The Sealed Knot planned an insurrection for March 1655. There were plans to seize Salisbury, Newcastle, York and Winchester and to instigate smaller uprisings in Nottinghamshire and Cheshire. The New Model Army garrison in Winchester was reinforced shortly before the uprising so plans to attack it were abandoned. No men answered the call in Cheshire, but risings did take place in the other places. However, at all of the locations except Salisbury, the Royalists disbanded without a fight due to lack of support.
Sir John Penruddocke along with Sir Joseph Wagstaffe organised and led the Royalist uprising in the West. On March 11 Penruddocke, with between 300 and 400 other Cavaliers, took Salisbury and raised the Royal standard. The next morning he led his followers out of Salisbury heading west through Blandford, Sherborne and Yeovil hoping to pick up more supporters, but a single troop of horse of the New Model Army under Captain Unton Crook defeated them after a three-hour street fight in South Molton in Devon on 14 March. Most of the Royalists either fled or were killed but Crook captured Penruddocke and the other ringleaders. For his part in the rebellion Penruddocke was beheaded in May 1655. Some other Royalists who took part were executed and 70 were shipped to the West Indies and sold as indentured labour (slaves).