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Preston,city and district (1991 pop. 166,675), county seat of Lancashire, N England, on the Ribble River. Preston has an active port and is a center of cotton and rayon manufacturing. Some mills have closed, but work has been created in the areas of engineering, as well as aircraft, motor vehicle, industrial machinery, and electrical appliance production. A guild-merchant festival has been held in Preston every 20 years for more than four centuries. One of the oldest administrative regions in England, Preston has sent representatives to Parliament since the 13th cent. It was the scene of a victory by Oliver CromwellCromwell, Oliver
, 1599–1658, lord protector of England. Parliamentary General
The son of a gentry family, he entered Cambridge in 1616 but probably left the next year.
..... Click the link for more information. in 1648 and of the surrender of the Jacobites after the rising of 1715. The Gothic town hall was completed in 1867 from designs by George Gilbert ScottScott, Sir George Gilbert,
1811–78, English architect. Prominent in the Gothic revival, he designed many public structures. He also directed a vast amount of Gothic restoration work, beginning with renovations of Ely Cathedral (1847) and including Westminster Abbey (where
..... Click the link for more information. . The Harris Museum and Art Gallery is a notable attraction. The city is the birthplace of Richard ArkwrightArkwright, Sir Richard,
1732–92, English inventor. His construction of a machine for spinning, the water frame, patented in 1769, was an early step in the Industrial Revolution.
..... Click the link for more information. and Francis ThompsonThompson, Francis,
1859–1907, English poet. His poetry, usually on religious subjects, is noted for its brilliant imagery and sonorous language. He was educated for the Roman Catholic priesthood at Ushaw College but in 1877 entered Owens College, Manchester, to study
..... Click the link for more information. .
a city in Great Britain, in the county of Lancashire, northwestern England. Port in the estuary of the Ribble River, near the point where it flows into the Irish Sea. Population, 97,400 (1971). Important railroad junction. Preston is one of the major centers of the Lancashire textile industrial region, producing cotton, wool, and synthetic fabrics. Industries include airplane and locomotive construction, electrical engineering, leather footwear, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Nearby, at Leyland, automobiles are manufacturered.
In the Preston area on Aug. 17, 1648, during the period of the second civil war in the English Bourgeois Revolution of the 17th century, a decisive battle took place between General O. Cromwell’s revolutionary army and the Anglo-Scottish royalists headed by the Duke of Hamilton and M. Langdale. Despite the numerical superiority of the enemy (more than 20,000 men against 9,000), Cromwell took advantage of the lack of coordination between the royalist detachments and used combined infantry-cavalry tactics to rout first Langdale’s English royalists and then Hamilton’s Scottish forces. During his pursuit of the royalist troops, which began on August 19, Cromwell completed the rout of their infantry. The outcome of the battle was the decisive factor in the revolutionary army’s total victory in the second civil war.