Oliver Cromwell’s Regiment of Foot

Active1650 to 1660
ConflictsThird Civil War
ColonelOliver Cromwell
Richard Cromwell
Charles Fleetwood
Thomas Fitch
Thomas Sheffield
Lord Ossory
Area RaisedLancashire
Coat ColourRed?
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesCromwell 1650

Later Richard Cromwell’s, Charles Fleetwood’s, Colonel Thomas Fitch’s, Thomas Sheffield’s and Lord Ossory’s Regiment of Foot

Commonwealth Regiment of Foot briefly serving in Scotland, captured the Isle of Man then remained in London

Service History


  • June: Raised in Lancashire by order of Parliament after Cromwell's return from Ireland. It was considered desirable for Cromwell to have his own foot regiment for service in Scotland. Allowed his own choice of officers, Cromwell appointed Charles Worsley lieutenant-colonel.
  • August: Worsley marches for Scotland.
  • September: The regiment reaches Edinburgh on 12th, too late to participate in the battle of Dunbar.


  • August: Garrison Manchester against the Royalist Earl of Derby during the Worcester campaign.
  • September: Capture fugitives from the battle of Worcester near Nantwich.
  • October: One of the three regiments sent under the command of Col. Duckenfield to capture the Isle of Man from the Royalists.


  • Quartered at St. James's in London.


  • April: Lt-Col. Worsley leads a company of musketeers from the regiment to assist Cromwell in the expulsion of the Rump of the Long Parliament at Westminster. Worsley personally took charge of the mace and keys to the Parliament house.


  • Quartered in London


  • Quartered in London



  • Quartered in London


  • September: Richard Cromwell takes over the regiment on the death of his father


  • April: With the fall of Richard Cromwell, the regiment passes to Charles Fleetwood
  • December: Parliament replaces Fleetwood with Colonel Thomas Fitch


  • April: Monck replaces Fitch with Thomas Sheffield
  • July: Lord Ossory becomes Colonel
  • October: Disbanded in the West Country


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.

Cromwell’s regiment was raised in Lancashire in 1650, marching directly to Scotland but arriving after the Battle of Dunbar. In 1651 they secured Manchester against the Earl of Derby and successfully invaded and captured the Isle of Man. Subsequently they were quartered at St James’ in London, notably being called in by Cromwell to expel ‘the Rump’ thus dissolving the Long Parliament.

After a number of changes of Colonel in line with the prevailing politics, they were moved to the West Country in 1660, where they disbanded in the October.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Presumably they were issued with red coats.

Notable Officers

Oliver Cromwell

Richard Cromwell

Charles Fleetwood

Thomas Fitch

Thomas Sheffield

A younger son of Edmund, Lord Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave, he served as Captain in his brother James’ regiment of horse in Essex’s army and was appointed Colonel of Colonel Thomas Sheffield’s Regiment of Horse when the regiment was New Modelled. Sheffield supported Parliament rather than the army in 1647 and so lost his command, then in 1660 was given command of Cromwell's old regiment of foot by Monck.

Lord Ossory

Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory was the son of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond.

Charles Worsley

Charles Worsley served as lieutenant-colonel from the regiment's formation until his sudden death in 1656. He was Major-General for Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major-Generals, noted for his zeal and severity.


See Also