Marquis of Newcastle's Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 1)
Active1642 to 1644
CountryEngland
AllegianceRoyalist
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelMarquis of Newcastle
Area RaisedNorthumberland
Coat ColourWhite
Flag ColourRed??
Flag DesignWhite Crosses?
Field ArmiesNewcastle 1642-4

The Marquis of Newcastle’s own regiment of foot serving in his army until their destruction at Marston Moor

Service History

1642

  • June: Raised at Newcastle
  • December: Battle of Tadcaster

1643

  • June: Battle of Adwalton Moor
  • July to August: Siege of Gainsborough
  • September to October: Siege of Hull

1644

  • March: Battle of Hylton
  • April to July: Besieged in York
  • July: Battle of Marston Moor

Notes

In June 1642 Newcastle led 5-600 men of the Durham Trained Bands to Newcastle, where he set about recruiting a troop of horse and a regiment of foot. This was likely a 'double' regiment, consisting of 14 companies in 1642. The regiment served under Newcastle throughout his campaigns, ending at the Battle of Marston Moor where surrounded by the victorious enemy, the regiment made a famous last stand. The regiment likely fought in several other engagements of Newcastle's army but evidence is unavailable.

There has been much debate regarding who was Colonel of the regiment; Lambton, Posthumous Kirton or Arthur Bassett, referred to at Marquess of Newcastle's Regiment of Foote. The Duchess implies that Kirton led the regiment at Adwalton Moor while the certificate shown below demonstrates that Bassett was Colonel of the regiment, implying that Bassett was leader at Gainsborough and Marston Moor. These are not necessarily inconsistent, as Bassett could well have replaced Kirton after Adwalton, where Kirton was certainly involved in heavy fighting and might have been wounded.

There is a brief history of the regiment at https://www.newcastlesfoote.co.uk/a-potted-history-of-the-marquess-of-newcastles-regiment-of-foote/

Coats, Flags & Equipment

White coats in 1644, the Duchess related a story that Newcastle wanted to provide red coats for his regiment, but the regiment preferred coats of undyed wool, promising to dye them in the blood of their enemies! Royalist prisoners taken at York were said to have white coats with red and blue silk crosses on their sleeves by a Parliamentarian who went on to opine an ensigne wee conceive of some Po-ish regiment.

According to the Northumberland and Durham Composition papers, in 1642 Newcastle had bought 3000 Scots blew bonnets to equip his infantry regiments, though how long these survived is unknown.

The flag illustrated above represents eleven captured at Marston Moor that were described as 'red with white crosses'. Assuming that they were from the same regiment, Newcastle's is the prime candidate as it mustered fourteen companies in 1642 and no other regiment present is known to have exceeded ten companies. The evidence therefore points to this design as the most likely for Newcastle's regiment but is in no way definite.

Fairfax 2) describes the two regiments involved in the assault of Tadcaster as the black regiment and the red regiment: those regiments were Conyers's and the other, Newcastle's 'life guard'. Whilst Newcastle's famously wore white, his wife wanted the regiment to wear red: it would not be unreasonable to assume that a lifeguard company of Newcastle's regiment might have had red coats. However, the contemporary use of the term 'red regiment' usually described the colour of the flag rather than the colour of the coats. This would lend further weight to the red flags captured at Marston Moor belonging to Newcastle's Foot.

Notable Officers

Marquis of Newcastle

Marquis of Newcastle. Newcastle married firstly Elizabeth Howard (1599–1643), daughter and heiress of William Basset of Blore, Staffordshire, and widow of Hon. Henry Howard, son of the Earl of Suffolk. Newcastle married secondly Margaret Lucas, sister of Lord Lucas. Margaret was a poet and philosopher and wrote The Life of the Thrice Noble, High and Puissant Prince William Cavendishe which contains some descriptions of his military campaigns.

Colonel Posthumous Kirton

Or Skirton, led a counter-attack of pikemen at Adwalton Moor, breaking the Fairfaxes' army. Newcastle's second wife described him as that wild and desperate man.

Sir Arthur Bassett

Arthur Basset was the son of William Basset of Blore, Staffordshire. The Marquess of Newcastle's first wife was Arthur's sister, Elizabeth Cavendish nee Bassett of Blore.

Officer Lists

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

  • Colonel Posthumous Kirton
  • Colonel Sir Arthur Bassett of Blore, Staffordshire
  • Lieutenant Colonel Atkins (4) (k. at York or Marston Moor)
  • Sargeant Major George Berridge Ment. I.O.
  • Captain William Pennyman Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Robert Ridman (2)
  • Captain Ralph Selby Ment. I.O.
  • Lieutenant Robert Baker I.O. L + W to Sgnt. Maj. Berridge
  • Lieutenant John Cartwright (3) (K. at siege of Gainsborough)
  • Lieutenant Edward Corpes I.O. Yorks. to Capt. Pennyman
  • Lieutenant Robert Nalson I.O. Yorks. to Sir Arth. Bassett
  • Ensign George Finlawson (1)
  • Ensign William Hedworth I.O. Durham to Capt. Selby

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

Finlawson's petition

(1) West Yorkshire Archive Service QS1/8/3/6/15 Pontefract 1669

Petition of George Finlawson served as Ensign under his Grace, Duke of Newcastle.

Ridman's petition

(2) QS1/13/3/6/7 Pontefract 1674 Petition of John Ridman of Malham

Soldier under Captain Robert Ridman in ye Right Honourable Earl of Newcastles Regiment

Cartwright's Certificate

Certificate of Marquis of Newcastle that John Cartwright, Gent.

Did faithfully serve ye late Majesty of ever blessed memory in ye quality of Lieutenant in my own Regiment of Foot commanded by Colonel Sir Arthur Basset in ye Army under my command in the Northern parts and that in ye said warr he did upon all occasions valiantly discharge his duty, and particularly at the siedge of Gainsborough where hee recv'd severall wounds, whereupon he languished, and I am informed shortly after died. These are therefore to certify so much to all whom this may concern.

Under my hand at Welbecke ye 13 day of July 1663. Wm. Newcastle.

Slaine at York

(4) E.4.16 The names of some Honourable and Noble personages, slaine at York, and not yet recorded.

Lieutenant Col. Atkins, Lieutenant Col. to the Marquess.

Strength

  • 14 companies in 1642

See Also

Newcastle's Regiment are re-enacted by the Marquess of Newcastle's Regiment of Foote of the Sealed Knot.

1) Flag image by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) The Fairfax Correspondence (Volume 2) p 421; Memoirs of the Reign of Charles the First, G W Johnson, R.Bentley London 1848