In the early hours of the morning 20th September 2015 I arrived in a dark car park in Tranent. I was not alone, I had been persuaded to take part in reenactment of Riggonhead March by my friend Jan. We joined Bonnie Prince Charlie – Arran Johnston – with other reenactors to walk from Tranent to Seton.
I have the medal to prove it!
Before we set of we had the chance to have something to eat – scotch egg and soup.
It was an uneventful march – part of us getting lost at one point – but lovely to see the sun come up on a warm September morning.
This is a reenactment of a march that took place in the early hours before the Battle of Prestonpans.
On 20 September Cope’s forces encountered Charles’s advance guard. Cope decided to stand his ground and engage the Jacobite army. He drew up his army facing south with a marshy ditch to their front, and the park walls around Preston House protecting their right flank. A Highlander supporter, Robert Anderson was a local farmer’s son who knew the area well and convinced Charles’s Lieutenant General, Lord George Murray of an excellent narrow route through the marshlands. Commencing at 4 a.m. he moved the entire Jacobite force walking three abreast along that route, known as the Riggonhead Defile, in total silence arriving to the east of Cope’s army at Seton West Mains. Although Cope kept fires burning and posted pickets during the night as the Highlanders were making their move they were not spotted by the pickets until around 5 a.m. Source – Battle of Prestonpans trust
This is shown in the episode Prestonpans.