Earl of Essex’s Guard of Halberdiers

Active1642 to 1645
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelEarl of Essex
Area RaisedSouth East
Coat ColourGrey
Flag ColourNone
Flag DesignNone
Field ArmiesEssex 1642-5

Parliamentarian Halberdiers serving as a personal guard for the Earl of Essex

Service History


  • September: Battle of Edgehill
  • November: Standoff at Turnham Green?


  • April: Siege of Reading?
  • April: Battle of Caversham Bridge?
  • September: First Battle of Newbury?


  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel?


  • April: Disbanded


A non-regimented unit of thirty halberdiers, they served as a personal guard to the Earl of Essex as Lord General of the Parliamentary army. They guarded the General’s quarters as well as serving in the field. One unusual duty was entertaining the King’s trumpeters during truces. They served alongside Essex until disbandment in 1645 but had been reduced to twenty members in early 16441).

Coats, Flags and Equipment

They were equipped with halberds and 14 partizans and wore a unique uniform of a grey cassock liberally festooned with over 180 silver and orange buttons costing £4 10s for each man.

Notable Officers

Robert Devereaux, Third Earl of Essex

Earl of Essex (1591-1646)

Captain Thomas Pudsey

Lt Richard Sweynson


  • 1642 to 1644: 30 men
  • 1644 to 1645: 20 men

See Also

1) Old Robin's Foot, Stuart Peachey & Alan Turton, 1987. Partizan Press.