose - spousal instructions no less, since his wife Ena is charged with embroidering Panel # 54 that depicts Cope's Landing at Dunbar on September 17th 1745.

"I went and had a look today and there is only one set of steps. They look as though they could have been their 265 years ago!" So Bill reported back.

Precipitous they look. But perhaps with his barge moored alongside manageable for Cope. But what of the horses and cannons?


54. Sir John Cope lands at Dunbar – September 17th

Cope learnt of Edinburgh’s capture whilst still aboard ship off Dunbar. He was met as he landed by the dragoons whose flight was now complete. They were in total disarray. It took Cope two days to disembark which fortunately afforded time for the dragoons to rest. Cope was in two minds as to how soon he should march on Edinburgh, particularly aware that Dutch and British reinforcements were on their way. So he called a Council and Colonel Gardiner amongst others argued strongly that they should await such reinforcements. But Cope felt delay would give succour to the Highlanders whose numbers would grow further. He wished to reach Edinburgh as swiftly as possible and had a pre-agreed plan with General Guest and the redcoats in the castle as to how an attack could be successfully made.

Published Date: May 22nd 2010

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