after The 1st Tangier Regiment returned to England
from Tangier in 1684, it became The Queen’s Regiment
in honour perhaps of its loyal service to date and of King Charles
II’s wife, Queen Catherine. The Regiment was also known by
its nickname “Kirke’s Lambs”
after its Colonel, Kirke, and the Paschal Lamb
badge. The origin of the lamb badge is uncertain, as its first proven
association with the Regiment is not shown until its presence in
an illustration of 1714. However, it was associated with Portugal
and its symbol of christianity would have been appropriate as a
defence against the Moors in Tangier. The Regiment was to change
its name again to The Queen Dowager’s Regiment,
following the death of Charles II.
King’s death and the succession of his Roman Catholic brother
James II, led to further action by the Regiment; this time at home.
The Duke of Monmouth, son of Charles II, landed on the coast in
Dorset in order to rally protestant support and remove his uncle
from the throne; he hoped for support from the Earl of Argyle in
Scotland, but only the Campbell clan, which was quickly defeated,
rose. Monmouth’s invasion, which resulted in the last battle
fought in England at Sedgemoor was not to prove successful. The
Regiment helped quash the rebellion.
Monmouth marched on Taunton, receiving plenty of local support.
Brigadier Lord John Churchill, of later fame, who had served with
the Regiment at Tangier, was sent to intercept with a small force
of cavalry and linked up with Colonel Kirke and four companies of
the Regiment at Chard, Somerset. The King’s overall commander,
the Lord of Feversham marched to Bristol, forced Monmouth to withdraw
and then linked up with Churchill and Kirke. On the night of 5th
July 1685, Monmouth attacked the loyalist force at Sedgemoor, near
Bridgwater, Somerset, but was soundly defeated. The battle was over
early the following morning after his small army had become lost
during its night advance, had become confused and was not a match
for the larger professional force. Monmouth was beheaded on Tower
Hill and the Regiment assisted in the rounding up of his followers
for Judge Jeffries Assizes; this was a particularly bloody pursuit.