Bridport, June 14. 1685

We marched through the night until we reached the site of yesterday skirmish at Allington. Here we halted allowing the companies to close ranks and the stragglers to catch up with the van. For although the distance from Lyme was only ten miles, in was up and down steep hills all the way. Now we could see the camp fires still glowing in the middle and to the east of the town, which I estimated to be least a thousand men. So there are two Militia Battalion in the town together with the two companies of horse we encountered yesterday. As Bridport sat between two rivers, it was agreed that we should look to take the first bridge without raising alarm and then that we should split into four divisions. Lt. Lillingstone was to command the right, Lt. Brinscombe the left. Then Major Wade was to advance with Capt. Thompson together with Lt. Mitchells’ company towards the east Bridge. The Pike and several files of shot would hold the western bridge supported by Lord Grey’s Horse. The White Companies would follow Major Wade to secure the buildings to ensure no enemy where left in our rear.

With this agreed, we made our weapons ready and I lead Lt Mitchell and his company forwards. Although we advanced at a brisk pace, the Militia out-guard saw our movement, as it was a clear moon-lit night, one firing his alarm before we could fall on them. Yet, upon this warning the main-guards on the bridge withdraw in some disorder, allowing us to take possession of the bridge with no loss. We now secured our foot hold in the western edge of town. No sooner had we done this than the following companies closed with us. We now advanced with Capt. Thompson to our rear. As we reached the middle of town, we could see the Militia formed to our front and not wishing to lose momentum, I took our men forward, only pausing to dress and extend our ranks, which we did but our lack of experience allowed the Militia time to fire a volley into us at some 20 paces. It was with some luck that this did but little harm to us, for we now we drew closer before halting and firing our own volley into the enemy. It is hard to know what damage we did for upon our discharge, for the enemy broke and fled back in disorder. Major Wade now ordered that we should advance to the eastern Bridge as the opportunity was upon us. This we did without opposition, again we could see the Militia ready to fire but this time they had brought forward their pike to protect the Bridge. With no Pike support we started to engage in a duel of musket shot between both parties. In was now Major Wade ordered me to return and bring forward our pike so that we could break the enemy at the push.

As I crossed back towards the eastern bridge ,I found that our Horse had been broken with some loss and now our Pike had started to retire upon word of our defeat. Seeing the state of our men and upon talking to Capt. Francis Goodenough we agreed that he should rally the men here whilst I returned to Major Wade and bring his men back to the western bridge. At the same time, I sent word to Lillingtone and Brinscombe that they should also retire to the bridge whilst securing our flanks. I could hear that Major Wade was still engaged and ran back to join with him. Upon reaching his position I could see that we had lost a score of men, but that they had done a good account of the enemy. We agreed with Capt. Thompson and Lt. Mitchell that we would cover our withdrawal by odd divisions, once each had fired. In this way we ensured that little damage was done to our party, yet the enemy did press upon us. We skilfully returned to the bridge and under the cover of Goodenough’s shot formed on the Lyme Road. We now made a fighting retreating to the Bridge at Allington, but the enemy had little stomach for the fight and retired to the safety of Bridport. It was at the site of our first drawing blood that we reformed our ranks and collected the men that had broke or now are wounded. With us we had some two score prisoners and 30 horses, taken from the enemy. As far as we could tell our loses had been twenty or so men now missing.

It was on the march back to Lyme that I learnt what had befallen our horse, for Capt. Francis Goodenough was closed by.  He told us that “upon our first volley with the enemy, Col. Venner had ordered Grey to bring the horse forward, although his men had not yet secured the road or buildings. So, as the horse moved forward, the enemy fired on them from the top windows. It was now that Col. Venner’s horse was shot from under him, wounding in the leg, so that the men had to rescue him from under the horse. Upon this, Lord Grey, seeing death around himself and him never having been under such fire, ordered his men to the rear and calling to us, that all was lost and Major Wade killed, they fled back through our lines. Taking his men and some of the mine back with him. I then rallied mine as best I could and closed with the enemy killing or breaking those that had fired down on us.”

As we marched back with the sun rising behind us, his grace came galloping up to us with all the horse he could muster. He told us that he feared we had all been routed or killed after Lord Grey and Col. Venner had come back to Lyme with such shocking news. On reaching Lyme, Lillington’s company was ordered to stay with me to secure the Bridport road. So, ended our first action of our campaign to free England, our foot behaved well under fire but our horse is more Spanish than I’d like to admit.

This evening, his Grace once more called a council of war, for news that the Earl of Albermarle with his Devonshire Militia had left Exeter and marched to join with those come from Somerset. Due to his wounds Col. Venner was not present, nor was Fletcher, so Major Wade and Col. Ffoukles persuaded his Grace that we should move tomorrow, as our 3000 men could out fight any Militia. Therefore, we agreed to march in the morning and that we had waiting two long in this place, for our march was to be Taunton, Bridgwater, Wells, Bristol, Gloucester, then to London.

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.

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