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'Colonel Algernon Sidney is to be beheaded on tower hill'

JAMES II (1633-1701). King of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Autograph Letter Signed ('.J.') [to his niece, Charlotte Fitzroy, illegitimate daughter of Charles II], 2 pages 4to with integral blank leaf, London, 4 December [1683].
A rather charming letter to his favourite niece, the Countess of Lichfield, daughter of Charles II and Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, hastily pouring out his news.
'... I thought, by the letter you wrot to me, before you went to see the Lady Lindsey, that so sone as you came back to Woodstocke you would not have made any long stay in the country, and now of late by the D[uke] of Monmouths being come back, I have realy had so much businesse, that I have had no tyme to my self, as for newse Colonel Algernon Sidney is to be beheaded on tower hill on friday, sure this bad winter weather, will drive you out of the country, I am sure you can have no divertion there, there being no sturing out of doors ...'
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth (1649-1685), has been assumed to be Charles II's illegitimate son by Lucy Walters and thus half-brother to Charlotte. He was to be executed on James's orders in consequence of his unsuccessful rebellion.
 Algernon Sidney (1623-1683 political writer) had been implicated with the Duke of Monmouth and others in the Rye House Plot (to assassinate Charles II and his brother, James). The evidence against him was weak, and it has been suggested that the plot was largely invented by Charles to rid himself of troublesome political opponents.
[No: 24162]


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