Exeter, September 13. 1685

An account of the last words of Sir John Kidd martyred at Lyme and the arrival of Lord Jefferys at Exeter for the next Bloody Assize court

My lord,

Before I give an account of this place, I shall offer you a summary of the events that took place at yesterday at Lyme. For it was here that some of our dearest and closest friends were murdered.

The scaffold had been erect on the west shore near where we landed that June evening. The prisoners arrived from Dorchester in carts and a large crowds waited at the edge of the town, for here a sledge had been made to transport those to die across the beach. Yet, the horses broke the harness, so in the end, the twelve walked, unshackled, to the place of their execution.

So many had gathered that the guards had to force a passage through the spectators, that included a great number of Baptists come to take leave of their pastor, Sampson Larke. Then there were a large group of the same citizens that had gathered to welcome the late Duke ashore only four months hence. Together with over 200 hundred friends of the poor Christopher Battiscombe and young William Hewling. For these two brave soldiers where local men of some renown.

The bloody executions took several hours, as the horrid business of hanging and quartering was slow and sickening to watch. Then as Mr Marders was turned off, the last to die was our close friend, of many years, Sir John Kidd of Longleat. He saw me in the crowd and was pleased that some of his friends had lived to tell this story. So I am pleased to offer you here the last words of this brave and loyal man.

For he called out to his Guards and all those present. “Do you see this?”, he point to the Eleven that were dead before him. “Do you think this is not dreadful to me, that Eleven of Twelve of us, that but a few hours since we came down together, are dead and in Eternity? And I am just going to follow them and shall immediately be in the same Condition.”

So, I called to up to him, “It must be dreadful to be Flesh and Blood?”

He replied, “Well, Gentlemen, I will assure you, so far as I am concerned, me thinks that they should be so long before me in Bliss and Happiness. But I’ll make haste to follow. I am satisfied this is the best Day that ever I saw. The Day of a Man’s Death is said to be better than the Day of his Birth. And truly so I find it as to my Flesh, And I shall be presently free from Sin and Sorrow. I am satisfied God hath done his best for me. I might have lived and have forgotten God, but now I am going where I shall sin no more. ‘Tis a blessed thing to be free from Sin, and to be with Christ. Oh, how great were the Sufferings of Christ for us, beyond all that I can undergo! How great is that Glory to which I am going!”

Then taking his Leave of the People then present, he prayed some small time very devoutly and with seeming great Joy and Comfort allowed the Executioner to do his Office.

It was with a heavy heart that I left that place of death, for the sight of my friends being quartered and boiled was hard to take. For I know that I should have been with them but for the kindness of others. The only light on that dark day was that the young William Hewling was carried off by his poor sister. For she took his body off, before he was quartered, to be buried at the church in Lyme.

This day I have arrived to Exeter, were the Assize court has been sworn in and readies itself for more bloody business. In this place, there are near 500 souls on the lists of suspected rebels,  so, it is with some relief that the Lord Chief Justice only finds 39 in the jail. He has said that these poor wretches will have verdicts passed and be sentenced over the next two day.

In my next, I shall give you an account of the Assize court at Exeter.

Your humble and loyal servant in the cause of liberty and freedom,

William Savage

 

The Bloody Assize Timeline:
Trial of Alice Lisle
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A true account of the trial of Alice Lisle in Winchester, given by a witness the justice offered by a tyrant. 

A true account of the trial of Alice Lisle in Winchester, given by a witness the justice offered by a tyrant. 

A true account of the trial of Alice Lisle in Winchester, given by a witness the justice offered by a tyrant. 

Alice Lisle is to Burn
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This is a true Account of the Sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys on August 28 in Winchester.

This is a true Account of the Sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys on August 28 in Winchester.

This is a true Account of the Sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys on August 28 in Winchester.

Reprieve for Mrs Lisle
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An Account of the letter from the friends of Lady Lisle to the King delivered on August 30. 1685

An Account of the letter from the friends of Lady Lisle to the King delivered on August 30. 1685

An Account of the letter from the friends of Lady Lisle to the King delivered on August 30. 1685

Kings Justice for Lady Lisle
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An Account of the tyrant Kings response to the request for the reprieve of Alice Lisle on Monday, August 31, 1685

An Account of the tyrant Kings response to the request for the reprieve of Alice Lisle on Monday, August 31, 1685

An Account of the tyrant Kings response to the request for the reprieve of Alice Lisle on Monday, August 31, 1685

Salisbury, September 1. 1685
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An Account of the Western Assize court of Lord Chief Justice Jeffrey at Salisbury.

An Account of the Western Assize court of Lord Chief Justice Jeffrey at Salisbury.

An Account of the Western Assize court of Lord Chief Justice Jeffrey at Salisbury.

Beheading of Lady Lisle
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An Account of the last moments and words of Lady Lisle before she executed in Winchester, September 2, 1685

An Account of the last moments and words of Lady Lisle before she executed in Winchester, September 2, 1685

An Account of the last moments and words of Lady Lisle before she executed in Winchester, September 2, 1685

Whitehall, September 3. 1685
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The news in London is that Dame Alicia Lisle was beheaded yesterday in Winchester.

The news in London is that Dame Alicia Lisle was beheaded yesterday in Winchester.

The news in London is that Dame Alicia Lisle was beheaded yesterday in Winchester.

Dorchester, September 4. 1685
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This being a brief account of the opening of the Dorchester Assize where 337 souls are to be tried.

This being a brief account of the opening of the Dorchester Assize where 337 souls are to be tried.

This being a brief account of the opening of the Dorchester Assize where 337 souls are to be tried.

Dorchester, September 5. 1685
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An account of the first day at the Dorchester Assize where 29 men have been sentenced to death

An account of the first day at the Dorchester Assize where 29 men have been sentenced to death

An account of the first day at the Dorchester Assize where 29 men have been sentenced to death

Dorchester, September 6. 1685
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For some sentenced to die tomorrow there is a reprieve as Mr Ketch can only kill and quarter 13 in one day, even with the help of Pascha Rose

For some sentenced to die tomorrow there is a reprieve as Mr Ketch can only kill and quarter 13 in one day, even with the help of Pascha Rose

For some sentenced to die tomorrow there is a reprieve as Mr Ketch can only kill and quarter 13 in one day, even with the help of Pascha Rose

Dorchester, September 7. 1685
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An account of the thirteen Martyrs executed in Dorchester by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the thirteen Martyrs executed in Dorchester by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the thirteen Martyrs executed in Dorchester by Lord Jeffreys

Dorchester, September 10. 1685
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A list of the final sentences from the Dorchester Assize as given by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

A list of the final sentences from the Dorchester Assize as given by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

A list of the final sentences from the Dorchester Assize as given by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

Bridport, September 12. 1685
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An account of the nine Martyrs executed in Bridport by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the nine Martyrs executed in Bridport by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the nine Martyrs executed in Bridport by Lord Jeffreys

Lyme, September 12. 1685
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An account of the twelve Martyrs executed in Lyme Regis by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the twelve Martyrs executed in Lyme Regis by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the twelve Martyrs executed in Lyme Regis by Lord Jeffreys

Exeter, September 13. 1685
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An account of the last words of our friend, Sir John Kidd, martyred at Lyme on September 12, 1685.

An account of the last words of our friend, Sir John Kidd, martyred at Lyme on September 12, 1685.

An account of the last words of our friend, Sir John Kidd, martyred at Lyme on September 12, 1685.

Exeter, September 14. 1685
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The list of three Martyrs executed in the West after sentencing by Lord Jeffreys

The list of three Martyrs executed in the West after sentencing by Lord Jeffreys

The list of three Martyrs executed in the West after sentencing by Lord Jeffreys

Sherborne, September 15. 1685
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An account of the executions and a list of the martyrs at Sherborne on the orders of Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

An account of the executions and a list of the martyrs at Sherborne on the orders of Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

An account of the executions and a list of the martyrs at Sherborne on the orders of Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

Weymouth, September 15. 1685
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Of the twelve Martyrs executed in Weymouth on orders of Lord Jeffreys

Of the twelve Martyrs executed in Weymouth on orders of Lord Jeffreys

Of the twelve Martyrs executed in Weymouth on orders of Lord Jeffreys

Taunton, September 18. 1685
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An account of the first day of the Taunton Assize court presided over by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

An account of the first day of the Taunton Assize court presided over by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

An account of the first day of the Taunton Assize court presided over by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

Taunton, September 19. 1685
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A letter from Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys to King James II detailing the value of each rebel.

A letter from Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys to King James II detailing the value of each rebel.

A letter from Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys to King James II detailing the value of each rebel.

Taunton September 21, 1685
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The four martyrs that died at Taunton and the final list of verdicts from the Assize court.

The four martyrs that died at Taunton and the final list of verdicts from the Assize court.

The four martyrs that died at Taunton and the final list of verdicts from the Assize court.

Poole, September 21. 1685
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Of the eleven Martyrs executed in Poole on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the eleven Martyrs executed in Poole on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the eleven Martyrs executed in Poole on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Wells, September 22, 1685
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Of the 543 men at Wells awaiting this bloody Assize Court of Judge Jeffreys

Of the 543 men at Wells awaiting this bloody Assize Court of Judge Jeffreys

Of the 543 men at Wells awaiting this bloody Assize Court of Judge Jeffreys

Wareham, September 22. 1685
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Of the Six Martyrs executed in Wareham and Wells on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Six Martyrs executed in Wareham and Wells on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Six Martyrs executed in Wareham and Wells on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

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