Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
James Crofts, later Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch (April 9, 1649–July 15, 1685) recognised by some as James II of England and James VII of Scotland, was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the son of Charles II and his mistress, Lucy Walter, who had followed him into continental exile after the execution of King Charles I.
Lucy Walter had almost as bad a reputation as the prince himself, and it is not at all certain that Charles was the natural father. There was also a rumour of their having been secretly married, which would have made James the true and legitimate heir to the throne. Whatever the truth, Charles recognised James as his son, but did not make him his heir. After acceeding to the throne, Charles married the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza; by this time Lucy Walter was dead. In 1663, shortly after having been brought to England, James was created Duke of Monmouth with the subsidiary titles of Earl of Doncaster and Baron Scott of Tynedale, all three in the Peerage of England, and married off to the wealthy Anne Scott, 4th Countess of Buccleuch , and one day after his marriage they were made Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, either of his resp. her own right. Although he showed no aptitude for government, James was popular, particularly since he was a Protestant, whereas the official heir to the throne, James, Duke of York, was a Catholic.
At the age of 16 Monmouth served in the fleet under his uncle the Duke of York in the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Later in the war, he returned to England to assume his first military command as commander of a troop of cavalry. In 1669 he was made colonel of the King's Life Guards, one of the most senior appointments in the army. When the Captain General of the army, George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, died in 1670, Monmouth became the senior officer in the army at the age of 21. At the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Dutch War in 1672, a brigade of 6,000 British troops was sent to serve as part of the French army (in return for money paid to King Charles), with Monmouth as its commander. In the campaign of 1673 and in particular at the siege of Maastricht, Monmouth gained a considerable reputation as one of England's finest soldiers.
In 1678 Monmouth was commander of the Anglo-Dutch brigade, now fighting for the United Provinces against the French. He distinguished himself at the battle of St Denis, further increasing his reputation. The following year, after his return to England, he commanded the small army raised to put down the rebellion of the Scottish Covenanters. Despite being heavily outnumbered, he decisively defeated the rebels at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge on June 22 1679. By this time it was becoming apparent that Charles II would have no legitimate heir, and Monmouth was regarded by many as preferable to the Duke of York.
Following the discovery of the so-called Rye House Plot in 1683, Monmouth was obliged to go into exile in the Dutch United Provinces. On his father's death Monmouth led the "Monmouth Rebellion", an attempt to take the throne from his uncle. He declared himself King on June 20, 1685 at Bridgwater. On July 6, 1685 the two armies met at the Battle of Sedgemoor, the second last to be fought on English soil. Monmouth's makeshift force could not compete with the regular army, and was soundly defeated. Monmouth himself was captured and arrested. Despite begging for mercy, he was executed on July 15, 1685, on Tower Hill. It is said that it took eight blows of the axe to sever his head.
His dukedoms of Monmouth and Buccleuch were forfeited, but the subsidiary titles of the dukedom of Monmouth were restored to the Duke of Buccleuch.
Following his execution, according to tradition, it was realised only too late that there was no portrait of him in the National Portrait Gallery in London. For someone who had claimed the throne, allbeit in vain, this was unheard of. So his body was exhumed, the head placed back on the body, and it was sat for its portrait to be painted.
One theory states that the Duke of Monmouth was in fact The Man in the Iron Mask. Reasoning is that James II could not get it over his heart to execute his own nephew and that someone else was executed instead. James II then arranged to get Monmouth to France were he was put in the keeping of Louis XIV of France.
His marriage to Anne Scott resulted in the birth of seven children:
- Charles Scott, Earl of Doncaster (August 24, 1672 - February 9, 1673/1674.
- James Scott, Earl of Dalkeith (May 23, 1674 - March 14, 1705). He was married on January 2, 1693/1694 to Henrietta Hyde , daughter of Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester. They were parents to Francis Scott, 2nd Duke of Buccleuch .
- Lady Anne Scott (February 17, 1675 - August 13, 1685).
- Henry Scott, 1st Earl of Deloraine (1676 - December 25, 1730). He was first married in 1693 to Ann Duncombe , daughter of William Duncombe who served as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. The marriage resulted in the birth of Francis Scott, 2nd Earl of Deloraine , Henry Scott, 3rd Earl of Deloraine and a daughter Anne Scott who died young. He was secondly married on March 14, 1726 to Mary Howard , daughter of Colonel Philip Howard and Mary Jennings and grandaughter of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire . The marriage resulted in the birth of daughters Lady Georgiana Caroline Scott , later wife to James Peachey, 1st Baron Selsey , and Henrietta Scott.
- Francis Scott (1678 - buried December 8, 1679).
- Lady Isabella Scott (d. February 18, 1748).
- Lady Charlotte Scott (buried September 5, 1683).
- James Crofts who reportedly died young.
- Henriette Crofts (c. 1682 - February 27, 1729/1730). She was married arround 1697 to Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton.
- Isabel Crofts .
|- style="text-align: center;" | width="30%" |Preceded by:
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- Protestant Duke: Life of the Duke of Monmouth by Violet Wyndham ISBN 0297770993
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