Major General Robert Sterling’s Regiment of Foot

Active 1646 - 1649
ConflictsIrish Confederate War
Lt ColonelRobert Sterling
Area RaisedEngland
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesInchiquin 1647

English raised regiment of foot serving in Ireland under Inchiquin

Service History


  • September: Parliament commissions Colonel Sterling to raise a regiment for service in Munster1)
  • September: Sterling authorised to impress men either in the West Country or South-East England2)


  • March: More money ordered to be paid to Sterling to complete his regiment.
  • May: Three Hampshire companies ordered to join Sterling's regiment.
  • July: Sterling ordered to raise men by beat of drum.
  • August: Regiment crosses from Minehead to Youghall


  • November: Battle of Knocknanuss?


  • October: Sterling governor of Cork



Sterling's original commission called for him to raise his men either in the south-east or south-west of England. In September 1646 the regiment was named as part of an intended brigade to be commanded by Lord Broghill but was soon substituted by Colonel Grey's regiment. After Sterling's removal from command the regiment continued in existance although no new colonel appears to have been appointed. During 1649 a number of it's officers under Major Ryves (by then probably a Lt Col but just possibly a full Col.) were involved in the surrender of the Munster ports to the Cromwellians.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Notable Officers

Robert Sterling

A Scotsman, before the cessation Sterling served as Lt Col to Colonel Lawrence Crawford’s Regiment of Foot under Ormonde. His position as Major General to the Munster forces may be explained either by previous military experience or the fact that as a Scot he was outside of the provence's factional infighting. In September 1647 he was removed from his command after the interception of letters he had written to various Scottish commanders in Ulster sounding them out on possible anti-New Model Army actions. However, he returned and was again serving under Inchiquin by October 1648. He may well have resumed command over at least part of his old regiment

William Ryves

Ryves or Reeves seems to have commanded the regiment after Sterling's removal although his promotion to colonel is in doubt. After taking a leading role in the surrender of the Munster ports to Cromwell he was given his own regiment, Colonel William Reeves’ Regiment of Foot.

Officer Lists

Various Officers mentioned in connection with raising the regiment in England3)

  • Lieutenant Colonel Jephson
  • Captain Heyford
  • Captain Thomas Greene
  • Captain William Thornehill
  • Captain Burrell

August 1647 4)

  • Colonel Robert Sterling
  • Lieutenant Colonel [John Jephson?]5)
  • Major William Ryves / Reeves
  • Captain Butler
  • Captain Hawley / Dawley
  • Captain Hefford / Heyford
  • Captain Grihams / Grymes
  • Captain Michaell / Mighill6)
  • Captain Bent
  • Captain Cope
  • Major Crawford? (On 30/08/47 Sterling wrote “This day I have made Cartysburn major to my own regiment”7) This would appear to be a reference to a member of the family of Crawford of Cartesburn. Possibly Cornelius born 1601 or his son Hugh born 1625. Interestingly Cornelius's mother was a Sterling)8)

1649 Major General's regiment9)

  • Lieutenant Colonel Broe
  • Major Craford


  • October 1646: Sterling paid for “sea victualls” for 587 men transported from Minehead to Youghall10)
  • 28 August 1647: 457 men + officers

See Also

1) CSPI 1633-47 p413
2) CSPI 1633-47 p414
3) CSPI 1633-47 various
4) N.A. S28/47/222-223 alternative spellings bellow are between these two documents apart from Major Ryves which is from SP28/47/173
5) Not named in the pay warrent. He is included in the list of Lt Cols in the Petition of the Army of July 1647 ( TT E399(33) ) and is probably the man in the first list above
6) poss the Capt Robt Mighell made a freeman of Youghall in sept 1646 (Richard Caulfield “The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal” (1878) p256).
7) Irish Manuscript Commission “Tanner Letters” pp260-1
9) HMC Ormonde Mss vol 1 p220
10) N.A. SP28/202/349v