Colonel Thomas Ballard’s Regiment of Foot

ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelThomas Ballard
Francis Martin
Area RaisedBuckinghamshire?
Coat ColourGrey lined White
Red or Grey
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesEssex 1642-1644

Later Colonel Francis Martin’s Regiment of foot

Parliamentarian Regiment of Foot serving under the Earl of Essex from 1642 to 1644. Then in garrison at Aylesbury

Service History


  • 23rd September: Battle of Edgehill
  • 13th November: Standoff at Turnham Green?


  • April: Siege of Reading?
  • 8th September: Relief of Gloucester
  • 20th September: First Battle of Newbury



  • October: Disbanded


Originally raised for service in Ireland before being drafted into the Earl of Essex's Army. Ballard left the regiment in Aug 1643 to take up a command in the midlands and the regiment was taken over by it's Lt-Col Francis Martyn. From May 1644 to October 1645 the regiment formed the garrison of Aylesbury. A few of the officers seem to have been continued in pay until spring 1646.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Wore grey coats lined white from September 1642 receiving a new issue in August 1643 that was probably red or grey 1).

Notable Officers

Thomas Ballard

Ballard was Lt Col of Lord Grandison’s Regiment of Foot of the Second Bishops' War. He commanded an infantry brigade of Essex's army at Edgehill then took up a command in the Midlands where he was unsuccessful at the First Siege of Newark.

From The Cromwell Association Online Directory of Parliamentarian Army Officers 2)

Thomas Ballard Colonel of a regiment of foot in the earl of Essex’s Army from or by 12 Aug. 1642. On 6 Jan. 1643 he was paid a month’s salary as colonel of a brigade from 9 Dec. 1642, and as colonel of a regiment and captain of a company from 24 Dec. Ballard was still colonel as late as 31 July 1643; however, he left in the summer to campaign instead in the Midlands and the regiment had passed to Francis Martyn by 25 Aug. 1643. References: TNA, SP28/1a/66, SP28/5/39, SP28/8/224, SP28/9/187.

Francis Martin

Officer Lists

The company commanders for the Irish service were:

  • Col. Thomas Ballard3)
  • Lt Col Sir Ed Denny
  • Maj Francis Martin
  • Capt (Edw) Primrose
  • Capt Edward Allen
  • Capt Fran Fook (Foukes)
  • Capt Thomas Middleton
  • Capt Peter Nurford (Momford)

These all transferred to Essex's Army with the exception of Denny who was an Irish landowner.

  • Col Thomas Ballard 4)
  • Lt Col Francis Martin
  • Maj William Lower
  • Capt Thomas Middleton
  • Capt Francis Foukes sen
  • Capt Edward Allen
  • Capt Edward Primrose
  • Capt Peter Momford
  • Capt John Brown
  • Capt Robert Noyes

Lowther who had been a Captain in the Bishop's Wars quickly deserted to the Royalists, being replaced as Major by Thomas Browne on the 5th of October. This is possibly the same man as Capt John Brown who otherwise disappears. Noyes had previously been a Lt in the regiment. Another Captain, Jolly Merrick joined the regiment before Edgehill probably replacing either Noyes or Middleton both of whom together with Momford do not appear after Edgehill. The regiment by December 1642 looked as follows:

  • Col Thomas Ballard
  • Lt Col Francis Martin
  • Maj Thomas Browne
  • Capt Francis Foukes sen
  • Capt Edward Allen
  • Capt Edward Primrose
  • Capt Jolly Merrick
  • Capt Henry Ashley
  • Capt Leonard Moreton

Ashley transferred from Colonel Thomas Grantham’s Regiment of Foot, while Moreton had been the regiments Capt Lt.

During 1643 Ballard left the regiment, Martin was promoted to Col with Browne to Lt-Col and Foukes and then Allen serving as Major. Primrose was captured early in the year and was not released from captivity at Oxford till August dying the following month. Three other officers, Captain Manly, Captain Bowyer and Captain Cracroft are mentioned along with Capt Foukes in a single warrant in January. Bowyer presumably being the Lt Francis Bowyer of Allen's company. While a Capt Thomas Brummage who died in May was associated with the regiment in a payment to his widow. At some point it appears Foukes was promoted to Major, but died shortly after.

The move to garrison duty in Aylesbury saw a major change in officers with all but Martyn himself being replaced. mainly with officers from Colonel George Langham’s Regiment of Foot which by this time was much the same strength as Martyn's and may well have been merged with it.

  • Col Francis Martyns
  • Lt Coll Tho Clark (from Col Langham's regt)
  • Major Edward Hooke
  • Capt John Collingwood (from Col Langham's regt)
  • Capt Will Harrison (from Col Langham's regt)
  • Capt Edw Huson (from Col Langham's regt)
  • Capt Henry Langham (from Col Langham's regt)
  • Capt John Wheatley (from Col Langham's regt)


  • Aug 42 planned strength of 1200
  • Sep 42 planned strength reduced to 800
  • Oct 42 776 men
  • Dec 42 455 man
  • Mar 43 423 men
  • May 43 293 men
  • Jun 43 320 men
  • Jul 43 275 men
  • Aug 43 250 men
  • Sep 43 242 men
  • Oct 43 233 men
  • Nov 43 150 men
  • Dec 43 85 men
  • Feb 44 121 men
  • Apr 44 130 men
  • In May 44 the regt entered the garrison of Aylebury consisting of 6 companies containing 130 man and c.71 officers and £200 with which to recruit.

Contemporary Documents

“Upon the petition of Mrs Dorothy Fowke widdow late wife of John Fowke of Gunson Esq. shewing that her sonne Francis Fowke Sergeant Major to Colonell Martin was deprived of his naturall life in the Parliaments service and left 9 small children who have no means but what they have from the Petitioner It is ordered that she shall be forborne her weekely pay till further order.” The Committee at Stafford 1643 - 1645 Staffordshire Record Society 4th series vol. 1 (1957) p.230

See Also

Ballard's Regiment are re-enacted by Col. Thomas Ballard's regiment of the Sealed Knot.

1) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846
2) 'Surnames beginning 'B'', in The Cromwell Association Online Directory of Parliamentarian Army Officers , ed. Stephen K Roberts (2017), British History Online [accessed 21 July 2022].
3) , 4) A List of the Field Officers…, London 1642. British Library Thomason Tracts E 669 f6 (32)