Earl of Atholl’s Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 11)
Active1639, 1640
1648, 1651, 1653
ConflictsFirst Bishops' War
Second Bishops' War
Second Civil War
Third Civil War
Glencairn's Rising
Colonel1st Earl of Atholl
2nd Earl of Atholl
Area RaisedPerthshire
Coat ColourGrey?
Flag ColourBlue
Flag DesignWhite saltire edged red
Field ArmiesMontrose 1639
Leslie 1640
Hamilton 1648
Charles 1651

Covenanter regiment of foot serving in the Bishops' Wars, on the Preston campaign in the Second Civil War, the Third and raised again during Glencairn's rising

Service History


  • June: Battle of Megray Hill
  • June: Skirmish at the Brig o' Dee
  • June: Occupy Aberdeen
  • June: Likely disbanded


  • July: Raised in Perthshire as a condition of Atholl's release by Argyll
  • Join Leslie's army at the Border
  • August: Invade England
  • August: Taking of Newcastle
  • August to August 1641: Occupy Newcastle


  • August: Return to Scotland and disband after the Treaty of London


  • May: Raised in Perthshire
  • July: Preston campaign
  • July: Skirmish at Penrith?
  • July: Skirmish at Appleby?
  • July: Skirmish at Stainmore?
  • August: Battle of Winwick Pass
  • August: Surrender to the New Model Army at Winwick and Warrington


  • October: Atholl joins Middleton's rising
  • December: Atholl commissioned as a colonel of foot for Perthshire


  • Re-raised in Perthshire
  • May: Arrive at Stirling
  • August: Sent to Atholl


  • Join Glencairn's rising


  • September: Surrender to Monck


A history of the unit is shown in Edward M. Furgol’s A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651 Edinburgh, 1990. ISBN 0 85976 194 0

While Reid places the regiment at the Battle of Worcester, Furgol states that they did not serve on the Worcester campaign.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Identified as having blue flags at Preston with a red-edged white saltire and an inscription in gold Couenant for Religion King and Kingdoms (Illustration 1)2). Atholl's regiment of 1653 also carried blue colours.

Notable Officers

A list of the regiment's officers is shown in Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the 17th Century 2: Scots Colours Partizan Press 1988 ISBN 094652550 1

John Murray, 1st Earl of Atholl

A Royalist in sympathy, he nevertheless raised forces for the Covenanters in the Bishops' Wars. In 1642 he died and was succeeded by his son, the Second Earl.

John Murray, 2nd Earl of Atholl


  • 1639: 300 men at Aberdeen
  • 1640: Between 500 and 800 strong
  • May 1647: 800 authorised
  • August 1647: 168 officers and men surrender at Warrington
  • 1651: Estimated as 1000 men, likely wrongly
  • June 1651: 856 men
  • June 1651: 715 foot with 164 joining later
  • July: 100 foot from Dunkeld assigned to the regiment
  • July: 859 men

See Also

1) Original artwork by Tony Barton, shown by kind permission of Tony Barton and Charles Kightly. Previously published in Military Modelling magazine
2) Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the 17th Century 2: Scots Colours Partizan Press 1988 ISBN 094652550 1