Dorchester, July 18. 1685

On reaching Ilfracombe we run into a company of Militia, but after an exchange of shot and they quickly withdraw, giving us time to flee into the hills. Alas, this is covered in Militia parties and we are forced to hide during the day, so now we must travel at night. Our plan is to make our way to a place called Brendan, for it is here that John Gilton, one of the men from Minehead, has a ‘brother’ who can provide a safe place for us to hide. Then more misfortune strikes, for during the early hours of the second night, we are discovered by out-guards of Militia Horse. In the short firefight that follows we chased them off, but Col. Wade is hit in the back by a pistol shot. By the time we reach the brothers house, Col. Wade is unconscious so we lay him in the bed, for he is close the death. It is here we now agree that our only chance, is to spilt into smaller parties to make good our escapes. Young William Hewling does elect to stay with Col. Wade until the end. So, it is now with a heavy hearts that we say our farewells and each party leaves to find their own fate.

Richard Goodenough and I agree to head back toward the coast, rather than towards Crediton, for there are plenty of fisherman huts and cabins within which we can to hide. We find cover under an old boat and over the next day we spy many enemy patrols but none saw us. However, as we slept, a fisherman’s lad came upon us and raised the alarm. So, before we knew much of it, a strong Militia party had come for us and being so outnumbered, we put ourselves into their mercy. We are now taken as prisoners to Exeter for they can see we are officers. One man recognises Richard as a leading Rebel, so he is now set to go to Newgate, whilst I shall be taken to Dorchester the next morning. It is on this night that I learn the sad news of his Majesties death, and openly weep for I have now broken the promise I made to his mother those many years ago.

When I arrive in Dorchester Gaol, it is already full of other fugitives, some I know with a nod, others I do not and can’t trust, for I have given a false name. All the prisoners tell of how after the Battle they saw trees full of the dead. How the enemy treated every commoner, man or women, as ‘Guilty’, even if they could prove otherwise. How the penalty for being ‘out without just cause’ was to hang from the gibbet or be shot. This type of cruel justice has not been seen in England since the reign, of that most bloody of monarchs, Queen Mary. But this was how the Catholic Duke treated the Scotch before he took the crown and now it is our Kingdoms fate.  But it is only in Ireland, during the last war, that I saw such cruel and harsh treatment of the soldiers and common people alike, for today we have word that every man in Taunton is be made a martyr for the cause.

More poor souls are forced to join us and there must be near to 200 in this dark and damp place. The newcomers have been arrested for simply being ‘absent from their homes without due reason’ or ‘out and about’  or ‘aiding’ (or just those the sheriff’s or neighbours dislike). Even those that left us before the Philips Norton fight and can produce the ‘general pardon’, do find themselves with us once again. As we make space for each new prisoner, he pays by giving us fresh news and reports of our friends and of our enemies. This is how I learn that the blood-letting has only just started. For now, as if to emphases the righteousness of our cause, this Catholic King, has become the Tyrant King we knew him to be.  For our Judge is be the cruellest of the Tyrants creatures. One with his hands so covered in the blood of Whigs that his very skin is stained red. For I know this man, and I know that he will be a killing Judge, for his name is Jeffreys. With this sad knowledge, I know the type of justice we shall receive. For those that plea ‘Not Guilty’ shall die hard, those that plea ‘Guilty’ shall die easy, but those that beg for ‘mercy’ shall die the worst.

This morning and every morning we  awake knowing each new day, is one closer to us joining his Majesty. So, with hunger eating away at our bellies and dry tongues swelling in our mouths, we wait our lot in the Assizes. But although we know our destiny, as one man whispered to me, he summed up how most of us feel, for he said, ‘I seek no justice from this Tyrant, for I shall get none. I fought for my Liberty and so I shall die for my Liberty. I pray folk remember us, for we all shall die to secure their Liberty from a Tyrant.’  

So, this is a Tyrants justice, one where innocent and guilty men alike are hung and quartered without a word, where women shall be burnt alive for feeding their husbands. We have lost this Rebellion, so his justice will turn the West of England into a shambles, full of rotting limbs and human carcases, of widows, hunger and empty streets. The smell of death will be across these four counties for generations, for this will be a Bloody Assizes.

‘Yours in the cause!’

[Editors Note: It is hard to date these last entries of the Monmouth Rebellion journals, but we know Richard Goodenough is captured on the 14th July, so I have put them together in this place]

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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