Battle of Sedgemoor

From Academic Kids

The Battle of Sedgemoor was fought on 6 July 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, the "Monmouth Rebellion". James II had succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother Charles II on 2 February 1685; James Scott was Charles' illegitimate son.

After landing from the Netherlands at Lyme Regis in Dorset, the Duke eventually led 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 Royal army under John Churchill (later Duke of Marlborough) and the Earl of 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.

A letter written by the 5th Earl of Shaftesbury in 1787 provides more detail as to Monmouth's capture[1] (

The tradition of the neighbourhood is this: viz. That after the defeat of the Duke of Monmouth at Sedgemoor, near Bridgewater, he rode, accompanied by Lord Grey, to Woodyates, where they quitted their horses; and the Duke having changed clothes with a peasant, endeavoured to make his way across the country to Christchurch. Being closely pursued, he made for the Island, and concealed himself in a ditch which was overgrown with fern and underwood. When his pursuers came up, an old woman gave information of his being in the Island, and of her having seen him filling his pocket with peas. The Island was immediately surrounded by soldiers, who passed the night there, and threatened to fire the neighbouring cotts. As they were going away, one of them espied the skirt of the Duke's coat, and seized him. The soldier no sooner knew him, than he burst into tears, and reproached himself for the unhappy discovery. The Duke when taken was quite exhausted with fatigue and hunger, having had no food since the battle but the peas which he had gathered in the field. The ash tree is still standing under which the Duke was apprehended, and is marked with the initials of many of his friends who afterwards visited the spot.
The family of the woman who betrayed him were ever after holden in the greatest detestation, and are said to have fallen into decay, and to have never thriven afterwards. The house where she lived, which overlooked the spot, has since fallen down. It was with the greatest difficulty that any one could be made to inhabit it.

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 1,300 people were found guilty, many being transported abroad, while some were executed by drawing and quartering.

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

The battle of Sedgemoor is often referred to as the last battle fought on English soil, but this is incorrect: the Battle of Preston in Lancashire was fought on 14 November 1715, during the First Jacobite Rebellion, and the Second Jacobite Rebellion saw a minor engagement at Clifton Moor near Penrith in Cumbria on 18 December 1745.

no:Slaget ved Sedgemoor


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools