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James Scott, Duke of Monmouth
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    (April 9, 1649-July 15, 1685)
    Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Birth name was James Crofts
    Eldest illegitimate son of King Charles II
    Held the titles Duke of Monmouth, Earl of Doncaster, Earl of Dalkeith, Baron Scott of Tindale, and Baron Scott of Whitchester and Eksdale
    Led an unsuccessful rebellion against King James II (May-July, 1685)
    Beheaded for treason
    He claimed his mother, Lucy Walter, had been secretly married to Charles II, but never produced the evidence he said he had.
    He may not have been Charles' kid anyway, since Lucy Walters was also carrying on an affair with Colonel Robert Sidney (whom some people said Monmouth more closely resembled).
    He had three children out of wedlock with mistress Eleanor Needham.
    He went into exile in Holland after being implicated in the Rye House Plot to assassinate both Charles and James (1683).
    After his rebellion failed, he tried unsuccessfully to escape disguised as a shepherd.
    A rumor claimed that another man was executed in his place and he was sent off to France to become the Man in the Iron Mask; however, the earliest records of the Man in the Iron Mask date to 1669, well before the Duke's ill-fated rebellion.
    He was described as 'strikingly handsome.'
    He was the favorite of King Charles' children. (At least until the kid tried to off dad during the Rye House Plot.)
    During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, he earned a reputation as one of England's finest soldiers.
    His execution was badly bungled, requiring five blows from the axe to remove his head.

Credit: C. Fishel

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