The plaque, on the wall of the Market House, now home to Taunton Visitor Centre, marks the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685 and reads: “Near this place the Duke of Monmouth was proclaimed king on 20 June 1685. 19 rebels were hanged here on 9 July and 22 more in September after trial before Judge Jeffreys at Taunton Castle.”
The rebellion saw the last major pitched battle fought on English soil – the Battle of Sedgemoor – and the defeated rebels were brought to trial in front of the notorious “hanging” Judge Jeffreys in the Bloody Assizes.
Taunton played a significant role in the 17th century when the country was torn apart by civil war and, later, the Monmouth Rebellion. The town was laid siege three times between 1644 and 1645 due to its strategic position between Bristol and Devon and Cornwall. It eventually fell to the Parliamentary forces.
Pictured by the plaque are the Mayor, accompanied by her Consort, Adrian Prior-Sankey.