Large Battle at Philips Norton
London Gazette #2047, June 29 to July 2, 1685
Whitehall, June 29. 1685
We received this morning an Account that the Earl of Feversham, Lieutenant-General of his Majesties forces, having notice that the Rebels were going to Philips Norton, he marched from Bath on Saturday last very early, with intention to fall upon their rear, and for that purpose advanced with a detachment of 500 foot commanded by the Duke of Grafton, and of Dragoons, and Horse Grenadiers, leaving the rest of the forces to follow with the cannon. And coming to a lane that leads into Philips Norton, he heard some musket shots, and thereupon detached 20 of the Horse Guards with the Company of Foot Grenadiers of the Duke of Grafton’s Regiment to go into that Lane to discover what it was.
The Lane was soon after lined on both sides with Foot and Horse behind the hedges, who made a very great fire upon our men. The Duke of Grafton was with them and went as far as the Gate of the Town with as much courage and resolution as can be expressed. But the enemy continued their fire, he retired and in his retreat was stopped by some of the Rebel horse, yet he passed not withstanding through them all. Captain Hawley, who commanded the Grenadiers, did all that a good officer could do, and Captain Parker and Captain Vaughan who were there, carried themselves with all vigour imaginable, the latter killing Captain Matthews who it’s thought commanded the Rebels. All the officers and soldiers in general behaved themselves extremely well. We lost in this action 8 or 9 men, besides 30 wounded among which there was not one officer. Of the volunteers Mr May was killed and Mr Seymour wounded.
The rest of the King forces being come up, my Lord Feversham went off from that place and drew up the Army in good order upon a little Hill hard by, the Rebels planted their Cannon (they have six pieces) and played upon them for two hours but without doing them the lest damage and my Lord Feversham planted likewise his Cannon which, as he was afterwards informed, did very much incommode the Rebels. The Kings forces staid there till six in the evening, it is raining very hard all the time. Upon which my Lord Feversham marched to Bradford, where he staid the next day to refresh his troops.
Colonel Oglethorpe was sent out with 100 Horse to observe the Rebels who reported that they marched Saturday night to Frome, and that he met a Gentlemen coming from Philips Norton, who told him the Rebels had lost a great many men in this action, and that one Colonel Matthews had been killed.
Whitehall, June 30. 1685
The three Scotch Regiments, which were lately sent from Holland to Scotland, being countermanded upon the suppression of the Rebels in that Kingdom, are arrived this morning at Gravesend. And the three English Regiments in the Service of the State General of the United Provinces, are hourly expected from Holland.
Whitehall, July 1. 1685
We are informed that the Rebels rested all Sunday at Frome and on Monday began to march towards Warminster but afterwards towards Shepton Mallet. The Kings forces marched on Monday to Westbury and from thence on Tuesday to Frome or farther to follow the Rebels.
Edinburgh, June 26. 1685
This week have been brought in here above 120 of the Rebels prisoners, among which are four Dutchmen, one of them a Printer and more are daily taken and carried to other places. This day Rumbold was brought to his trial for having come over with the Earl of Argyll and being made a rebellion in this Kingdom, of which being found Guilty, Sentence past upon him as in case of High-Treason and accordingly he was this afternoon drawn upon a hurdle to the cross, and there hanged and quartered. Tuesday next is appointed for the Execution of the Earl of Argyll, whose son Charles, having been left sick in Argyllshire, is since dead.