Sir John Acland’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

  • November: Ackland serving as deputy-governor of Exeter
  • November: Reinforce Hopton
  • 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. In November Ackland was deputy governor of Exeter and perhaps any troops of his were involved in the siege. 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
  • Blacks Docquets of letters Patent

Commission to John Acland High Sheriff of Devon,Sir Edward Seymour Knight and Baronet,and others or any 3 of them to imprest in that County 934 men. May 1644.

DRO.QSP.128.13.15 Petition of John Coombe of Bradninch Sargeant of Foot under Captain Hast.

DRO.QSP.128.40.3 Petition of Walter Jewell of Collompton Shot in the head and thigh at Plymouth.

(4) DRO.QSP.128.86.4 Undated The humble petition of Thomas Jope of Westmorchard in ye County of Devon,mason Sheweth that your petitioner was prest in his Majesties service King Charles ye first of blessed memory and did serve in Sir John Aclands Regiment of Foote under the Command of Captaine James Austaine two yeares at the seidge of Plymouth and other where and in that service received some wounds to the damage of his bodily ability and after that your petitioner served under Captaine Bragstone who commanded a Troop of horse untill the very last sessation of Armes in Cornwall at Miles bororow.

DRO.QSP.128.96.12 Petition of Peter Salter of Ottery St Mary States he was dreadfully maimed and wounded.

(1) Devon Record Office QSP.128.114.1 1675 These are humbly to certifie all whome it may concerne that the bearer hereof William Buckingham of the Parish of Silverton in the County of Devon labourer did faithfully serve his late Majestie Kinge Charles the first of ever blessed memory as a foote souldier in the Company of Captaine Edward Amy of the Regiment of the right Honorable Sir John Acland Baronet deceased by the space of fower yeares in which said service he received a wound in his left arme by reason whereof he is very much disabled to gett his livinge as formerly:to the truth of which we have herewith subscribed our names this 14th Aprill 1675 Wm Fry Sargeant the mark of Henry Buckingham I believe this certificate to be true. Ed. Cotton

(2) QSP.128.114.4 Year 1680 To the right worshipfull Sir Thomas Carew Knight and the rest of his Majesties justices of the peace for this County Wee whose names are subscribed doe make bold to certifie that the bearer hereof Peter Kingdon of Silverton in the County of Devon,Taylor served as Clearke and private souldier in the Company of Captain Reeves in the Regiment of the right honorable Sir John Acland Baronett att ye seige of Exon where he recd two wounds which doe much disable him to gett his livinge and therefore humbly desireth that he may for the future be admitted to receuve a pencion yearely out of the Gaole and hospitall money as other maymed souldiers of this County doe all which we leave to your worshipps consideracion and subscribe ourselves your very humble servants Tho Were William Mills Constable of ye Hundred William Fry Sargeant of the said Company

(3) QSP.128.103.2 Petition of Capt.William Blewett of Plymtree Devon.Received several wounds and a long period of imprisonment.A surgeon Anthony Smith states he has a wound in his ankle bone of his right leg from a shot and also a very dangerous shot in his left elbow.

SP19.158.89 Deposition of William White that he was a Lt. in Parliament service and captured. He was persuaded by Lt. James Smith to serve as Capt. under Acland.

N.b William Ryves later switched sides and his grey-coated royalist company were at the siege of Donnington.I believe he was also Dep.Gov at Taunton under Sir John Stawell.

Captain Channon was Governor of Arundel Fort a garrison near Plymouth SP.19.149.45 deposition of John Baker of Plympton Earle

SP.19.149.45 Deposition of William Earle of Plympton Earle sworne and examined … further saith that when the said Rose was Mayor of the said towne of Plimpton one Captain Channon soe called came to the sayd Rose being Capt. of a Fort called Fort Arundell against Plymouth,commanded the said Rose to finde provisions to carry to the said Fort for his souldiers,the said Rose not following the said Capts. command according to expectation the sayd Capt. struck him with his fist and drew his sword and threatened to kille him if he did not speedily provide it as this deponent conceiveth and that this deponent was present when when the sayd Capt. struck him.

…this deponent saith that that Will Alger of Plimpton was a souldier under the command of Capt Tho: Lang a Capt. for the King against the Parliament but for how long tyme he knoweth not.

As the rest of his deposition is about Capt Channon of Aclands Regiment I have placed him in this regiment.

SP.18.74.V Lewis Stuckley states that Mr. Orchard ( an Attorney ) raised men for Shapcott,a Major to Sir John Acland for the King.

SP19.149.47 Being sworne and examined on the behalfe of the CommonWealth saith that in ye tyme of the late warr hee sawe Thomas Rose the younger sonne of Thomas Rose the elder in armes for the King against the Parliament at whych tyme hee was resident att his Fathers house in the towne of Plympton a garrison for the Kings party under the command of Capt: Lange,and further saith that hee the sayd Rose the elder did gather excise for the Kings partye annd that this deponent and his wife hath paid him excise for the sayd Kings partye severall tymes and beleeveth that the sayd Thomas Rose the elder was hath prized thereunto

John Baker

E.266.37 Perfect Occurrences of Parliament 2.1.1645/6. The 26th instant the enemie keep the workes at Plimpton,Mount Arundell and Canterbury worke.In Plimpton are about 200 foot and 80 horse,in Mount Arundell about 80 foot,in Canterbury Worke about 20 foote.

E.317.2 The Parliaments severall great victories in the West… Publ. 21.1.1645/6. A list of Officers of Horse and Foot,taken a moneth since,and are now Prisoners in this Garrison of Plymouth Of Foot Captain Lange,Cap. Haman,Cap. Paulet,Cap. Finch,Lieut. Jermin,Ensigne Rottenbury,Ensigne Stephens,Sergeant White,Sergeant Jucrib,Serg. Manwel.50 Foot

Strength

See Also

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