Earl Rivers’ Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration1)
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelEarl Rivers
Sir John Boys
Coat ColourUnknown
Area RaisedCheshire
Flag ColourBlack
Flag DesignSee below
Field ArmiesOxford

Later Sir John Boys’ Regiment of Foot

Royalist regiment of foot of the Oxford army later garrison of Donnington Castle then Wallingford

Service History


  • September: Raised in Cheshire
  • September: Join the King's army at Shrewsbury, apart from a detachment left in Halton Castle
  • September: Attempt on Worcester?
  • October: Quartered at Stockton, Shropshire
  • October: Battle of Edgehill
  • 12th November: Storm of Brentford - Part of Colonel Henry Wentworth's Brigade
  • 13th November: Standoff at Turnham Green
  • 5th December: Storm of Marlborough - Under Lord Wilmot
  • 9th December: Garrison of Wallingford


  • June to July: Detachment under Capt. Primrose besieged at Halton Castle, Cheshire
  • 26th July: Storm of Bristol - Under Lord Grandison, commanded by Lt-Col Boys
  • August to September: Siege of Gloucester
  • 20th September: First Battle of Newbury - Led by Earl Rivers
  • September: Garrison Donnington Castle


  • January: Boys' foot in garrison at Donnington & Newbury
  • July to October: Besieged in Donnington Castle
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury
  • October: Boys promoted to Colonel
  • October to November: Besieged in Donnington Castle


  • November to March 1646: Besieged in Donnington Castle


  • May to July: Besieged at Wallingford


A History of the Regiment by Victor Judge:

Earl Rivers' regiment of foot

John Savage, 2nd Earl Rivers raised a Regiment of Foot for King Charles and subscribed to levie 30 Horse. His Lieutenant Colonel was John Boys of Bonnington, Kent. John Savage waited upon the King at Hatton Heath, Cheshire in September 1642, and on 17th September 1642 it was reported that “Earl Rivers hath five pieces of ordnance,ten barrels of powder and 60 bullets(shot) landed at Frodsham”.

A Company under Captain Walter Primrose, a local man from Frodsham, was detached to hold Halton Castle. When the King reached Shrewsbury 20th September he was joined by the Regiments of Rivers, Fitton and Sir Thomas Aston.

The Regiment took part in the attempted storming of Worcester on 25th September 1642 when it was noted in a letter that after the retreat of the Earl of Lindsay, “Earl Rivers with his venomous spleen and envy brought up his Foote, thinking to have brought his devilish desires to perfection, and to have fired the Towne ….”

On the 12th October the Regiment was quartered at Stockton, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire and thereafter marched to Edgehill where they took part in the battle 23rd October 1642. This is evidenced by petitions of drummer Ralph Dod of Tiverton in Captain Henry Bennet's company, William Adderton of Tarvin under John Boys, Sergeant Thomas Jace under Captain Edward Donne and William Woodfine under Earl Rivers.

(Note: Earl Rivers' regiment do not appear on de Gomme's diagram of Royalist deployment for the Battle of Edgehill, but was clearly part of the King's main army at the time. Brigadier Young suggested that they had been detached, perhaps to screen Banbury, however several soldiers of Rivers' regiment claimed service at Edgehill. This could perhaps be explained by Rivers' regiment being brigaded together with another under-strength Royalist foot regiment, maybe Fitton's or one of Belasyse's brigade, and going un-noticed by de Gomme. - Tim)

The Regiment would appear to number around 350 men using the calculations of Peter Young which are based upon a pay warrant of 16th November 1642.

On 5th November 1642 Lt. Col. Boys signed for powder and bullets and on the 12th November Lieutenant Thomas Daniell was killed at the storming of Brentford.

On 5-6th December the Regiment in conjunction with Col. Edward Greys Dragoons attacked the North-East side of Marlborough but were forced to retreat. However at the same time Sir William Pennyman's Regiment attacked the weaker defended North-West side and after a three hour fight broke into the town.

After this action they were quartered in Wallingford along with Thomas Blagges Foot and Lord Digbys Horse. There is a note on the bottom of an unrelated letter in Harl.6851 which reads as follows January 1642/3 “Whereas there are now making at Wallingford diverse suits of clothes towards the clothing of the garrison, that the Governor there should cause equal distribution to be made between his own and the Earl Rivers regiments proportionately according to the strength and number of each regiment.”

There is a possibility that the Regiment was in the Tertio of John Belasyse at Edghill with the Regiments of Belasyse, Pennyman and Blagge, as the latter two Regiments took part in the capture of Marlborough and Blagges Regiment took part at the storming of Brentford in conjunction with Earl Rivers Regiment.

Meanwhile on 19th June 1643 the Company in Halton Castle were being beseiged and Captain Primrose issued from the Castle with 32 of his soldiers and killed one of the besiegers' guards and captured 20 good muskets with match and bullets together with good store of provisions. The following evening the rebels appeared before the Castle and Primrose's Company issued forth and killed a further 10. Several pieces of Ordnance were brought from Warrington by the rebels but the Captain hung out his Flag of defiance resolving to lose his life rather than the Castle.

Articles agreed upp betwixt Capt. Henrie Brooke Esq on ye one pte and Capt Primrose of Halton for the delivery of Halton Castle the twentieth day of July 1643 as followes.

That the Castle and all the ordinance, armes, goods, ammunition, provisions and all belongings therein contayned shall be forthwith delivered into the custodie of Capt. Henrie Broke Esq according to the conditions before mentioned and during the said time there be no hostile attempt by ye said Capt. Primrose or his Souldiers.

That none of ye soldiers in ye same Castle shall use any treachery in ye delivery of ye said Castle, neither to ye persons that shall enter, neither to ye ordinance, armes, ammunition nor any other parte of ye goods therein.

Witnesses thereof

Thomas Marbury Richard Offley Peter Pickering

Signed H. Brooke Walter Primrose

One of the Castles occupants was Edward Wrench of Davenham a Bayliffe of Earl Rivers SP23. .810

On the 18th July 1643 Prince Rupert with 14 Regiments left Oxford and marched to the west of England with the intention of capturing Bristol. The Regiment was in Lord Grandison's Brigade which consisted of the Lord General's, Lord Molyneux, Sir Gilbert Gerard, Sir Ralph Dutton and Col.John Owens Foot.

The Regiments activities at Bristol are reported as follows: On 26th July Sir Bernard De Gomme then a Captain in Blagges Regiment, records “My Lord Grandison begann his assault, thus. First, he sent a Lieftenant of my Lord Rivers Regiment with 50 musketiers, to beginn the alarme upon the line on the right hand of Priors fort; and another Lieftenant with 50 more, to fall downe the hill to the left hand and neerer to the Towne, upon the Works in Stokes Croft in Glocester highwaye. Here was a double Ravelin or Spurre on the left hand upon the line, with a traverse or high forework to barricade up the highwaye, made fast with an open port or gate of strong barrs of timber. Leift. Col. Lunsford (Lord Generals Regiment) went first on with 300 men, to fall upon the curtaine or line of that worke: but found it so well defended, that he was fayne to draw off to the line towards Priors fort.

Major Sandes (Saunders, Lord Molyneux Rgt), Major Perkins (Earl Rivers'), Major Burgesse (John Owen's), the two Captains Astons, Captain Nowell (all Lord Molyneux's), and some 250 men, fell directly upon the spur itselfe; came up to pistol, and push of pike with the defendants, throrow the barrs; and threw 9 hand Granados into the work.After which Captain Fawcett (artillery train under Mr.Busbye,killed 25th July)fastens a petard upon the port: which though it blew well enough, yet it onelye brake 2 or 3 barre, but made no waye for entrance”.

Although the Brigade's attack failed, Colonel Wentworth's Tertio successfully breached the outer defences near Windmill Hill fort to the North West and the defenders under Nathaniel Fiennes requested terms for the surrender. Bristol was surrendered the next day.

On 10th August the King and his Army were before Gloucester and began the unsuccessful siege, during which Captain Peter Daniell of Earl Rivers' regiment died.

On 20th September 1643 the Regiment was at the 1st Battle of Newbury where Captain Edward Donne was captured and taken to London. His letter to John Crue reads “It was my fortune to be taken prisoner at Nubrey, my humble request to you is you woulde be pleased to lett me see you. I am now prisoner at the Gatehouse and I shall take it as a great favor and you shall ever engage your poore kinsman”.

Immediately after the battle the Regiment, under Lt.Col. Boys were placed in Donnington Castle.

CHARLES R. Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas we have thought fit, for the defence and security of this part of our county of Berks, to leave a considerable number of soldiers in Donnington Castle, we have made choice of your foot and dra-gooners, and of the dragooners of Sir Robert Howard. Wherefore our will and pleasure is that you forthwith repair with the said forces into the said castle, there to continue and to keep the same for our use, and to command all the officers and soldiers therein as you shall find fit for our service. And for your so doing these shall be your sufficient warrant. Given under our sign-manual at our Court at Newbury, this 22nd September, 1643.

The above was taken from Warburton Vo. 11.

A memorandum Harl.Mss.6852 f.197 relates to the use of Donnington Castle.

Particulars to be considered on for Donnington Castle the 2nd October 1643

  • An allowance for 6 horses to scout having none but foot in the Castle.
  • An allowance for recruiting between the payes.
  • A terme for the use of the Castle.
  • An allowance for him that commands.
  • An allowance for payment of workmen.

and what hath been disbursed for victualls for the souldiers before they had pay there Particulars of which shall with all expedition be sent unto Oxford.

The Regiment consisted of 200 men and had 25 horse and 4 guns. The troop of Horse was commanded by Captain Tailor. Earl Rivers sat in the Oxford Parliament and appears not to have taken further participation with the Regiment.

At the end of July 1644 Colonel Middleton with 3000 Horse and some Dragoons attempted to surprise the garrison but was seen off without difficulty. He then formally summoned Boys to surrender the castle and Boys replied “Sir. I am instructed by His Majesty's express commands and have not yet learned to obey any other than my Soverign. To spare blood, do as you please, but myself and those who are with me are fully resolved to venture ours in maintaining that we are intrusted with, which is the answer of JOHN BOYS”. Middleton then assaulted and lost almost 300 men.

On the 20th August Captain Tailor was shot through the head and killed whilst skirmishing with the rebels. However the rest of the Troop beat three times their number of rebels into the town of Newbury and killed 7 men and captured 9 musketeers and 2 Officers. The pamphlet Civicus mentions that the Black flag flies above Donnington where they refuse either to give or take quarter. For the Regiment's robust defence of Donnington, the King, on 22nd October 1644 Knighted Lt.Col. Boys on Red Heath, near Newbury.

On 27th October 1644 took place the 2nd Battle of Newbury where the Parliamentarians failed to take advantage of overwhelming numbers and missed the opportunity to destroy the Royalist army. Indeed Cromwell this day was worsted by The Earl of Cleveland's Cavalry Brigade having already come under fire from the guns of Donnington Castle. It would appear that at least part of the Regiment was actively involved in the battle as Sir John Boys wrote from Donnington 2nd November 1644, to Sir William Waller “I have released Captain Masterton in accordance with your request and desire Captain Bennett in exchange, or if he be dead, Lt. Kylborne”.

After the battle the King left his carriages and great ordnance with Sir John Boys at Donnington Castle. The entire Parliamentary army stood before Donnington and called for its surrender or they would not leave one stone upon another. Boys laconic reply being “he was not bound to repair it; however, he would, by Gods help, keep the ground”. An attempt to storm then took place but without conviction and they retired after the Officer commanding the assault was killed.

The King returned to Donnington 9th November and collected his carriages and ordnance and the following day there was a stand off with the Parliamentary army and the King marched off to Lambourn before going into Winter quarters in Oxford.

Donnington, like Basing was a constant thorn to the Parliamentarians, and after the storm of Basing House 14th October 1645 by the Regiments of Dalbier, Pickering, Hardress Waller and Edward Montague, Cromwell allotted the task of its capture to Colonel Dalbier, having received instructions from the Speaker of the House of Commons 15th October 1645 to have Donnington “taken in”.

Earl Rivers' Regiment held out under constant barrage but with supplies running low and no sign of relief from Oxford, which was also under siege, the situation was desperate and Sir John Boys in March 1646 asked permission of his besieger Colonel Dalbier for 2 passes for Captains Donne and Osborn to travel to Oxford and inform the King of their difficult situation. As there was no possibility of the siege being raised, King Charles advised the Officers to inform Boys to seek the best terms he could and surrender.

Despite the dire situation of the garrison they sallied forth 25th March 1646 and in the words of Dalbier's Major Ryves “Sir, it was my fortune yesterday to bee very much ingaged, but it pleased God to give me deliverance. On Tuesday last we drew forth of this Towne, and faced the Castle on the hill next Shaw, where we sent them a summons, which was not totally refused, but they desired three days time to send to his Majesty. This was taken as dilatory, and that night to begin the siege, I had orders with three Companies of mine, which were my owne, Captaine Doves and Captaine Knowles, and with Major Blagraves four Companies to begin the works, and to raise a redoubt on the side of the May-pole hill, which was performed that night without losse of one man. The next morning we began to heighthen our worke, but about seven of the clocke the enemy observing our Horse-guard drawne off, fell out on us most desperately with all their Horse and neere all their Foote, and beat in our by-guard, which was to discover cleere to the Castle. Our guard was scarcely in to give us allarme, but their Horse were in with them, and ere we could have any notice fired their pistolls on our men in the pit where they were, which I had stickadoed round, to prevent the falling in of their Horse. At the same instant their Foote fell on on the other side of us, and beat our pyoniers, who retreating in some disorder to their armes, caused some distraction amongst our men. But of my owne Company of Gray-coates being next hand, I rallyed some suddenly, thinking to have manned our imperfect redoubt, but ere I could doe it, their Horse were in it; out of which I drawing my selfe some muskettiers to the corner of it, beate them out, and killed one of their Horses. As soone as my Ensigne saw that, hee fell on the man with his sword, and either killed or wounded him; But their Horse and Foot comming on, he was forced to retreat to his Colours, and the enemies Foote possessing the trench of our Redoubt next the Castle under shelter of our Worke, fired on us in the pitt, where their Horse could not breake in. These did I by about twenty Musketteires of my owne Company beat back, but they being well seconded, came on againe, and fell in from the hill side of the pitt, whilst their Horse fired on the other side which was open. This put our men in such a maze, being so suddenly, that they in the reere runne away in confusion, which occasioned my men being diserted to run also. My owne Company which were formerly of the Kings party fought well, knocking it out at musket stocke, till they broke many of their muskets.

And one of my Corporals beat a Trooper from his Horse with his Musket, and tooke his Sword, but the man was rescued ere he could kill him; we got two Carbines and some Pistolls of such as were killed, or wounded by us. And since I understand by some of my wounded soldiers prisoners (came off since) we killed and wounded as many of theirs, as they of ours, only the losse of our Colours, which might well have been saved, had their been any Horse-guard, or that Major Blagraves men (though I cannot impeach him in his person) had seconded me as they ought, but run first. At the crosse lane neere Dennington towne I forced some men to stand and fire, which forced the enemy to retreat in hast. And as soone as my men got more Ammunition, having spent their owne on service, I advanced againe to my post, and almost finished the Redoubt ere night. This night Colonel Martin finished it, and drew a line from Dennington Lanes to shelter our approach, and this night or tomorrow wee plant our cannon and great mortar. And although we have a desperate enemie, who the first night shot, and one sally fought like devils, yet I hope we shall be able suddenly to give a good account of the place, And had all done like the gray-coates (however some say they run away to the Castle) they never durst attempt us. And truly my Ensigne with them fought gallantly; And of six only of them taken, there are foure wounded, and yet prisoners in expectation of exchange.

Ere long I presume you will heare that wee shall repaire our honour, which is greater than our losse. I am your humble servant, William Ryves From the leaguer before Dennington the 26th of March 1646.

The stables were burnt after this date leaving the garrison without shelter for the horses. The situation becoming untenable, and with the King's authority, the garrison reluctantly surrendered.

These were the terms of the surrender.

1.It is agreed upon, that Sir John Boys, Knight, Governour of Dennington Castle aforesaid, shall march according to the Articles issuing agreed upon (that is to say) upon Wednesday morning next, being the first day of April, by 6 of the clock, the Governour with all his officers, Gentlemen, and Soldiers, are then to march out with Cullers flying and Drums beating, The Governour with 4 horses and arms, and every Field Officer with 2, and every Captain 1, The Lieut. Col. of horse with 2 horses and arms, and the other officers and reformado officers of horse with 1 horse and arms apiece, 100 of the foot soldiers to march with their arms two miles, and the rest to march without, towards Wallingford, and then 50 to lay down their arms, And the other 50 to march with Cullers flying, drums beating, light matches, bullets in their mouth, and bandaliers filled with powder.

2.That if any officer or soldier in this garrison hath been in the Parliament service, shall receive the equal benefit comprised in these articles.

3.That what officer or soldier late of this garrison, shall desire to go beyond the sea, shall have a Pass to go to London, or to what place they desire, within the Parliaments quarters to procure the same accordingly.

4.That all Officers and Soldiers, late of this garrison who desire to go to their own Mansions or place of residence and several dwellings, have a free Pass to do so, without being molested or pressed to any oath, provided that they be engaged never to take up arms against the Parliament.

5.That there shall be a safe conduct granted to Wallingford.

6.That there shall be two carts with teams, provided by the time appointed, the one to carry Sir John Boys baggage, the other to carry the Officers.

7.That the Governour, Officers and Soldiers, late of Dennington Castle aforesaid, shall at the time deliver up the Castle aforesaid to Col. Dulbier for the use of the Parliament, with all the Ordnance, Arms, Ammunition, and Provision theirin (except what is before expressed), without embezzling the arms or ammunition, or demolishing the works.

8.That the prisoners now in Dennington Castle shall upon signing of these articles be delivered forth and set at liberty.

9.That the wounded soldiers of the Castle shall have liberty to be left in Newbury or elsewhere the Governour pleases, and to have present passes, that after their recovery they may go to their several mansions or dwellings without interuption or molestation

Signed Colonel Martin Major Ryves for Colonel Dalbier Major Collingwood Major Bennet Capt. Osborn for Sir. John Boys Capt. Gregory

Under the terms of the surrender, the Regiment marched to Wallingford and joined the Garrison commanded by Thomas Blagge. The Regiment had around 200 common soldiers at the surrender. Oxford surrendered on 24th June 1646 but the redoubtable Blagge held out in Wallingford until 28th July.

There are a few notes relating to Donnington Castle in The Calendar of the committee for the advance of money.

Page 1137 Richard Pocock. That Pocock gave intelligence to Sir John Boys of Dennington Castle for betraying the Parliament soldiers and caused many of the well-affected inhabitants to be imprisoned.

Page 1291 Thos. Earle. Information that he served the late King in the provost-marshalls regiment in Hampshire, and sent 2 teams of horses and other provisions into Dennington Castle.

Page 1409 Wm. Howse. Information that from 1642 to 1645 he left home, and was in the enemys quarters in Dennington Castle, was in arms, and maintained a man in arms with him in Cos. Berks, Oxon, Wilts etc.

Page 1484. Lieut. Fras. Kilburn (late). Information that he was in arms in 1644 against Parliament, and was committed to Maiden Lane Prison, with other prisoners taken at Cheriton Hill and Winchester. That he owns 18 small houses in Kent Street, Surrey,which-upon his release from parole-he conveyed to Sam. Abbot of East Smithfield, Chris. Leader and -Medley, for fear of sequestration. That he has since been taken in arms in Dennington Castle.

The colours are in Harl.1383 in consecutive folios 30, 31 and 32.

The narration for folio 30 reads Collonell John Boyse Sonn to Sir Edward Boyse of Kent. There is no narration for folios 31 and 32. It is possible that the Colours were sketched at the surrender.

Sources: See below

Coats, Flags and Equipment

The uniform colour of the Regiment is unknown but from the following note at Oxford dated January 1642(3) they were the same colour as Colonel Thomas Blagge’s Regiment of Foot :- Whereas there are now making at Wallingford diverse suits of clothes towards the clothing of the Garrison, that the Governor there should cause equal distribution to be made such clothes between his own and the Earl Rivers Regiment proportionately according to the strength and number of each Regiment.2)

Under Earl Rivers in December 1643 the regiment carried black flags 3). There is a series of three black foot ensigns recorded within a manuscript of horse cornets. The colours are in Harl.1383 in consecutive folios 30, 31 and 32. The narration for folio 30 reads Collonell John Boyse Sonn to Sir Edward Boyse of Kent, there is no narration for folios 31 and 32. It is possible that these Colours were sketched at the surrender of Donnington or Wallingford.

Folio 30 shows a black flag with a red-winged angel in yellow robes and white sash bearing a sword and the motto below THOU SHALT BREAK THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON. Presumably this was the flag of the Colonel's company.

Folios 31 and 32 show black flags with the usual red St George cross in a white canton. One has a motto diagonally down from the canton why doe the Heathen Rage, perhaps this is the Lt Col's flag. The last has a pile wavy and a motto horizontally at the top the flag Shall they Escape for their wickedness O Lord, perhaps the Major's flag.

The regiment was issued 30 muskets from Weymouth by February 1644.4)

Notable Officers

Earl Rivers

Sir John Boys

Sir John Boys was originally Lieutenant-Colonel but was knighted and promoted to Colonel by the King in October 1644.

Officer Lists

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW wiki user 1642

  • Colonel John Savage, Earl Rivers
  • Colonel John Boys
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Boys
  • Lieutenant Colonel Robert Perkins E.511.20 WALLINGFORD
  • Sargeant Major Henry Bennet Ment. I.O.
  • Sargeant Major Edward/Edmond Donne (Jace petition lists him as Major.)
  • Sargeant Major Robert Perkins (De Gomme at Bristol)
  • Captain Roger Bodenham (1) of Ramsbury Wiltshire.
  • Captain Henry Bennet (2)
  • Captain Peter Danyell (5)
  • Captain Edmund Gregory I.O. L + W
  • Captain Edward Jefferies (7) + I.O. Denbigh
  • Captain Walter Primrose (3) of Frodsham Cheshire.
  • Captain Francis Knight (4)
  • Captain William Knight (6)
  • Captain Osborne
  • Captain Robert Perkins
  • Captain Preston (killed at Brentford)
  • Captain Edward Donne I.O. L + W of Utkinton Cheshire
  • Captain Girgony (taken in Newbury Market place E303.25 check hol and hoc as sent up to London with one Chalke high Sheriff of Wiltshire also taken in Newbury. CHOKKE FAMILY ?)
  • Lieutenant William Lambe I.O. Gloucester to Sgt.Maj Bennet
  • Lieutenant Valentine Don(n)e I.O. L + W to Capt. Edmund Donne
  • Lieutenant Thomas Daniell (k. at Brentford under Capt. Preston)
  • Lieutenant Francis Kilburne
  • Lieutenant Paul Alexander I.O. L + W
  • Lieutenant William Theaker I.O. L + W
  • Ensign John Skingsly I.O. Oxon.
  • Quartermaster Thomas Oxenbridge I.O. Kent
  • Chaplain James Fleetwood (3)

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW wiki user 1642

Storm of Brentford

Ashmole Mss. 830 f.292-3.

” On Saturday, very early we marched from Ashford, and at Hounslow Heath all the king's foote met, expecting a battaile, but none offered : on still we went to Hounslow towne, thence to Brainforde, where unexpectedly we were encountered by two or three regiments of their's, who had made some small barricadoes at the end of the first towne, called New Brainford.

The van of our army being about 1000 musketeers, answered their shots soe bitterly, that within an hour or less, they forsooke their worke in that place, and fled up to another which they had reaised betwixt the two townes, from whence, and a brick house by, with two small ordinance, they gave us a hot and long shower of bullets.

My colonel's (Sir Edward Fritton's) regiment was the sixth that was brought to assault, after five others had all discharged, whose happy honour it was (assisted by God, and a new piece of cannon newly come up) to drive them from that worke too, where it was an heart breaking object to hear and see the miserable deaths of many goodly men ; we slew a lieutenant colonel, two sargeant-majors, some captains, and other officers and soldiers there, about thirty or forty of them, and took four hundred prisoners. But, what was pitiful was, to see how many poore men ended and lost their lives, striving to save them ; for they run into the Thames, and about two hundred of them, as we might judge were there drowned by themselves, and so were guilty of their own deaths ; for had they stayed, and yielded up themselves, the King's mercy, is so gracious, that he had spared them all.

We took there six or eight colours, alsoe their twoe pieces of ordonance, and all this with a very small losse, God be praised ; for believe me, I cannot understand that we lost sixteen men ;* whereof one was a son of Mr. Daniel, of Tabbley ; Mr. Thomas Daniel, a fine young gentlemen, who was a lieutenant under my Lord Rivers, he and his captain were both slain, and a lieutenant of our regiment, but none of our countrymen. Then we thinking all had been done for that night, two of our regiments passed up through the old towne to make good the entrance, but they were again encountered by a fresh onset, which scattered like the rest after a short conflict, fled away towards Hammersmith, and we were left master of the townes.

That night most lay in the cold fields. Next morning we were startled a fresh by the fresh music of some canon, which proved to be but some fourteen barges of theirs, who with thirteen ordinance, and six hundred men, attempted very indiscreetly to pass down the river from Kingston-on-Thames, by the town where we lay for London; but, being discovered, what from the bancke and from Sion howse, (the Earl of Northumberland's,) where we had placed some four musketeers within two or three howers space, we sunk four or five of their vessels, with the canons in them, took the rest and eight pieces in them, for our breakfast ; after which, within two hours we could descry a great army making down upon us from London, who marching, came up within musket shot of us ; but the King finding his men wearie, and being satisfied with what he had done before for that tyme, and havinge no convenient place for his horse which is the greatest pillar of his army to fight, very wisely drew off his men by degrees, and unperceived by them, left the towne naked, some of his horse dragoons keeping them deceived till the foot were all gone, and then they gallopped in the rear after, which the enemy perceiving, played on their back with their canon, but with no harm or success at all-, God be praised; soe that night we inarched back toward Hampton Court, next day into Kingston, a great towne which they had manned the day before with six thousand men in it, but left it upon our fight at Brainford ; soe here we are now very safe, our foot and our horse round about us.”


Buried at Brentford

New Brentford St Lawrence Parish Register, seen online at Ancestry.co.uk

Captaine Preston and an other Captaine (I have a note of a Captain Cresswell killed at Brentford), Richard Storie Leftenant, and Leftenat Daniell. A few non Officer listed also.

Letter from Boys

Add. Mss. 18981 f.15

When I wrott to yr Highness last, I was in hope I should have had no cause to have complayned of the Regiment of Coll. Nevilles quartering in Newberry, but since I cannot prevaile with the officers from keeping their souldiers from high mutiny, I beseech yr Highness to give some order herein, that further inconveniences may be avoided. I shall only aquaint yr Highness with one or two particulars, whereby ye may judge of their carriage in generall; three nights since, the Captain of the watch going the rounds, hearing a great noyse (it being very late) went in, desiring those troopers to be quiet in their quarters which they were so far from, that they very much abused the Captain of the watch, who committed one of them to his guard and in the morning whilst he was gone to the Lt. Col. to aquaint him of his souldiers misdemeanours and so to have him to him selfe, an officer of the Regiment with diverse others with him, came and forct the guard and took the prisoner from thence, with an addition of much unbecoming language, since which time I being desired by divers to take notice of an extreme young fellow living in Newberry who intytled himself Captaine who with his companyons hath committed many outrages in the County robbing and doing all villanys, hearing he was in his house in the Towne I sent to apprehend him, but there being a man of Lt. Col. Standish's in the house withstood the officers and and kept the door against them, for which I sent to him to know why he did soe, who was soe uncivill to me in his language that I caused the Marshall to sett him on the horse, for which both the officers and souldiers have vowed a revenge, and this day (for no cause) a Trooper came to a foot souldier & cutt his head to ye brayns soe that the churgeon assures me he cannot live, and presently afther there being many officers and souldiers together came to the guard, and cryed draw all for weel hath the foot out of the Towne, and though their Lt. Coll. was by, would not check any of them for this mutiny, as this gentleman Capt. Taylor can fully satisfie your Highness.

Sir I shall only aquainte you with one thing more ans so leave it to your Highness, since my coming hither, I have often desired Lt. Coll. Standish to keep outguards and patrolls going, which he absolutely refuses, and doth not keep as much as a sentinel at the Townsend, and whether it be in contempt, or having better use for it, they have only once, or twice received the word from mee.

Sir I have spent divers years as a souldier abroad, and am confident I doe competently understand, the command his Majesty is here pleased to intrust mee with, and that I might not to suffer anything that shall detrecht from the command given mee, it being an undervaluing to his Majesty that gives it, but sir, my respecte and obedience to your Highness, leades me this way, beseeching you there may be som speedy course taken by your Highness letter to them for the avoyding further mutinys, and that they may assist us in watching, without which those foote which quarter in Newberry cannot be safe, and I beseech your Highness beleave I shall never be wanting in my reddy obedience being,

Yr Highness humblest servant Jo. Boys Dennington Castle Jan. 30th 1643. (1644?)

Webster's certificate


To all Captaines officers and souldiers for the Militia within the County Palatine of Chester These are to require you to that you permitt the bearer hereof Robert Webster lately being in the Castle of Haulton and his wyfe, with all their goods that they have in the aforesaid Castle, together with one bed and furniture of the right honourable Earle of Rivers; To depart thence quietly, and soe to live henceforth without noe disturbance, or the disturbance of any, belonging to ye partie. Hee demeaning himselfe from hence lyably according to the Law of the Kingdome, and the Ordinances of the King & Parliament.

Given under my hand this 24th of July 1643.


Bullet moulds


12th July 1644

Rec'd into his Majestys stores from Henry Horner Gonnsemyth double moulds for Musket Bulletts each to cast 20 Bulletts at once Delivered over to Sir Jo: Heydon H.Horner

Made 1 Since of the said moulds were sent to dennington castle

1 since sent by Mr Greene to the Armye the rest remayning for the use of the Governor.

Pocock's intelligence

SP19.21.276 Sept. 5. 1649

That Richard Pococke of Cheveley in the said County gave intelligence to Sir John Boys of Dunnington Castle constantly for the betrayeinge of the Parliament souldiers and caused many well effected of the inhabiants to be imprisone to theire extraordinary damages and losses.

Jo. Pococke of Wooley Ed. Pococke of Bucklebury Edward Whittoke Edward Parson

Robert Stradlyn


I doe certify that this Gent. Robert Stradlyn was under my command in the Garrison of Donnington Castle and did venture his life for his late Majesties service. Jo. Boys. 18th July 1660

4. Petition of Robert Stradling Gent.

That your petitioner was in service for your Majesties Father of most blessed memory in the first warr under Col. Jo. Boys in the Garrison at Donnington before and during the time of the siege thereof.

4.ii Certificate of Richard Egerton that Robert Stradlyn served as Cornet under Captain Galamiel Pitts in Sir George Booths engagement. 10th November 1660.


Fiennes to Essex

E.270.33 Extract from John Fiennes letter 24.2.1645/6 written to the Earl of Essex. ‘…and coming backe, neere Dunnington Castle,they took ten foot souldiers belonging to that Garrison, all which I sent this morning prisoners to Reading..’


E.3.14 The True Informer 'The last week I told you of the plunderings of the Garison of the Cavaliers in Winchester Castle, which is still continued by them and their Papistical brethren of Dennington Castle, whereof Lieutenant Colonell Boys (Lieutenant Colonell to that grand Papist E. Rivers) is Governour, who, as it was advertised on Friday July 12 sent out a party into the Countrey, who tooke away 84 Oxen, brought them into the Castle, from whence they are since carried into Oxford, and thus the poor Country is daily impoverished, not onely of money, but also of Provisions by these ravening Wolves.'

Officer List References

(1) Among the papers for the delinquncy of Edward Gilmore are the following depositions SP19.115.23 Deposition of Henry Wyld of Ramsbury, yeoman. That Bodenham was a Captain in Donnington Castle.

SP19.115.26 Robert Leech then sworne before ye Committee of Wiltshire saith that hee this deponent had a warrant delivered to him by ye Governor of Donnington to fetch in William Smith then living in Midgham in Berkshire to appeare before him at Dennington Castle and there to meete Mr Edward Gilmore of Ramsbury because he paid not Mr Gilmores rent which he claymed, the Lord Treasurer then at Oxford having directed a warrant to ye Govornor to that purpose the which warrant this deponent accordingly executed and brought ye said William Smith to the Govornor of Dennington aforesaid and further saith Mr Gilmore aforesaid did use to bee at Donnington Castle two or three times a weeke and he hath seene him there soe often whilst ye castle stood for ye Kings partie and this deponent was at yee time and before and after a trooper under Sir John Boys then Governor aforesaid at ye same Castle and did heare Mr Gilmore aforesaid desire the Governor aforesaid to detaine ye said William Smith a prisoner there until he had posession of the tithes the said Mr Smith then had and receaved, and sent a party of horse to give Mr Gilmore posession of the tithes when they grew due and spoake to Captaine Bodnam, then a papist Captaine in ye same Castle to stand his friend therein.

March 20th 1647

April 5th 1648 vera copia

(2) QJF.90/2.No.176 + SP. Served in Winchester and Donnington until 1646 Find his Petition states he was in Carnarvon at surrender. He ended up in Carnarvon and is mentioned in article VI to have benefit of the articles of surrender.

(3) The lives of the English Bishops from the Restauration to the Revolution .1733 Nathaniel Salmon ‘He was Chaplain to the Earl of Rivers Regiment, and continued to the end of the war. His service at Edgehill fight procured him a Doctors Degree at Oxford by the Kings command.’ He became Bishop of Worcester in 1675 and died 1683 aged 80.

(4) SP29.17.111i I doe certify by certificate that Captain Francis Knight served faithfully under my command in Donnington Castle after the surrender of Winchester Castle and continued with me until the surrender of the Castle. 7.8.1660 John Boys – signature missing.

(5) Burkes A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland…. Peter, of Over Tabley, a Captain of a Foot company in the regiment of John, Earl of Rivers, raised for the king's service. He d. at Oxford of a shot received at the siege of Gloucester, leaving (with a daughter, Margaret , who probably married into the Minchull family, a gentleman of that name being mentioned as the uncle of Sir Samuel Daniell ) a son,

Harl.Mss. 2174 Sequestration of Royalist Lands in Bucklow Hundred, Co. Chester Peter Daniell of Over Tabley deceased his real estate for the year 1643 was granted to his wife by Sir William Brereton paying to the Commonwealth the sum of £20.00 and the said Peter Daniell died in or about May.

(6) SP23.218.140 The humble petition of William Knight of Congleton in yte County of Chester Sheweth that your petitioner was in Armes in 1643 and 1644 (and) laid them downe and submitted to the Parliament and since hath lived conformable to all Acts and Ordinances…

7th March 1647

Powell's Petition

(7) Chirk Castle MS B16c/44 National Library of Wales

To the Wor[shi]p[fu]lle ye Kings Ma[jes]ties Justices of ye peace for ye County of Denbigh now met at wrexham in q[ua]rter sessions

The humble Petyc[i]on of Michell Powell of Wrixham in the County aforesaid

Sheweth yt y[ou]r petic[i]on[e]r being a souldyer for the late kinge of Famous memorye in the Redgment of Earle Riu[er]s vnder the Comaund of Capt[ain] Edward Jeffreys: at Edgehill battle ther & then was shott in the right arme though beinge partly cured then: yett in the p[ro]cess of tyme festered agayne & soe corrupted yt it grew to be a woolfe or gangren: w[hi]ch hindred yo[u]r poore petyc[i]oners callinge beinge a taylor & hauing 5 smal children soe yt his wyfe was constrained to wander about the towne to collect the charytie of all well disposed people towards payinge the Chyrurgion for cuttinge the sayd wolfe forth & beinge still in a lamentable Condyc[i]on through deadnes of flesh: hauinge his veynes & nerues shrank & knotted through the dolor therof: yo[u]r petic[i]oner humbly craueth yo[u]r wor[shi]ps fauor to be Admittyed for a pentioner to receaue som subsisteance of the law in that behalfe made hath soe p[ro]uided & he wilbe eu[er] bound to p[re]ay for his Maiesty & all you his Maiestrats &c.

to be considered of at the next q[ua]rter

Boys re Clarke

H.M.C. VIIth Report App.2. Rev. T.W. Webb papers. Sr, Iff Clarke my souldier may be returned to me, and his wife, I shall not detayne Boddeley from his, it being your party that separate man and wife, and not myne, being always desirous yt prisoners should bee exchanged, for the other my prisoner his tyme I gave him is expired, and hope you will not longer detayne him; which is desired, by Sir, your humble servant Jo. Boys Dennington Castle Feb. 27. Endorsed for Lt.Col. Baynes, these.

Baynes Papers.

I checked the papers at British Library Add.Mss 21417-21426 without success

Officers Captain Chatterton E278.14 of Horse captured April 1645


  • November 1642: Approximately 350, inferred
  • 1644: 200 foot in garrison at Donnington

See Also

Earl Rivers' Regiment are re-enacted by Earl Rivers' Regiment of Foote of the Sealed Knot.

Sources for Victor Judge's Article

  • Mercurius Aulicus 26 week Sunday 26 June 1643-Saturday 1st July 1643.
  • Mercurius Aulicus 24 week ending 24 August 1644
  • Providence Improved by Mr. Burghall, Vicar of Acton.
  • Certaine Information (E62.16)
  • The Weekly Account (E330.32)
  • (E330.5)
  • Newes from Dennington Castle (E .13
  • Clarendon's History of the Great Rebellion
  • Historical notices in the reign of Charles I by Nehemiah Wallington.
  • Edgehill by Brigadier Peter Young
  • The Civil Wars in Cheshire by R.N. Dore
  • Beef, Bacon and Bag Pudding by David Didsbury
  • Royalist Officer in England and Wales by P.R. Newman
  • Kent and the great rebellion by H.F. Abell
  • Richard Symonds complete military diary
  • Harl.1383
  • Portland Mss
  • Arderne Papers
  • Cheshire Records Office
  • Dods QJF90/2 No. 176
  • Adderton QJF90/3 No. 183 and 184.
  • Woodfine QJF102/4 No.131
  • Jace QJF 94/4 No.137
  • Thanks to Alex Cole for bringing the above Petitions to my attention.
1) Flag images by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) Harl. Mss. 6852. f.95
3) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846
4) Bodleian Library Rawlinson Ms D395