Sir Arthur Aston’s Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 1)
Active1643 to 1646?
CountryEngland
AllegianceRoyalist
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelsSir Arthur Aston
Area RaisedOxford
Coat ColourRed ?
Flag ColourBlack
Flag DesignWhite Crosses
Field ArmiesOxford Garrison

Royalist infantry regiment serving in the garrison of Oxford

Service History

1643

  • November: Raised in Oxford

1644

  • Garrison of Oxford
  • July: Relief of Greenland House (det)

1645

  • May to June: Besieged in Oxford?

1646

  • May to June: Besieged in Oxford?
  • June: Surrender of Oxford?

Notes

Sir Arthur Aston’s Regiment of Foot was raised in late 1643 and formed part of the garrison of Oxford. Aston was Governor of Oxford until injured in a riding accident, then was replaced in autumn 1644 by Sir Henry Gage. Whether the regiment remained together after Aston’s replacement is unknown. If it did continue, it likely defended Oxford in the brief siege of 1645 and the final siege of 1646.

Coats and Flags

The regiment carried black ensigns differenced by white crosses ‘potent’2). While the regiment's coat colour isn't certain, Sir Arthur, while Governor of Oxford, was accompanied by a small guard of halberdiers dressed in red. However, they might have been part of his Regiment of Foot, an independent unit or even the Yeomen of the Guard. Armed with pikes and muskets.

Notable Officers

A list of the regiment's officers is shown in Officers and Regiments of the Royalist Army by Stuart Reid (Partizan Press).

Sir Arthur Aston

Sir Arthur Aston (1590-1649) was a Catholic from Cheshire. Biographies can be found online at BCW and Wikipedia. He was a professional soldier, fighting for Russia, Poland then for Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Sir Arthur Aston had a wealth of military experience, having commanded 3 Companies of Foot in the King of Poland's Army and later commissioned by Gustavus Adolphus to be Colonel of a Regiment of Foot to be brought out of England. He fought at Newburn Ford in the Second Bishops’ War under Lord Conway and was knighted in 1640.

At Edgehill Aston was Colonel-General of dragoons, and was later appointed Governor of Reading. Besieged by Essex, he relinquished command after being hit on the head by a roof tile dislodged by cannon-fire and rendered dumb. Some wondered whether this was a cunning ploy to avoid taking personal responsibility for the surrender. He was then appointed Major General to Prince Rupert and in August 1643 Governor of Oxford. Unpopular as Governor due to his severity and short temper, he broke his leg in a riding accident in 1644, gangrene set in and it required amputation, his position passing to Sir Henry Gage on Christmas Day. Clarendon plainly disliked him, opining that “He had the fortune to be very much esteemed where he was not known, and very much detested where he was; and he was at this time too well known at Oxford to be beloved by any.” In 1646 Aston joined Ormond in Ireland and was later appointed Governor of Drogheda. Besieged in 1649 by the New Model Army led by Cromwell, Drogheda was stormed with notoriously little quarter given. Sir Arthur's brains were beaten out with his own wooden leg, which the Parliamentarian soldiers falsely suspected was full of gold coins.

James Thompson

Thompson was Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment and had served as a captain in the Second Bishops’ War.

Hanniball Bagenall

Bagenall previously served as a captain in Lord Lambert’s Regiment of Foot in the garrison of Dublin.

Officer List

Sir Arthur Aston's Regiment of Foot3)

  • Colonel Sir Arthur Aston
  • Lieutenant Colonel James Thompson
  • Sargeant Major Haniball Bagnall (Ment. I.O.)
  • Sargeant Major John Scrimshere (3)
  • Captain William Allin (2) + ment. I.O.
  • Captain Gilbert Boncle (1)
  • Captain Ralph Clark Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Hare (2)
  • Captain Robert Hunt Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Edward Scot (2) + Ment. I.O.
  • Captain John Stampe I.O. Berks.
  • Captain George Tattershall (4) + ment. I.O.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Baldwyn I.O. Middx. to Sgnt. Maj. Bagnall
  • Lieutenant Fulk Dangerfield I.O. L + W
  • Lieutenant Anthony Goodridge I.O. Bucks. to Capt. Scot
  • Lieutenant Robert Prichard (2) + I.O. L + W to Capt. Allen
  • Lieutenant John Thomas I.O. Herefords. to Capt. Clark
  • Ensign John Baston I.O. L + W to Cat. Allen
  • Ensign John Dowset I.O. Bucks. to Capt. Scot
  • Ensign John Fox I.O. L + W to Sgnt. Maj. Bagnall
  • Ensign Robert Stevens I.O. Surrey to Capt. Tettershall
  • Ensign Oliver Tyrringham I.O. Bucks. to Capt. Allen
  • Ensign James Wall I.O. L + W to Capt. Hunt

Contemporary References

E.85.30

Jan 1642/3 Captain Aston Sir A.A. Cousin and Captain Fawcett sallied out of Reading.

(1) Harl. Mss.6852 f.245

To our trusty etc. John Ashburnham Treasurer at Warr

Whereas Captaine Gilbert Boncle hath raysed armed and mustered one Company of Foot for our service in the Regiment of our trusty and welbeloved Sir Arthur Aston Knt., our will and pleasure therefore is that you pay unto him his Officers and souldiers 1 weeks pay by the day of his muster as you pay the rest of our army and this our warrant together with his aquittance for the same shall be your sufficient discharge. 29.11.1643

(2) Oxford.St. Mary Magdalene Parish register

  • 1.4.1644 Baptism. Ann, Daughter of John Tayler sergant to Capt. Allin
  • 6.6.1646 Baptism. Elizabeth, Daughter of Mr Robert Pritchard Lieutenant.
  • 2.7.1644 Burial Tattershall, John son of Capt. Tattershall
  • 11.7.1644 Burial Elizabeth Tattershall Daughter of Capt. Tattershall
  • 3.9.1644 Baptism. Sarah, Daughter of Mr Edward Scott Captain.
  • 2.10.1644 Burial Allin son of Capt. Allin
  • 10.11.1645 Baptism Jane, Daughter of Captain Hare

(3) Harl. Mss 6852 f.224

To our trusty Jo.Ashburnham Esq. our Treasurer at Warr

Whereas John Scrimshere Sergeant Major to the Regiment of foote commanded by our trusty and beloved Sir Arthur Aston, Knt. Sergeant Major Generall. of all our Horse and Governour of our City of Oxford hath himself raysed and mustered one Company of Foot for our service in that Regiment, our will and pleasure therefore is that you pay unto him for himself and his officers and souldiers 1 weeks pay beginning the day of his muster according such entertainment as the rest of the foot of our Army. 13.11.1643

(4) SP23.142.669

Petition of George Tattershall of Stapleford, Wiltshire. That he compounded on Oxford articles.

Del. the 27th day of May 1643 upon this submission out of his Majesties stores for the use of Sir Arthur Aston, Swords 80 dd. but 70 George Tattershall (Note: Possibly for Aston's horse?)

WO55.1661.

The second of March 1645 Received into his Majesties stores at New Colledge from John Stanley of Magdalen Parish which were the armes of Capt: Tattersall

  • Musketts unfixed 3
  • Muskett Barrells 5
  • Long Pike 1

E256.15

A letter from Abington.

Sir, Since my last, we are informed by those who were eye-witnesses of it, that the Grand Papist Sir Arthur Aston the Governour of Oxford, has lately had a mischief; who riding to see some of our men that were brought in prisoners hither, his Horse fell down in the street, and it being upon the pavement, broak his leg in two pieces: so that the next day, at which time he had appointed a Thanksgiving to be celebrated in Oxford, for the Kings victory in the West, he had a day of humiliation; and might have done well to have given God thanks that he did not break his neck. But he is very ill of it, and his leg extreamly broken. And for our forces there, Collonel Brown is still with his foot at Abington, and his horse quartering towards Faringdon, and Wantage, which often scout about, to secure the County from suffering as they have done, by the Cavaliers. And indeed the Country is very quiet, and the people have found such a benefit by it, that it is verily believed when Colonell Martin comes down, he will finde a strong partee come in to him.

Bezelfly the 18. September 1644

SP23.62.228

The humble peticion of Elizabeth Alkin Widdowe

Sheweth that for her many faithfull hazardous services she hath done for the Parliament they were favorably pleased to recommend her to the Committee of Examinations that she might have a sequested house of one Stephen Fossett that was in actuall warr against the Parliament and Chiurgeon to Sir Arthur Aston who most cruelly caused her husband to be hanged in Oxford for doing service for the state in which house she yet remaineth.

Strength

See Also

1) Flag image by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) Officers and Regiments of the Royalist Army, Stuart Reid, 1988 (2nd Impression). Partizan Press. ISBN 0 946525 12 9
3) From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642