Exeter, September 14. 1685

A brief  Account of the Exeter Assize and the those men Martyred on this day across Devonshire

On this day in the Exeter Assize court 28 men stood accused of waging war on the King and 13 of other offences. The first three of these brave men three pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ and after the now normal rants of Lord Chief Justice Jeffrey, the jury returned verdicts of ‘Guilty’. After this Judge Jeffrey sentenced them to be executed on this day acoss Devon.

The martyrs to the cause of liberty were:

John Foweracres, cordwainer of Honiton who was executed at Exeter
Thomas Broughton, who was executed at Axminster
Thomas Hobbes, who pleaded not Guilty to proclaiming the Duke of Monmouth King but was executed at Crediton

One other, Robert Drower, was returned to jail for want of evidence after he offered to pay for more time.

After this all men pleaded ‘Guilty’ to waging war and received the following sentences:

4 will be executed in Honiton
2 will be executed in Ottery St Mary
2 will be executed in Colyton
1 more will be executed in Axminster
7 will be transported by the Mr Nipho for the Queen
2 will be whipped and fined
6 are offered up for the King’s pardon

For those guilty of uttering seditious words against the King, all 11 men will be whipped over the coming day through the streets of Exeter. The two men accused of assisting the escape of Mr Bryant were also fined and shall be whipped.

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