Sir John Ackland’s Regiment of Foot

Active1642 to 1646
CountryEngland
AllegianceRoyalist
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelsSir John Ackland
Prince Charles
Lord Capel
Area RaisedDevon & Cornwall
Coat ColourGrey??
Flag ColourUnknown
Flag DesignUnknown
Field ArmiesMaurice 1644?
Goring 1645-6
Hopton 1646

Also Prince Charles’ (The Prince of Wales’) Regiment of Foot and Lord Capel’s Regiment of Foot

Royalist infantry regiment that served in the West Country during the First Civil War.

Service History

1642

  • Raised in Devon and Cornwall?
  • January: Skirmish at Torrington?

1643

  • December: Siege of Arundel?
  • December-January: Besieged in Arundel

1644

  • January: Surrender of Arundel
  • September: Battle of Lostwithiel?
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury?

1645

  • July: Battle of Langport
  • Garrison Columb-John (Ackland's house)

1646

  • February: Battle of Torrington
  • March: Disbanded at surrender of Truro

Notes

In December 1642 Sir John Ackland led a small force of horse and foot to Torrington, where they defeated Chudleigh’s Parliamentarians. Whether this was the first action of Ackland’s Regiment of Foot or another unit is uncertain. By December 1643 they were part of Bampfield’s garrison besieged at Arundel Castle by Sir William Waller, surrendering on the 6th of January. By the summer of 1644 they were being referred to in Mercurius Aulicus as ”Prince Charles his brave regiment of Tinners, commanded by Colonel Ackland, High Sherriffe of Devonshire”. This appears to have been an honorary title; the Prince of Wales was also nominal commander of another regiment of foot raised by Sir Michael Woodhouse in the Welsh borders, Link. Ackland’s may have been included in the Western Foot at Lostwithiel and Second Newbury. By July 1645 they were serving in Lord Goring’s army in the West, being present during, but not engaged at, the defeat by the New Model Army at Langport. In 1646 command of the Western Army was handed over to Lord Hopton; under his command Lord Capel took over as colonel. The regiment fought at Torrington and laid down their arms at the surrender of Truro.

Coats and Flags

Unknown, possibly Grey Coats as Reeve changed sides and assisted besieging Donnington Castle with his greycoats 1).

Notable Officers

Colonel Sir John Ackland

Colonel Sir John Ackland (1591-1647) (also spelt Acland) was High Sherriff of Devon and was created 1st Baronet Acland, of Columb-John, Devon on 24 June 1644, although no docket has ever been found to support this owing to the confusion of the Civil War. Previously Trained Band Col. later also Col. of Horse, he surrendered on Exeter articles2).

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

Prince Charles (1630-1685) appears to have been honourary Colonel of Ackland's regiment, as well as the Regiment of Foot led by Sir Michael Woodhouse on the Welsh borders. Later King Charles II, biographies can be found online, at BCW, Wikipedia, Britsh Royal History amongst many others.

At the age of 12 Charles and his younger brother James were present at the Battle of Edgehill, where they amused themselves shooting toy pistols in the direction of Essex's army and Charles had to be dissuaded from charging the enemy himself. Parliamentarian cuirassiers broke through the Royalist infantry causing havoc at the rear of the army and the Princes were saved from capture by the efforts of the Gentlemen Pensioners. The young Prince of Wales visited Raglan Castle to raise support, charming the proud Welsh, but spent most of the war together with his father at Oxford or on campaign. In March 1645 at the age of 15 he was appointed nominal Captain General of the West Country Royalists with a headquarters at Bristol, but despite the advice of Clarendon and Hopton the West Country forces fell apart in the face of the New Model Army. After the fall of Bristol Charles fled to the Scilly Isles, the Jersey, then joined the Queen at St Germain in France. His father was executed in 1649. Desperate to gain the support of the Scots Covenanters he signed the Treaty of Breda, and landed in Scotland in 1650, was crowned King of Scotland in 1651, then marched South on the fateful Worcester campaign. Soundly defeated by Cromwell, Charles spent six weeks on the run, aided and unintentionally hindered by Henry Wilmot Earl of Rochester, before escaping to France again. In 1654 Charles was forced to move to Cologne then Bruges and allied with Spain against Parliament and the French. By 1658 he had raised a small army of English and Irish exiles allied to the Spanish, which was defeated by Turenne and Protectorate forces at the Battle of the Dunes. As the Protectorate collapsed after the death of Cromwell, General Monck organised Charles' return to England in 1660. He landed at Dover on 25 May. Amid wild rejoicing across the nation, Charles made a triumphal entry into London on his 30th birthday, 29 May 1660. His coronation at Westminster Abbey took place on St George's Day, 1661.

Arthur, Lord Capel

Lord Capel (1604-1649) was appointed General of North Wales and the North Welsh marches in 1642 but was generally unsuccessful and replaced by Lord Byron in December 1643. He remained at Oxford until 1645 then accompanied Price Charles to Bristol, being appointed Colonel of the Prince's regiments of horse and foot. After the fall of the West he followed Prince Charles into exile. In 1648 he was instrumental in raising the Royalist rebellion in Essex. Besieged in Colchester by the New Model Army under Fairfax, the Royalists endured a hard fought and brutal siege of 76 days before surrendering. Capel was imprisoned in the Tower of London, escaped but was recaptured. He was sentenced to death and executed outside Westminster Hall in March 1649.

Officer List

Original research by Victor Judge aka '1642'

  • Colonel Sir John Acland
  • Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Rich
  • Sargeant Major Robert Shapcott
  • Sargeant Major Thomas Latimore
  • Captain Edward Amy
  • Captain James Austaine
  • Captain William Blewett
  • Captain William Channon
  • Captain William Cogan
  • Captain Bartholomew Gidley
  • Captain Hast
  • Captain Thomas Lang
  • Captain William Reeves
  • Captain Rich
  • Captain Simon Weekes
  • Captain William White
  • Lieutenant John Roberts
  • Lieutenant William Blake
  • Lieutenant John Rottenbury
  • Lieutenant John Shobrooke
  • Lieutenant James Smith
  • Ensign John Gage
  • Quartermaster John Upton

Strength

See Also

1) Original research by Victor Judge aka '1642'
2) Newman 2