Monmouth Defeated near Bridgwater
London Gazette #2049, July 6 to July 9, 1685
Whitehall, July 8. 1685
Yesterday morning his Majesty received News of the entire defeat of the rebels, of which we have following account.
On Sunday morning the Earl of Feversham marched from Somerton to Weston within three miles of Bridgwater. He quartered his Horse and Dragoons in the said village and encamped his foot in an advantageous post near it, fronting towards a moore being a spacious plain, and having a ditch before them. In the evening he had noticed that the Rebels were drawing out of the Town, which made him keep his Troops in a readiness and send out frequent parties to observe them. The Rebels so ordered their march and with so great silence that they found a quiet passage into the said moor and there towards morning formed their Foot in Battle to the number of between 5 and 6000, the Duke of Monmouth being at the head of them and marched near to our camp. My Lord Feversham having notice of it immediately put his Majesties forces, being about 2000 Foot and 700 Horse Grenadiers and Dragoons into a posture to receive them. The Rebels began with a great Volley of shot and shouts, which was returned by ours in the same manner. In the meantime the Rebels were bringing their horse to second their foot, but hindered by a party of Horse commanded by Col. Oglethorpe who engaged them till my Lord of Oxfords Regiment and the detachment of the Guards came into form the Line. The resistance of the Rebels Horse which were between 1000 and 1200 commanded by Lord Grey, was very inconsiderable, being neither drawn up in a body but giving way before all that charged them and soon quit the field. All this while the Foot stood very firm on both side and exchanged great volleys, the ditch beforementioned hindering them from closing but our cannon coming up and our Horse breaking in upon them they were at last entirely routed and three pieces of Cannon, all they had there, taken. About 2000 of them were killed and so many taken prisoners. The most remarkable among these are Col. Holmes and Perrot his major, the constable of Crookeborne, and Williams servant to the Duke of Monmouth, who had about his 200 Guineas, all the monies he said the Duke had left. The coat which he usually wore was likewise taken.
The Earl of Feversham his Majesties Lieutenant General was during the action every where present giving the necessary orders with great readiness and conduct. My Lord Churchill, who commanded next under him, likewise performed his part with all the courage and gallantry imaginable. The Duke of Grafton and all the commanders of battalions and other officers behaved themselves with great resolution and bravery.
Of his Majesties forces there were about 300 killed and divers wounded, of whom a father account will be given in a more particular relation that will be published of this action.
After the field was cleared of the Rebels, the Earl of Feversham marched with 500 foot, some Horse and Dragoons to Bridgwater, the Rebels that were left there having fled and dispersed themselves in several places. His Lordship left these men in the town under the command of Col. Kirke. And hearing that the Duke of Monmouth was fled with about 50 horse, the greatest number of the Rebels that were left together, he sent out several parties in pursuit of them. My Lord Feversham intended to march yesterday with his Majesties forces to Wells and this day to Bath.
Whitehall, July 8. 1685
This morning the King received an account that the Lord Grey was taken yesterday in a disguise at Ringwood on the Borders of Dorestshire and secured by my Lord Lumley. And his Majesty has been pleased to give order that 500ls promised in his late Majesties Proclamation of the 28th of June 1683 shall be paid to the persons that took him.
Whitehall, July 8 at 12 a clock at night
His Majesty has just now received an account that the Duke of Monmouth was taken this morning in Dorestshire, being hid in a ditch, and that he is in the hands of my Lord Lumley.