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 potential contender. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives his death as 'consumption' (TB), so we have no definitive cause of death.

On Sir William's death command of the Regiment passed to his half-brother Sir James.

James led the Regiment at the Siege of Gloucester, First Newbury. They were part of the muster at Aldbourne Chase where from Symonds's reports we can deduce that they wore either all red, or all blue (I plumped for blue).

They went on to fight at Cropredy Bridge, Lostwithiel, Second Newbury, Ledbury, Leicester and Naseby.

Brushwork on these by Alan Tuckey, basing by my own fair hand.

Sir William, who was briefly Governor of Oxford is buried at Christ Church in Oxford.

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  1. Replies
    1. It is, now if only I could remember what it was. As Mr H. Simpson would say "d'oh"

    2. I’m with Steve on that.

  2. I'm fortunate to live in Pennymans home village of Marske where his family house is now a most impressive charitable care facility.
    Local historian Phil Philo has done a number of pieces on the local small actions that took place in the area including this piece involving the Pennyman family

    1. What a lovely house, you are very lucky to live close by. Many thanks for the link.

      Now thinking about Parliamentarian amphibious assault parties...

  3. Hi
    First, thanks very much for the blog - I found it through Twitter. Really like the regular features on the units that you create. Just wish I'd started on 15mm, rather than 28mm. I've got about 600 ECW painted - another 400+ to go! The latest regt - Pennyman's – is great, and would love to share your sources for some of the information you include with it. Reason for my interest is that I live about a mile down the road from Sir William's house at Marske-by-the-Sea and am fascinated by his story. I recently submitted an essay to Pike and Shot competition (didn't win!) and should be pleased to share it with you if interested. Please let me know. Keep up the good work and thanks again.
    Keep safe!
    Phil Philo, Co-Chairman, Battlefields Trust North East - South (Co.Durham & Tees Valley)

    1. Many thanks for your kind words Phil, glad you enjoy my rambling.

      I do occasionally look at some of the beautiful 28mm figures and question, albeit briefly, why I didn't go for 28mm. Reality soon kicks in and I accept that I have neither the skill or the patience to paint vast numbers of 28mm figures. 15mm seems just the right amount of detail with the ability to individualise figures (Peter Pig headswaps) and that I can see well enough to paint (heavy washes thankfully disguise and hide most of my brush work -I'm very much a technique rather than skill painter.

      My research usually starts with the BCW Project, and very occasionally Wikipedia: both give an overview that helps identify what search terms ai need to employ. Surely I can't be alone in having 'find a grave' bookmarked in my browser? The ODNB is a great resource, when I am able to access it (in other words I'm continually in the habit of putting my library card away 'somewhere safe'). I have of course tidied up entries, and added snippets of information to the BCW Regimental Wiki on a number of occasions.

      I also data mine my own library - in this case it was Reid's Cavalier Army Lists. A note to any authors out there - an Oxford Army version of Old Robin's Foot would be a sure fire winner. Gardiner's Great Civil War is a little akin to the BOW project in that it often throws up a number of lines of enquiry. Sometimes I get lucky and find digitised contemporaneous documents, more often than not I have to put up with abstracts. Now wondering if I could borrow #1 son's uni library card to access - JSTOR.

      Recently, with a little more time on my hands, I have been going a little more in depth into my regimental histories. Since initially publishing this post I have edited Sir William's cause of death from plague to probably typhus/maybe plagure/maybe consumption. Oh to live within walking distance of the National Archive and the British Library. Why is it the manuscripts that I would most like to view are invariably the ones that haven't been digitised?

      Shame to hear your essay didn't win, and of course I'd love to read it. You can e-mail me at

    2. Phil - I'd like a read as well... would you consider putting it up online somewhere?

    3. Thanks very much for your response. Yes, share your frustration that I live so far from some of the original sources in 'The Smoke' that I'd so love to consult to beef up what I must admit is 'research' from secondary sources at the moment - having said that, there is still a lot of secondary stuff to keep anyone going for a long time!

      Steve, if you'd like to send your email to I'll send you a copy. Am reluctant to putting it online at the moment because I've never had it looked at by anyone who knows what they're talking about. I'm not a BCW academic and have only recently revived my teenage interest in the period (grew up in Leicestershire close to Ashby-de-la-Zouch) and got involved with the Battlefields Trust. I have articles and give illustrated talks/guided walks on the Battles of Piercebridge, Guisborough and Yarm and am trying to put something more substantial together on the Civil War in the Tees Valley (formerly Teesside - County Durham/North Yorkshire). Best wishes. Phil


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