Colonel Thomas Sheffield’s Regiment of Horse

Flag Illustration 11)
Active1645 to 1660
CountryEngland
AllegianceParliamentarian
ConflictsFirst Civil War
Third Civil War
Glencairn’s Rising
Restoration
TypeHorse
ColonelThomas Sheffield
Thomas Harrison
Stephen Winthrop
Edward Montagu
Matthew Alured
Area Raised
Flag ColourRed
Blue
Flag DesignSee below
Field ArmiesNMA 1645-6
Lambert 1648
Harrison 1651
Monck 1654-56

Later Colonel Thomas Harrison’s, Stephen Winthrop’s, Edward Montagu’s and Matthew Alured’s Regiment of Horse

New Model Army regiment of horse serving in the First, Second and Third Civil Wars then in Scotland during Glencairn's uprising

Service History

1645

  • April: Formed from Colonel James Sheffield’s Regiment of Horse of Essex’s Army
  • May to June: Siege of Oxford
  • 14th June: Battle of Naseby
  • June: Siege of Leicester
  • June: Siege of Berkeley Castle (det)
  • July: Battle of Ilminster
  • July to August: Siege of Sherborne Castle
  • August to September: Siege of Bristol
  • September: Siege of Devizes
  • September to October: Siege of Winchester
  • October: Siege of Basing House
  • October to April: Siege of Exeter

1646

  • March: Skirmish at St Columb (det)
  • April: Storm of Ilfracombe
  • April: Taking of Barnstaple
  • May to June: Siege of Oxford

1647

  • August: Refuse to enlist for Ireland
  • June: Sheffield replaced by Thomas Harrison
  • August: March into London under Fairfax

1648

  • May: Sent to Cheshire to oppose Langdale
  • June: Join Lambert in Cumberland
  • June: Skirmish at Appleby
  • July: Battle of Preston
  • July: Battle of Winwick Pass
  • October: Sent to Scotland under Lambert
  • October: Return to England, quartered in the Midlands
  • December: In London (1 troop)
  • December: Escort King Charles from Hurst Castle to Windsor (1 troop)

1649

  • May: Part of the regiment mutinies and joins the Levellers
  • August: In South Wales, Harrison appointed commander in South Wales

1650

  • In South Wales

1651

  • June: At Penrith
  • July: At Edinburgh
  • August: March south after the Scots
  • August: Skirmish at Warrington Bridge
  • September: Battle of Worcester

1652

1653

  • July: Quartered in the Forest of Dean (2 troops)

1654

  • Sent to Scotland
  • Harrison falls out with Cromwell
  • Major Winthrop promoted to Colonel

1655

  • Serving in Scotland

1656

  • Serving in Scotland
  • April: Quartered at Selkirk, Kelso, Dumfries, Glasgow and Jedburgh
  • October: Return to England

1657

  • Serving in England

1658

  • September: Edward Montagu appointed Colonel

1659

  • August: Montagu replaced by Matthew Alured
  • October: Quartered in Somerset

1660

  • April: Two troops (Alured's and Maj. Nelthorpe's led by their Lieutenants) join Lambert but surrender at Daventry
  • November: Disbanded in Shropshire

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.

The regiment was formed from James Sheffield’s Regiment of Horse. At first command was to be given to James, but the Colonelcy went to his brother Thomas. Sheffield’s regiment fought at Naseby and a succession of sieges in the West, then at the siege of Oxford.

In 1647 the regiment refused to go to Ireland and Sheffield was replaced by Harrison, who had served in Fleetwood’s regiment. At the start of the Second Civil War the regiment joined Lambert’s force in the North, fighting at Preston. The next year two troops joined the Leveller mutiny and the regiment were later sent to garrison South Wales. In 1651 they formed part of Harrison’s force in Lancashire and took part in the Battle of Worcester.

The regiment were sent to Scotland in 1654, helping to put down Glencairn’s rising in 1654. Harrison was dismissed after opposing Cromwell and the regiment given to Stephen Winthrop, then Edward Montagu. During the Restoration crisis Montagu was replaced by Alured and two troops joined with Lambert and were captured at Daventry. In November 1660 they were disbanded in Shropshire.

Flags and Equipment

Carried red cornets under Sheffield

According to Blount: Col. Thomas Sheffield (second Son to the Earl of Mulgrave) bore this motto only without figure, NEC TIMIDUS, NEC TUMIDUS2).

Major William Rainsborough's cornet (Illustration 1) under Col. Harrison, was blue depicting the beheading of Charles I with the motto salus populi: suprema lex (let the good of the people be the supreme law).

Notable Officers

Colonel 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 when the regiment was New Modelled. Sheffield supported Parliament rather than the army in 1647 and so lost his command.

Colonel Thomas Harrison

William Rainsborough

William Rainsborough brother of the Leveller Thomas Rainsborough, he served as a captain under Sheffield then Major under Harrison. As a Fifth Monarchist he was dismissed for his extreme views in 1649.

Colonel Stephen Winthrop

Colonel Edward Montagu

Colonel Matthew Alured

Colonel of a Regiment of Horse in the Fairfaxes’ army of the First Civil War.

Trooper Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys the famous diarist, was due the pay of a trooper when the regiment disbanded. Although he claimed to have been secretary to the Colonel (Montagu rather than Alured), likely this was a sinecure.

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 and December 1646

From Anglia Rediviva3)

  • Colonel: Thomas Sheffield
  • Major: Quartermaster-General Richard Fincher
  • Captain: Robert Robotham
  • Captain: William Rainborow
  • Captain: Gabriel Martin
  • Captain: Adjutant-General Arthur Evelyn

August 1648

  • Colonel: Thomas Harrison
  • Major William Rainborough
  • Captain: John Peck
  • Captain: Whitehead
  • Captain: Henry Cromwell
  • Captain: Stephen Winthrop

Strength

  • 1645: Established at six troops

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) The Art of making Devises 2nd Ed, Thomas Blount, London, 1655
3) Sprigge, Joshua, Anglia Rediviva, London 1647