Sir Walter Erle’s Regiment of Horse

Flag Illustration1)
Active1642 to
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelSir Walter Erle
William Sydenham
Area RaisedDorset
Flag ColourRed
Flag DesignOne known
Field Armies

Later Colonel William Sydenham’s Regiment of Horse

Parliamentarian regiment of horse serving in the West Country

Service History


  • September: Siege of Sherborne Castle (1 troop)


  • February: Battle of Modbury (1 troop)
  • September: Defence of Poole


  • February: Skirmish at Dorchester
  • February: Skirmish at Holmebridge
  • June to August: Siege of Wareham
  • July: Skirmish at Dorchester
  • September: Skirmish at Bridport
  • November: Storm of Crene
  • November: Storm of Abbotsbury House
  • December: Relief of Taunton


  • February: Besieged at Weymouth
  • March: Skirmish at Dorchester



Colonel William Sydenham's cornet is illustrated above. According to Blount; Capt Sidenham Governour of Poole, bore this motto, without figure, AUSPICE CHRISTO2).

Notable Officers

A list of officers under Sydenham is shown in Laurence Spring's Waller's Army, The Regiments of Sir William Waller's Southern Association The Pike and Shot Association 2007 ISBN 978-1-902768-34-2

Sir Walter Erle

Sir Walter Erle or Earle

Colonel William Sydenham

Contemporary References

Ashley-Cooper regarding Abbotsbury

HONOURABLE, Yesterday we advanced with your brigade to Abbotsbury as a place of great concern, and which by the whole council of war was held feasible. We came thither just at night, and sent them a summons by a trumpeter, to which they returned a slighting answer and hung out their bloody flag. Immediately we drew out a party of musketeers, with which Major Baintun in person stormed the church, into which they had put thirteen men, because it flanked the house. This after a hot bickering we carried, and took all the men prisoners. After this we sent them a second summons under our hands that they might have fair quarter if they would accept it, otherwise they must expect none if they forced us to a storm. But they were so gallant that they would admit of no treaty, so that we prepared ourselves for to force it, and accordingly fell on. The business was extreme hot for above six hours; we were forced to burn down an outgate to a court before we could get to the house, and then our men rushed in through the fire and got into the hall porch, where with -furse fagots they set fire on it, and plied the windows so hard with small shot that the enemy durst not appear in the low rooms : in the meantime one of our guns played on the other side of the house, and the gunners with fire balls and granadoes with scaling ladders endeavoured to fire the second story, but, that not taking effect, our soldiers were forced to wrench open the windows with iron bars, and, pouring in fagots of furse fired, set the whole house in a naming fire, so that it was not possible to be quenched, and then they cried for quarter ; but we having bet l divers men before it, and considering how many garrisons of the same nature we were to deal with, I gave command there should be none given, but they should be kept into the house, that they and their garrison might fall together, which the soldiers with a great deal of alacrity would have performed, but that Colonel and Major Sidenham, riding to the other side of the house, gave them quarter; upon which our men fell into the house to plunder and could not be by any of their commanders drawn out, though they were told the enemy's magazine was near the fire and, if they stayed, would prove their ruin, which accordingly fell out, for the powder taking fire blew up all that were in the house, and blew four score that were in the court a yard from the ground, but hurt only two of them. Mr. Darby was of the number, but not hurt. We had hurt and killed by the enemy not fifteen, but I fear four times that number will not satisfy for the last mischance. Captain Heathcock and Mr. Cooper (who did extreme bravely) were both slain by the blow of the powder. Captain Gorge, a very gallant young gentleman, is hurt in the head with a freestone from the church tower and shot through the ankle, but we hope will live. Lieutenant Kennett to Major Peutt, who behaved himself very well, was blown up with the powder and slain ; and Lieutenant Hill, who went a volunteer and was sent in to get out the soldiers, was blown up with the rest, yet since we have taken him strongly 2 out of the rubbish and hope to preserve him. The house is burnt down to the ground, and could not be saved. We have prisoners Colonel James Strangways, Major Coles, and three captains, besides a hundred foot soldiers and thirty horse, all Strangways his whole regiment. Sir William Waller's officers all of them have behaved themselves extreme gallantly, and more than could be expected in their readiness and observance for your commands ; we cannot say to whom you owe the most thanks, only Lieutenant-Colonel Oxford we are extremely obliged to for his nobleness in joining in this expedition, though without command, only on our entreaty. Captain Starr and Captain Woodward behaved themselves extremely well. Our men are so worn out with duty and this mischance that we are necessitated to retire to Dorchester to refresh them. If you have anything in particular to command us, we shall most readily obey you. Tomorrow we have a council of war of all the officers, and then we shall conclude of what may be of most advantage to your service, and by God's blessing will faithfully prosecute it. Colonel Sidenham has yet afforded us no ammunition; all his men are supplied from us hitherto besides. He makes not up his regiment either of horse or foot ; he has withdrawn one more company this day. We have given him orders that all the prisoners that are officers should be sent to you. We humbly desire you will be pleased to consent to no exchange for any of them until Haynes be exchanged. A.A.Cooper


See Also

1) Flag image by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) The Art of making Devises 2nd Ed, Thomas Blount, London, 1655