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Sir William Brereton’s Regiment of Foot

Illustration 1||1)}| |Active| 1643 to 1646| |Country|England| |Allegiance|Parliamentarian| |Conflicts|First Civil War| |Type|Foot| |Colonel|Sir William Brereton| |Area Raised|Cheshire| |Coat Colour| | |Flag Colour|White| |Flag Design| | |Field Armies**Brereton 1643-6

Parliamentarian regiment of foot nicknamed the “Cheshire Lions” raised by Brereton, the local commander

Service History

1642

  • December: Regiment commissioned in London and £700 issued for raising.

1643

  • March: First Battle of Middlewich
  • April: Repulsed from Warrington
  • April: Battle of Whalley Abbey
  • May: Storm of Whitchurch
  • October: Battle of Wem and Leigh Bridge?
  • November: Battle of Holt Bridge

1644

  • January: Besieged in Nantwich (det)
  • January: Battle of Nantwich
  • August: Skirmish at Oswestry
  • August to November: Siege of Liverpool?
  • August: Skirmish at Malpas
  • September: Battle of Montgomery
  • October to November 1645: Siege of Beeston Castle (det)

1645

  • January: Battle of Christleton
  • January to February: Siege of Chester
  • March to September: Siege of Chester
  • September: Battle of Rowton Heath?
  • September to February 1646: Siege of Chester?
  • November: Battle of Denbigh Green

Notes

In April 1645 consisted of 16 companies including 3 dragoon/firelock companies, shown under Sir William Brereton’s Regiment of Dragoons. The regiment was probably disbanded in late 1645 or early 1646 as part of a general reorganization of the Cheshire forces.

Coats and Flags

Carried white flags in 1643/4 2)

Notable Officers

Sir William Brereton

Chidley Coote

Chidley Coote was brother of Sir Charles Coote, Second Baronet. He defended Birr Castle from 1641 until its fall in 1643. After serving in Ireland with his father and brother, Coote came to England following the cessation and served as Lieutenant Colonel of Sir William Brereton’s Regiment of Foot. In September 1644 he was attempting to raise a troop but this appears to have come to nothing and instead by December he had taken over the troop of Sir William Brereton’s Regiment of Horse raised by Francis Farrington. He Claimed for pay under Brereton from 20/10/44 till 10/08/45. At this point he transferred to command the Shropshire horse being promoted Colonel on 08/11/45 and serving until 31/07/46. He then raised Colonel Chidley Coote’s Regiment of Horse for service in Ireland.

Strength

  • Sir Wm Brereton's owne company under ye conduct of Lt Col. Venables 150 at Tarvin
  • Lt Col Cooke 100 at Wirhall Hooton
  • Major Croxton 160 at Nantwich
  • Ld Calvin about 100 at Sall(?)
  • Capt. Finch's Dragoons about 70
  • Capt. Sadler 70 in Salop
  • Capt. Moncke 60 in Staffe
  • Capt. Greene 120 at Wyre
  • Capt. Glegge now disposed of, Capt. Birkened 160 at Wyrhall
  • Capt. R(a)thbone 80 at Wyre
  • Capt. Hardware 60 at Tarvin
  • Capt. Spcere 40 in Sallop
  • Capt. Wm and Capt. Rich. Coventry and Capt. Ball 150 at Wyrhall
  • Capt. Houltes Ffirelocks

See Also

1) Image by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) Information kindly provided by BCW Wiki contributor 1642
3) British Library Additional Manuscript 11331,45

Discussion

andy-1961, 27/06/2020 17:26
Hi, although I take the point that not all the information on this and other pages are correct, I wanted to ask about two things. You may or not know that I'm the author of the book 'More Like Lions than Men: Sir William Brereton and the Cheshire Army of Parliament, 1642-46', published by Helion and Co. in January 2020.

At the top of the page on Brereton's foot regiment, it is stated that they went under the nickname of the 'Cheshire Lions' - is there a contemporary reference for this, or is it a fanciful myth? I've never, in my research into and readings of the many primary sources pertaining to the army, come across such a thing. With respect, it seems to me to be a misreading of two contemporary descriptions of Brereton's men as 'More Like Lions than Men', and thus wholly incorrect.

The page also states that Brereton's regiment carried white colours, but without a reference being supplied. Would you know where this comes from? As my book mentions, although no shades are known for their standards for sure, there are references from 1644 to a 'black regiment' and 'a regiment carrying all black colours' marching from Cheshire to Lancashire - these are likely to be Brereton's own regiment. Black colours would correspond with the known cavalry cornets and trumpet banners purchased by Brereton for his own troop in either 1642 or 1643, and would seem particularly likely for his foot regiment.

Many thanks and I look forward to hearing further about the topics.
Andy
tim, 28/06/2020 18:10
Thanks Andy, I've cut the Lions comment and expanded the discussion on flags, hopefully Victor can clarify,

all the best

Tim
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