Sir Charles Vavasour’s Regiment of Foot

Active1641-1645
CountryEngland
AllegianceEnglish
Royalist
Conflicts Confederate War
First Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelsSir Charles Vavasour
Sir Matthew Appleyard
Area RaisedCheshire
West Country
Coat ColourYellow
Flag Colourunknown
Flag Designunknown
Field ArmiesSt Leger 1642
Inchiquin 1642-3
Hopton 1643-4
Oxford Army 1644-5

Also Sir Matthew Appleyard’s Regiment of Foot

English infantry regiment that was raised for Service in Ireland in 1641, returning to England in 1643 to fight for the Royalists1)

Service History

1641

  • November: Raised in Cheshire

1642

  • January: Ordered that 500 men should be raised in Devon & Cornwall
  • January: Parliament orders that 200 of Vavasour's men should be sent to relieve Duncannon fort
  • February: Arrive in Ireland at Youghal (28th)2)
  • Serve in Munster under Inchiquin
  • September: Battle of Liscarroll

1643

  • June: Skirmish at Cloghlea (Fermoy) Vavasour captured
  • October: Return from Munster to Bristol & Minehead with Sir John Paulet’s Regiment of Foot
  • November to March: Siege of Wardour Castle

1644

  • March: Battle of Cheriton
  • June: Battle of Cropredy Bridge
  • August: Skirmish on Caryton Down
  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury

1645

  • April: Battle of Ledbury
  • May: Storm of Leicester
  • June: Battle of Naseby
  • June: Besieged in Leicester
  • June: Surrender of Leicester

Notes

Sir Charles Vavasour had raised a regiment of foot for the Second Bishops’ War of 1640 from Cheshire, Shropshire and Denbighshire. In November 1641, with the outbreak of the Irish rebellion, he raised a regiment for service in Ireland, with 500 men raised by the Earl of Derby, mostly from Cheshire. The original plan was to recruit another 500 men on arrival in Ireland, but this did not transpire, as the recruits were taken by another regiment, so 500 additional men were ordered to be raised in Devon and Cornwall. The regiment arrived in Ireland in February 1642, serving in Munster in Inchiquin's forces.

In September 1642 the regiment fought at the Battle of Liscarrol where Lt Col Mynne led 300 musketeers on the left flank, while Vavasour led the right flank. In June 1643 Vavasour was defeated at Cloghlea (Fermoy or Funcheon Ford) by Castlehaven's cavalry and captured. The regiment took heavy casualties and lost several officers.

In autumn 1643 the regiment were shipped back to Bristol and joined Lord Hopton’s forces. Initially they were sent to the siege of Wardour Castle but were mutinous until Hopton exerted his authority and hanged the trouble-makers. Wardour Castle had been nobly defended by Lady Blanche Arundell in the absence of her husband Thomas Arundell (Second Baron), but Edmund Ludlow had taken the castle for Parliament. Henry Arundell (Third Baron), then conducted siege operations against Ludlow, finally springing a mine and reclaiming his ancestral seat in March 1644.

With Sir Charles Vavasour's death in spring 1644, the regiment were led by Sir Matthew Appleyard. At the end of March 1644 the regiment were part of Hopton’s army and were defeated at Cheriton, despite Appleyard leading a brigade of commanded musketeers to successfully evict Parliamentarian musketeers from the woods on the left of the Royalist position. After the defeat they marched to join the Oxford army and fought at Cropredy Bridge, capturing a dragoon guidon, Lostwithiel and Second Newbury in 1644. In April 1645 they were under Prince Rupert’s command for the storm of Ledbury then served on the Naseby campaign in Sir Bernard Astley’s brigade. A detachment was left in Leicester during the battle, surrendering to Sir Thomas Fairfax on the 17th of June 1645. The garrison was disarmed and permitted to march to Lichfield.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

When raised, the regiment was equipped with two muskets for every pike3). The regiment wore yellow coats in February and March 16444). The regiment were issued these suits of clothes at Bristol, supplied by Thomas Bushell5). Whether they were yellow-coated during their service in Ireland, or in 1645, is unknown.

Contemporary Documents

“And it is most true that those three Regiments which the King and Parliament sent over for this Province, under the commaund of Sir Charles Vavasor, Sir John Paulett and Sir William Ogle, are soe lessened, wakened and made unserviceable by fluxes, small pox, feavers, and with long marches and lyeing upon the cold ground, as we are not able out of these 3 regiments to draw into the field 1200 able and serviceable men; death and sickness having reduced them to sioe weake condition.” Earl of Cork to speaker of the House of Commons 25/08/426)

Notable Officers

A list of the regiment's officers is also shown in An English Army for Ireland by Ian Ryder, Partizan Press.

Sir Charles Vavasour

Sir Charles Vavasour was 1st Baronet Vavasour of Killingthorpe in the County of Lincoln. He died in the spring of 1644, being buried at Oxford on 1st March.

Sir Matthew Appleyard

Sir Matthew Appleyard was a professional soldier. He was Major of Vavasour’s 1640 and 1641 regiments and Lieutenant Colonel in 1643, until promoted Colonel in 1644. He distinguished himself at the battle of Cheriton and at the storm of Leicester, where he was knighted by King Charles and appointed lieutenant governor of the city. Appleyard retired fron public life until the Restoration when he was appointed deputy governor of Hull under Lord Belasyse and was elected MP.

Officer Lists

Muster Roll 1642 in Ireland

  • Colonel Sir Charles Vavasour 162
  • Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mynn 140
  • Sargeant Major Matthew Appleyard 130
  • Captain William Howell 110
  • Captain Isaac Thornton 110
  • Captain Thomas Winde 110
  • Captain James Chudleigh 110
  • Captain Rowland St. Leger 110
  • Captain Bartholomew Price 110

In Ireland in 1643

  • Colonel Sir Charles Vavasour Captured
  • Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Appleyard
  • Sargeant Major William Howell
  • Captain Pierce Lacy Killed
  • Captain Phillip Hutton
  • Captain Rowland St.Leger
  • Captain Winde Captured
  • Captain Fitzmorris Captured
  • Captain Francis Boyle (son of the Earl of Cork, took over Captain Thornton's company in June 1643)7)
  • Lieutenant Stradbury Killed
  • Lieutenant Kent Killed
  • Lieutenant King Captured
  • Lieutenant Rossington Killed
  • Lieutenant Walter St. Leger Killed
  • Ensign Boughton
  • Ensign Thomas Chaplain Captured
  • Ensign Dermot O’Grady to Capt. Rowland St. Leger
  • Ensign Simmons Killed

Strength

  • 1000 ordered to be raised in 1642
  • 1092 mustered in Ireland in 1642
  • Approximately 400 to 500 at Bristol 1643

See Also

1) , 3) Colonel Matthew Appleyard's Regiment of Foot Stuart Reid, English Civil War Notes and Queries 20 p5-6
2) An English army for Ireland by Ian Ryder, Partizan Press
4) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846
5) Original research by Victor Judge aka '1642'
6) Grosart (ed) The Lismore Papers 2nd series vol 5 (1888) p105
7) Grosart (ed) The Lismore Papers 1st series vol 5 (1886) p229