Colonel Gervase Holles’ Regiment of Foot

Active1642 to 1644
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelGervase Holles
Area Raised
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesNewcastle 1643

Royalist Regiment of Foot serving in the Marquis of Newcastle’s army and at Newark

Service History


  • December: Holles commissioned colonel


  • March to Newark
  • June: Storm of Howley Hall
  • June: Battle of Adwalton Moor
  • July: Siege of Bradford
  • July to August: Siege of Gainsborough
  • Join Newark garrison


  • February to March: Besieged in Newark
  • March: Stormed at Muskham Bridge


Gervase Holles received his Captain's Commission 13th August 1642 at York in Sir Lewis Dyve’s Regiment of Foot He served as Sargeant Major to Colonel Lewis Dyve and fought at Edgehill. His cousin William also fought as a Lieutenant at Edgehill in the same Regiment. Gervase Holles was Commissioned as a Colonel 7.12.1642 and his cousin William took a Commission as Captain under him. They marched to Newark and under the command of the Earl of Newcastle were involved at the storming of Howley Hall and at the Battle of Adwalton Moor. Following this they were at the siege and taking of Bradford and the recovery of Gainsborough before joining the garrison in Newark. The Regiment lay at Muskham bridge during the siege of Newark in 1644 and on the 7th March were attacked and defeated by Colonel Middleton and other forces.


Notable Officers

Colonel Gervase Holles

Gervase Holles was away from Newark in Oxford when his regiment were defeated in 1644. He returned to Newark later and was captured when Major General Sydenham Poyntz's troops fell into the Kings quarters in the North side of Newark at the end of October 1645.

Officer Lists

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user '1642'

  • Colonel Gervase Holles
  • Lieutenant Colonel Clement Benson (4) + (5)
  • Sargeant Major Clement Benson (5)
  • Captain Clement Benson (4)
  • Captain Bently (1)
  • Captain Robert Callcroft I.O. Lincs.
  • Captain Thomas Gardiner (2) + I.O. L + W
  • Captain William Holles (1) + (2) + Ment. I.O.
  • Lieutenant Baroughby (4)
  • Lieutenant Maxwell (4)
  • Ensign James Hindmarsh I.O. York.
  • Ensign William Lacon (3) + I.O. Lincs.

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user '1642'

At Newark, the Regiment lay at Muskham bridge and on the 7th March were attacked by Colonel Middleton and other forces.The relation of the event is as follows:-

(1) Holles relates that his Regiment, not above 250 strong under Lieutenant Colonel Clement Benson (Holles himself being away at Oxford) were divided into two squadrons and Captain Benson, the Lieutenant Colonels son was shot through the body and carried off. Lieutenants Maxwell and Baroughby retreated to the rear of their soldiers and Captain William Holles leaving his own squadron to Captain Gardiner, went and cudgelled Lieutenant Maxwell for his cowardice, then encouraged and led the men. He was hit by a great bullet-canon ball or piece- which shattered his thigh in pieces. It was not possible for him to be carried off and he died two hours after in the enemies hands and was buried at Winthorp Church.

(4) Gentlemen, In pursuance of your order of the fourth of July instant wee certifie That Clement Benson gent att the beginning of these warrs commanded a Company of Foote in the County under the Command of the Lord Willoughby untill about August 1643 when the Towne and Garrison of Gainsbrough was taken by the said Lord Willoughby, and afterwards surrendered uppon composicion to the Earle of Newcastle, when and where the said Benson unwortherlie deserted the Parliament and adhered to the enemy, taking command from them, and serving as a Maior under them.

That he continued a violent enemy against the Parliament, and their friends untill the rendering of Newarke.

His Estate in this County being the Impropriacion of North Kelsey hath bin formerly worth 100L p ano att the least which he hath for three lives.

This as all we knowe touchinge the of the said Mr Benson

William Disney H: Massingbird Tho: Pister Wm: Godfrey tHO: Welcomb

SP23.185.946 Extract To the honourable Committee for Compositions sitting att Goldsmiths Hall London The humble petition of Garvis Holles of Grimsby in the Countie of Lincoln Esq Sheweth that the petitioner inhabiting in the towne of newarke at the beginning of these warrs as also 2 yeares before, accepted of a Commission for a Regiment of Foote which he acted 13 monthes, yet nevertheless during that time protect the Parliaments friends, as he can sufficiently make manifest, but about 2 yeares since voluntarily laid down his said Commission, and submitted himself to the right honourable the Earle of Manchester, who was pleased to grant him a protection.

SP23.185.947 December the 6 1645 Being desired by Collonell Holles to give testimony of what I am acquainted with concerninge him, these are to certify that the said Colonell came into this Garrison of Lincoln and rendered up himself to me upon tuesday was three weekes with a desire to compound with the Parliament. I am further informed that he hath neither beene in Armes nor any actuall service against the Parliament for the space of two yeares last past nor have I heard that he hath duringe theis warres either plundered any one or permitted any under his command to plunder but on the contrary hath preserved from injury and rapine divers persons well affected to the Parliament of which he sayeth he can bringe good testimonies. Thos Browne

An extract of his petition to King Charles II throws more light on his activities from the beginning of the war, but perhaps over emphasises his service;

SP29.7.55 6th July 1660 Extract. To the Kings most Excellent Majestie The humble peticion of Gervase Holles Esq. one of your Majesties Masters of Requests. Humbly sheweth that your peticioner brought one hundred and seventeen men to ye Standard at Nottingham and raised a Regiment of Foote at his owne charge and served your Majesties Royal father from the beginning of ye warrs unto ye end of ye siedge of Colchester…..

(1) E.37.22 Occurrences of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages in Parliament…No.12 March 15 1643/4. Captain Claytons letter 9.3.43/4 ‘Upon Thursday last March the 7. Parliaments Forces did kill and take prisoner 200 of the enemies, in which fight were slain Lieutenant Collonell Aires, Captain Hollis, Captain Bently, besides divers Commanders.’ March 9 1643.

Unfortunately this is only a letter extract and I have been unable to discover a full copy

The examination of Thomas Gardiner, prisoner in the gate-house. 6.8.1657 Saith, he was the son of Jeremy Gardiner, late of Hoxton near London, esq, deceased, where this examinant was born. Saith, he was a Captain of Foot in the late Kings army, under the command of Colonel Jervase Hollis.

Petition of William Lacon, Ensign to Colonel Gervase Holles

(4) Memorials of the Holles Family

Clement Benson, son of Clement Benson of North Kelsey

In addition there was a Captain Robert Bencoinne buried 12.8.1645 and but Clement Benson Snr did not have a son of this name.


  • Said to be no more than 250 at Muskham Bridge

See Also