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1685. the third the Duke of Albemarle a Traytor, if he

laid not down his Arms forth with. Having staid there a while, he march'd in some kind of Order to Bridgwater, till encreating his small Army; from thence to Batb, where he was denied En trance, the Trainbands ftill Aying two Days March before him, by Order from the Court, to give Pretence to the King to raise more Forces. At Philips Norton, by a Surprize or Ambush, he cut off the best part of a Troop of Horse of the King's Army; the Duke of Grafton narrowly escaping with his Life. Encourag'd by this Success he marchid within two Miles of Bristol, where having call'd a Council of War, he was advis'd not to enter that City, but to retreat back to Bridgwater, which falle Itep began to Dishearten bis Party, and hinderd many from joining with him ; whereas if he had enter'd Bristol, there being no Force to oppose him but the Trainbands, (and the generality of thein for him, not only in their Hearts, but in open Discourses, and drinking his Health,) he might have furnish'd himself with Men, Arms and Money, and thence march'd into Gloceltershire among the Clothiers, where great Numbers, and even Men of Quality, waited to join him; and by this means might have kept up the War, till he had shak'd King James's Throne , if not overturn'd it.

Upon King James's Accession to the Crown, the Prince of Orange, as became a Nephew and Son-in-law, try'd all pollible Means to cultivate a

fincere Friendship with him, and to persuade him The Prince to follow such Methods as might conduce to the of Orange common Safety of Europe, and the Happiness of offers to England; which if King James had littend to, he come over to would have preserv'd his Crown with Glory; and the King's tho the Prince had formerly taken the Duke of MonArtance.

mouth into his generous Protection, yet as soon as he was inform'd that he had invaded England, was proclaim’d King, and began to gather Strength, he thought himself fo far concern'd, that he not only dispatch'd over the Six English and Scotch Regiments in the Dutch Service, but also fent away

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Monfieur Bentinck to the King, with Orders to ac- 1685.
quaint him; that though he look'd upon the Duke
of Monmouth to be a Man of no great Parts, yet
that he had a Warlike Genius, and was better
skill'd in the Military Art,than any the King was to
Employ against him ; and that therefore, if His
Majesty pleas’d, he would not only lend him his
Troops, but come in Person to Head his Army
against the Rebels. But the same thing in effect
having been communicated to Skelton, who look'd
upon the Prince as one of those great Politicians,
whose Steps are always Suspicious, he us’d such
Diligence as to give the King Notice of his Inten-
tion before Monfieur Bentinck could arrive; and that His offer
with such unfavourable Interpretation upon the is refus’d.
Prince's Offer, that the King put off Monsieur
Bentinck with telling hiin, He should acquaint his
Mafter, that their common Interests did require
the Prince his staying in Holland; and giving him
further to understand, that he did not take His
Highness's Zeal for his Service to be at that Time
fealonable. 'Tis reported, that to encrease the
King's Jealousie of the Prince, the vigilant Skelton
inform'd him of a secret Promise the Duke of
Monmouth had made the Prince of Refigning to him
the Throne of England, as soon as he should have
turn'd King James out of it ; and that the Breach
of this Promise, evidenc'd by the Duke's suffering
himself to be proclaim'd King, was the true Rea-
son of the Prince's Indignation against him.

However, the King did well enough at this Time
without the Prince's Affittance, and was serv'd
not only with Zeal, Fidelity and Affection, but
also with Skill, Courage and Conduct by his own
Troops and their Leaders. The Dukes of Grafton,
Albemarle, Somerset, and Beaufort, who commanded
small Bodies; the Earl of Feversham, General of the
Army, the Lord Churchil, Colonel Oglethorp, and
several other brave Officers, fo closely beset the
Duke of Monmouth, that seeing his Men daily
Desert in great Numbers, he resolv'd to make one
desperate Push for all, and to fight with unequal
Force, either to Vanquish or Die like a Man of

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1685. Courage. Thereupon he march'd out of Brida

water by Night, with Delign to surprize the King Army, which then lay encamp'd at Sedgmors but his Guide miltaising his way in the Dark. the Duke's ill Fate led him upon a Battalion of Dun. burton's Regiment plac'd in his way, who encoun

tering lijm, aların'd King James's whole Army Mon- with whom he engag’d. The Fight was obftinat mouch and dubious for a while: For although Color routed July Oglethorp had quickly broke the Rebels Horse, com: the 6th. manded by the Lord Grey, who made but a tain

Reittance ; yet the Infantry fought with giezt Reiolution, being headed by the Duke of Mur. mouth; who during the whole Action, maintain's the Reputation of Bravery which he had gaind is the World ; but at last he was forc'd to yield: and the King's Army being much Superior both in Numbers, Artillery, and good Discipline, obtaind! a compleat Victory. A contiderable Number of the Malecontents were kill'd upon the Spot, molto the reit were taken Prisoners, and the Duke had much ado to Preserve Fifty Horse to secure his Retreat; which however were foon dispers'd ; 10 miny Parties being sent after him, that he was contraind to retire almost alone into a Wood. The common People, who ever side with the Conqueror; and who were excited betides by the Reward promis'd to any one that thould secure Mormouth, us'd so extraordinary Diligence, that the next Day after the Fight the Lord Grey was taken in a Pez

. fant's Habit ; and the next Day after that the Duke of Monmouth himself was found in a thick Bush, cover'd with a tatter'd Cloak, and trembling either with Cold, or Fear. 'Tis faid he was discover'd by the Faithfulness of one of his Dogs, who having lost his Malter the Day of the Fight, follow'd himn by the Scent, and stopt at the Place where he had taken Shelter.

'Tis an easie matter to contract a Familiarity with Danger, when a whole Army bears a share in it, and when the eager Pursuit of Honour and Glory makes us overlook the Horrors of approaching Death ; but when she appears with the

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ghastly Pomp of a Scaffold and an Ax, the greatest 1685:
Heroes generally behold her like other Men, and
cannot but be terrify'd at the Sight. Thus the
Duke of Monmouth' was no sooner taken, but
thinking himself already in the Hands of the Exe-
cutioner, his former Spirit sunk into Pulillanimity,
which made him meanly endeavour to ward off
the impending Blow, by the following submillive
Letter which he wrote to the King from Ring-
wood,

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Sir,

Your Majesty may think it is the Misfortune The Duke I now lye under, makes me make this Appli- of Moncation to you : But I do assure your Majetty, it mouth's

is the Remorse I now have in me, of the Wrong Letter to “ I have done you in several things; and now in King taking up Arms against you. _ For my taking up

James. Arms, it never was in my Thoughts fince the

King died: The Prince and Princess of Orange 66 will be Witness for me of the Assurance I gave " them that I would never Itir againit you. But

my Misfortune was such, as to meet with some “ horrid People, that made ine believe things of “ Your Majesty, and gave me so many false Argu

ments, that I was fully led away to believe, that

it was a Shame, and a Sin before God, not to “ do it. But, Sir, I will not trouble Your Majesty at present with many things I could say for my self, that, I am sure, would move your Compailion. The chief end of this Letter being

only to beg of you, that I may have that Happi6. ness as to speak to Your Majesty : For I have “ that to say to you, Sir, that, I hope, may give

you a long and happy Reign. I am sure, Sir,
“ when you hear me, you will be convinc'd of the

Żeal I have for your Preservation, and how
heartily I Repent of what I have done. I can

say no more to Your Majesty now, being this
6 Letter must be seen by those that keep me. There-

fore, Sir, I shall make an End, in begging of “ Your Majesty to believe so well of me, that I would rather Die a Thousand Deathis, than excuse

any

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1685.

any thing I have done, if I did not really thin my self the molt in the Wrong that ever a Man was ; and had not from the bottom of my Hear an Abhorrence for those that put me upon it

and for the Action it self. I hope, Sir, God A "mighty will strike your Heart with Mercy and

Compallion for me, as he has done mine with the Abhorrence of what I have done. Wherefore, Sir, I hope I may live to fhew you how

Zealous "I shall ever be for your Service ; and “ could I say but one word in this Letter, you

would be convinc'd of it; but it is of that cons sequence, that I dare not do it. Therefore, Si * I do beg of you once more to let me speak to

you; for then you will be convinc'd how much i 6 shall ever be

Your Majesty's most

Humble and Dutiful,

MONMOUTH

This Letter had been little regarded, if at the fame time the Duke had not writ another, in very moving Terms, to the Queen Dowager, who having ever had an Affection for him, and being now touch'd with Pity for his Misfortunes, prevaild with the King that he should suffer the Duke to speak to him. The Duke being brought to the King's Presence, fell presently at his Feet, and having answer'd the several Queftions the King ask'd him, and confess’d he deserv’d to Die, he conjurd him, with Tears in his Eyes, not to use him with the severity of Justice, and to grant him a Life which he would ever be ready to Sacrifice for his Service. He mention'd to him the Examples of feveral great Princes, who had yielded to the Impressions of Clemency upon the like Occasions, and who had never afterwards repented of those Acts of Generosity and Mercy; and to make his Heart relent by the soft Motions of Nature, he told him, he was his Brother's Son; and that if

he

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