Lord Brooke’s (Edgehill) Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 1)
Active1642
CountryEngland
AllegianceParliamentarian
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelsLord Brooke
Area RaisedWarwickshire & London
Coat ColourPurple lined white
Flag ColourPurple
Flag DesignMullets
Field ArmiesEssex 1642

Parliamentarian foot regiment raised for the Earl of Essex’s army and disbanded by the end of 1642

Service History

1642

  • July: Standoff at Kineton Heath (Warwick comps)
  • August: Besieged at Warwick Castle (Warwick comps)
  • 23rd October: Battle of Edgehill
  • 12th November: Battle of Brentford
  • 13th November: Standoff at Turnham Green
  • 10th December: Disbanded at London

Notes

Brooke recruited foot in Warwickshire in the summer of 1642 and it is not clear if this was intended to form a separate regiment from the one he was commissioned to raise in the Earl of Essex's army. He certainly received two sets of payments for his officers, surgeon's chest, marshal's irons, colours drums partizans and halbards. The first together with levy money for 1200 men was received on the 11th August by one of the Bridges brothers. (SP28/261/16). The second without levy money was received by Major Aylworth on the 18th.August (SP28/1A/118) (Brooke also seems to have received two payments of money for scarves for his troop of horse.) However by the time of the compilation of “The list of the Army …..” in early September they seem to have been combined into one regiment with 6 London and 4 Warwickshire companies (see Officer Lists below).

Brooke's fought at Edgehill, then, together with Colonel Denzil Holles’ Regiment of Foot attempted to hold Brentford against forces led by Prince Rupert. Heavily defeated at Brentford, the Royalists described the two regiments as butchers and dyers playing on their red and purple coats. The regiment was disbanded on 10th of December 1642, some officers went on to form Sir John Northcott’s Regiment of Foot, serving in the West Country. Following the break up of the regiment Brooke was appointed on 7th January 1643 as General and commander-in-chief for the associated counties of Warwick, Stafford, Leicester, and Derby, and began to raise a second Regiment. See Lord Brooke’s (Midland) Regiment of Foot Details of Brooke's regiment are shown in Old Robin's Foot by Stuart Peachey and Alan Turton (Partizan Press).

There is a history of Brookes' regiment by Bob Giglio online at the ECWSA website

Coats and Flags

Uniquely, as far as is known, Brooke’s regiment wore purple coats2). In September 1642 a regiment carrying purple flags differenced by stars (mullets) marched through Oxford. This is generally assumed to have been Brooke's due to the use of purple, but might instead be Colonel Thomas Grantham’s Regiment of Foot. The colour of stars was not recorded, but likely was white or yellow 3). It is unknown but probably unlikely that the Warwick companies were issued any uniform nevermind purple ones.

Notable Officers

Lord Brooke

Officer Lists

In May 1642 Brooke was commissioned to raise a regiment of foot for service in Ireland. These were to be 1000 men plus officers, all and companies to be of 100 men apiece.

  • Colonel The Lord Brooke
  • Lt Colonel The Lord Forbes
  • Major John Humphrey
  • Captain Beaton
  • Captain Nicholas Crispe
  • Captain William Weldon
  • Captain Hugh Price
  • Captain William Hall
  • Captain Thomas Longe
  • Captain John Anderson 4)

From “The List of the Army…”

  • Colonel Robert Greville, the Lord Brooke.
    • Captain-Lieutenant John Ashfield.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edward Peto. (After Edgehill Peyto became Lieutenant General of the Ordnance to the Earl of Essex and served in that role until his death in September 1643)
  • Sergeant-Major Walter Aylworth. (Later in Northcott's regt)
  • Captain Thomas Fitch. (Later in Northcott's regt)
  • Captain John Lilburne. (Yes that John Lilburne)
  • Captain Ralph Cotsforth
  • Captain Thomas Hickman. (His Ensign was later in Northcott's regt)
  • Captain Nicholas Warren. (His Lieutenant was later in Northcott's regt)
  • Captain [William] Sambridge.
  • Captain John Bridges. (Took over from Peyto as governor of Warwick Castle with the rank of Major. His independent company was probably absorbed into Colonel Godfrey Bosseville’s Regiment of Foot when Bridges took it over following the Self Denying Ordinance)

Of these Brooke's, Aylworth's, Fitch's, Cotesforth's, Lilburne's and Warren's were raised in London on the 18th and 19th of August, except for Warren's that was raised a few days later. They were all paid on a single warrant dated 15th September. The clothing issue of 22nd August also specifies 6 Companies.

Of the Four remaining companies only Bridge's features in the pay warrents of Essex's army receiving a months pay on a muster of the 5th September, when it may have been with Lord Brooke at Northampton. Bridge's and Peyto were definitely commanding garrison forces in Warwickshire. Sambridge was another Warwickshire man and later commanded a troop of horse in Colonel John Ffines regiment. His Lieutenant was injured at Edgehill so his company at least would appear to have joined up with the London contingent. Hickman is more uncertain but his Ensign John Peyto was presumably a kinsman of the Lieutenant Colonel. Sambridge and Hickman probably accompanied the main army back to London.

At some point before Edgehill, and possibly as early as 29th August when 110 further uniforms were issued, two further companies were added under

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Billingsley (had been cashiered from Holles Regt 20/08/42)
  • Captain Scowcroft (I have no primary source for this officer it is possible he is mentioned in the lists of injured soldiers in Warwick after Edgehill - needs to be checked. It is possible that it is a mistake/mis-reading for Cotesforth who is called Scotesforth in one warrant)
  • St. Andrews Holborn Burial Register 1642
  • Ralph Walcott Gent died in Lord Brookes house in Holborn the 19th of November,being shott with a bullett at the fight neare Brainford the 12th November 1642 and was buried in our Church the 21 of the same.

Strength

  • 1200 authorised to be raised
  • August 1642: 740 sets of shirts and shoes issued 22nd August 1642 noted as 6 companies
  • A further 110 sets of clothing issued 29th August 1642
  • October 1642: 824 rank and file5)
  • November 1642: 480 (plus 80 men wounded at Edgehill that “return every day”)

See Also

1) Flag image by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) , 3) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846
4) The Journals of the House of Lords V 95