Famous‎ > ‎

Shattocks in the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685

by Philip Shaddock

It was likely that the Shattocks of Somerset were not on the King's side in the civil rest in Somerset that resulted in the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. Indications are that Shattocks were either nonconformists or Church or England protestants. They would have opposed a catholic King. This is how the rebellion is described in a Wikipedia article:

The Monmouth Rebellion, also known as The Revolt of the West or The West Country rebellion, was an attempt to overthrow James II, the Duke of York who had become King of EnglandScotland, and Ireland upon the death of his elder brother Charles II on 6 February 1685. James II was a Roman Catholic, and some Protestants under his rule opposed his kingship. James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of Charles II, claimed to be rightful heir to the throne and attempted to displace James II.

Plans were discussed for several different actions to overthrow the monarch, following the failure of the Rye House Plot to assassinate Charles II and James, in 1683, while Monmouth was in self-imposed exile in the Dutch Republic. The Monmouth rebellion was coordinated with a rebellion in Scotland, where Archibald Campbell, the Earl of Argyll, landed with a small force. The Duke of Monmouth had been popular in the South West of England, so he planned to recruit troops locally and take control of the area before marching on London.

Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis on 11 June 1685. In the following few weeks, his growing army of nonconformistsartisans, and farm workers fought a series of skirmishes with local militias and regular soldiers commanded by Louis de Duras, 2nd Earl of Feversham, and John Churchill, who later became the Duke of Marlborough. Monmouth's forces were unable to compete with the regular army and failed to capture the key city of Bristol. The rebellion ended with the defeat of Monmouth's army at the Battle of Sedgemoor on 6 July 1685 by forces led by Feversham and Churchill.

Monmouth was executed for treason on 15 July 1685. Many of his supporters were tried during the Bloody Assizes, led by Judge Jeffreys, and were condemned to death or transportation. James II was then able to consolidate his power. He reigned until 1688, when he was overthrown in a coup d'état by William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution.

In a Phd dissertation by P.J. Norrey titled "The relationship between central and local government in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, 1660-1688," (1988), he describes an incident between a king's soldier and William Shattock, who apparently ran an inn in Milverton, Somerset (pp. 413-4). 

One James Ewens, described as 'one of the grenadiers in the regiment of soldiers now at Taunton', was responsible for a series of violent and drunken misdemeanours in the village of Milverton, in which he had taken up residence during the later part of 1686. The villagers complained of his loutish behaviour to the local Justice, Ferrers Greisley, who sent a warrant to the village constable for the soldier's arrest and his carriage to Taunton. Ewens was duly arrested, but sent word ahead to arrange his rescue by a party of comrades, The constable and his associates were ambushed near Taunton by four bayonet-wielding grenadiers, who liberated the miscreant. The leader of this gallant expeditionary force, a sergeant, asked the constable how far it was to the house of 'that damned son of a whore the justice', and threatened to cut him in pieces. Fortunately, this was just bravado and had no serious consequences. Nevertheless, the rescue was a flagrant disregard of the processes of local justice. No disciplinary action was taken by the Taunton garrison, and Ewens was still at large and causing trouble in Milverton in 1687. William Shattock, an alehouse keeper in the village, deposed before justice John Sandford on 28 March, "About five weeks since James Ewens...came to this informant's house and after his usual custom of blasphemous swearing and cursing did... swear that if... George Ferris took away the tree in Butt's way he would fire his house. Being told that if he did so Ewens might set the whole village alight, he replied that 'he would get a grenadoe and blow his [Shattock's] house or tear it to pieces'. Later, in the company of two other soldiers, he came again to the deponent's house 'and had a great quantity of beer and victuals which he never paid for'. "

See 
Gresley. 14 December 1686. Evidence of William Shattocke of Milverton concerning Ewens threatening to blow up the house of George Ferris with a “granadoe” because of an arguement between them over a tree in Buts Way. QUARTER SESSIONS RECORDS FOR THE COUNTY OF SOMERSET   Sessions rolls   Sessions roll for Easter 1687



Comments