Coat Colours Part 1: Parliamentarian Regiments of Foot



When I first started my Civil War gaming project I relied upon the many ECW coat colour tables on wargaming websites. As my project has progressed, my library has got bigger, my research has gone back to primary sources rather than relying upon second and third hand sources; and I have noticed quite a few errors in these lists for wargamers. I have also noticed the same errors appearing in multiple lists.  

 

As a result of continually seeing 'the London Trained Bands and their Auxiliaries wore red coats' (there is no evidence supporting this at all, the evidence, whilst not explicit suggests that the London Trained Bands wore civilian clothes - some of the Auxiliaries might have been issued with blue winter coats) I decided to write my own list. 

So here it is. If your allegiance lies elsewhere you might want to look at 

Part 2 Royalist coat colours
Part 3 Scots coat colours & Part 3B Montrose and the Irish Brigade
Part 4 Dragoons, Horse and the New Model Army coat colours
and information about the Trained Bands

 

The golden rule of ECW coat colours: there was no uniformity with uniforms. If a regiment had been issued red coats, don't expect them to have identical matching red coats, instead we'd probably see a mix of shades of red, and some soldiers with completely different coloured coats. Dyes were less consistent, and often not colourfast. Coats were issued and reissued, colours changed. Also remember that the references that we have cover small windows of time.

Regiments often got renamed when command passed to a new colonel - these regiments are listed under their first name e.g. Aldrich's Regiment was originally Lord Saye and Sele's Regiment. Coat colour notes refer to contemporaneous references and some of the deductions made by Peachey and Prince. You will also notice that some regiments have several coat colours listed. Where there is some question around a coat colour I have tried to give an explanation or provide notes.


 

There are a large number of regiments not included in this list - we don't know if they had coats issued, or in those cases where they were issued we don't have any colour recorded.


And if you are stuck wondering how to convert this information into what colours to use and what model paint colours, the links might help you start.

Col Thomas Ayloffe



Spring has deduced they were likely red-coated in April/May 1645 (Laurence Spring The Regiments of the Eastern Association ref. BL Add MS 18982 f409 )

 

 

Col Thomas Ballard later Col Francis Martin

grey coats lined white (Thomason Tracts E124(33); National Archive SP28/2/90, 28/298/468) from Sept 1642 receiving a new issue in Aug 1643 that was probably red or grey (You'll notice a lot of regiments being issued new coats in Aug 1643 - these regiments relieved the siege of Gloucester, there are records of thousands of red and grey coats being issued, but no details of who got what sadly) (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Col Harry Barclay

Red coats lined blue (National Archive SP28/3A/116) in Nov 1642, these were replaced, probably with red or grey in Aug 1643 (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Col William Beale later  Col John Carter

None issued soldiers were issued ribbons and scarves for the officers (National Archive SP28/144/part 10/f186)

 

 

Col John Birch later Col J Humphries

Red (National Archive SP128, 130)

 

 

Col John Bright later Lambert’s, Fleetwood’s, Eyre’s then Birches’s

1645 (As Bright’s) green coats lined yellow (The Three Sieges of Pontefract Castle, The First Siege, page 45 George Fox)

 

 

Lord Brooke’s (Edgehill)




Purple lined white(Thomason Tracts E124(33))   Please note his midland regiment most likely did not wear purple, it isn’t certain that they were issued with coats at all

 

 

Sir William Brereton's

Grey (National Archive SP28/134/12 F395r) April 1645 Staffordshire Committee paid for grey coats for Captain Monke's company 

 

 

Major General Richard Browne

Possibly red (National Archive SP28/144/pt2/28-35) coats from 1642, by 1645 they were wearing grey (BL Add 18,982 F409)

 

 

Col Henry Bulstrode later Col Cunningham’s, later Col Richard Fortescue

1642 unknown coat colour issued, 1643 red or grey coats issued (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Colonel James Carr

In Dec 1644 several 'poor soldiers' of Carr's regiment, and probably other Plymouth garrison units, received waistcoats made from old wall-hanging's confiscated from Lord Astley's house in Plymouth. (National Archive SP28.128.17)

 

 

Sir Henry Chomley

1642 blue coats lined white (Letters of Nehemiah Warton)

 

 

Sir William Constable’s Southern Regt

Blue (Thomason Tracts E124(33)) coats in Sept 1642, they were next issued coats in Aug 1643, which were probably red or grey (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Sgt Maj Gen Lawrence Crawford

Blue (Thomason Tracts E54/20, E54/7) - probably the regiment at Marston Moor referred to as “Manchester’s blewcoats” – equally might refer to Hobart’s - although Hobart’s were referred to as ‘Norfolk red coats’ some four months earlier at Newark.

 

 

Col Charles Essex

1642 tawny coats lined yellow (National Archive SP28/2/89)

 

 

Earl of Essex

Orange tawney  (Thomason Tracts E124(33)) coats from Sept 1642 until re-clothed in an unknown colour Aug 1643

 

 

Earl of Essex’s Guard of Halberdiers

Grey cassocks festooned with over 180 silver and orange buttons (National Archive SP28/2B)

 

 

Sir William Fairfax

Probably grey coats - presumed to be the 'grey coats' mentioned in an Oxford street fight (National Archive SP28/1/164)

 

 

Sir John Gell

Grey (National Archive  SP28/226/pt2, SP28/226/pt3)

 

 

Col Thomas Grantham

1642 Tawny lined white (National Archive SP28/2/88)

 

 

Lord Grey of Groby

Possibly blue – raised at same time and place as Lord Grey’s father’s regt (Earl of Stamford) who wore blue coats, believed both regts equipped the same. No definitive specific reference though.

 

 

Col John Hampden later Col Thomas Tyrell’s

Green lined yellow  (Thomason Tracts E127(120); National Archive SP28/239) under Hampden, 1643 reissue possibly kept the green coat colour “Colonell Thomas Terill Colonell of ye green Regimt late of Colonell Hampden” – although could be reference to flags

 

 

Sir Arthur Hesilrige

Blue (Thomason Tracts E50(5), E50(9))

 

 

Sir Miles Hobart

Red, described as the “Norfolk redcoats” at Newark in 1644 (BL Tanner MS62, National Archive SP28/26)

 

 

Col James Holborne later Col William Davies’s

Issued coats Nov 1642, colour not noted. Aug 1643 issued new coats in red or grey (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Col Denzil Holles

1642 red coats lined white issued (Thomason Tracts E124(33), E127(12), E127(21), E127(260, E128(28))

 

 

Col John Holmstead

Issued red coats lined white (National Archive SP28/3/504, 28/4/316) Nov 1642, Aug 1643 issued new coats in red or grey (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Col Samuel Jones later Col John Fielder

Green - the “Farnham greencoats"   (Thomason Tracts E101(64); National Archive SP28/244)

 

 

Col George Langham


Issued blue coats lined white (Thomason Tracts E129(6), E129(25)) Nov 1642, Aug 1643 issued new coats in red or grey (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Col John Leigh 

Most likely grey, the constables of Mere sent money for grey coats for the Knutsford garrison, who were most likely Leigh's regiment  (British Library Harley MS 2128 F60r)

 

 

Sgt Major General Randall Mainwaring

Wore red coats lined white in Mar 1643 and noted with red coats in Jan 1644.(National Archive SP28 261 part 3 f. 296) Mainwaring was the major of the Red LTB Regiment when he recruited his own Regiment of redcoats. Symons conflated the two into one  (he was relying on second hand information as he didn't witness the event he recorded) and so the myth of the LTB wearing red coats was born. A first hand account of the Gloucester expedition clearly identifies Mainwaring's red coats and the Red LTB regiment  as separate entities. 

 

 

Earl of Manchester

Complicated! There are references ordering green coats lined in red and red coats lined in green (National Archive SP28/26) and red coats lined in blue (National Archive SP28/26) Is there an error? Did they wear different colours at different times? Was part of the regiment red-coated and part green-coated? Spring proposes that, since it was a double-sized regiment, one 'battalion' wore green coats and the other red coats. Another hypothesis is that Major Homes was drawing the coats for the army rather than his company in Manchester's Regiment). For interest: the Sealed Knot re-enactment group have plumped for red coats some lined blue, some green.

 

 

Lord Mandeville

1642 blue (National Archive SP28/2/134)

 

 

Sir John Merrick

Grey coats lined white (Thomason Tracts E100(16), E100(20, E103(12))

 

 

Col Edward Montagu (not Earl of Manchester!)

Red coats lined white (National Archive SP24)

 

 

Col Herbert Morley

1642 red (National Archive SP28/262/374), 1645 grey (Thomason Tracts E293(23))

 

 

Sir Thomas Myddleton

Red(?) In 1644 Myddleton paid for 36 red coats (National Archive SP28/346/unfoliated)

 

 

Sir John Palgrave

Possibly Red (National Archive SP 28/26)

 

 

Col George Payne

Blue (British Library Add 18,982 F409)

 

 

Earl of Peterborough

Red lined blue when reformed Nov 1642 (National Archive SP28/3B(1))

 

 

Col John Pickering

Red lined blue 1644 (National Archive  SP28/26, SP28/128)

 

 

Major General Christopher Potley later Col David Leighton’s, then Sir Hardress Waller’s


Possibly yellow, then grey  - a reference to Waller’s Army in yellow coats (National Archive SP28/134/part 7) could be Potley’s or could refer to Waller’s Regt. 1645 Greycoats of 'Col Leyton's' put into Hardress Waller's regiment (Thomason Tracts E293(23))

 

 

Col Thomas Rainsborough later Col Grey

Red (British Library Add 18,982 F409)

 

 

Col Alexander Rigby

Grey a council of war, Preston 12th October 1643, ordered the delivery of "200 greycoats to Colonel Rigby" (Historical Manuscripts Commission, Tenth Report, Appendix part IV, (1885, re-issued 1905), p. 67 item 14)

 

 

Lord Robartes

Red coats lined with yellow (Thomason Tracts E124(33); National Archive SP28/4144) until re-equipped Aug 1643 with red or grey coats (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Lord Rochford

Blue lined white (National Archive SP28/1/280, 28/3/)

 

 

Col Simon Rugeley

Grey May 1644 the Staffordshire Committee  ordered 'that the grey cloth in the treasurer's custody shall be delivered to such as Colonel  Rugley shall appoint to make coats forthwith for his regiment' (Committee at Stafford p110)

 

 

Col Francis Russell

Red (National Archive SP28/24, SP28/299)

 

 

Lord Saye & Sele, later Sir John Meldrum’s and later Col Edward   Aldrich’s

Blue (Thomason Tracts E124(33), E129(25), E3759)

 

 

Sergeant Major General Philip Skippon

Red coats lined yellow (Thomason Tracts E85(30) Nov 1642. Aug 1643 issued new coats, likely red or grey (Bodleian Library Tanner MS 62)

 

 

Col John Sparrow

Red coats lined with blue (?) (The Regiments of the Eastern Association, Laurence Spring)

 

 

Sir William Springate

Red 1644 (National Archive SP28/130)

 

 

Earl of Stamford later Sir Edward Massey's, then Col Charles Blunt's

Blue lined white (Thomason Tracts E63, E93(4), E93(7); Bibliotheca Gloustriensis pages 27, 36, 165, 373)

 

 

Col Anthony Stapley later Col Algernon Sidney's

Red lined with yellow (National Archive SP28/3B/479)

 

 

Col Henry Stevens later Sir Edward Massey’s, then Col Thomas Morgan’s

Possibly blue (National Archive SP28/3B/479)

 

 

Col John Venn

Grey lined with yellow (National Archive SP28/261)

 

 

Sir William Waller

Possibly yellow - a reference to Waller’s Army in yellow coats  (National Archive SP28/134/part 7) could be Potley’s or could refer to Waller’s Regt.

 

 

Col Ralph Weldon

Red (Thomason Tracts E37(25); National Archive SP28/130)

 

 

Lieutenant General James Wemyss

Possibly blue (National Archive SP28/134/part 7)

 

 




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Comments

  1. Great work Radar. We’re indebted to you sir!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very helpful! I appreciate you posting your findings for our benefit. Are these all foot regiments?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, they are all Regiments of Foot

      Delete
  3. ...and this is why the web was invented - an excellent resource - well done! Put in a reference to this post on my project blog so I don't lose it..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Regarding the Earl of Manchesters Sealed Knot anecdote. When I was in the regiment back in the late 80's we were dressed in Greencoats lined russet. The change to Red lined Green occurred in 1995 when the society was reenacting NMA events and required everyone to be in Redcoats. The Red lined Green change was pretty much thought of from the top of the head with little checking or argument. I think the change to Red lined Blue occurred when a load of Hammonds transferred into the regiment about 20 years ago.

    My issue with Lawrence Springs hypothesis is that the two battalia idea basically sets the regiment up as two clearly distinct units. They may as well be two separate regiments with two different colonels. The trouble with this hypothesis is that there is no evidence to support it apart from Manchesters may have been dressed in Red lined Green or Green lined Red.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the 'inside info' on Manchester's SK.

      The two Battalia is an interesting hypothesis, I can see Spring's reasoning, but as you point out not without its flaws; which lends credence to the 'Major Homes for the army' hypothesis.

      Delete
  5. You should really think about compiling all these fantastic articles into a single volume. See if someone like Helion would sponsor the publication!

    ReplyDelete

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