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Battle of Sedgemoor

History -- Military history -- List of battles

The Battle of Sedgemoor was fought on July 6 1685. and took place near Bridgwater in Somerset between the troops of the rebel James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and James II of England in an attempt to seize the English throne. James II was the first in line of succession to the throne following the end of the English Civil War. James, Duke of Monmouth was the illegitimate son on of Charles II.

It is often referred to as the last battle fought on English (as opposed to British) soil, but this is incorrect - the Battle of Preston (in Lancashire) was fought on November 14 1715, during the Jacobite Rebellion.

After landing from the Netherlands at Lyme Regis in Dorset, the Duke eventually lead his untrained and ill-equipped troops on a night-time attack on the King's position on the site of Bussex Farm outside the village of Westonzoyland. Unfortunately the element of surprise was lost when a musket was accidentally discharged, and the Battle of Sedgemoor resulted in defeat for the Duke by the Earl of Feversham (also known as "Lord Feversham").

Monmouth escaped the battlefield, but was captured near Ringwood Hampshire. He was taken to the Tower of London in London where he was, after several blows of the axe, finally beheaded.

The king sent the infamous Judge Jeffreys to round up the Duke's supporters throughout the south west and try them in the Bloody Assizes. About 1300 people were found guilty, many being transported abroad, while some suffered drawing and quartering.

The king was overthrown in a coup d'état three years later, in the Glorious Revolution.

See also