Showing posts from January, 2019

The Execution of Charles I

The great and good of the ECWS solemnly carry their wreath.
Charles was beheaded on Tuesday, 30th January 1649. This year was the 370th anniversary of the regicide.

Charles had spent time with two of his children, Henry and Elizabeth,on the 29th; and, had been allowed to walk his dog one last time in St James’s Park on the morning of his execution.
He had a last meal of bread and wine, then walked form St James’s Palace, where he had been held captive, to the Palace of Whitehall. An execution scaffold had been erected outside the Banqueting House. Famously, he had asked for two shirts to wear, as he did not want anyone to mistake his shivering for fear.

At 2pm, he placed his head on the executioner’s block and bade him make a clean strike. He signalled to the executioner his readiness by putting out his hands. So, I hear you wonder, have I suddenly become a monarchist lamenting the execution of King Charles? Not for one minute, it does give me the excuse of sharing some pictures of this y…

Colonel George Dodding's Regiment of Foot

A snow-day allowed me to crack on and finish the final regiment of foot to be raised before Vapnartak.

Colonel George Dodding's regiment was raised in Lancashire; George Dodding, himself, was from Conishead Priory in Ulverston (at the time it was part of Lancashire, now it is in Cumbria). He also raised a small unit of horse which took part in the siege of Lathom House and Marston Moor.

His Regiment of Foot fought at Selby, the Siege of York, Marston Moor and Ormskirk.

Figures, as always, from Peter Pig: there are a handful of headswaps in the mix, my favourite being the bandaged head on the drummer. Bases, and custom casualty marker from Warbases.

The colour is the one illustrated in Fahnen und Standarten, as for the coat colour... like so many regiments we simply don't know.

As five of last seven regiments of foot I have painted have had grey coats I wanted to use some colour. Looking at my Parliamentarian regiments there are lots of reds, so I fancied painting a blue regim…

The Battle of Nantwich, 25th January 1644

1643, Charles had signed a Cessation with the Irish and recalled soldiers from Ireland to reinforce his armies. Several regiments were sent to Cheshire where a new army was being raised. Lord Byron took command of that army in December of that year, and immediately started an offensive against the Parliamentarian forces in the County.

These troops returned to England with a sense of brutality, not seen before in the conflict. One incident in particular shocked the population, no doubt adding fuel to the Parliamentarian fire. When a group of Royalists plundered the village of Barthomley, villagers took refuge in the tower of St Bertoline's Church. The Royalists made a fire at the base of the tower to smoke them out, which forced them to surrender. The Royalists stripped and executed twelve of the villagers and wounded eight others.

Alan Garner's novel "Red Shift" uses this incident for one of the three stories within a story.

Sir William Brereton, the Parliamentari…

Sir John Gell's Regiment of Foot

The latest regiment to rally for the Parliamentarian cause. My local regiment, plus there are so many artefacts relating to Sir John on display (his buffcoat at the Royal Armouries, and one of his standards at the National Army Museum) meant I felt obliged to represent the regiment.

Sir John was commissioned as a Colonel by the Earl of Essex in 1642, and a company of grey coats was raised in Hull. The original  draft of 120 men he received from Hull had been issued with uniform from the Irish stores before they left London.

Notable action includes the first siege of Newark, the siege of Lichfield and Hopton Heath. The regiment was disbanded in 1646.

Figures, as always from Peter Pig, sadly no headswaps this time. Bases and custom casualty marker from Warbases.

Dead drunk?
I originally wanted a different grey to the greys I use for my Covenanters, so base coated the figures Coat d'Arms slate grey. It was just plain wrong, too dark. So I decided to consider it undercoat, and go back …

Chapel en le Frith

Reading contemporary accounts there are reports of many atrocities committed during the Civil Wars; some of these happened, many were exaggerated and some works of fiction.

The rise of the printing press meant reporting such acts was useful propaganda: proving that the enemy is evil, God is on our side, and ultimately swaying people to rally to the cause. Prince Rupert, for example, was famously portrayed as a witch, and Boye his familiar.

One such atrocity that did take place, took place in Chapel-en-Frith, in Derbyshire. Fifteeen hundred Scots prisoners, taken at Preston, were being escorted to awaiting ships to take them to exile in the new world. They had come from Stopford (now better known as Stockport) under the conduct of Marshall Edward Matthews.

They were rested in St Thomas Becket church in Chapel. Which sounds quite compassionate, only it wasn't. The current church would be considerably overcrowded with that number, the original church most likely slightly smaller. The…

Lowland Regiments of Foot

Whilst 'upgrading' some of the pictures of figures, I realised that I hadn't actually pictured my Covenanter regiments of foot properly. So here they are:

Master of Yester's Regiment The regiment was originally raised, and disbanded in 1639. Raised again in 1643, taking part in the siege of York and Marston Moor. Disbanded (again) in 1647, only to be raised (yet again)in 1648. Took part in the Preston campaign eventually surrendering to the New Model Army at Warrington.

Earl of Crawford-Lindsay's Regiment Raised in Fife in 1643, the regiment went on to the siege of York and Marston Moor. Joined John Baillie's army in 1645, eventually being destroyed at the Battle of Kilsyth. Raised again for the third civil war in 1650. Earl of Buccleugh's Regiment
Raised in Tweeddale in 1643, the regiment joined Leven's army and marched south. taking part in the siege of York and Marston Moor. Taken over by Scott in 1645 they took part in the siege of Newark. The regiment…

Prince Rupert's Own Blewcoats

The last Royalist regiment of foot in the latest round of recruitment. Just as every Napoleonic gamer has some Old Guard and some 95th Rifles, so every ECW enthusiast has to have Hesilrige's lobsters and Rupert's blewcoats.

The blewcoats weren't a stand out regiment of foot renowned for their toughness, or acts of daring do: what they do have is a fantastic flag. Here they are flying the colours of the fifth captain's company.

Originally raised in the west country, they became Rupert's Own Regiment of Foot  joining the King's Oxford Army. They embarked, as you might expect, on Rupert's march to York and Marston Moor. They had also fought at First Newbury*, and went on to fight at Naseby. So quite handy for making up the accurate orders of battle.

Figures, as always, from Peter Pig; standards from Maverick Models; and custom casualty marker from warbases. There are a handful of headswaps in the regiment, most notably one of the halbardiers lost his morion he…

William Douglas of Kilhead’s Regiment of Foot

Coincidentally, this is the 100th post. Time for a celebratory schooner of sherry at 

Château Keepyourpowderdry tonight methinks.
Here's the latest regiment to be recruited for the Covenant for Religion, King and Kingdoms. Sir William Douglas of Kilhead’s Regiment of Foot, here flying Captain Bruce's company's standard.

The regiment entered England in 1644 as part of Lord Leven's army, getting involved in the siege of York and ultimately taking to the field at Marson Moor. They then went on to besiege Carlisle, and ended up garrisoning the city after it fell. The regiment was disbanded in 1647

Sir William was made Governor of Carlisle, after the Siege of Carlisle 1645. In 1668 he was reated Baronet of Nova Scotia.

As always figures from Peter Pig's ever expanding ECW range. The lowland musketeers, used here, are still probably my favourite figures in the range. Once again these are lowland pike with their hands drilled out (must be getting better at that task, no…

Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle has already featured in the annals of KeepYourPowderDry in Rupert's March Part 3, here is a more in depth visit taster.

The stunning inner courtyard
Growing up in the 1970s on a diet of Welsh castles, Skipton Castle is a breath of fresh air. Part of the castle is still lived in, the 'public' part of the castle was restored after the Civil War, so it's nice to visit a castle that has rooves.

Good, cheap parking is available on site, and is handily placed if you want to explore the town after your visit to the castle. And who wouldn't want to explore a town that boasts a 'celebrated pork pie emporium'?

The castle was originally built as a  motte and bailey in the eleventh century.

The castle was an important stronghold and military garrison during the Civil War; after Marston Moor it was the only Royalist stronghold remaining in Yorkshire.  Skipton was besieged for three years, finally surrendering in December 1645. During the siege, local legen…

Marquis of Newcastle's Regiment of Foot

The latest Royalist regiment of foot to come off the painting table gets a special post all to itself. Why? Marquis of Newcastle's whitecoats are a bit special, even if they are Royalist.

Plus what's not to like about having a Colonel called Posthumous Kirton? Newcastle having a second wife who was known as Mad Madge of Newcastle is the clincher.

In 1642 the Marquis bought 3000 Scots "blew bonnets" to equip his regiments of foot, so this necessitated a few head swaps. Apparently  Newcastle wanted red coats, but the soldiers wanted white - promising to dye them red with the blood of the enemy.

At Marston Moor, they famously made an heroic last stand (we'll gloss over the fact that they arrived late as they were looting the Parliamentarian defensive positions around York). Refusing to surrender, they resisted repeated charges by the Parliamentarian cavalry until no more than 30 were left alive. This famous last stand was probably a  rear guard action to cover the s…

Something Wicked This Way Comes

The dreadful Witchfinder movie sent my train of thought to the myths, plague, and superstitions of the seventeenth century. Which ultimately led to the Witchfinder General rules.

A fierce group of  C17th Welsh women, in national dress, seeing off some strange  cat/bird hybrids. Once the seed had been sown, I needed to do some research so the Underworld box set had to be watched. PVC catsuits must get hideously sweaty in battle, plus it's probably not a look everyone could carry off.

I've already got a motley crew of civilians, some rather splendid plague physicians, priests, and a witchfinder figure from Matchlock, so I didn't think that it would be too much of a leap to find werewolves, vampires, barguests and noctelingers. Or so I thought.

Figures are easy to find in the '15mm' interpretation that is closer to 20mm, less so in the '15mm is 15 actual millimetres' figure sizing. I eventually found some.

Magister Militum provided witches,

One witch from the c…