In October 1715, a small force of Scottish Highlanders and English Jacobites assembled in Northumberland as part of the general uprising in support of the claim to the throne of James Edward Stuart, the ‘Old Pretender’. The rebels crossed into Lancashire, hoping for support from both the Roman Catholics and High Anglican Tories. In the event the support failed to materialize, and the incompetent leadership of Thomas Foster led to an ignominious surrender at Preston on 14 November.

Abel Boyer, a French Huguenot who had arrived in England in 1689, was a theatrical producer and compiler of one of the best English-French dictionaries of his day. He also published The Political State, a monthly journal giving, for the first time, regular details of the debates in the Houses of Parliament.

He was a zealous whig and supporter of the Hanoverian succession. His plan of Preston reveals his satisfaction at the defeat of the rebels, and the cartouche is decorated at its base with bound and bedraggled Scots and Jacobites.