Frome, June 29. 1685

This day we remain in Frome, as the men are still in a very poor state. I have reports from our scouts and agents that the enemy are likewise suffering from the horrid conditions but that they now have their Artillery Train of 30 cannon with them. There is word around the camp that the Duke of York has offered a general pardon to all men that now leave his Majesties service and return home. The weaker of heart have taken this as a chance to leave the Army. Yet, the mood is that this shows the Duke of York is undermining our resolve out of weakness and fear of our righteous cause. During the day our men drill and train, whilst boasting of great deeds at Philips Norton. So, even though the rain still comes down, the though rest and exercise the morale of the common men goes up.

His Majesty calls a council his evening for we need to agree our next course and consider a response to the General Pardon. Present at the council are Lord Grey, Mr Speke and Mr Dore, Colonels; Wade, Ffoulkes, Bovett, Matthews and Venner. Along with Major Parson’s from the Greens (for Col. Holmes was still exceedingly weak), Dr Ferguson, Capt. Richard Goodenough as Army Treasurer and myself. His Majesty starts by saying ‘that firstly he fears the cause is lost unless we can reach London (where he had sent Major Manley after the fight at Keynsham). Secondly, with the defeat of Argyll those Scotch Regiments in service in the United Provinces must surely arrive soon and these support York to a man. Thirdly, that there was a lack of uprisings in Cheshire, London or other places where this was promised, do leave us alone to face the whole enemy’s battalions. Fourthly, that no men of quality have joined us from these standing forces, even though they are so close by at Bradford on the Avon. Fifthly, as Capt. Goodenough can testify, we are now lacking in fund to buy provision or pay for billets and that if we take from the people we will lose their support and become brigands. Lastly, that with the General Pardon being offered, many would leave the Army soon, especially when the see the size of the enemy that we now face. What other options do we have, we can either make one last try for London. Or let those men that can, take the General Pardon, whilst those exclude can make for freedom? For if, we let the men take the Pardon they shall all live but if we elect to fight, so many will die if our cause be lost. My heart is for fighting but my head is not at the cost of so many lives if we fail in our cause.’

I could see that Col Venner and several others where for this latter course. However, now Lord Grey spoke. ‘Your Majesty, gentlemen of Council, I agree we are now at a point of reflection, however, the men are fully behind our cause, and only those weak of spirit will desert you now, the rest are loyal to your Majesty and keen for the coming fight. Secondly, most of men are form these parts, as are their families and all have relations that would offer us quarter and provisions without payment, taking your favour as gold enough. Thirdly, although it is true Argyll’s failure with bring more enemy to towards us, our resolved and your Majesties leadership will win us the day, then they will fly to our colours. For most men hold their powder dry until they need to take aim. Finally, that if we can’t reach London, there are strongholds to our West that would offer us protection to rest before we turn and defeat our enemy, as we did on Saturday last.’

Now his Majesty turned to Col. Venner and offered him the floor, addressing just the King, ‘your Majesty, you well know my feelings on this matter. I believe, and have done for some time, that the best course of action is to leave the majority of the men to the mercy of the enemies general pardon, whilst those excluded should escape to Holland, or Brandenburg to fight another day.’

Next his Majesty turned to the old Ironside, Col. Ffoulkes to speak his mind. ‘Your Majesty, and Officers of his Council, I believe that we have a duty to our men and fellow countrymen to finish the task we came here to do. We came hither to restore the Liberty, Property and Protestant Religion of this Kingdom. To overturn the tyranny and unjust rule of the Popish Duke of York, who murdered the late King Charles II. To betray this cause now, after our victory because not enough men of note have joined us, when the whole of the common people are for us. It is time now to press home our advantage and not flinch from entering the breach we have now made. Fight your Majesty, Fight.’

Upon this conclusion; Wade, Matthews, Ferguson and Bovett all call out ‘Fight!’ but Venner and Pearson looked away.

The debate now ebbed and flowed between each side but the majority favoured continuing the fight. To draw the Council to a conclusion, his Majesty called us to order. ‘Gentlemen, we must conclude this, for if we are to march tomorrow we must prepare the Army. Now, we have two paths in front of us, one takes us to London, the other takes some of us to Flanders and the men into the arms of the enemy. Therefore, please state London or Flanders as your preference.’

He now went around the Council; Lord Grey, Ffoulkes, Wade, Ferguson, Bovett and Matthews are for London whilst Speke, Venner, Pearson, and Dore are for Flanders. Richard and I had no vote but are with the majority. With this his Majesty said ‘Gentlemen, the Council has selected the path we shall take, so go and ready your men for our march towards London tomorrow and tell the men that we shall uphold the struggle for Liberty and the Protestant Religion, but any men who are not for fighting for this cause should fall to their knees, beg for mercy and take the General Pardon offered by the enemy.’

With this the council was ended and the Army made ready for a march on London via Warminster.

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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