Dummer's Account

The account by Edward Dummer, who served in the royal artillery, extracted from his A Brief Journal of the Western Rebellion, printed in J Davis History of the Second Queen's Royal Regiment (1895) pp48‑9.

The account is accompanied by three exceptional colour plans of the action, set within a detailed depiction of the contemporary terrain. Although all three have never to have been published, at least together or in colour, there are several places where individual plans have been reproduced. For example in Earle, Peter. The life and times of James II, [Kings and queens of England]. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972, p.154.

5th.  We Marchd into ye Levell, and in the Evening Encampt at Weston in Sedgmore about 2 Miles from Bridgwater, wth the Village on One side and beguirt wth a Dry (but in some places Miery) Ditch on the Other, Fronting ye Moore a Place copious and commodious for Fighting; In our March hither we understood that the Rebells had given out; They would fight in this Place; In ye Evening Coll Oglethorpe advanc'd wth a strong Party of Horse to Bridgwater to discover ye motion of the Rebells who were said to be drawn out from thence, and in their March towards Bristoll (as They would have us believe) We securely went to Sleep, The Foot in Camp, and the Horse in Quarters at Weston and Midlesea, saving some Outguards of Horse upon Our Right and Left.

6th.  At 2 a Clock this Morning (securely sleeping) Our Camp was Rouzd by the near approach of the Rebells; a darke Night and thick Fogg, covering the Moore, Supiness and a preposterous confidence of Our Selves, with an undervaluing of the Rebells, that many dayes before, had made us make such tedious Marches had put Us, into ye Worst circumstances of Surprize.  Our Horse in Quarters, Some Near, Some Remote, Our Artillery distinct, & in a separate Post, to yt of the Camp, neither immediatly accomodable to a Generall Resistance; Thus we Recd ye Alarme from Sr Francis Compton upon the Right, whose Successfull Charging ye whole Body of the Rebells Horse, Commandd by the Ld Gray, with his Single Party of 150 Horse and Dragoons Broke their Body of near 1200 and Routed ym; From this Alarme, there seemes to be 2 Minuits distance, to a Volley of Small Shott from the Body of the Rebells Foot, consisting of abt 6000 (but All came not up to Battell) in, upon the Right of our Camp, followed by 2 or 3 Rounds from Three Pieces of Cannon brought up within 116 Paces of the Ditch Ranging Our Battallions.  Our Artillery was near 500 Paces distant, and the Horses Drivers not easily found, through confusion and darkness; Yet Such, was the Extraordinary cheerfullness of our Army, that They were allmost as readily drawn up, to Receive them, as a Praeinform'd expectation could have Posted ym, tho: upon so Short & dangerous a Warning; Six of Our Nearest Gunns were, with ye greatest diligence imaginable advanced, Three upon the Right of the Scotts, and Three in the Front of the Kinges first Battalion; and did very considerable execution upon the Enemies; They Stood near an hour and halfe wth great Shouting and Courage, briskly fyring; & then throwing down their Armes fell into Rout and Confusion; The Number of the Slaine wth about 300 Taken, according to ye most Modest computacon might make up 1000, We Losing but 27 on the Spott and having abt 200 Wounded.  A Victory very considerable where Providence was absolutely a greater Friend, then Our Own Conduct The Dead in the Moor we Buried, and the Country People tooke care for ye intermt of those, slain in the Corne fields.


Explore the Battlefields Hub

Battlefields Trust NewsBattlefields Trust EventsJoin the Battlefields TrustDonate to The Battlefields Trust