Sir Bevil Grenville’s Regiment of Foot

ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelSir Bevil Grenville
Sir John Grenville
Area RaisedCornwall
Coat ColourUnknown
Flag ColourUnknown
Flag DesignUnknown
Field ArmiesHopton 1642-3

Later Sir John Grenville's Regiment of Foot

Royalist Regiment of Foot, one of the famous five Cornish volunteer regiments serving under Lord Hopton

Service History


  • August: Grenville musters 140-160 men on Bodmin Down
  • December: Skirmish at Modbury
  • December: Siege of Exeter


  • 19th January: Battle of Braddock Down
  • January: Skirmish at Kingsbridge
  • February: Skirmish at Chagford and Okehampton
  • February: Skirmish at Stoke near Plymouth
  • 23rd April: Battle of Beacon Hill
  • 25th April: Battle of Sourton Down
  • May: Skirmish at Week St Mary
  • 16th May: Battle of Stratton - Centre, 600 men app
  • 5th July: Battle of Lansdowne - Death of Sir Bevil
  • 8th - 13th July: Besieged at Devizes
  • 13th July: Battle of Roundway Down
  • 26th July: Storm of Bristol - Part of Bassett's Brigade
  • September: Siege of Exeter
  • October: Taking of Dartmouth
  • October to December: Siege of Plymouth


  • April to June: Siege of Lyme Regis
  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury



  • February: Battle of Torrington
  • March: Surrender at Truro


Grenville's regiment included the famous 7'4'' Cornish Giant, Anthony Payne, who was Sir Bevil's bodyguard and appears to have been commissioned as an Ensign.

At least one company, Capt Hawke's seems to have come directly from the Cornish Trained Bands.

In garrison at Exeter at some stage?

Sir John Grenville later commanded in the garrison of the Scilly Isles until their capture in 1651.

Coats, Flags & Equipment

Thomason Tract E.114.6 mentions 80 of Sir Beville Grenville's troops on Bodmin Moore with their Pikes and (Musket) rests painted in blue and white1). Note: Grenville's armorial colours seem to have been red and gold, however his family had also used a design of red and gold impaling blue and white, see discussion below.

I presume i neede not runne over the particular passages of this weekes businesse at Bodmin, how Sir Bevill G. after the first warrants under the hands of thirteene Comissioners for a muster (hearing of the peoples backwardnesse) about monday gave out a second, where he injoynes them to appeare upon paine of death; nor how at last he came to the race Posts upon Bodmin-downe, with 140 or 160 men, some of which he got out of Devonshire, and 80 were armed with his own proper Armes, very discernable for that the Pikes and Rests are all painted with white and blew;

19th August 16422).

Notable Officers

Sir Bevil Grenville

Sir Bevil Grenville was remembered thus; When now th' incensed rebel proudly came Down like a torrent, without bank or dam; When undeserv'd success urged on their force, That thunder must come down to stop their course; Or Granvile must step in; then Granvile stood, And with himself oppos'd and check'd the flood. Conquest or death was all his thought; so fire Either o'ercomes, or does itself expire. His courage work'd like flames, cast heat about; Here, there, on this, on that side, none gave out. Not any pike in that renowned stand, But took new force from his inspiring hand. Soldier encouraged soldier; man urged man; And he urged all; so far example can; Hurt upon hurt, wound upon wound, did call; He was the butt, the mark, the aim of all. His foul, this while retired from cell to cell, At last flew up from all, and then he fell; But the devoted stand, encouraged the more From that, his fate ply'd hotter than before; And proud to fall with him, sworn not to yield, Each sought an honour'd grave, and gained the field. Thus, he being fallen, his actions fought anew, And the dead conquer'd whilst the living flew. William Cartwright, 1643.

Sir John Grenville

Officer List

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

  • Colonel Sir Bevil Grenville
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Peter Courtney (2)
  • Sergeant-Major Degory Tremayne Ment. I.O.
  • Sergeant Major Lower
  • Captain Andrew Cory I.O. Cornwall
  • Captain Greenvile Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Christopher Grosse (4)
  • Captain Richard Hawke (5) + Ment. I.O
  • Captain Ralph Plumly (6)
  • Captain Richard Porter (1) + ment. I.O.
  • Captain John Taverner Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Degory Tremayne (3)
  • Captain Jonathan Trelawney, later colonel of a Cornish Trained Band Regiment (8)
  • Captain Lieutenant Leake
  • Lieutenant Nicholas Berry I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant William Batt I.O. Cornwall to Capt. Hawke
  • Lieutenant John Crabbe I.O. Cornwall to Sir Peter Courtnay
  • Lieutenant John Ferris I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant George Harwell I.O. Devon to Capt. Taverner
  • Lieutenant John Holman I.O. Cornwall to Capt. Greenvile
  • Lieutenant Thomas Hutchins I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant William Mursill I.O. Cornwall to Capt. Porter
  • Ensign William Canne I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign Philip Charsell I.O. Cornwall to Sgnt. Maj. Tremayne
  • Ensign John Hay I.O. Cornwall to Capt. Hawke
  • Ensign Zachary Kendall I.O. Devon
  • Ensign Henry Roberts I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign Henry Row I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign Henry Spour I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign Anthony Payne
List from E.102.17
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sir Peter Courtney
  • Sargeant Major Deroy
  • Captain Piper
  • Captain Estcot
  • Captain Ford
  • Captain Porter
  • Captain Smith
  • Captain Warre
  • Captain Pernowne
  • Captain Spicer E.124.
Under Sir John Grenville
  • Colonel Sir John Grenvile
  • Lieutenant Colonel Pomeroy Ment. I.O.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Roscarrock Ment. I.O.
  • Sargeant Major
  • Captain Chamond Grenvile (1) + I.O. Cornwall
  • Captain Nicholas Hawke (9)
  • Captain John Hore I.O. Dorset
  • Captain John Plumly I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant Tristram Bissett I.O. Dorset and I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant Thomas Hugh I.O. Cornwall to Lt. Col. Pomeroy
  • Lieutenant Hugh Leatherden I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant Thomas Lower I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant John Matthew I.O. Cornwall to Lt. Col. Roscarrock
  • Lieutenant Anaes Rearden I.O. L + W
  • Lieutenant Mark Tucker I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant Wilden Tysack I.O. Cornwall
  • Lieutenant James Winslade I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign John Clark I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign John Eedy I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign John Elliot I.O. Cornwall to Capt. Plumley
  • Ensign Edmond Heddon I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign Peter Hodge I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign Thomas Hoskins I.O. Cornwall
  • Ensign Richard Olyvy I.O. Cornwall CHECK VISITATIONS
  • Ensign John Pethick I.O. Cornwall

TYPE O989 which shows that he took over his Fathers Regiment.

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

Petition of Quaintance

(1) Devon Record Office Extract DRO.QSP.128.47.4

To the right Worshipfull his Majesties Justices of the peace for the County of Devon. The humble petition of Henry Quaintance of Drewsteignton in the County aforesaid Taylor Sheweth that your poor petitioner served his late Majesty King Charles the First of ever blessed memory for severall yeares together in the then unhappy warrs as a foot soldier under the command of Captaine Richard Porter, against the siege of Plymouth and under Captain John Read in the Garrison of Exeter….

Almost certainly Richard Porter of Launcells, Cornwall.

Petition of Anthony

(2) DRO.QSP.128.118.2

The humble petition of John Anthony of Staverton in the County aforesaid Taylor Sheweth that your served under Sir Peter Courtnay in Sir Bevil Grenvilles regiment until Stratton where he was shot in the knee. When the regiment marched to Bristol he and other wounded were left behind. He then served as a Corporal to Col. William Arundel until his death whereafter he served as Ensign to Colonel Bullen Reymes until Taunton fight. After that he served as corporal of horse under Captain Peter Bound under whom he was captured at Kingswear Fort with Sir Henry Carey. Many Officers signed his Petition.CHECK

Petition of Williams

(3) DRO.QSP.128.82

Petition of Walter Williams of Mary Tavy served under Degory Tremayne in Sir Bevil Grenvilles Regiment.

Petition of Corde


Petition of John Corde served under Captain Degory Tremayne as a sargeant and received severall wounds.

Earl of Rochester's Rgt

(4) Harl.Mss.6804 f.16 A list of the Officers of the Earl of Rochesters Regiment

Colonel Christopher Grosse. A Captain to Sir Beville Grenville in the beginning of the rebellion. Major to a Tertia under Prince Maurice under Lord Goring and Major General under Sir Thomas Basset.

Petition of Hawke

(5) Publice Record Office SP23.184.834

The humble petition of Richard Hawke of North Pethwin Gent, “Showeth that yr petitioner by vertue of a commission from the Right Honorable Earle of Pembroke took upon him the command as Captain of the Trayned Band in the County of Cornwall under which command he served for the space of 8 yeares and upwards untill the beginning of these unnaturall warres and was commanded by Sir Bevil Grenvile Knt. hon. Dep. Lieut. of ye said County to ingage himself and Company in the service of the King which he could not otherwise avoid without the ruin of himself and family…”

His son Charles Hawke was also in arms.

Peter Lillicrap

(6) SP29.77.37 i Peter Lillicraps services

Took up arms under Sir Bevil Grenvile in the Company of Captaine Ralph Plumly and continued in the service till the articles of Truro, during which time I receaved severall wounds and was four times taken prisoner.

Raphe Plumleigh was born in St. Mabyn Cornwall in 1611. His Brother John born in 1620 is listed in I.O. under the Sir Bevils son John, later created Earl of Bath. It is quite possible that both brothers originally served under Sir Bevil and that John was Raphes Lieutenant and that they both then went on to serve under John Grenvile as Captains.

(7) The Huntington Library San Marino, California. Kindly provided gratis by Mary L Robertson Curator of Manuscripts.

Trelawny Papers


The humble Representment of the Services and Sufferings of Jonathan Trelawny, Esq. July the 24th, 1660. First. That att the age of seventeen yeares he raised, att his owne charge, a foot company, with which hee served under Sir Bevil Greenfield. (a) Secondly. Att his age of eighteen yeares he raised a troope of horse att his owne charge, and served with it in the regiment of Collonell Digby, (b) where hee continued in service untill he had a commission to be a Collonell of that regiment of horse.

Thirdly. That hee also raised a regiment of foot at his own charge, which hee brought before Taunton, and served with them there under the commande of Sir Richard Greenfield, and afterwards served as Collonell Generall of a brigade of horse, when the Earle of Essex came into Cornwall. Fourthly. That since the end of the warrs all his estate was sequestrated for severall yeares, untill he was forced to redeem it by paying a great ffyne. Fifthly. That his father, by virtue of a commission from his late Majestie, levied and received of the countrie (which hee paid over for his Majesties service) severall sumes of money, to the vallue of 1000Z., for which hee and his father were questioned by the then power ; to defend which suites and tyranny then imposed upon them for that service hee was forced to bee at great expense, charge, and trouble, and att the end compelled to repay the said 1000/., with charges to the value of 500/. more. Sixthly. That hee payd decimation and all other taxes and pay- ments, imposed upon him with all severity imaginable. Seventhly. That hee suffered imprisonment in Pendenis, Truroe, Tregony, Bodmyn, and Dortmouth nine severall times, sometimes three quarters of a yeare att a time, to the great preiudice of his health and ruine of his estate and family. Eighthly. That hee was designed three times to have lost his life, beinge all w ayes considered by the enemy as most obnoxi- ous to them of all the King's partie in that countrie, beinge twice imprisoned when noe other of his Majesties partie in that county was soe treated. Ninthly. That in the last winter's designes he disbursed 300. in preparation of horses, armes, and men for his Majesties service. That in all time of the warrs, and since the warrs, he never received any money att all for his services, in which hee was never either remisse or negligent in promoting of his Majesties interest and service all which shall bee made very clerely and fully appeare whensoever his Majestie shall commande it. For all which the said Collonell Trelawny humbly imploreth his Majesties favour and goodnesse to him. And whereas your Ma-jestie, on the petitioner's former request, was pleased that your petitioner should have a grant of the duty of tenn shillings upon the awne of Deale and Rhenish wine, at the rent of 201. per annum, as the same was formerly granted unto William Murcey, Esq. May it please your Majestie to give your possitive order for your Petitioner's proceeding with the said grant to effect, with- out which your Petitioner and his family must inevitably perish. And, as in duty, &c. JONA. TRELAWNY.

(a) This was Sir Bevil Grenville, who was killed at the battle of Lansdowne (5th July, 1643), where the Cornishmen did excellent service. In the Grenville Library is a volume of Oxford verses (1643) to his memory by William Cartwright and others, noticed by Mr. Bolton Corney in Notes and Queries, vol. i. p. 151. Sir Richard Grenville was his younger brother. (b) The original warrant from Col. John Digby, dated 1st March, 1642-3, is among the family papers.

Capt Hawke

(9) In his Will mentions his money due as an Indigent Officer (Captain) under Earl of Bath (John Grenville).


Merc Aul. 7.1.1642/3 The Regiments of Sir Beville Grenville and Colonel Godolphin to seize on Topsham.


CLARENDON. After Braddock Down from Liskeard Sir Jo. Berkeley and Colonel Ashburnham with Sir B.G and Sir Nich Slann and Col Trevennions Regiments to Tavistock. At Stratton

Spicer taken

E.124.29 Capt Spicer and his Lt. taken and Grenvilles Cornet.

Letter from Grenville Jan 43

Launceston Jan 6 1642(3)

Dear Love, I shall be willing that Jack may repose himself a while at home seeing our actions abroad are not more worthy of his bestowing his time in. There comes with him a rare man, one Mr. Coxe, a Devine though for some employment which he hath it is not amiss to have him sometimes in a grey coat. His learning, his parts, his conversation are excellent, I hope he will retire himself for a while at Stow, and thereby imprint some forms in the boy which, if he have the wit, to make use of, may season him while he lives.

Pray afford him the best usage and respect you can both in diet and lodging and attendance. Lodge him in the Red Chamber and because your Chamberlain is sick, let some trusted body see his bed well furnished, with neat linen and all things appertaining sweet and clean with good fires both beneath and above, all which I leave to your discretion.

And myself for ever to remain your own B. Gren.

I am of a mind to billet some companies in the parishes about you as namely five companies five parishes, by one in a parish for a defence against plunderers. Wherefore, Mr Rous to prepare the inhabitants of Kilkhampton, Morewenstow, Stratton, Poughill, and Lancells to diet a hundred men a parish in several houses. They should be allowed for each man two shillings by the week which is enough from a poor soldier,and to be brief if they will not do it willing, they shall do it whether they will or no.

And in this I expect a speedy answer. Since the writing of this Mr Cox cannot come.

Grenville's Letter after Braddock Down

Notes and Queries Magazine November 25 1854

My Deare Love,

It hath pleas'd God to give us a happie victory this present Thursday 19th of Januarie, for which pray join with me in giving God thanks.

We advanced yesterday from Bodmin to find ye enemy which we heard was abroad, or if we miss'd him in the field we were resolved to unhouse them in Liskeard or leave our boddies in the highway.

We were not above 3 miles from Bodmin, when we had view of two troops of their horse to whom we sent some of ours, which chased them out of the field while our foot march'd after our horse; but night coming on we could march no further than Boconnocke Park, where (upon my Co. Mohum's kind motion) we quartered all our army by good fires under the hedge. The next morning (being this day) we march'd forth, and about noone came in full view of the enemies whole army upon a fair heath betweene Boconnocke and Braddock Church. They were in horse much stronger than we, but in foot we were superior, as I thinke.

They were possest of a pretty rising ground which was in the way towards Liskeard, and we planted ourselves upon such another against them within muskett shot, and we saluted each other with bulletts about two hours or more, each side being willing to keep their ground and to have the other to come over to his prejudice; but after so long delay, they standing still firm, and being obstinate to hould their advantage, Sir Ralph Hopton resolved to march over to them, and to leave all to the mercy of God and valour of our side. I had the van; so after solemne prayers in the head of every division, I led my part away, who followed me with so good courage bothe downe one hill and up the other, as it strooke a terror in them, while the seconds came up gallantly after me, and the wings of horse charged on both sides, but there courage so fail'd them as they stood not our first charge of the foot, but fled in great disorder, and we chast them divers miles; many were not slain because of their quick disordering, but we have taken above 600 prisoners, among which Sir Shilston Calmady is one, and more are still brought in by the soldiers; much arms they have lost, and colours we have won, and 4 pieces of ordinance from them, and without rest we marched to Liskeard, and took it without delay, all their men flying from it before we came, and so I hope we are now again in ye way to settle the country in peace. All our Cornish Grandies were present at the Battell with the Scoth Generall Ruthen, the Somersett Collonels, an the horse Captains Pim and Tomson, and but for their horses speed had been all in our hands.; let my Sister and my cossens of Clovelly, with ye other friends, understand of Gods mercy to us, and we lost not a man. So I rest.

Yours ever, Bevill Grenvile Liskeard Jan. 19 1642(3) For the Lady Grace Grenvile at Stow, d.d. The messenger is paide, yet give him a shilling more.

Grenville's Letter before Modbury

Another letter exists which was written on the eve of the encounter at Modbury

My Deare Love,

Your great care and good affection, as they are very remarkable, so they deserve my best thankes, and I could wish that the subject which you bestowe them upon could better requite them. I shall returne your messenger with but little certainty concerning our present condition.

Our Army lyes still in severall quarters. Sir Ralph Hopton with my Lord Mohun, is upon the north side of Plimouth with two Regiments, Coll. Asbourn (William Ashburnham), Sir John Berkeley and I are on the east side with two Regiments and Sir Ni. San (Sir Nicholas Slanning) with Jack Trevan. (John Trevannion) and their two Regiments were sent the last weeke to Modbury to posesse that quarter before the enimy come, being the richest part of this countrey, whence most of our provision and victualls does come, if it were taken from us, we might be starved in our quarters. Modbury lyes 6 miles to the Eastward of us, and now the enimy with all the power that they can gather, of those that we disperst at Okeham. (Okehampton) and Chag. (Chagford) and other aydes, advanced within two miles of ou (us or our camp) at Modbu: they are many thousands as the report goes, and we are like to have speedy worke. We have sent more ayde to them both of horse and foote. God speed us well. Plimouth is still supplied with men and all sorts of provision by sea which we cannot hinder and therefore for my part I see no hope of taking it.

So now the most danger that hangs over the Kings side is in these parts.

Ciccester (Cirencester) which prince Rupert tooke, hath drawne in all Glocestershire. The Citties of Glocester and Bristoll do offer to render themselves without Force, and they are places of great importance. The Earle of Newcastle hath given the Parliaments power a great defeate in Yorkshire. The Queen is coming with good ayde to the King. The Parliament did attempt to force severall quarters where the Kings army lay, and were beaten off with great losse to themselves in all places. We have advertizement that some ayde is coming from his Majesty to us, but it is so slowe as we shall need it before we see it. but Gods will be done, I am satisfied I canot expire in a better cause. I have given some directions to Jack (John Grenvile, his son) for his study, pray cause him to putt them in execution, and to make some exercise in verse or prose every day. Intreat my Cos. and Baronet Geal. to take a little pains (with) him. I have released the prisoners that Bar. Geal wrote for. lett Capt. Stanb. know, it is all one to me whither he goe to Byd. (Bideford) or Pads. (Padstow) so he make haste, and now to conclude, I beseech God to bless our young people.

I rest your own ever Bevil Grenvile.

My new cap is a little too straight. I know not what form of certificate it is that Jo. Geal: desires, but if he will send it to me drawn, I will get it signed. Plimp.(plympton) Feb.20. 1642(3)

Grenville's Letter after Sourton Down

The following letter written 4 days after the defeat at Sourton Down mentions a further cessation

(7) For the Lady Grenvile Deare Love,

use your owne discretion in removing, when and where you thinke fitt, I will not for a world stay you against yr minde, as I am now doubtfull whither I shall advise you to come hither, because the enimy is com so neer us as Howlsworthy. but there is a Cessation concluded againe till saturday night, they cannot stirr in the meane time unless they be devills. yet do what you please, it shall please yrs B:Gren: Apr-29-1643.


Grenville at Wells

Dearest Brother,

You were gone before I was aware of itt, I beseech God to send you a good jorney & us a happie meeting. There was nothing concluded in counsell after your departure, but that itt was fit to follow Waller which way soever he went. I am in some doubt, least it may not be very safe for you, to straggle farr from the Army, when you come into Devon. You know their malice will exceed towards you, I would not for all the world, that you should be any way so exposed, as to fall into their power, for Gods sake be very circumspect. It is said that Sir Wm: Waller moves towards Salisbury, & we have orders to draw after him. I am ever yourr most faithfull Servant

Bevill Grenvile

Wells June 19. 1643

O989 letter from the King to Bev.

Chamnond Grenville

(1) Visitations of Cornwall Chamond Grenvile born 1.10.1622 of Poughill Cornwall Chammon in I.O.

Surrender at the Scilly Isles

SP23.145.129 Surrender of the Scilly Isles Mentioned

  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Roscarrock
  • Colonel Richard Thornhill
  • Lieutenant Colonel Robinson
  • Sargeant Major Maderne
  • Captain Thomas Amy
  • Captain Thomas Lewes
  • Captain Andrew Corey
  • Captain John Gould
  • Captain Christopher Turner
  • Captain William Heberth
  • Captain Canham

See Also

1) Research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642
2) From: The True Proceedings of the severall counties of Yorke Coventry Portsmouth Cornewall with an abstract of a letter, sent from one of the Earle of Warwicks Gentlemen, concerning divers Weighty Matters. 22 August 1642


etfox, 03/07/2017 22:59
I'd like to discuss the origin of the blue and white paint on Grenville's pikes and musket rests: Grenville's armorial colours were red and gold.
tim, 11/07/2017 23:02
Hi Ed, thanks for the comment. Interesting! I'll contact Victor when I have the chance and get his opinion as well,
(currently lots going on for me so not as much time for the wiki). Do you have a reference for the red and gold? Perhaps the 'Earl of Warwick's Gentleman' got the wrong end of the stick back in 1642?
etfox, 11/07/2017 23:14
Thanks Tim,

The Grenville arms are fairly well attested to in sources too numerous to list: gules, three clarions or - that is to say, red with three gold clarions (and if you can get a consensus on what a heraldic clarion is you're a better man than I!). However, if you want a specific reference, we can perhaps do no better than Grenville's monument in Kilkhampton Church:
tim, 22/08/2017 20:41
Hi Ed, I've discussed with Victor and he pointed out that Sir Beville's grandfather Sir Richard Grenville used arms of red and gold impaling a blue and white design (of his wife, a St Leger), see here Possibly there might be a relationship between these 'family' colours and the blue-and-white mentioned.
etfox, 24/08/2017 12:37
Possibly, although there's no reason Bevill should have used the colours of his grandmother's coat of arms on his pikes. More likely (and a much simpler explanation) is that the blue and white had nothing to do with his coat of arms. The author of the passage above doesn't actually say anything about it being based on his arms, that's a modern association.
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