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  Contemporary Accounts

Sedgemoor is an exceptionally well documented battle and campaign. There are two independently produced groups of sketch plans of the battle and a series of detailed written accounts. The contemporary accounts of the battle presented here are taken from the English Heritage reports prepared for the Battlefields Register. Of the major accounts only Robert Fergusonís account is not presented as it was considered to be too distorted by his attack on the conduct of Lord Greyís cavalry. More detail can be found in Chandler (1999) who provides an assessment of the various written accounts.

PLANS

Paschallís plan:

prepared to accompany his written accounts. The clearest reproduction is in Young & Adair, From Hastings to Culloden, 1979.

Dummer's Plans:

Three detailed plans by Dummer, prepared to accompany his written account, showing the action against a detailed background of the contemporary landscape. The plans are described in the catalogue of the Pepys Library, p.38 & 64-5.

1. The royal camp and deployment at the moment of the rebel alarm (Dummer, p.4-5; reproduced in Macaulay Thomas Babington and Firth Charles, The history of England : from the accession of James the Second, London, Macmillan, 1914.)

2. Posture of the two armies at the moment of the rebel attack (Dummer p.8-9; copy in PRO: PRO22/6)

3. Postures of the armies at the moment of the rebel collapse (Dummer p.12-13; unpublished; copy in PRO: PRO22/6)

All three of Dummerís plans are reproduced in colour in Foard(2003).

WRITTEN ACCOUNTS

  • A True Relation: Anon, A true relation of the late action and victory against the rebels in England, near Bridgewater, on ... the 6. of July, 1685, from several hands, 1685, pp. 22
  • Official report of the campaign from Fevershamís army: reproduced in Hewlett, et al., Report on the manuscripts of Mrs. Stopford-Sackville, of Drayton house, Northamptonshire, London, H.M.S.O., 1904, pp16-19.
  • Pascalís account: earliest version, as printed in Heywood, A vindication of Mr. Fox's history of the early part of the reign of James the Second, London, printed for J. Johnson and Co. and J. Ridgeway, 1811, Appendix 4, pp xxix-xlv; later version as printed in Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries March 1961(Part 273) pp15-21.
  • Account of Nathaniel Wade, British Library (Harleian manuscripts 6845) printed in Hardwicke Philip, Miscellaneous state papers, from 1501 to 1726, London, Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1778, vol. II pp329-30, and in Wigfield and Wade, The Monmouth rebellion : a social history, Bradford-on-Avon, Moonraker Press [etc.], 1980
  • James IIís account printed in Hardwicke Philip, Miscellaneous state papers, from 1501 to 1726, London, Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1778, vol. II, pp305-13.
  • Robert Fergusonís account quoted in Echard, The history of England. From the first entrance of Julius Caesar and the Romans, to the conclusion of the reign of King James the Second, and establishment of King William and Queen Mary. With a compleat index, 1718, pp768-80.
  • Dummerís original account is in the Pepys Library (see above). A transcript is in BL Add MSS.31956.
  • Oldmixon: Oldmixon, The history of England during the reigns of the Royal House of Stuart : Wherein the errors of late histories are discover'd and corrected; with ... letters from King Charles II. King James II. Oliver Cromwell ... Lord Saville's famous forg'd letter ... which brought the Scots into England in the year 1640 ... To all which is prefix'd, some account of the liberties taken with Clarendon's History, London, Printed for J. Pemberton [etc.], 1730 

The events of the campaign are also depicted in a superb set of playing cards, each showing a different event of the rebellion. Examples of these are reproduced in Chenevix Trench, 1969; Earle, 1985; and Chandler 1999.

 

   
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