Marking the Monmouth Rebellion by Diana Shervington

I am campaigning to the Dorset District Council or the Dorset County Council. What I want them to do is install a plaque at the entrance of Stile Lane. Here it was on the llth June, 1685, that the Duke of Monmouth and his motley army came up from the shore where they had landed from three ships. It is important for any town that has suffered a rebellion for the events to be remembered.

Lyme Regis was the scene of that ill-fated expedition. James, Duke of Monmouth, was the natural child of Charles II and Lucy Walters of Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire. They lived in great style at The Hague and were very friendly with the Dutch Prince. Monmouth was also popular and well-liked in the west country.

At that time Lyme had a large number of dissenters who suffered from religious persecution and who were ready to rise up and fight the battle of the Lord against Popery and arbitrary power. It was well known that the great body of the inhabitants of Lyme were a hardy and turbulent race of people who cherished strong antipathy to the existing government. But the Mayor of Lyme and his Town Council were staunch Parliamentarians who sent a message to Exeter asking the King for troops.

I feel that the inhabitants of Lyme, tourists and school parties would love to hear
about this rebellion which ended with twelve so-called rebels being hanged, drawn and quartered on 12th September, at the instigation of Judge Jeffreys on what we now call Monmouth beach.

James, Duke of Monmouth, had arrived in Lyme from a 32-gun frigate on
Thursday, 11th June. He landed on the sand beside the Cobb. He and his 82
followers then knelt down in a short act of devotion before they entered the town by way of Stile Lane (left). Plenty of men in the town were recruited into Monmouth’s army. The Duke had issued a Declaration of his Intentions which was very damning, both here and in Weymouth. He sent 40 men to subdue Bridport – which they did but then started plundering the inhabitants. Monmouth’s army marched to Axminster and so on to Sedgemoor where on Monday, 6th July, was fought the last battle on English soil, a battle which blasted Monmouth’s hopes for ever.

These events, I believe, deserve to be commemorated on a plaque at the entrance
to Stile Lane. I hope the District Council will comply!

The Society’s Committee support Diana’s campaign for a plaque to commemorate Monmouth’s entry into Lyme.

This article first appeared in the Society’s Spring 2014 Newsletter.

For those who don’t know Diana Shervington, there is a recent article on her at
www.marshwoodvale.com/people/articles/people/diana-shervington

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