John Lerwill has drawn our attention to the role of Brixham in the Glorious Revolution of
1888, but what about the valiant contributions of Axminster, Colyton and the rest of East
Devon, just three years earlier, during the less than glorious Monmouth Rebellion of 1685?
See, for example,
and much more online. Contrary to popular belief, fostered by later anti-Papist spin,
relatively few of the rebels were hung, drawn and quartered during the retribution of the
Bloody Assizes, whereas most were either slaughtered at the Battle of Sedgemoor or
convicted of treason and transported into slavery in the West Indies. Either way, a lot
of Devon men do not appear in the burial registers of the parishes to which they never
returned. GENUKI Devon has three lists of such Devon rebels:
which identifies about 680 men by name and town/village of origin, of whom nearly half
were from Axminster, Colyton and nearby villages, who were prosecuted at the Assizes.
which lists those men of property who were attainted and their property forfeited, some of
whom are described as "late of ..." which suggests they might have died at the
Battle of Sedgemoor.
which lists those rebels who were executed (extracted from a longer article at
These lists are obviously a valuable resource for East Devon researchers, including many
names that do not appear in the burial registers.
GENUKI also lists (under Emigration and Immigration) the 1983 publication
Coldham, P.W. Bonded Passengers to America, vol. V: Western Circuit 1664-1775, comprising
the counties of Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire, with a list of
the rebels of 1685. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co. (1983)
where "bonded" means transported. This 9-volume work was compiled from court
records (such as those already transcribed on GENUKI) with different chapters for
convicted felons from different counties, but chapter 6 of volume 5 is a separate listing
of Rebels Transported in 1685. It is not freely available to read online but has been
digitised and indexed by Ancestry under Immigration and Emigration Books where it can be
searched by name (without subscription) and viewed by page (with subscription) though not,
I believe, on Ancestry Library Edition. For example, searching for Teape confirms that
the Walter and Robert Teape on list (i) were indeed transported. There is a brief account
of this form of bonded labour at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=49089
FAO Brian Randell: Items (ii) and (iii) of those Monmouth links appear on the GENUKI
Devon home page but not (i) which is buried in the list of completed indexes. I only
found it via a Google search for a namesake of the Beavis rebel.