Taunton, June 20. 1685

Today I was up early, for we need to gather more intelligence, to draw an understanding of the enemy dispositions. We knew of a force at Chard, after the skirmish of yesterday and that the Earl of Albemarle with three or four Regiments of Militia is at Wellington. Yet I knew nothing of our road north, for Col. Lutterell’s Militia had left Taunton only two days before we arrived and surely the Gloucestershire Militia would have mobilised sometime since. Therefore, I asked Capt. Kidd to scout towards Bridgwater and then as cross to Wells as was possible to ensure the road to Bristol was clear of enemy.

As the drums beat in the town, I knew that it was time for the next act in our invasion plan. With this, I walked to the Market cross and awaited the arrival of Major Wade and the Duke’s Red Regiment of Foot, the best looking and best armed of all our force. For although the other Regiments had lost their Taunton-man and now had swollen companies with too few officers or experienced men, the Red’s had remained true strength and had proven themselves in combat.

As the Reds marched into the marketplace, I saluted my Major and joined the Ranks just behind him joining Capt. Goodenough. A little time after the clock struck noon, his Grace appears at the head of a troop of horse, with him are Lord Grey, Dr Ferguson, Major Manley and Col. Venner plus a few others. The troop of horse are finely dressed and have at their front, his Grace’s own Green Colour, whilst Lord Grey does carry the Golden flag from yesterday. Behind his Grace’s party come the town magistrates in their fine gowns, lined with gold. Finally to their rear is a mixed company of Scythe and Musketeers lead by the newly promoted Capt. Dick Slape of the Red Regiment. Slape’s company forms to the Right of the Regiment, whilst the Horse and his Grace face us.  By now a large crowd has gathered all around and Mr Tyler is asked to step forward, which he does rather nervously, and after clearing his throat once or twice, he speaks ‘Noblemen, Gentlemen and Commoners of Taunton, I shall now make the following proclamation’, on this Major Wade calls out ‘advance your arms’ then ‘present your arms’ upon which the men and crowd fall silent.

Mr Tyler now continues to read the proclamation, ‘Whereas, upon the decease of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second, late King of England &c., the right of succession to the Crown of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, with the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, did legally descend and devolve upon the most illustrious and high-born Prince James Duke of Monmouth, son and heir apparent to the said King Charles the Second; but James Duke of York (taking advantage of the absence of the said James Duke of Monmouth beyond the seas) did first cause the said late King to be poisoned, and immediately thereupon dud usurp and invade the Crown, and doth  continue so to do: We therefore, the noblemen, gentlemen and Commons at present assembled, in the names of ourselves and of all the loyal and Protestant noblemen, gentlemen and Commons of England, in pursuance of our duty and allegiance and for the delivering of the Kingdom from popery, tyranny and oppression, do recognise, publish and proclaim the said high and mighty Prince James Duke of Monmouth, our lawful and rightful sovereign and King, by the name of James the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith &c. God Save the King!’

With this the men and the crowd break out into a chat of ‘one King, King Monmouth, one King, King Monmouth, King Monmouth and the Protestant Cause!’. With this, his Grace, James, Duke of Monmouth is proclaimed ‘King James II, of England, Scotland and Ireland’. It is now that Dr Ferguson gives a long and laboured speech, that I care not to remember but at the end, his Majesty, asks Major Wade and Ensign Dare to step forward. Then his Majesty takes the Golden Colour from Lord Grey and hands it to Ensign Dare with these words, ‘men of my Foot Guards, Ensign Dare now troops before your my Colour, this is my body and my blood. Protect it therefore, as you would my own flesh’. With this I call out ‘one King, King Monmouth, for God and the Cause!’, and the men reply likewise. Next his Majesty orders Ensign Dare to standby Capt. Slape saying, ‘this is your new company of Grenadier Guards for my Colour’, upon which once more the crowds call out ‘one King &c.’ Finally, he turns to Major Wade, and proclaims ‘Major, for the valour and loyalty you have shown to our cause, my first Act as King is to promote you to Lieutenant Colonel of my Regiment of Foot Guards’. Once more the crowds and men start cheering and throwing their hats into the air with jubilation and with this his Majesty, the nobles and his Troops of Horse withdraw from the marketplace and Col. Wade dismisses the Foot Guards.

On returning to my quarters, a report arrives of a skirmish between our Horse and the enemy at Ashill some 6 miles from this place. We had the best of the encounter, but this shows that we have dallied too long here and need to press on with our campaign. With some hast I visit, his Majesty at Capt. Hucker’s house to give this news, drawing Col. Venner and Lord Grey together, it was agreed that the Army should march in the morning.

So, my Prince, is now King! Although, this was his rightful place from birth, in my mind, I questioned if this was too little or too late to change what has happened. For whatever the Catholic Duke, or others say, I knew of the contracting of the marriage between his mother Lucy Walter and his father, I had witnessed their espousal at Liege. He is the legitimate heir and I have written my accounts (see Of Birth & Marriage and Of the Black Box), but I was sure if he were a catholic, he would now be King in Westminster. I knew the republicans like Col. Wade had objected to his being made King, yet it was agreed amongst us all last night that if we are to gather more nobles to our banner, we must have legitimacy. This act was the obvious conclusion of our Rebellion or why else did we leave Texel?

Texel, May 30. 1685
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Today we sailed in the Heldevenberg for England together with the Duke of Monmouth and 81 other gentlemen of honour

Today we sailed in the Heldevenberg for England together with the Duke of Monmouth and 81 other gentlemen of honour

Today we sailed in the Heldevenberg for England together with the Duke of Monmouth and 81 other gentlemen of honour

The Channel, June 9. 1685
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This evening the Duke of Monmouth issues his commissions and gives instruction on the forming of his Army

This evening the Duke of Monmouth issues his commissions and gives instruction on the forming of his Army

This evening the Duke of Monmouth issues his commissions and gives instruction on the forming of his Army

Seatown, June 10. 1685
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This evening a small party is landed at Seatown to send word of Monmouth's landing at Lyme tomorrow.

This evening a small party is landed at Seatown to send word of Monmouth's landing at Lyme tomorrow.

This evening a small party is landed at Seatown to send word of Monmouth's landing at Lyme tomorrow.

Lyme, June 11. 1685
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Monmouth and his supporters land at Lyme to cheering crowds.

Monmouth and his supporters land at Lyme to cheering crowds.

Monmouth and his supporters land at Lyme to cheering crowds.

Lyme, June 12. 1685
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Monmouth's Army now numbers over 1500 men, yet news arrives that Royal Militia is close at hand.

Monmouth's Army now numbers over 1500 men, yet news arrives that Royal Militia is close at hand.

Monmouth's Army now numbers over 1500 men, yet news arrives that Royal Militia is close at hand.

Lyme, June 13. 1685
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Today we drew first blood after a skirmish with the Militia Horse, leaving two of them dead on the field.

Today we drew first blood after a skirmish with the Militia Horse, leaving two of them dead on the field.

Today we drew first blood after a skirmish with the Militia Horse, leaving two of them dead on the field.

Bridport, June 14. 1685
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Today we fought our first battle with the Militia at Bridport. Our Foot accounted themselves very well.

Today we fought our first battle with the Militia at Bridport. Our Foot accounted themselves very well.

Today we fought our first battle with the Militia at Bridport. Our Foot accounted themselves very well.

Axminster, June 15. 1685
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This day we marched to Axminster and put the Militia to flight.

This day we marched to Axminster and put the Militia to flight.

This day we marched to Axminster and put the Militia to flight.

Chard, June 16. 1685
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Today Monmouth's Army reaches Chard, whilst it continues to grow, now over 3000 men have joined his Grace.

Today Monmouth's Army reaches Chard, whilst it continues to grow, now over 3000 men have joined his Grace.

Today Monmouth's Army reaches Chard, whilst it continues to grow, now over 3000 men have joined his Grace.

Ilminster, June 17. 1685
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The Duke of Monmouth and his Army reaches Ilminster

The Duke of Monmouth and his Army reaches Ilminster

The Duke of Monmouth and his Army reaches Ilminster

Taunton, June 18. 1685
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Monmouth and his Army reach Taunton this evening.

Monmouth and his Army reach Taunton this evening.

Monmouth and his Army reach Taunton this evening.

Taunton, June 19. 1685
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Today we entered Taunton and a new Foot Regiment, the Blue, is raised from Taunton-men.

Today we entered Taunton and a new Foot Regiment, the Blue, is raised from Taunton-men.

Today we entered Taunton and a new Foot Regiment, the Blue, is raised from Taunton-men.

Taunton, June 20. 1685
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The Duke of Monmouth is proclaimed King at the market cross.

The Duke of Monmouth is proclaimed King at the market cross.

The Duke of Monmouth is proclaimed King at the market cross.

Bridgwater, June 21. 1685
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We can now field an Army of 5 Horse Squadrons, 5 Foot Battalions & 4 field cannon.

We can now field an Army of 5 Horse Squadrons, 5 Foot Battalions & 4 field cannon.

We can now field an Army of 5 Horse Squadrons, 5 Foot Battalions & 4 field cannon.

Glastonbury, June 22. 1685
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There is a skirmish between our Horse and those of the enemy at Langport whilst the clubmen look to join with us.

There is a skirmish between our Horse and those of the enemy at Langport whilst the clubmen look to join with us.

There is a skirmish between our Horse and those of the enemy at Langport whilst the clubmen look to join with us.

Shepton Mallet, June 23. 1685
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This day we have progressed to Shepton Mallet but the heavy rain is slowing our advance.

This day we have progressed to Shepton Mallet but the heavy rain is slowing our advance.

This day we have progressed to Shepton Mallet but the heavy rain is slowing our advance.

Pensford, June 24. 1685
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This day we reach Pensford but have word the enemy has damaged the Keynsham Bridge

This day we reach Pensford but have word the enemy has damaged the Keynsham Bridge

This day we reach Pensford but have word the enemy has damaged the Keynsham Bridge

Keynsham, June 25. 1685
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This day we crossed the Avon by the repaired Bridge at Keynsham and fought of the enemy Horse

This day we crossed the Avon by the repaired Bridge at Keynsham and fought of the enemy Horse

This day we crossed the Avon by the repaired Bridge at Keynsham and fought of the enemy Horse

Philips Norton, June 26. 1685
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Monmouth and his Army reach Philips Norton after a long march in heavy rain.

Monmouth and his Army reach Philips Norton after a long march in heavy rain.

Monmouth and his Army reach Philips Norton after a long march in heavy rain.

Philips Norton, June 27. 1685
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Today there is a Battle between Monmouth's Army and the enemy at Philips Norton.

Today there is a Battle between Monmouth's Army and the enemy at Philips Norton.

Today there is a Battle between Monmouth's Army and the enemy at Philips Norton.

Frome, June 28. 1685
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This day Monmouth and his arrive exhausted at Frome after a night march in the rain

This day Monmouth and his arrive exhausted at Frome after a night march in the rain

This day Monmouth and his arrive exhausted at Frome after a night march in the rain

Frome, June 29. 1685
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The council of War debate the General Pardon issued by the enemy and elect to fight on.

The council of War debate the General Pardon issued by the enemy and elect to fight on.

The council of War debate the General Pardon issued by the enemy and elect to fight on.

Shepton Mallet, June 30. 1685
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Monmouth and his Army finding the path to London closed retires West to Shepton Mallet.

Monmouth and his Army finding the path to London closed retires West to Shepton Mallet.

Monmouth and his Army finding the path to London closed retires West to Shepton Mallet.

Wells, July 1. 1685
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This day we captured enemy baggage as Wells and rest here for the night.

This day we captured enemy baggage as Wells and rest here for the night.

This day we captured enemy baggage as Wells and rest here for the night.

Sedgemoor, July 2. 1685
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This day as we marched to Pedwell to meet the grand Clubmen Army of Somerset, yet upon our arrival, they only number some 200 men.

This day as we marched to Pedwell to meet the grand Clubmen Army of Somerset, yet upon our arrival, they only number some 200 men.

This day as we marched to Pedwell to meet the grand Clubmen Army of Somerset, yet upon our arrival, they only number some 200 men.

Bridgwater, July 3. 1683
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Monmouth and his Army return to Bridgwater and start to fortify the town

Monmouth and his Army return to Bridgwater and start to fortify the town

Monmouth and his Army return to Bridgwater and start to fortify the town

Bridgwater, July 4. 1685
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The Army remains at Bridgwater and this evening the local men are allowed to return to their homes as the enemy doesn't press us.

The Army remains at Bridgwater and this evening the local men are allowed to return to their homes as the enemy doesn't press us.

The Army remains at Bridgwater and this evening the local men are allowed to return to their homes as the enemy doesn't press us.

Bridgwater, July 5. 1685
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This afternoon we prepare to march overnight to Axbridge meanwhile the enemy has advanced to Westonzoyland

This afternoon we prepare to march overnight to Axbridge meanwhile the enemy has advanced to Westonzoyland

This afternoon we prepare to march overnight to Axbridge meanwhile the enemy has advanced to Westonzoyland

Castlefield, July 5. 1685
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By late afternoon it is clear our enemy camps at Weston but leaves their right flank in the air.

By late afternoon it is clear our enemy camps at Weston but leaves their right flank in the air.

By late afternoon it is clear our enemy camps at Weston but leaves their right flank in the air.

Longmoor, July 6. 1685
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This night we march to Longmoor to surprise the enemy but a troopers pistol goes off at half-cock.

This night we march to Longmoor to surprise the enemy but a troopers pistol goes off at half-cock.

This night we march to Longmoor to surprise the enemy but a troopers pistol goes off at half-cock.

Sedgemoor, July 6. 1685
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The Armies of the two King's fought a great Battle at Sedgemoor, the victor wrote the History. This is an account from one side.

The Armies of the two King's fought a great Battle at Sedgemoor, the victor wrote the History. This is an account from one side.

The Armies of the two King's fought a great Battle at Sedgemoor, the victor wrote the History. This is an account from one side.

Ilfracombe, July 7. 1685
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With the Rebellion lost, it is every man for himself, Wade, Goodenough, Ferguson and a party make their Escape from Ilfracombe.

With the Rebellion lost, it is every man for himself, Wade, Goodenough, Ferguson and a party make their Escape from Ilfracombe.

With the Rebellion lost, it is every man for himself, Wade, Goodenough, Ferguson and a party make their Escape from Ilfracombe.

Tower Hill, July 15. 1685
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This is an account of the bloody and botched execution of James, Duke of Monmouth on Tower Hill.

This is an account of the bloody and botched execution of James, Duke of Monmouth on Tower Hill.

This is an account of the bloody and botched execution of James, Duke of Monmouth on Tower Hill.

Dorchester, July 18. 1685
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With the Rebellion over the Tyrant paid bloody retribution on those that fought for your Liberty

With the Rebellion over the Tyrant paid bloody retribution on those that fought for your Liberty

With the Rebellion over the Tyrant paid bloody retribution on those that fought for your Liberty

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