Sir Bevil Grenville’s Regiment of Foot

Active1642-6
CountryEngland
AllegianceRoyalist
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeFoot
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

1642

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

1643

  • 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

1644

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

1645

1646

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

Notes

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.

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

  • Colonel Sir Bevil Grenville
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Peter Courtney
  • Sergeant-Major Deroy
  • Captain Estcot
  • Captain Ford
  • Captain Porter
  • Captain Smith
  • Captain Watts
  • Captain Penvowne
  • Ensign Anthony Payne

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

Discussion

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: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Grenmem.jpg
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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Grenville. 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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