Philips Norton, June 27. 1685

During the night there are several alarms, but none turn out to be more than a fox or dear coming close to a half-awake guard. The lack of sleep, poor provisions and heavy rain is damaging the men’s morale, especially in the Foot Regiments, where some have slipped away this night. But now with sunrise, the men are being drummed to their colours to form ranks and files before they start walking once more. In the van of the Army is the White, then Blue’s, with Speke’s Horse; in the centre comes Lord Grey’s Horse, then the Lyme Company with the baggage, Dore’s Horse and the Yellow’s; the rear will be made from the Green’s, Hucker’s Horse, the Life Guard, the Cannon and the Foot Guards. We will be the last to march as we act as the rear most guard.

Only by 9, has the baggage joined the column but we still estimate that we have a day’s lead on the Earl of Feversham. However, around this time Capt. Kidd returns to me with the news that a strong detachment of Horse and Foot is moving towards this place from Bath, at its head is the Duke of Grafton, his Majesties half-brother. With this I order Capt. Vincent and Capt. Tily to ready their men at the barricades and inform Col. Wade, who orders a stand of pike to support both companies. We plan to give the enemy a hot surprise this morning.

On taking up a position with Capt. Vincent’s men, I can see Red-coated Grenadiers marching towards us but they must think us already gone as they have no scouts or out-guards. Quietly, Capt. Vincent orders his men to ‘cock your arms, present your arms,’ and then we wait until the Grenadier are within 20 paces, before he shouts ‘take your aim and FIRE!, now make ready’. The volley stops the Grenadiers front ranks in their tracks. We only have moments before the enemy starts to close with us, so it is with relief that I hear Capt. Vincent’s, shout once more ‘aim low, now FIRE!’ and his men send more ball ripping into the enemy files, but this time we hear the opposition commander shout his order to ‘FIRE!’. On which, a couple of our men scream and fall back. Now Capt. Vincent brings up his stand of pike, close behind the musketeers. To my right, I can see that Col. Wade has brought the rest of the Regiment to our flank and they have started extending the line across the hedge which flanks the Grenadiers line of advance along the lane. Whilst to my rear, two of our field cannon have been deployed to cover the road into the market square. Behind them, his Majesty is flanked by Life Guards and he is giving orders to Col. Holmes. As his Regiment starts moving to the left flank with Hucker’s Horse. I now return to his Majesty and give my report and I was pleased to see that he was eager for this fight. He gave me the order “to hold the barricade until the Matthew’s was upon the left of the cannon, then withdraw to the right and plug the line between the Foot Guard and the cannon”.

On returning to Vincent, I arrive just as Grenadiers make their first attack on the barricade. They pitch their grenades into our place but they explode harmlessly, all smoke and noise, but before they charge our line with drawn hatchets, Vincent’s shouts ‘aim low, FIRE!’ and once his men put Grenadiers down. So that those that reach our position are easily pushed back with charged pike. So that they retire back to their main body who now crowd the lane. Yet, this was not their main attempt, for as they retire, their supporting files close up to fire a strong volley, which downs more of our men, then the next volley hits home and Vincent’s men start to break, as the Grenadiers start a rolling wall of shot, rank by rank they fire and advance up the lane. They will break our position on their next charge, so looking behind me, its with relief, I see the Yellow colours in place. With this I order, Capt. Vincent to fire his last volley then withdraw quickly to his left of the cannon. With this he orders his Pike back and calls to his men ‘present your musket’ once more, for now only the Grenadiers are firing. Looking across our line, only two dozen muskets are ready to fire, but seeing the enemy is ready for the assault he shout ‘aim low, gentlemen, FIRE!, now retire at the double pace”. With this the company, leave the barricade to our foes but the Volley has hit home hard enough for their attack to stall, giving Vincent time to withdraw his men back to the Cannon.

Now our cannon and muskets fired an ear-splitting volley at advancing red ranks, who had now been joined by their Horse Grenadiers. Then from their flank, Col. Wade’s men open fire filling the lane with smoke and shot, but our next volley was at such a close range, that every ball made its home in a belly, limb or face. It was now our Life Guards and Pikes charged into disorganised enemy, who, assaulted on two sides, fought viciously for their survival. At such close quarters the Scythemen did such cruel damage to the enemy horses. It was now our numbers start to tell in the fight and at point of pike, we push the big redcoat giants back up this bloody lane. To make the heat worst for these foes, Holme’s Green Regiment now starts to fire and stab at them from the other flank. Under such pressure from three sides, they give in to the base instinct of life and break back to whence they had come, leaving their dead and wounded behind them.

As we push them from the lane and into clear fields beyond, his Majesty orders that we hold our line, as the greater part of the enemy is now deployed some 3 to 400 paces from us on the hill and in the flanking hedges. To my left I can see that the Greens had the better of the enemy musket companies they faced with the support of Hucker’s Horse. Whilst to my right, Col Wade and his Foot Guards, now with the 2 field guns, have deployed under the cover of the hedge line. Whilst in the centre, Matthews and his two cannon have made a strong line of musket and pike. To my rear, the Golden King’s Colour, now with the Lyme Company, is flying high. So I know that the White, Blue and our Horse are now supporting the line, together we create an unbeaten force. As the redcoat Foot and Horse run up the hill, our men start cheering and then this becomes a taunt ‘one King, King Monmouth, one King, King Monmouth, for liberty and property!’, ‘No Popery, for God and the Cause, the Church and Laws’, ‘One King, King Monmouth!’. But as the rain becomes heavier, the cannon from both sides start throwing solid lumps of iron into the opposing Armies, but to do little damage to either. We now stand, in the rain, until the sun is close to setting, when the enemy turn and withdraw from the field, leaving us the honour of a water-logged, blood-soaked battlefield.

Yet, we have won. We have defeated the best soldiers the enemy has but our real enemy this day was time, for it midnight when our Army is back on the road towards Warminster. We have lost around 20 men, with Col. Holmes, being so badly wounded that he has lost his arm. So once more I’m walking through the night, knee deep in mud and soaked to the skin,  we won the battle today but have lost our day’s advantage.

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.

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