Colonel James Gardiner, a senior royal commander who stayed at Bankton House close by the scene of the battle of Prestonpans, was mortally wounded in a final heroic skirmish, his fatal wounds being inflicted beneath a solitary thorn tree. Gardiner was stripped to the waist after his possessions were looted by the Highlanders. A servant took the mortally wounded Colonel after the battle to The Manse at Tranent where he died in the arms of the Minister's daughter during the night. The Colonel became the unchallenged hero of the day and an obelisk to his memory was raised in the mid-19th century.
The fleeing troops shown in the background crowded towards Preston and Bankton parks and their panic was augmented when they became trapped against the tall enclosing walls of stone. Some of the dragoons made off west towards Edinburgh and a party actually galloped up the High Street and into the Castle. The rest of the fugitives made south by ‘Johnny Cope’s Road’ past Bankton House. The flight continued almost without intermission all the way over the Lammermuir Hills, and on by way of Lauder to Coldstream.
But, between 150 and 300 of Cope’s troops had been killed, most of them mutilated in the heat of the action by broadswords and Lochaber axes against the park walls. The abandoned field looked as if a hurricane had spread the contents of a slaughterhouse over the ground. The number of redcoat prisoners was proportionately high, at probably more than 1,300, which gives an indication of their total collapse.