Lord Grey of Groby's Regiment of Foot

Active1643 to 1646
CountryEngland
AllegianceParliamentarian
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelLord Grey of Groby
Theophilus Grey
Area RaisedLeicester
Coat Colourblue?
Flag Colourunknown
Flag Designunknown
Field ArmiesMidland Association (Grey), 1643-45
Northern Army (Poyntz), 1645-46
Garrison

Also led by Colonel Theophilus Grey

Parliamentarian regiment of foot based at Leicester and drawn out to fight at Newark

Service History

1643

  • January: Siege of Ashby-de-la-Zouch?1)
  • January: Capture of Holt Hall, Leics.?2)
  • February: Capture of Brooke Priory, Rutland?3)
  • February: Capture of North Luffenham Hall, Rutland?4)
  • March: Capture of Rockingham Castle?5)
  • April: Capture of Burton-upon-Trent?6)
  • May: Advance on Bagworth Park, Leics.7)
  • May: Attack on Royalist garrison at Burleigh Hall, Loughborough?8)
  • May: Fighting at Wiverton Hall, Notts.?9)

1644

  • March: Skirmish at Hinckley10)
  • March: Skirmish at Cotes Bridge, Loughborough11)
  • July: Capture of Wilne Ferry garrison on the River Trent?12)

1645

  • May: Defence of Leicester13)
  • November: Storming of Shelford House, Notts.14)
  • December: Siege of Newark, regiment quartered at Coddington.15)

1646

  • May: Surrender of Newark

Notes

  • A military action marked ? denotes a reference made to Lord Grey's forces, but no direct reference to his foot regiment.
  • The regiment was sometimes commanded in the field by Lt Colonel Henry Grey, Lord Grey's cousin.

Coats and Flags

Possibly blue coats. Lord Grey's father, Henry Grey, Earl of Stamford, issued his own regiment of foot with blue coats. This regiment was raised at Leicester in the summer of 1642 and had formed a guard at the Greys' family seat of Bradgate Park. As Lord Grey's Regiment was formed at roughly the same time and place as Stamford's, it is possible that they were similarly issued with blue coats.16)

The Victorian romance “Master Dod's Blessing” makes specific reference to “Sir John Gell's grey coats, [and] some of my Lord Grey's own blues”, although a 19th-century children's story might not be considered a reliable source.17)

The design of the regimental colours is not recorded. There is reference in the Leicester Chamberlains' Accounts for 1641-1642: “paid for the colours for the trained bands then Lili18)

Notable Officers

Lord Grey of Groby

Col Theophilus Grey (1606-1679)

Younger brother of Henry Grey, 10th Earl of Kent. Colonel of the regiment and Governor of Leicester from the spring of 1645. Wounded in action at the defence of Leicester, May 31 1645. Later commanded the regiment at the siege of Newark.19)

Lt Col Henry Grey (1612-1686)

The son of Ambrose Grey of Enville Hall, Staffordshire, and first cousin of Thomas, Lord Grey of Groby. Commanded the regiment in the actions at Hinckley and Cotes Bridge 1644. Governor of Leicester in 1644. Lieutenant Colonel 09/02/44 - 22/09/44,20) Served as Governor of Grantham and took over Colonel Thomas Rainsborough’s Regiment of Foot in Lincolnshire, 04/04/45 - 25/08/4621) after Rainsborough transferred to the 'new model'. Spring is mistaken in giving this to Col James Grey. Henry Grey led Rainsborough's former regiment at the capture of Hougham Manor (June 1645)22) the surrender of Belvoir Castle (January 1646),23) and at the final siege of Newark. Subsequently served with his regiment in Ireland.24) Justice of the Peace for Staffordshire, 1680.25)

Officer List

  • Lord Grey of Groby
  • Col Theophilus Grey (w. at the defence of Leicester, 31 May 1645)
  • Lt Col Henry Grey
  • Lt Col Battersby
  • Capt Collison
  • Capt Farmer (k. at the defence of Leicester, 31 May 1645)
  • Capt Hurst (w. at the defence of Leicester, 31 May 1645)

Strength

In May 1643, Colonel Devereux Wolseley estimated Leicester's forces to be “not above 400”.26) In July 1644, Lord Grey wrote that his foot regiment's strength was “450 marching men”.27) The regiment's strength at Leicester in May 1645 was 529,28) divided among the following companies:

  • Col Theophilus Grey: 230
  • Lt Col Battersby: 50
  • Capt Farmer: 120
  • Capt Hurst: 129

See Also

Lord Grey of Groby's Regiment is re-enacted by Lord Thomas Grey's Regiment of Foote of the Sealed Knot.

1) Gell, J. “A True Relation”, in: Glover, S. (ed.) The History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby (Derby: 1899), 63
2) HMC, Portland MSS, i, 87
3) “A Continuation of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages”, 1 March 1643, Tyger's Head Books, https://reportingtheenglishcivilwar.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/lord-gray-takes-brook-house-in-rutland/
4) HMS, Portland MSS, i, 99
5) Wise, C. Rockingham Castle and the Watsons, (London: Eliot Stock, 1891), 65
6) Gell, “A True Relation”, op. cit., 64
7) HMC, Hastings MSS, ii, 102
8) Bennett, M. The Royalist War Effort in the North Midlands, 1642-1646, (Loughborough University, 1986), p.90
9) Hutchinson, L. Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson (London: Everyman, 1995), 107-108
11) Bennett, M. “The Civil War Battle at Cotes Bridge”, The Leicestershire Historian, 3, 3, pp.15-22, https://www.le.ac.uk/lahs/downloads/LeicestershireHistorian-Vol.3No.3-1984-5.pdf
12) Whitelock, B. Memorials of the English Affairs (Oxford: University Press, 1853), i, 282
13) , 28) Temple, P. An Examination Examined (London: 1645)
15) Brown, C. The Annals of Newark-upon-Trent (London: 1879), 153, https://archive.org/details/annalsofnewarkup00browuoft/page/152/mode/2up
16) A Particular Relation of the Action Before Cyrencester, 1642 (London: 1643); Hollings, J. F. The History of Leicester in the Great Civil War (Leicester: 1840), 15
17) Anon., “Master Dod's Blessing”, in: Friendship's Offering (London: 1844), 185, 187
18) Stocks, H. (ed.) Records of the Borough of Leicester, (London: Clay, 1899-1974), iv, 323
19) Nichols, J. The History of the Antiquities of the County of Leicester (Wakefield: S R Publishers, 1971), iv, 245; Temple, P. An Examination Examined (London:1645)
20) N.A. SP28/266/pt2/5
21) N.A. SP28/266/pt2/1
22) Grey. H. A True Relation of the Taking of Howhum (London, 1645), https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A95265.0001.001/1:2?
23) 'Letter from the Committee with the Army, 3 February 1646', in: Journal of the House of Lords, Volume 8 (London: 1767-1830), 141a
24) HMC 7th Report, 1
26) HMC, Hastings MSS, ibid.
27) CSPD (Charles I), vol. 502, 3 July 1644