Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Mary Bridge Sword - a rare Sedgemoor era weapon

'Finally, no account of Westonzoyland is complete without mention being made of a very courageous 12-year-old villager by the name of Mary Bridge. At the time of the Pitchfork Rebellion a number of the King's Officers were billeted on the home of the Bridge family and one of them attempted to force his attentions on the lady of the house.

Ran Him Through

Mary Bridge happened upon the scene and, seeing her mother was being attacked, she drew the Officer's sword and fatally ran him through with the weapon. Mary was subsequently arrested and taken to Taunton to face a trial by Court Martial presided over by the dreaded Colonel Percy Kirke, a notoriously cruel man even by the standards of those desperate times.
Colonel Kirke heard the evidence and was so impressed with the girl's spirit that he pardoned her and presented the Bridge family with the sword, now to be seen in Taunton Museum.

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