Earl of Essex’s Lifeguard Troop of Horse

Flag Illustration1)
ConflictsFirst Civil War
CaptainEarl of Essex
Sir Philip Stapleton
Robert Hammond
Charles D'Oyley
Area RaisedLondon
Flag ColourOrange
Flag DesignMotto Comes Virtutis Invidia
Field ArmiesEssex 1642-5

Often referred to as Sir Philip Stapleton’s troop, as he was commander in the field

Parliamentarian troop of Cuirassiers of the Earl of Essex’s army

Service History


  • September: Rout near Powick Bridge
  • 23rd October: Battle of Edgehill
  • 13th November: Standoff at Turnham Green


  • June: Battle of Chalgrove Field
  • June: Skirmish at West Wycombe
  • August: Skirmish at Bicester
  • September: Battle of Aldbourne Chase
  • 20th September: First Battle of Newbury - 100 men
  • September: Skirmish at Aldermaston and Padworth


  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • August: Skirmish on Caradon Down
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury
  • November: Standoff at Donnington



The Earl of Essex’s Lifeguard appears to have been an independent formation in 1642, particularly at Powick Bridge and Edgehill. Later they were attached to the Earl of Essex’s Regiment of Horse, and their later service history shown above is under this assumption.

Flags and Equipment

Equipped as cuirassiers throughout the First Civil War.

Carried an orange flag with the motto COMES VIRTUTIS INVIDIA on a white scroll.

According to Blount; The Earl of Essex Captain-General of the Parliament forces bore in his coronet the motto of his own armes, without any figure, which was VIRTUTIS COMES INVIDIA, and the field or ground tawny2).

According to Prestwich; The Cornet of his Excellencie Robert Earl of Essex Captiaine Generall of the Army employed for the Defence of the Protestant Religion, the Safety of his Majesties Person and of the Parliament, the Prefervation of the Lawes, Liberties, and Peace of the Kingdom, and Protection of his Majesties Subjects from Violence and Oppression. The Cornet, orange ; on it a label (like the King's, that is,' With God and my Right”) of silver, with this motto in Roman letters. Sable, virtvtis comes invidia ; the lining of the motto or back, of gold ; fringed with gold and filver, taffelled gold.3)

The troopers were equipped with scarves and horse in August 1642, with a number also receiving saddles.

Notable Officers

Robert Devereux, Third Earl of Essex

Sir Philip Stapleton

Captain-Lieutenant Robert Hammond

Captain Charles D'Oyley

Captain of Essex’s Lifeguard in 1644 he was erroneously said to have been shot dead by Sir Humphrey Bennet at Second Newbury, but survived to lead the troop into the New Model Army, distinguishing himself at Naseby. Appointed governor of Newport Pagnell August 1645, promoted Colonel, and proposed as governor of Bristol Castle in June 1647, he fell afoul of army politics and was dismissed.

Officer list

September 1642

  • Captain “of 100 Curassiers for his Excellencies Guard”: Sir Philip Stapleton4)
  • Lieutenant: Adam Baynard
  • Cornet:
  • Quartermaster: Paul Gresham
  • Chaplain: Doctor Cornelius Burgess

List of Troopers

Mustered in August 16425)

William Bosvile, Christon Milner, Cornelius Hooker, John Bretton, Philille Twistleton, William Robinson, Richard Osborne, Christopher Wray, John James, Nathaniel Rich, Charles Fleetwood, John Bruce, Edward Pickering, Elizah Mickleways, Carles Scarborough, Thomas Toll, Nathaniel Taylor, Walter Beskell, William Frankland, Thomas Bedell, Thomas Rawlins, Isaac Pennington, Andrew Ellis, John Robinson, Edmund Ludlow, William Ludlow, Richard Fiennes, Humphrey Banks, Francis Bigg, Thomas Teltham, Anthony Gurfoot, John Treake, John Birkenshawe, Hambet Latham, Robert Appleton, William Cardinall, Nicholas Brag, Isaac Cartwright, Clement Armiger, John Fountain, Francis Saunders, Thomas Thwaits, James Kirk, Thomas Weston, Robert Lawrence, Robert Rochester, John Harrington, Geroge Gresley, James Barnes, Henry Goodyear, Thomas Disney, Roger West, Henry Stapleton, Robert Nelson, Samuel Moody, Simon Court, John Whitby, Robert Langrish, Thomas Talbot, Edward Goodyear, William Osborne, Samuel Hunt, Charles Gerard, Francis Berkeley, Richard Cust, Edward Skipwith, George Ludlow, Edward Baxter, Nicholas Chute, Edward Moseby, John dallison, Thomas Plomer, Hopton Haynes, William Bedwell, Edward Dendy, Thomas Adderby, Richard Burrell, William Salkeld, John Bedwell, Tobia Benick, Gabriel Martin, Walter Leighton, Edward Doiby, William Gurfoot, Thomas Harrison, Lionel Copley, Edward Constable, Brimesley Lenrys, Edmund Polston, Richard Major, Gamaliell Warber, Richard Moore, Robert Evingston, Edwaed Mawdes, John Lockey, Charles Pym, Matthew Tomlinson, William Balam, Robert Hay-Tubbs.


See Also

1) Original artwork by Tony Barton, shown by kind permission of Tony Barton and Charles Kightly. Previously published in Military Modelling magazine
2) The Art of making Devises 2nd Ed, Thomas Blount, London, 1655.
3) Prestwich's Respublica, London, 1787
4) A List of the Army Under the Command of Robert Earle of Essex British Library E 117 (30)
5) Public Records Office: SP28.120.1207