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Duke of Monmouth James

(1649—1685) politician

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Charles II's eldest and most favoured illegitimate son, Monmouth gained experience with the French army in 1672–4. Becoming an English general in 1678, he defeated the Scottish rebels in 1679. His political ambitions began to soar when Shaftesbury, in his campaign to exclude the future James II from the succession, exploited the story that Charles had been secretly married to Monmouth's long‐dead mother, Lucy Walter. Implicated in the Whig Rye House plot to assassinate Charles and James he fled to Holland, from where he launched his disastrous invasion after James succeeded Charles. After defeat he was executed under an Act of attainder.

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