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II. Redcoats Offer a Stout Defence at Cockenzie House

Cockenzie House once again a battle scene ... as the redcoats put up an unexpectedly vigorous defence!

Not quite a totally 'authentic' re-enactment this time, since history tells us that the Highlanders diverted after walking the Rggonhead Defile to capture Cope's Baggage Train at Cockenzie House achieved their goal after just a single shot being fired.

The last time this incident was re-enacted in 2007 it was indeed all over in a minute, but in 2009 Lace Wars had no such intention. They held out to the very last seeking to prevent the Prince laying his hands on £5,000 in specie and countless weapons.

But first the Highlanders had to make their way through the Riggonhead Defile as the sun came up at 5 am in the morning. Led by the Prince 50 re-enactors and walkers made their way from Tranent under the A1 towards the main railway line and thence to Seton Collegiate in silence, along the very line 2000 Highlanders walked on September 21st 1745 . Only when they had already gained a vital military advantage over Cope did the redcoat pickets spot their movement. One late comer caught up on a moutain bike!

click to enlarge all images




Battle ensued in the orchard at Cockenzie House

Stories abound of the Highlanders and redcoats helping themslves to abundant apples during the aftermath of the battle, not least in Gardiner's own garden as well as at Cockenzie. However, once the redcoats at Cockenzie realised the battle had been lost they were ready to concede defeat - many subsequently joining the Prince.

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Published Date: October 3rd 2009


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