General George Monck’s Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 1)
Active1650 to present
CountryEngland
AllegianceParliamentarian
ConflictsThird Civil War
Glencairn’s Rising
Restoration
TypeFoot
ColonelGeorge Monck
Area RaisedNorthern England
Coat ColourRed
Flag ColourGreen?
Flag DesignWhite plates?
Field ArmiesCromwell 1650
Monck 1651-2
Monck 1654
Monck 1659-61

Later the Coldstream Guards

Regiment of foot raised for Monck from detachments of two New Model Army regiments, served in Scotland and became The Coldstream Guards after the Restoration

Service History

1650

  • June: Raised from five companies of Hesilrigge's and five of Fenwick's regiments of foot
  • July: Invade Scotland under Cromwell
  • 3rd September: Battle of Dunbar

1651

  • February: Siege of Tantallon Castle?
  • March: Siege of Blackness Castle?
  • July: Storm of Callendar House
  • August: Siege of Stirling Castle
  • August: Storm of Dundee

1652

  • May: Siege of Dunottar Castle
  • Garrison of Dunottar Castle (1 coy)
  • Garrison of Braemar (1 coy)

1653

  • Serving in Scotland

1654

  • June: Under Monck’s command suppressing Glencairn’s rising
  • September: Taking of Dumbarton

1655

  • January: Garrison of Inverary (1 coy)

1656

  • Serving in Scotland

1657

  • Serving in Scotland

1658

  • Serving in Scotland

1659

  • October: At Edinburgh
  • December: March from Berwick to Coldstream

1660

  • January: March into England
  • February: Enter London, quarter at St James’s
  • February: Guard the House of Commons
  • April: Garrison the Tower of London (4 coy)

1661

  • January: Anabaptist rising in London raises security concerns
  • February: Disbanded and re-enlisted at Tothill Fields in His Majesty’s Service
  • The Lord General’s Regiment of Foot Guards, known as The Coldstream Guards

Notes

A history of the regiment is given in The Regimental History of Cromwell's Army by Sir Charles Firth and Godfrey Davies, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1940.

Monck’s regiment of foot was raised in 1650 from five companies of Sir Arthur Hesilrigge’s, in garrison at Newcastle, and five companies of George Fenwick’s, in garrison at Berwick.

Hesilrigge’s foot were originally raised in Kent in 1643 as Colonel Ralph Weldon’s Regiment of Foot for Waller’s Southern Association. Weldon had brought them into the New Model Army as Colonel Ralph Weldon’s Regiment of Foot then was replaced by Robert Lilburne in 1647, who was replaced by Hesilrigge before the year was out.

Fenwick’s foot had originally been raised in 1642 as Lord Saye and Sele’s Regiment of Foot for the Earl of Essex’s army, with which they served from Edgehill to Second Newbury, commanded first by Sir John Meldrum, then by Colonel Edward Aldrich. They entered the New Model Army as Colonel Walter Lloyd’s Regiment of Foot. Lloyd was killed at Taunton in 1645, replaced by William Herbert, who was replaced by Robert Overton in 1647, then George Fenwick in 1649.

In the Third Civil War Monck's regiment invaded Scotland under Cromwell, fighting at the Battle of Dunbar as part of Monck’s command. They remained in Scotland under Monck in 1651 and 1652, being engaged in a number of sieges and stormings. In 1654 Monck was recalled to Scotland to put down Glencairn’s rising and took the regiment with him on his campaign in the Highlands. The regiment then remained in garrison in Scotland throughout the 1650s.

In October 1659 the regiment were at Edinburgh, where Monck re-organised them to remove any opposition. They marched via Berwick to Coldstream, where they remained for a month before entering England in January 1660. This brief stay earned them the name of the Coldstreamers, which continues to this day. Marching on London with Monck, they were instrumental in the Restoration, guarding the House of Commons and garrisoning the Tower. In January 1661 Monck’s regiment were due to be disbanded, last of all the regiments of foot as a mark of respect to the General. After an attempted rising by the Anabaptists in London, it was deemed wise to retain them in His Majesty’s Service, therefore the regiment were ceremonially disbanded and immediately re-enlisted at Tothill Fields. During Monck’s lifetime they were known at The Lord General’s Regiment of Foot Guards, and later The Coldstream Regiment of Footguards.

The regiment continues to this day in the British Army as the Coldstream Guards, having been awarded 117 battle honours in their long history. It is now ranked second in the order of precedence, behind the Grenadier Guards, since the Grenadier Guards have served the Crown for a longer period of time. However, the Coldstream Guards is the older regiment, and because of this, has the motto Nulli Secundus.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Red coats. In April 1660 the regiment were equipped with firelock muskets which they found in the Tower of London.

In 1669 Cosmo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, noted that Monck’s regiment carried green flags with distinctions of white plates, and that their musketeers wore red faced with green while the pikemen wore green faced with red 2). It is possible, though by no means certain, that the regiment carried similar colours and wore red coats faced green during the 1650s, though the contrasting dress of the pikemen appears unlikely during this decade.

Notable Officers

George Monck

Officer Lists

1656

The Lord General George Monk's Regiment of Foot3)

  • Colonel's company at Dalkeith
  • Lt Colonel William Gough's company at Edinburgh
  • Major Abraham Holmes' company at Edinburgh
  • Captain Richard Hughes' company at Dalkeith
  • Captain Francis Nichols' company at Edinburgh
  • Captain George Parker's company at Edinburgh
  • Captain Benjamin Groom's company at Edinburgh
  • Captain Roger Hathcman's company at Edinburgh
  • Captain George Walton's company at Edinburgh
  • Captain Ethelbert Morgan's company at Inverlochy

Strength

See Also

1) Flag image by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846
3) Worcester College Oxford, Clarke Manuscripts