Preston 17 – 19 Aug 1648 and

 In 1647-8 the alliance with
the English Parliamentarians and the future of the Solemn
League and Covenant were crumbling, with the English
unable, or unwilling, to fulfil their end of bargain, Not
least they were against the extension of Presbyterianism
as the true religion in England and very cautious about
action against the `Sectaries` which included the
Independents or Congregationalists to which Cromwell
belonged. In Scotland  `The
between the Duke of Hamilton and 
royalist nobles, with King Charles I on 26 December 1647,
created great division. The Committee of Estates met in
February 1648 and decided that war was inevitable but the
ministers were opposed to such action. However, a new
Parliament assembled with strong royalist support among
the nobles (but excluding Archibald Johnston, Lord
Warriston and the Marquis of Argyll) and a majority agreed
on war. On 11 April 1648 an ultimatum was given the
English demanding the freedom of King Charles; the army to
disband, the establishment of Presbyterianism and
discontinuance of the Book of Common Prayer.

 The ministers and the
Presbyteries, especially from Clydesdale, Carrick and
Cunningham joined with Fife Covenanters to oppose the war
and the inevitable levies for men to fight it (see
Mauchline Moor
With only about 10,000 men who were mostly
undisciplined and untrained and had insufficient arms and
support. Hamilton entered Carlisle on 8 July 1648 and was
joined by Langdale with some 3,600 better equipped
Englishmen. Hamilton did not help his cause by his
fixation to march through Lancashire and perhaps take the
Presbyterian stronghold of Manchester. All this allowed
the army of the Commonwealth to clear up peripheral
risings and time for Cromwell to travel north  with
8,000 of the Model Army. He came upon the Scots at Preston
on 17 August where the indecision and poor strategy by
Hamilton ( some described it as mental paralysis) 
resulted in heavy losses.

The royalist forces were
divided by the river Ribble with Langley on one side,
Baillie on the other and neither force was in contact with
Middleton and his horsemen. This allowed Cromwell to pick
off the divisions in turn. First he overwhelmed Langdale`s
force who had been denied reinforcements by Hamilton until
it was too late. Secondly, he chased Baillie and his
troops to Warrington where his regiment surrendered – only
397 officers and men of  the original regiment of
1500 were left standing.  Hamilton  along with
Middleton and Callander left Warrington on the 19th and
proceeded to Chester, from where they went to Market
Drayton, Stone and finally to Uttoxeter and defeat. There Hamilton`s 
men mutinied and held him prisoner for a while, but with 
the Scots broken, Cromwell`s forces harried them and
finally crushed them on 25 August. Hamilton
was finally captured  by the Governor of Stafford 
and handed over to the Parliamentarian Lt. General
Lambert. Some 10,000 prisoners fell into the
Parliamentarians hands.  Of the prisoners only the
pressed men were released subject to an undertaking not to
take arms against England; volunteers were transported to
the Colonies as slaves, and to Venice as conscripts for
the continental wars.

 The Engagement adventure
finished the royalist support and led to the “ Whiggamore
Raid “ on Edinburgh and the Covenanters taking power. On 4
October 1648 Cromwell entered Edinburgh and left again on
7 October having concluded his business with the Marquis
of Argyll, who was again leader of the Covenanters.