Showing posts from June, 2020

Prince Rupert’s Regiment of Horse

Prince Rupert's Regiment of Horse - the epitome of dashing cavaliers. Rupert was of course, King Charles's nephew, started his military career at age 14 when he accompanied the Prince of Orange on campaign.  He arrived in England in August 1642 with his brother, Maurice, and a retinue of battle hardened English and Scottish veterans of the wars in Europe.

Often seen as hot bloodied, and in command when the Royalist army committed some of the worst atrocities of a brutal barbaric war, he was also capable of leniency against foes who had put up a brave fight.

Of course no mention of Rupert can fail to mention his poodle Boye; Boye wasn't a 1970's toy poodle (as depicted in the film Cromwell) but instead a hunting dog.

Rupert's life and career was somewhat fantastical, there is not space to summarise his life in a few short paragraphs.

After what can only be described as a swashbuckling life he died in November 1682 of pleurisy. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

His …

Earl of Caernarvon’s Regiment of Horse

Robert Dormer, the Earl of Caernarvon, served in both the Bishops Wars as a Colonel of Horse.

He raised this Regiment in 1642; they fought at Southam, Edgehill Banbury, Cirencester, Cheham, Caversham Bridge, Chewton Mendip, Lansdown, Rowde Ford, Roundway Down, Bristol, Dorchester, Weymouth, Aldbourne Chase and First Newbury, where Robert fell. He was carried to an inn at Newbury, where King Charles is said to have sat with him until all hope of life was gone.

Richard Neville took command of the Regiment and they went on to fight at Cheriton, Cropredy Bridge, Boconnoc House, Lostwithiel, Second Newbury, the Relief of Donnington, Langport and Torrington before surrendering in March 1646 at Truro.

Robert inherited his father's title at the tender age of 6, and became the ward of King James I, James sold this wardship to the Philip Herbert 1st Earl of Montgomery and 4th Earl of Pembroke for £4000. He would marry Herbert's daughter when he was just 15. 
Robert was originally buried…

Sir Charles Gerard’s Regiment of Horse

This is the first of four Royalist Regiments of Horse that feature the old two part 'cavalry, hat with pistol' which sadly have been replaced by a new pack. I say sadly because, whilst the new pack figures are nice, the old hat wearing man with a pistol across his chest is one of my favourite PP sculpts. Love him. Shame he is no longer available. But I digress...

The blog has already looked at Sir Charles Gerrard's Regiment of Foot, so if you would like to now more about Sir Charles have a look here. He had a habit of getting himself wounded.

His Regiment of Horse were formed in Oxford, in 1642. It is thought that they fought at Ripple Field, took part in a skirmish at Oddington, stormed Bristol, fought at Aldbourne Chase, First Newbury, Andover, Winchester, Newark, Kidwelly Castle, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Newcastle Emlyn, Laugharne Castle, Roch Castle, Haverfordwest, Pembroke, rode to the Relief of Donnington Castle, Cardigan, Huntingdon, Rowton Heath, Denbigh Green, Belvoir …

Lord Percy’s Regiment of Foot

Percy's were formed from detachments sent south by Newcastle in early 1643 as an escort to an ammunition convoy. Often stated as being attached to the artillery train they were a standard Regiment of Foot which served in Thomas Blagge's Oxford Brigade, Symonds recorded them as wearing white coats at the Aldbourne Chase muster.

They fought at the Siege of Gloucester, First Newbury, occupied Newport Pagnell (oviously attracted to the good motorway connections), believed to have been at Cheriton, Cropredy Bridge, and Lostwithiel. At Lostwithiel Percy was dismissed form service, Colonel William Murray taking over the command.

Under Murray they fought at Second Newbury, Leicester and Naseby where the Regiment was almost entirely captured.

Percy was dismissed from service as it was alleged that he was complicit with Lord Henry Wilmot's secret attempts to negotiate a peace treaty with the Earl of Essex.
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Sir William Pennyman’s Regiment of Foot

Believed to be one of the first Regiments to be raised in support of the King.
Sir William Pennyman commanded a  Yorkshire Trained Band which was raised in 1639 and fought in the First Bishops War (they are believed to have worn grey coats).

This incarnation was raised in 1642, many of Sir William's Trained Band joining his regiment of volunteers.

Believed to have been at the siege of Hull, they fought at Edgehill, Brentford and were present at the Turnham Green standoff. They stormed Marlborough before taking up a garrison posting in Oxford. Venturing out of Oxford with Prince Rupert to storm Cirencester, and fight at the Battle of Caversham Bridge.
Sir William died in the Oxford 'epidemic' of August 1643 (Pennyman Papers held at Hull University  Archives). It is believed that there was a large outbreak of typhus in the Thame valley, and this was what the phrase 'the epidemic' referred to; although outbreaks of plague were also common place, so plague too is a po…

The Battles of Middlewich

The ECW Travelogue returns with it's first socially distanced entry.

The First Battle of Middlewich, 13th March 1643

The First Battle saw Sir William Brereton's Parliamentarian army  take on the Royalists of Sir Thomas Aston.

Aston arrived in Middlewich with 500 horse, about 1000 Trained Band soldiers, and 3 pieces of artillery on Saturday 11th March. The next day Brereton sent a small detachment of dragoons to harass Aston's men. Meanwhile Lord Brereton was marching from Chester with another Royalist force. Sir William Brereton called for Parliamentarian reinforcements from Nantwich.

By the Monday morning the Nantwich reinforcements had failed to materialise, so Sir William attacked with 200 musketeers and all of his cavalry. Aston sent dragoons to distract Sir William's men, and was told not to engage with the enemy. Unfortunately they didn't obey orders and the Parliamentarians took control of one of the main roads into Middlewich. Aston reinforced the Parliament…

Sir Charles Gerard’s Regiment of Foot

Another wargamer's favourite, on account of having an interesting flag. Their flag is often shown as blue and yellow, although the 'yellow' might more properly be a browny gold (Symonds described as 'fillemot' rather than 'or'). The flag also has a central laurel wreath design - the significance of this is unknown.
Raised in Lancashire at the outbreak of war, initially part of the Earl of Derby’s army, they marched south and served with the Oxford Army. Fought at the siege of Manchester, Edgehill (where Gerard was badly wounded), present at the Turnham Green standoff before garrisoning Oxford. Took part in Rupert's storming of Cirencester, and possibly Birmingham too. 

Gerard was wounded (again) at the siege of Lichfield. The Regiment besieged Reading, fought at First Newbury, and they were led at Cheriton by Lt Col Windebank; Gerard retaking command for a number of sieges and stormings (Kidwelly Casstle, Carmarthen, Cardigan, Newcastle Emlyn, Laugharne Ca…

The Scarlet Blade (1963)

Buckle your swash in Merry Olde England ™ from British horror movie stable Hammer House.

Renamed The Crimson Blade in the colonies, it stars Lionel Jeffries (Grandpa Bungie Potts in Chitty Bang Bang) as a wicked New Model Army Colonel. A young Oliver Reed is his captain.

Set after the Battle of Preston, an underground Royalist movement plots to rescue Charles I from Hampton Court...

This is a film for a wet Sunday afternoon, with a pot of tea and a good packet of biscuits. Just don't think too hard: not as fanciful as Cromwell (1970), it does stretch historical facts a touch. It's entertainment, not an accurate historical docudrama.

It really does look the part, and gives a good feel for the period, despite showing its fifty plus years.

My highlights are the fight scenes: keep a close eye on the daggers and swords being used by the extras, judging by how some of them wobble they must be made from a very flexible rubber.
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Sir Henry Bard’s Regiment of Foot

Sir Henry Bard inherited the Regiment from Colonel Thomas Pinchbeck, who had managed to get himself killed at First Newbury.

Originally raised in Northumberland, they were sent to Oxford not long after formation, to reinforce the King's Oxford Army. Not long after arriving in Oxford the Regiment was split and Lord Percy's Regiment was formed from part of the Regiment.

As Pinchbeck's they garrisoned Oxford before venturing to Newbury where Pinchbeck fell. Early in 1644 Sir Henry was commissioned as Colonel of the Regiment. Noted as wearing grey coats at the February 1644 Oxford muster by Symonds in his diary.  They carried white flags with unorthodox heraldic devices - a large cross, with a smaller cross in each quarter. Peachey and Prince tantalisingly state that they would discuss these devices in their second volume of ECW Flags..., but unfortunately they never got around to writing it.

Bard's (finally I hear both my regular readers shout) first outing as Colonel was al…

Naseby Revisited - a Visitor's Guide

As the anniversary of the Battle of Naseby approaches, I have added some extra information, and updated some other bits. In light of the Covid-19 outbreak and the absence of any formal commemorations, a gentle stroll around the battlefield is an appropriate way to remember the events of 375 years ago.

Back in the day when this blog was knee high to a grasshopper I wrote an entry about visiting Naseby, with a picture of the obelisk and a few postcodes for some of the landmarks on the battlefield. I also vowed to return. I have.

So here is a more definitive (and up to date) visitor's guide to Naseby battlefield. In my previous blog entry I suggested using a Battlefield Trail Guide from The Naseby Battlefield Project website; I found this to be pretty vague and struggled to follow it at time; so, here is my guide to the locations. There are audio clips available (NBP) which relate to the different locations (since my last visit there is now good 4G coverage over almost all the battle…