Colonel Richard Norton’s Regiment of Horse

The last of the Parliamentarian units that appeared briefly, that now deserve their moment in the spotlight. Originally appeared on here as Captain Charles Fleetwood's Regiment of Horse, but then I realised that I also field Colonel Francis Russell’s Regiment of Horse - Russell's metamorphosed into Fleetwood's (via a brief outing as Vermuyden’s). So a change of flag and a little rebranding was required.

Raised in 1643 Norton's would serve both with Essex's Field Army and Waller's Southern Association, spending much of their existence besieging Basing House.

In July 1643 they were repulsed from Basing House; went to the relief of Gloucester; First Newbury; then back to Basing House; before skirmishes at South Harting, Westbourne and Romsey.

1644 saw them skirmish at Havant; Warblington; Cheriton; skirmish at Odiham; back for round two at Basing House;  possibly at Winchester; back to Basing House; Second  Newbury; back to Basing House; skirmish at Salisbury.

1645 was a little bit different - no trips to Basing House. Possibly a skirmish at Dorchester; possibly a skirmish at Fontnill; possibly a skirmish at Langford House; Taunton; Devizes; Winchester; and oh look, I fibbed, they went back to finally take Basing House.

Colonel Richard Norton had served in the Hampshire Trained Bands prior to the Wars. he held the post of Governor of Portsmouth after it fell to Parliament; not long after he would become Governor of Southampton. He would take command the Second Siege of Basing House; would fight bravely at Cheriton; and, be wounded at Second Newbury. 

From 1643 onwards he would hold the governorships of  Southampton and then of Portsmouth A close friend of Cromwell, he'd earn the nickname Idle Dick for his lack of participation as an MP: he represented the county of Hampshire in Parliament at various times from 1645 right up to his death in 1691.

As a large bundle of his correspondence survives, including letters from Cromwell to his noble friend Dick, there is a book documenting the Regiment. But, as the cheapest copy I can currently find is a little shy of £90, we will just have to imagine its contents. A short article by the author on Norton's can be found here.

A handful of headswaps here. 

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