Colonel Hugh Fraser’s Regiment of Dragoons

Colonel Hugh Fraser’s Regiment of Dragoons were raised in 1643 and are most famous for their pivotal role at Marston Moor; the regiment also fought at  Corbridge, Penshaw, York, Doncaster, Newcastle, Carlisle, Hereford, and Newark.

The Regiment was disbanded at Kelso, apart from Colonel Fraser's troop that continued as part of the Scots New Model Army.

Figures from Peter Pig's new range of dragoons, every single figure having a headswap.

Let the headswaps begin
The Regiment are re-enacted as part of the Sealed Knot's Scots Brigade, I shamelessly copied their guidon. A crime which Stuart at Maverick Models was an accessory to.

The fighting men of the regiment
As much as I like the look of my dragoons, I have to say I am very pleased that I will probably never* have to paint another unit of them. It's like painting a small regiment of foot and a large regiment of horse at the same time.

Lots of horses and horseholders
*To utilise the title of a second rate Bond fil…

Scotland the Brave: More Lancers

Lancer: to be pronounced like Renton pronounces "dancer" as he emerges from the 'worst toilet in Scotland' in Trainspotting (but without the potty-mouth-sweariness).

Two more regiments of horse for the Solemn League and Covenant army.

The Earl of Leven's Regiment of Horse were raised in Fife in 1640 and occupied Newcastle for a year before returning to Scotland and being disbanded. raised anew in 1642 they went to fight in Ireland, returning to England in 1644. Famously fighting at York, Marston Moor (where their lancer troop proved very effective), Hereford, Philiphaugh (nope, I've never heard of this battle either), and Newark before being disbanded (apart from Leven's troop which joined the Scot's New Model Army) in 1647.

In 1648 Leven opposed the Engagers and Hamilton took over Leven's troop, which was reinforced and expanded. The (now Royalist) regiment escorted the baggage train during the Preston campaign, before getting stuck into the actio…

Lord Mauchline’s Regiment of Horse

Lord Mauchline’s Regiment of Horse was raised in Lanarkshire in July 1650. Mauchline had been commissioned to raise a regiment of foot, but raised one of horse instead.

They saw action at Dunbar in September 1650, and later went south to England in 1651 fighting at Worcester.

This is the first of three new Covenanter cavalry regiments to be raised. All of my existing Covenanter units fought for Parliament during the First Civil War: Mauchline's and the other cavalry units will be flying cornets from the Third Civil War (by which time the Covenanters had changed sides and had become Engagers). This is purely down to my desire to use known standards for units, when and wherever possible. They will of course fight for the King, and at other times they will fight for Parliament.

I have chosen to represent Mauchline's as a harquebusier regiment of horse: certainly as the years progressed Covenanter regiments started fielding more and more harquebusiers. It appears to be fairly stan…

Pikes and Plunder

On the 5th of May 1646 King Charles I surrendered himself to the Covenanters besieging Newark.

May Bank Holiday weekend (falling on the 5th and 6th of May) National Civil War Centre and the English Civil War Society put on their annual Pikes and Plunder weekend.

Living history camps at the Sconce and Newark Castle, re-enactors drilling in the market place, the National Civil War Centre open for business, the town's Civil War Trail, and all topped off with a skirmish and battle at the Queen's Sconce. What's not to like for the ECW anorak?

Living history at the castle

Authentic C17th Health and Safety signage The rest is a shameless photo gallery...

This year there was something quite special to see - the ECWS's artillery train firing from atop the Sconce.

Arty effects time...

The Ministers' Regiment

Sir Arthur Erskine of Scotscraig’s Regiment of Foot was raised in 1643. Raised by the clergy of Scotland to be "ane regiment for maintenance of religion"  they became known as The Ministers' Regiment.

There are stories of them wearing black coats made from old clerical clothes donated by Ministers. Whether this is true or not, it gives me a blooming good excuse to paint some Covenanters in not-hodden grey.

The regiment is re-enacted by Erskine's Regiment, pictures on their website have inspired me to paint the regiment in a mix of worn black and greys. Interestingly Erskine's regiment seem to exist outside of either the Sealed Knot or the ECWS.

The regiment joined Leven's army in 1644 and marched south to York. Participating in the siege and also Marston Moor. later in the same year they besieged Newcastle. They marched further south in 1645 besieging Hereford and then Newark. After Newark they were quartered in northern England before marching back north an…

Cheshire Civil War Centre

The rather grandiosely titled Cheshire Civil War Centre isn't a museum you have never heard of, rather it is a new initiative by Nantwich Museum.

The Nantwich Museum now looks at the impact of the Battle of Nantwich in the larger picture of the Civil War in Cheshire, the museum has expanded some of it's existing displays, and has an expanded education program about the Wars.

Highlight of the exhibits is an original letter signed by Sir Thomas Fairfax.

Currently on display are a number of items on loan from Chester's Grosvenor Museum, including a pair of mortuary swords found in a well.

Worth a visit if you are in the area, but not really worth a long journey to (unless you are combining it with a visit to the battlefield and the Holly Holy Day re-enactment).

The small shop has a number of Cheshire County Council Civil War booklets for sale.

Postcodes for SatNavs
Nantwich, Love Lane car park CW5 5BH Nantwich Museum CW5 5BQ

Flags and Colours Part 3: Media

Part three of the KeepYourPowderDry guide to Civil War flags and colours looks at where we can see illustrated examples of Civil War flags, and also where we can get some for our armies.

First off we have to consider the three volume series English Civil War Flags and Colours from Partisan: Volume 1 covers the English Foot, Volume 2 Scots Colours, and Volume 3 the Bill Carmen collection.

The latest reprint of Volume 1, earlier versions have a different cover
Volume 1 has an absolute wealth of information inside including coat colours, but is quite hard to read due to font and printing technique. Black and white illustrations, the book is quite dated in appearance. If a second edition with modern typesetting and colour illustrations was available it would be a surefire winner. £10.50. Despite it's shortcomings this still demands a place on the bookshelf.

Volume 2 (£9.50) exists in a number of versions; it also sits in Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the Seventeenth Century series, a…

Flags and Colours Part 2: Evidence

Part two of the KeepYourPowderDry guide to Civil War flags and colours looks at evidence - surviving flags, and contemporary records.

Surviving Flags

There is a watchett (blue green) piles wavy ensign in the collection at the National Army Museum  (not on display), which very little is known about. One source claims it predates the Civil Wars (early 1630s), whereas NAM currently believe it dates from 1688 and belonged to Prince William of Orange (before he became King William III)

Picture courtesy of the National Army Museum
Sir John Gell's on display at NAM. 

Antony House, Plymouth have a yellow ensign on display with black lion devices (possibly Alexander Carew's Cornish parliamentarian regiment of foot).

The Royal United Services Institute have a flag which appears to have been altered - possibly dating to the period, but bearing a lamb of St Wilfred device. The device is the correct way up when the flag is displayed horizontally, which would strongly suggest it is a later add…

Flags and Colours Part 1: Heraldry

This is the first of three KeepYourPowderDry guides to Civil War flags. This part looks at the rationale and rules why Civil War flags looked like they did. Not often I get to channel my inner Dr Sheldon Cooper, I doubt it will ever happen again.

To understand Civil War flags we need to know some nomenclature, some heraldic conventions, and the regimental flag systems used.

Regiments of foot carried ensigns, which were about six feet square, sometimes  a little bigger at six feet six inches square. These were carried on short staffs and on occasion twirled enthusiastically. Ensigns were rallying points during the chaos of battle. We know that some were made of silk, and others taffeta. Looking at Sir John Gell's colour on display at the National Army Museum we can see that the designs were stitched on. There is some evidence that designs were sometimes painted on to flags.

Regiments of horse carried cornets which were small (about two feet square) square flags attached to what can…

Houses of Interest: Lancashire

Whilst writing the Prince Rupert travelogue I became aware of a number of houses which had some link to the Civil Wars, but were not tied to Rupert's advance north. Nor could they claim a close connection to a particular battle, such as Bolling House's role in Adwalton Moor.

In this series you'll find houses that didn't fit the Rupert narrative very well; were closed to the public at the time of writing Rupert; or, I hadn't known about a Civil Wars connection. I propose to write one entry per county*, and will update each entry as I expand my visits. I will change the date stamps of updated entries so subscribers (hello both of you) will be informed of updates. Initially I will look at the counties most local to Château KeepYourPowderDry - Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

And so we turn to Lancashire...

One such house is Hoghton (pronounced Horton) Tower an Elizabethan fortified manor house. Strong connections to James I who stayed for three days, ba…