James Crofts Scott

(James Fitzroy, Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of Monmouth)

1649 - 1685

Military leader and rebellious noble. Born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Scott was most likely the illegitimate son of King Charles II by his mistress, Lucy Walter. Charles certainly accepted him as his son (although never legitimise him) and arranged for Scott to be raised by John, Lord Crofts. In 1663, he was created Duke of Monmouth by his father and the same year, still aged only fourteen, he was married off to the wealthy heiress Anne Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch (1651 - 1732), taking his wife's surname and becoming the Duke of Buccleuch. By 1672, he was leading the army during the Anglo-Dutch War and, in 1674, Scott was appointed head (Captain-General) of the British Army succeeding General George Monk, who had died four years previously. Scott commanded the Royalist army which put down the Covenanters at Bothwell Brig in 1679.

A staunch Protestant, Scott was banished from Court in 1683, having been implicated in a series of plots, including the Rye House Plot, against his father, who was propounding pro-Catholic policies, and his uncle, King James VII (and II), who was openly Catholic.

Following the succession of his uncle, Scott finally led the Monmouth Rebellion against James and proclaimed himself King, with the view that he had a legitimate right to succeed his father. Scott landed with 4000 troops near Lyme Regis in Dorset. However, Scott's force was defeated at Sedgemoor and he was captured, tried and executed at the Tower of London, where he was buried in St. Peter's Chapel.

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