Sgt Maj Gen Philip Skippon’s Regiment of Foot

Active1645 to 1660
CountryEngland
AllegianceParliamentarian
ConflictsFirst Civil War
Second Civil War
Third Civil War
Glencairn's Rising
Booth's Rising
TypeFoot
ColonelPhilip Skippon
William Sydenham
Alban Coxe
Richard Ashfield
Area RaisedLondon
Coat ColourRed
Flag ColourCrimson or Green?
Flag DesignUnknown
Field ArmiesNMA 1645-6
Cromwell 1648
Cromwell 1649-50
Heane 1649-51
Monck 1651-59

Later Colonel William Sydenham’s, Alban Coxe’s and Richard Ashfield’s Regiment of Foot

New Model Army regiment of foot, serving in the First, Second and Third Civil Wars and thereafter in Scotland, with a detachment serving in the Channel Islands

Service History

1645

1646

  • February: Battle of Torrington
  • May to June: Siege of Oxford
  • June to August: Siege of Raglan Castle
  • December: March north escorting pay for the Scots

1647

  • January: Garrison Newcastle

1648

  • Garrison of Newcastle
  • August: Siege of Tynemouth Castle
  • September: March on Scotland with Cromwell (6 coy)
  • December: Occupy London

1649

  • January: William Sydenham replaces Skippon as Colonel
  • January: Ordered to Bristol
  • June: Alban Coxe replaces Sydenham as Colonel
  • November: Five companies sent to Guernsey (Major Harrison)

1650

  • April: The companies remaining in England expanded back to a full regiment by adding two companies from Hull and raising two new companies
  • 3rd September: Battle of Dunbar
  • October: Siege of Edinburgh Castle
  • Garrison of Edinburgh

1651

  • Garrison of Linlithgow
  • Coxe replaced by Colonel Richard Ashfield
  • July: Reinforce Lambert in Fife after Inverkeithing
  • August: Siege of Stirling Castle
  • August to September: Siege of Dundee
  • September: Quartered at Elgin
  • September: Taking of Aberdeen?
  • October: Battle of Jersey (Maj Harrison)
  • October: Siege of Elizabeth Castle (Maj Harrison)
  • October: Taking of Mount Orgueil Castle (Maj Harrison)

1652

  • Garrison of Aberdeen
  • March: Major Harrison’s Guernsey companies shipped to Ireland, possibly reduced into John Clarke’s Regiment of Foot
  • June: Expedition to Lochaber under Lilburne

1653

  • Garrison of Aberdeen

1654

  • Aberdeen contingent skirmishes with Highlanders
  • September: Garrison of Glasgow

1655

  • Garrison of Glasgow

1656

  • Garrison of Glasgow

1657

  • Garrison of Glasgow

1658

  • Garrison of Glasgow
  • June to 1659: Garrison of Inverlochy (1 coy)

1659

  • Garrison of Glasgow
  • May: March to Durham
  • July: March to Nottingham
  • August: Two companies join Lambert against Booth, mounted as dragoons
  • August: Battle of Winnington Bridge (2 coy)?
  • October: Ashfield cashiered and Lt Col Symonds promoted by Parliament, but the regiment are still referred to as Ashfield’s later on

1660

  • January: Four companies fail to seize Newcastle before Monck arrives
  • January: Monck finds 6 companies in York
  • January: Likely reduced into other regiments of Monck’s army

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.

Major General Skippon’s New Model Army regiment was formed from Skippon’s regiment of Essex’s army, supplemented by two weak regiments of the Eastern Association, Hobart’s and Hogan’s. They fought at Naseby where Skippon was severely wounded but stayed on the field until he was satisfied the battle was won. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Ashfield therefore led the regiment on Fairfax’s Western campaign. Skippon recovered from his bullet-wound and returned to the army at the siege of Oxford.

In 1649 Sydenham replaced Skippon as Colonel, as Skippon had other duties in London, but was soon replaced by Alban Coxe. In November, a detachment under Major Harrison was sent to Guernsey, joining Heane’s force. The following April the remainder of the regiment in England under Coxe was expanded back to a full regiment.

In 1651 Harrison’s Guernsey contingent took part in the invasion of Jersey, then the next year were shipped to Ireland, where they were perhaps reduced into Colonel John Clarke's Regiment of Foot.

Coxe’s regiment, meanwhile, moved to Scotland under Cromwell, remaining as part of Monck’s army. Coxe was replaced by Ashfield in early 1651. They garrisoned Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow successively, then marched back to England in 1659, where two companies mounted as dragoons aided Lambert in putting down Booth’s rising. Monck encountered the regiment on his march south in 1660 and appears to have reduced them into other foot regiments of his army.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Red coats. Their flag colours and designs are unknown but it's probable that they continued with the eight standards they'd been issued as Skippon’s regiment of Essex’s army in November 1644. These were either green colours (with differences of yellow billets, yellow half-moons or white diamonds), or crimson colours (with differences of yellow mullets or white balls). In April 1645 Skippon was paid for two more colours to bring the regiment up to the standard total of ten.

Notable Officers

Lists of officers for April and May 1645, December 1646, May and August 1647 and May 1649 are shown in Reconstructing the New Model Army. Volume 1, Regimental Lists April 1645 to May 1649 by Malcolm Wanklyn, Helion & Co. 2015. ISBN 978-1-910777-10-7.

Sgt Maj Gen Philip Skippon

Colonel William Sydenham

Colonel Alban Coxe

From Hertfordshire, raised a troop of horse in the First Civil War and was involved with the Hertfordshire militia. Sent to Guernsey, he was Governor of the island from 1649-50.

Colonel Richard Ashfield

Lieutenant Colonel under Skippon he led the regiment on Fairfax’s Western campaign of 1645. Eventually promoted, he led the regiment as Colonel during their time in Scotland, though was often absent in London. In 1659 he was of Fleetwood’s party, and in July was sent to inspect Dunkirk. He supported Lambert and was cashiered. In 1660 he was ordered to leave London on pain of arrest. He was probably the Quaker Richard Ashfield who died in Newgate Prison in 1677 after being imprisoned for non-conformity.

Officer Lists

More detailed lists of officers for April and May 1645, December 1646, May and August 1647 and May 1649 are shown in Reconstructing the New Model Army. Volume 1, Regimental Lists April 1645 to May 1649 by Malcolm Wanklyn, Helion & Co. 2015. ISBN 978-1-910777-10-7.

Formation

Sergeant Major General Philip Skippon’s Regiment of Foot was transferred complete from Essex's Army

  • Colonel Sir Philip Skippon
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Francis
  • Major Richard Ashfield
  • Captain Morris Bowen
  • Capt James Harrison
  • Capt Samuel Clarke
  • Captain Edward Streater
  • Captain John Clarke

To which were added two more companies

December 1646

From Anglia Rediviva2)

  • Colonel: Major-General Skippon
  • Lieutenant Colonel: Richard Ashfield
  • Major: Samuel Clark
  • Captain: William Rolfe?
  • Captain: Streeter
  • Captain: James Harrison
  • Captain: John Clark
  • Captain: Bowen
  • Captain: Gibbon
  • Captain: John Cobbett
  • Captain: Richard? Symonds

Strength

  • 1645: Established at 1000 men in ten companies (probably not up to strength)

See Also

Skippon's are re-enacted by Sergeant Major Philip Skippon's Regiment of Foote of the Sealed Knot.

1) N.A. SP28/266/Pt 3/131
2) Sprigge, Joshua, Anglia Rediviva, London 1647