September 21 - 1745 - The Battle of Prestonpans
In the summer of 1745, Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart, better known as the Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland to reclaim the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart. James was known as the Old Pretender for laying claim to the thrones his father King James II was deposed from after James' birth. The issue was that the Prince would be raised as a Catholic heir to the throne of a Protestant nation. For nearly half a century, and through the death of James II, the Stuarts sought to reclaim their thrones, with their followers known as Jacobites. In 1745, as the main British Army was fighting in the War of the Austrian Succession, the Jacobites got their best chance at invading Britian. Bonnie Prince Charlie managed to gather Jacobites and Highland clans as he marched through Scotland. He reached his highpoint at the Battle of Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, when he smashed a force led by Sir John Cope. Prestonpans was maybe an illusion, as Cope's men were the reserves left behind. Indeed, the Jacobite Rising of 1745 would be easily defeated the next year at the Battle of Culloden. That left the Battle of Prestonpans as the closest Bonnie Prince Charlie ever got to the British throne.