British Nobility. Born to the then exiled Charles II and his mistress Lucy Walter in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1649. After his mother's death, he was taken in by Lord Crofts, whose surname he adopted. After the restoration of the monarchy, James was moved to court in 1662. King Charles acknowledged him as his son and created him Duke of Monmouth in 1663. Charles arranged a marriage for his son to Anne Scott, countess of Buccleuch and James legally changed his name to James Scott. For a wedding present he was created Duke of Buccleuch. At 16 Monmouth served in the fleet under his uncle the Duke of York in the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1669 he was made colonel of the King's Life Guards. When the Captain General of the army died in 1670, Monmouth became captain general, the senior officer in the army, at the age of 21. The King's lack of legitimate children prompted supporters of a Protestant succession to champion Monmouth as Charles' heir. Charles, however, affirmed that he never married Lucy Walter and deprived Monmouth of many of his posts and in 1679, Charles sent Monmouth into exile. Returning to Britain without royal permission, Monmouth worked with the Earl of Shaftsbury and the Whig party for the exclusion of James, the King's Catholic brother, from the succession. When Shaftsbury was arrested for treason for his role in the Rye House Plot, however, Monmouth fled to Holland. When Charles died in 1685 he was succeeded by his brother James. Four months later, Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis, Dorset, and raised a small army. At Taunton he was proclaimed king. After a few minor successes, the rebellion army made an ill-advised attack against King's superior forces at Sedgemoor and was routed. Monmouth was captured in the New Forest a few days after the battle. Taken to London, he was quickly executed in the Tower of London with 320 of his followers only a month after launching his bid for the throne.
Bio by: Iola