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Battle Name : Sedgemoor

Date(s) : 06 July 1685

Part of : Monmouth Rebellion ,

Outcome : A victory for Royalist Forces over Monmouth's rebel army

Type of battle : Land


The final battle in a short campaign by supporters of James,Duke of Monmouth to seize the throne of England from the catholic James II.

An attempted night attack by the rebels on the royalist encampment went wrong when they were unable to effectively cross a small river. The Royalist counter attack was swift and disciplined. By morning the rebels were routed and the cause was over.


Westonzoyland near Bridgewater in Somerset, England. (England)

More details

The rebels attempted a night attack over moorland towards the Royalist camp, but failed to find the important crossing point over the Bussez Rhine which separated the two armies. The alarm was raised in the royal camp and a fierce firefight ensued.

The rebels barely stood during the night taking heavy casualties from grapeshot and musketry but when dawn broke across the moor and visibility improved, the Royalist cavalry made its way over the two small bridges at either end of the battlefield and crashed into what remained of Monmouth's troops. Some rebel regiments tried to form hedgehogs against the horse, but most fled the field, hotly pursued by the cavalry.

A this point, the royalist foot crossed the Rhine and systematically slaughtered what was left of the rebels on the field.

Monmouth escaped the battlefield along with some supporters, but was captured a week later, dressed as a woman hiding in a hedgerow. Dragged before his uncle, James II, he begged for forgiveness but gained none and was executed on Tower Hill in London. It was said to have taken seven blows of the axe to remove his head and the job had to be finished with a knife.

One year later James II was removed from the throne and fled to France in what was later called the Glorious Revolution.

[Details contributed by Alistair D James.]

Casualty figures

Monmouth's rebel army

Number engaged :

Casualties :
1,500 (40.54%)

Royalist Forces

Number engaged :

Casualties :
250 (10.00%)