Sir John Clotworthy’s Regiment of Foot

Active1642 to 1653
ConflictsIrish Confederate War
ColonelSir John Clotworthy
Owen O’ Connelly
Leonard Lytcott
Robert Russell
Area RaisedAntrim
Coat ColourRed?
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field Armies

Later Colonel Owen O’ Connelly’s, Leonard Lytcott’s and Robert Russell’s Regiment of Foot

Known as the Antrim Regiment, they served throughout the Irish Confederate War

Service History


  • Raised in Ulster
  • January: One months pay for the officers plus arms and ammunition sent to Knockfergus.1)
  • May: Raid around Lough Beg and Apperly Hills together with the Covenanters
  • June: Taking of Fort Mountjoy?
  • July: Detachment of 500 assigned to force intended to march on Limerick2)





  • February: O' Connolly commissioned Colonel of Clotworthy's regiment3)


  • May: O’ Connolly appointed to command a regiment formed out of Fairfax’s Army
  • Army politics prevent O’ Connolly’s regiment’s formation
  • July: Sir John Clotworthy impeached by the army
  • July: O’ Connolly probably takes over Clotworthy’s after his impeachment
  • August: James Clotworthy leading horse under Michael Jones at Dungan’s Hill



  • August: Battle of Rathmines?
  • August: Garrison of Dublin
  • October: O’ Connolly killed in a skirmish in Ulster, replaced by Lytcott


  • April: Lytcott and others authorised to raise 1600 men for service in Ulster
  • July: Lytcott sent instead to Scotland, replaced by Russell


  • August to May 1652: Siege of Galway


  • October: Take surrender of Connaught Confederates


  • Disbanded


A history of the regiment is given in The Regimental History of Cromwell's Army by Sir Charles Firth and Godfrey Davies, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1940

The regiment were formed in 1642 in Antrim. They served under Clotworthy throughout the Irish Confederate War until 1647 or 1648, when Sir John was impeached by the army for Presbyterianism and the regiment appear to have split up, some joining Ormond and some Parliament. James Clotworthy, brother of Sir John, was Lt Col but by 1647 was leading 500 horse under Michael Jones and had been replaced by Owen O’ Connelly. O’ Connelly led a regiment of foot in Parliament’s service by 1649 which were probably formed from the remnants of Clotworthy’s.

O’ Connolly was replaced briefly by Leonard Lytcott, then by Robert Russell, who led the regiment to the siege of Galway, ending in the defeat of the Irish Catholic Confederacy, then to mop up opposition in Connaught. In 1653 the regiment were disbanded.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

In January 1642 1000 muskets and 1500 swords were ordered to be sent to Conway's and Clotworthy's regiments, but these didn't arrive until March 4)

Notable Officers

A list of the unit's officers is shown in Army List of the Ulster British Forces, 1642-1646. by Kevin Forkan. Archivium Hibernicum, Vol. 59 (2005), pp. 51-65 available via JSTOR

Sir John Clotworthy

James Clotworthy

Lieutenant Colonel to his brother and de facto leader of the regiment much of the time.

Owen O’ Connelly

A protestant convert, he betrayed the plot to surprise Dublin Castle at the outbreak of the Irish rebellion in October 1641. Serving in Clotworthy's regiment as a captain, he rose to the colonelcy, but was killed in a skirmish in 1649. He was said to be as stout as could be desired, but of no more conduct than a man hot ire'd

Leonard Lytcott

Lytcott served as a captain under Clotworthy, and later a colonel in Scotland

Robert Russell

A captain under Clotworthy, he became the final colonel of the regiment.

Payne Fisher

Served as Captain Lieutenant before leaving to Carlisle in 1644, see below.

Officer Lists

June 1643

  • Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Cooke
  • Major Fulke Ellis
  • Captain James Clotworthy
  • Captain Owen O'Conally
  • Captain Leonard Lytcott
  • Captain Robert Russell
  • Captain Roger Langford knt
  • Captain Willaim Bowleigh

Contemporary References


AMONGST what are termed the ” Additional Manuscripts,” in the British Museum, there is a small quarto volume of Latin and English MS. poetry, which had formerly belonged to the late Sir William Betham. It is entitled Fancies occasionally written on several Occurrances, and revised here, vidtt., from July the 22'«*, 1645, to July 28'A, 1646. A short prose dedication, from the writer to his “trusty, honored, and no less obligingly indeared friend, E. P.,” is dated Feb. 17th, 1647, and subscribed with the letters 'P. ff.” At the end there is the following memorandum:— ” Gawen Paige ye 20th May, 1683, ex dono Gulielmi Kellet.” In this volume there are four unpublished poems relating to Ulster, written at the eventful period of the early part of the Great Rebellion, by a person then serving against the Irish, in the regiment raised by the English Parliament, and commanded by Sir John Clotworthy.

I had not much difficulty in discovering who ' P. F./ the writer of these poems, was. A Latin poem, on the battle of Marston Moor, in the same volume, is one of the first published works of a certain Payne Fisher, the author of an immense number of poems, pamphlets, &c., and a person of considerable literary notoriety in his day, though now almost utterly forgotten, and even the names of the greater portion of his works buried in not ill-merited oblivion. Payne Fisher, or Paganus Piscator, as, in the puerile pedantry of the period, he delighted to style himself, was son of a gentleman of the same name, who was Captain of the Body-guard to Charles I. He was born in Gloucestershire, at the seat of Sir Robert Neale, his maternal grandfather; and in 1634, when eighteen years of age, entered Hart Hall, Oxford, as a commoner. He subsequently removed to Magdalen College, Cambridge, where he exhibited considerable poetical talent, and took one degree in art; but, as old Wood” quaintly relates, ” having a rambling head, he threw off his gown, went to Brabant, and trailed a pike in the garrison of Bolduc.” Returning to England, he served as an ensign in the army raised by Charles I. to act against the Scotch. After that army was disbanded, he was appointed to an ensigncy in the regiment raised by order of Parliament, in December, 1641, to act against the Irish rebels, and commanded by Sir John Clotworthy. It is probable that, at this period, Fisher was more attached to the King's cause than his Colonel, for he only remained about two years in England [Ireland??], during which time he rose to be captain-lieutenant.

In 1644, furnished with letters of introduction from the staunch Royalist, Colonel Chichester, he crossed over to England, and at once obtained a majority in the regiment commanded by Sir Patrick Curwen, in the King's service. He was at the battle of Marston Moor, where he was taken prisoner, and sent to Newgate. He found his confinement in that prison much worse than the hardships he suffered in Ireland, as appears by the following extract from a poem, in the volume already described, entitled A Description on Newgate, upon my first Committment thither as a Prisoner of Warre:— (To my honored friend, Sir J. Clo. Knt.} ”

When shall we meet again, Sir, and restoare Those pristine Pastimes we found heretofore ? When shall we againe unkennel up those men, Or rather Hydras, from their hell-deepe den ? Those Boggs, those Woods, through which I marcht and stood Above my middle, both in Myre and Mudd, Were nothing to my present griefs; to these They were but Fictions and Hyperboles. Fatal Glencontain, too, tho' cursed by some, To this place sure was an Elizium.”


  • 1641-2: 1000 men to be raised5)
  • May 1642: 500 men

See Also

1) N.A. SP28/1B/329
2) Journals of the House of Lords V 226
3) CSPI 1622-47, p437
4) An English Army for Ireland by Ian Ryder. Partizan Press
5) Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fourteenth Report, Appendix, Part VII, The Manuscripts of the Marquis of Ormonde