Sergeant-Major-General Henry Tillier’s Regiment of Foot

The first of the bonus regiments of foot. Regular readers (hello all eight of you) will have spotted some halberdiers and command figures feature in the Which Figures Part 2 post and wondered what became of them...

I shall start with what we know about Tillier's, hopefully dispelling a few wargamer facts™ in the process.

Raised in Ireland from Dublin garrison detachments of Ormond’s army in 1643, they returned to England in February 1644. Don't be confused about the 'raised in Dublin' bit, these men were in the main English or Welsh.

They would skirmish at Market Drayton; fight at Newark; possibly take Longford House and Tong Castle; march north with Rupert and storm Stockport, Bolton, take Liverpool, before fighting at Marston Moor where by all accounts they took very heavy losses. The Regiment was practically raised anew and would go on to the siege of Montgomery Castle, and battle of Montgomery. They stormed Leicester; fought at Naseby, again taking heavy losses. Replacement troops were recruited in Wales before a number of garrison duties in South Wales and Bristol where they were besieged. They would see the end of the war out in the garrison of Oxford.

If you would like to know more about Henry himself see here.

Noted in Symonds diary as wearing green coats. 

My inspiration for which shade of green coats to give them a SK reenactor - which easily translated to Cd'A Russian Brown

Now the question of their regimental colours. 

When in garrison at Oxford they were described thus:

And besides there is come in of late a company of Major-Generall Tylliars, they have no Ensigne flags, instead whereof every Company carrieth (upon the head of a pike) about a yard of Green Taffata.

Young postulates that Tillier's were the  possible owners of the green colours captured at Marston Moor (green field, cross of St George canton, white cross devices). More recent research/hypotheses are suggestive that these may have belonged to Tyldesley's. 

A green lieutenant colonel's colour captured at Naseby was illustrated by Turmile; although it is 'unidentified' it most probably belonged to one of three Regiments of Foot (Tillier's, Broughton's or Page's). 

The 'yard of green taffata' carried at Oxford, suggests a green field for ensigns.

A number of commercial flag manufacturers list Tillier's with green and white gyronny flags in their inventory. There is no evidence for this: pure conjecture based upon the belief that the regiments that served in Ireland might all have had ensigns that follow the gyronny system*. Unfortunately what was originally conjecture appears to have been copied, and over time 'conjecture' has become wargamer fact™.

I have played it safe by equipping them with a lieutenant colonel's ensign with a green field.

Close up of two of the Steel Fist figures - the halberdier at the back and the officer in buff coat

Figures are nearly all from PP, with a pair of Steel Fist halberdiers and an officer.

That takes my running total to eighteen Royalist Regiments of Foot (and three more commanded shot). You'd think I might have got the hang of painting them by now...

...just in case you were wondering what 714 foot figures looks like...

* Secretary of War, Richard Fanshaw, writing in 1640, describes the colours used on ensigns for ten regiments of foot that served in Ireland, but not their designs. It is believed that the Irish regiments that went on to become Apsley's, Gerard's and the Duke of York's had ensigns that followed the gyronny system. Only the full system of Apsley's is known, which follow the gyronny system; both Gerard's and the DoY's require a good helping of conjecture to give them a set of ensigns that follow the system.

And before somebody jumps down my throat: I have absolutely no problem with the use of conjecture to fill in the gaps. What does irk me is how what was once upon a time a reasonable piece of conjecture has become, over time, 'fact'.

If you enjoyed reading this, or any of the other posts, please consider supporting the blog. 


  1. Wonderful looking regiment. My first regiment I painted was Tillier's, with bright green coats and complete with conjectural gyronny ensign.😄

  2. Excellent research and presentation as ever Mike. You do the subject proud. I like the Steel Fist miniatures. They sit well with the PP ones, if a bit more brittle in my experience. I too field Tillier's with the gyronny design as it creates a bit of variety. I note Fanshaw indicates the green and white belonged to Sir Francis Willoughby's regiment (to be) raised in Munster. I did wonder if there was any connection to the troops Andrew Willoughby was due to land in Bristol in April 44 but I was unable to find any.

    1. I'm working on it for you. If I come up with anything further than is on the BCW Wiki I'll let you know.

      And thanks for the kind words

  3. Lovely work!! Vallejo "German Uniform" is also a lovely, muted, sage'y green if you need an alternative..

    1. Thanks Steve, and thanks for the paint pointer.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Prison Wagon

Coat Colours Part 1: Parliamentarian Regiments of Foot

Warlord Pike and Shotte Epic Battles: the infantry sprue

Coat Colours Part 2: Royalist Regiments of Foot

Soldiers' Clothing of the Early 17th Century

Houses of Interest: Cambridgeshire

Flags and Colours Part 3: Media

Novelty and Change

Sir Phelim macShane O’Neill's Regiment of Foot

Colonel Ruari McGuire's Regiment of Foot