Garstang Jacobites and the execution of the Town Clerk

Garstang Jacobite event.
November 14 2015

The 300th anniversary of a largely forgotten episode in Garstang’s history was recalled in a ceremony at the town’s market cross on Saturday.
The event recalled the arrival in Garstang of more than 1,000 Scottish and English supporters of the exiled Stuart dynasty who wanted to see James Stuart proclaimed king instead of George I.
The Jacobites were en route to Preston where in mid-November 1715 the last battle on English soil took place, with the rebels being defeated by troops loyal to the government.
In the run-up to the battle, and during the Jacobites’ brief stay in Garstang, several local people joined the rebels, including Garstang’s then town clerk, Roger Muncaster, who was later executed.
To mark the anniversary Garstang’s town crier Hilary McGrath loudly proclaimed the victory of the government troops and the capture of the rebellion’s Garstang supporters.
Among the crowd of about 30 people attending were Garstang mayor and consort Couns Lynn and Gordon Harter, Wyre Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins her husband, Sir Robert Atkins, a former MP for Preston North and ex-North West MEP, and Garstang Historical Society committee member Wendy Pain.
The event was organised by historical society vice-chairman Anthony Coppin who thanked the town crier for her public proclamation.
Last week, linked to the anniversary Dr Bill Shannon of Preston gave an illustrated lecture to members and supporters of Garstang Historical Society. The meeting was held at Garstang United Reformed Church hall and attracted a record 120 attendants.
* Research is currently being carried out on the people from Garstang and district who joined the Jacobite cause in 1715, several of whom were hanged in the months following the Battle of Preston. The local rebels included Joseph Wadsworth and Thomas Goose of Catterall and Thomas Cartmell of Claughton. Wadsworth, Goose and Cartmell were executed in February 1716 and buried at St Helen’s Church’s Churchtown.
* Various events are being held in Preston to mark the centenary of the Battle of Preston. For more information visit http://www.prestonguildcity.co.uk/events/

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