Sir Arthur Hesilrigge’s Regiment of Horse

The Civil War version of the 95th Rifles/French Old Guard finally emerge from my painting pile; I'm not that tardy, they were 'lost' for a number of years, and I am slowly working my way through the figures that went astray. Every ECW wargamer worth their salt will have the London Lobsters in their collection.

Sir Arthur raised a troop of horse in 1642 in Leicestershire, they were attached to Balfour's Regiment and fought at Edgehill. After Edgehill, Sir Arthur returned to London to raise the troop to full regiment strength. Their initial engagements saw the troop storm Malmesbury; fight at Highnam; and skirmish at Ripple Field, where they took heavy casualties covering the Parliamentarian retreat.

The Regiment would fight as part of Waller's Southern Association.

By now at full regiment strength they fought at Lansdown; Devizes; Roundway Down; Basing House; the Farnham standoff; Alton Church; the siege of Arundel; Cheriton; skirmished at Newbury; Cropredy Bridge; the siege of Wareham; Second Newbury; before entering the New Model Army in 1645 as Colonel John Butler’s Regiment of Horse.

Roundway Down was disastrous for the Lobsters: Heselrigge's men were arrayed six deep in close order, his charge was met by Wilmot's brigade which advanced at a trot three deep in extended order. When the opposing ranks met, Wilmot's line overlapped Heselrigge's and the Parliamentarians gave ground. Heselrigge rallied his men for a second charge but seeing the second Royalist brigade ready to support Wilmot, the cuirassiers broke away and fled. Sir Arthur was repeatedly assailed by Captain Richard Atkyns: Atkyns discharged his pistols when he felt their barrels touch his opponent's armour, "he was too well armed all over for a pistol bullet to do him any harm". Many of the routed Parliamentarian cavalry fell to their death down the steep escarpment slope of Oliver's Castle to what is known as the bloody ditch. After Roundway, the Regiment were re-equipped as harquebusiers.

In April 1645 Sir Arthur resigned his commission according to the terms of the Self Denying Ordinance; command passed to Butler and the Regiment would become part of the New Model Army.

Added officer bling visible

These are the old PP cuirassiers, which I think are much nicer sculpts than those currently available. On the plus side the new cuirassier figures have been sculpted on existing horses, so the horses have breast collars - which are missing from the royalist with pistol pack (and are really tricksy to paint freehand). Just a shame they have such unsightly infill under their pistol arm. The officer and cornet are from the new command pack: the officer has had the infill drilled out from under his pistol arm; both have had sashes* added using greenstuff. PP now produce cuirassiers with plumes and sashes (they are identical to the none fancy cuirassiers just with added C17th bling) they weren't available when I purchased these. As officers of the Regiment they seemed a little bland in their out of the bag condition, they were in dire need of a bit of blinging up. The cornet (flag) as always is from Maverick Models.

Close up showing my three 'shades' of armour

* calm down, yes of course I know that in C17th vernacular it's called a scarf, but nobody will have the feintest clue what I'm on about.

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  1. Heavy and great looking cavalry, well done!

    1. Thanks Phil, enjoyable to paint. I think the fact that they were 'different' helped.

  2. Lovely! Time for a parading of the colours??

    1. Need to finish the current batch of Parliamentarians first, which might take a wee while. There aren't actually that many, but something quite exciting is in the pipeline which may take my full attention for a period.

  3. I really like the treatment you've given the armour- great work.

    1. Thanks Codsticker. I 'got' my blackened recipe pretty early on in the project. The russetted recipe has taken an age. Think it works. It's not quite right, but at 15mm I think I can get away with it.

  4. Sir Arthur's narrow escape at Roundway Down led to King Charles' one good joke...

    1. Channeling my inner Ernie Wise: do tell...

    2. "If he was victualled as well as armed, he could have withstood a siege of 7 years"

  5. Lovely looking lobsters! Great finish on the armour!
    Best Iain

  6. Nice looking figures. I always wondered about the re-equipped as harquebusiers line, as if you had 100-200 remnants returning to London after Roundway Down, wouldn't it make sense for those troopers to retain their armour? and avoid the cost of re-equipping them with Harquebusier equipment? (After all, Hesilrigges Lobsters only appeared in June 1643, so by the time of the aftermath of Roundway Down (the month after!), the armour is still virtually brand new).

    1. Thanks for the kind words.

      I believe one of the biggest problems faced when equipping cuirassiers was finding suitable horses. There was a shortage of horses that could carry a fully armoured man for any length of time. Then throw into the mix the cost of armour and you can see why harquebusiers became the armoured cavalry of choice.


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