Blood Stain'd Fields

Blood Stain'd Fields

The Battles of East Lothian

Arran Paul Johnston


Prestoungrange & Cuthill Press



East Lothian is the most accessible route from the south to the capital for any land invader of Scotland. Across the centuries armies fought their way over the county to the terrible detriment of the inhabitants. Roman, Northumbrian, English, Scots and even French armies fortified, fought and died here. The Act of Union in 1707 promised an end to war in East Lothian until Bonnie Prince Charlie and Johnnie Cope brought their armies to Prestonpans in 1745, and threats continued from overseas.

Describing and analysing the military encounters that have taken place in East Lothian, Arran Johnston shows how the main strands of Scottish history came together in the nation's Battle County. From the saltire's first appearance (Athelstaneford 832), through bitter Anglo-Scottish conflicts (Dun bar 1296 & 1650, Pinkie 1547) and the trials of civil war (Carberry 1567, Prestonpans 1745), East Lothian's experience of battle reflects the story of the nation. Alongside the great battles for which the county is famous, Johnston also discusses less well-known episodes, including sieges and skirmishes, which complete the picture. Throughout he draws on contemporary accounts to convey the atmosphere of battle and the evolution of the weaponry, and reports on his visits to the sites of these conflicts today.

Blood Stain'd Fields is timely into print as the Scottish nation gives increasing protection of its battlefields with a national inventory. Attention is also growing of the education and economic benefits of battlefields, not least at Prestonpans where the author is based and which is advancing its own campaign for the better interpretation of the Jacobite cause.

Arran Paul Johnston is a historian who graduated from Edinburgh University and now plays a leading role with the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust.


October 2013
20 colour, 20 black and white illustrations
205 pages
23.5x15 cm
ISBN: 9780957563605
Format: Paperback
Prestoungrange & Cuthill Press
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An excellent example of local history with wider implications. The battle accounts are clear and unbiased and Scottish defeats are given the same level of detail as Scottish victories. The set-piece battle narratives are supported by good accounts of the wider campaigns that led to the major clashes, as well as the many sieges and smaller skirmishes fought in the area. HISTORYOFWAR.ORG