Colonel Thomas Rainsborough’s Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration1)
Active1645 to 1660
ConflictsFirst Civil War
Second Civil War
Irish Confederate War
ColonelThomas Rainsborough
Richard Deane
Oliver Cromwell
Henry Cromwell
Edmund Ludlow
Area RaisedEast Anglia
Coat ColourRed
Flag ColourYellow
Flag DesignStars?
Field ArmiesNMA 1645-6
Cromwell 1648
Cromwell 1649-50

Later Colonel Richard Deane’s, Lord Lieutenant Oliver Cromwell’s, Henry Cromwell’s and Edmund Ludlow’s Regiment of Foot

New Model Army regiment of foot, serving in the First and Second Civil Wars and thereafter in Ireland

Service History


  • April: Formed from Colonel Thomas Ayloffe’s Regiment of Foot reinforced by Colonel Francis Russell’s Regiment of Foot both from the Eastern Association
  • May to June: Siege of Gaunt House
  • 14th June: Battle of Naseby
  • June: Siege of Leicester
  • July: Battle of Langport (det)
  • July: Siege of Bridgewater
  • July to August: Siege of Sherborne Castle
  • August: Siege of Nunney Castle
  • August to September: Siege of Bristol
  • September: Siege of Berkeley Castle
  • October to December: Siege of Corfe Castle


  • April: Siege of Woodstock
  • May to June: Siege of Oxford
  • June to July: Siege of Worcester
  • July: Garrison of Worcester?


  • April: Ordered to march to the coast and embark for Jersey
  • May: Mutiny
  • August: At Southwark and enter London
  • September: Rainsborough appointed Vice-Admiral, the regiment given to Richard Deane
  • November: At Kingston


  • May: With Cromwell marching on South Wales
  • May to July: Siege of Pembroke Castle
  • 17th - 18th August: Battle of Preston
  • August: Battle of Winwick Pass
  • December: Occupy London


  • February: Deane appointed as a ‘General at Sea’
  • April: Selected by lot for service in Ireland and become Lord Lieutenant Oliver Cromwell’s Regiment
  • August: Land at Dublin


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland
  • Command passed to Henry Cromwell when appointed commander in chief in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland


  • Serving in Ireland
  • Henry Cromwell removed, the regiment given to Edmund Ludlow


  • Serving in Ireland


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.

There is a history by Bob Giglio at the old ECWSA website via the Wayback Machine

Rainsborough’s regiment was formed from Ayloffe’s and Russell’s Regiments of Foot of Manchester’s Eastern Association, possibly supplemented by some of Crawford’s Regiment. They fought at Naseby, on Fairfax’s Western campaign in 1645, then at the sieges of Woodstock, Oxford and Worcester.

In 1647 Rainsborough was appointed Vice Admiral of the fleet and command went to Deane. In the Second Civil War Deane’s regiment fought alongside Cromwell in South Wales and on the Preston campaign. Meanwhile Rainsborough had taken over The Tower Guards after losses at Colchester and was with them when killed at Doncaster in October 1648. In 1649 Deane also went into the Navy, and command passed to Oliver Cromwell, as Lord Lieutenant General of Ireland. They were sent to Ireland, serving on Cromwell’s Irish campaign.

The regiment served in Ireland up until the Restoration. In 1655 command passed to Henry Cromwell, then to Edmund Ludlow in 1659.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Red coats.

On the first of April 1645 Rainsborough was provided with funds to buy 10 new flags, 23 halberds, 10 partizans and 22 drums for his regiment. In 1646 at Worcester, the flags were recorded as yellow 2). In August 1647 the regiment marched through London and a contemporary sketched diagram illustrates their deployment showing 10 flags following the 'Venn' system 3). One colour is plain, one with a cross in a canton, one with the canton and a pile wavy and eight with cantons and differenced by stars, possibly mullets. The diagram also shows two musketeers for every pikeman. In 1648 the Levellers adopted sea-green ribbons in remembrance of Rainsborough after his death in a skirmish at Doncaster, but these refer either to his heraldic colour or possibly to the regiment of The Tower Guards he commanded in 1648. In June 1649 Lord Lieutenant Cromwell's regiment were given £20 to buy new flags, their colours and designs are unknown.

Notable Officers

Colonel Thomas Rainsborough

Colonel Richard Deane

Lord Lieutenant Oliver Cromwell

Lord Deputy Henry Cromwell

Edmund Ludlow

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.

May 1645

From Anglia Rediviva4)

  • Colonel: Thomas Rainborowe
  • Lieutenant Colonel: Henry Bowen
  • Major: John Done
  • Captain: Thomas Crosse
  • Captain: John Edwards
  • Captain: George Drury
  • Captain: Thomas Dancer
  • Captain: Thomas Creamer
  • Captain: Stearne
  • Captain: ?

December 1646

From Anglia Rediviva5)

  • Colonel: Thomas Rainborowe
  • Lieutenant Colonel: Henry Bowen
  • Major: John Edwards
  • Captain: John Brown
  • Captain: Henry Flower?
  • Captain: George Drury
  • Captain: Thomas Dancer
  • Captain: Thomas Creamer
  • Captain: ?
  • Captain: ?

August 1648

  • Colonel: Richard Deane
  • Lt Colonel: Richard Elton
  • Major: John Edwards (?)
  • Captain: Thomas Walker
  • Captain: Henry Flower
  • Captain: Thomas? Creamer
  • Captain: Thomas Dancer
  • Captain: George Drury
  • Captain: ?
  • Captain: ?


  • 1645: Established at 1000 men in ten companies (probably not up to strength)
  • August 1647: 900 plus

See Also

1) Flag image by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) Information kindly provided by Victor Judge aka BCW user '1642'
3) Richard Elton's The Compleat Body Military
4) , 5) Sprigge, Joshua, Anglia Rediviva, London 1647