Sir Nicholas Selwyn’s Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 11)
Flag Illustration 22)
Active1643 to 1646
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelSir Nicholas Selwyn
William Legge
Area RaisedOxford
Coat Colour
Flag ColourWhite
Flag DesignLion & Crown
Field ArmiesGarrison

Later Colonel William Legge’s Regiment of Foot, also known as the City of Oxford Regiment

Royalist 'Town Regiment' of foot serving as garrison of Oxford

Service History


  • December: Raised in Oxford


  • Garrison of Oxford


  • May to June: Besieged in Oxford
  • September: Storm of Thame


  • May to June: Besieged in Oxford


The City of Oxford Regiment was raised from the townsmen of Oxford to garrison the city. They were a part-time unit, remaining in Oxford apart from a brief excursion to Thame.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

The regiment’s flags were sketched by Symonds. Colonel’s ensign was plain white, Lt Col had a St George cross in a canton and an ornate scroll with the motto Fortis est Veritas (Illustration 1, though the flowers might instead be ends of the scroll), Major a St George cross in a canton and red (?) pile wavy, Captains’ flags bore a St George cross in a canton and devices of a crowned lion (erminois?) holding a red rose (Illustration 2)3). Victor writes: Regarding the Colours, when I was at the British Library the illustrations also show red cords (Gules) and the pile wavy on Sgt. Major Halls Flag is G for Gules. Also the Lion is yellow with black fleur de lis on the body.

Notable Officers

Sir Nicholas Selwyn

Selwyn previously served in The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners

William Legge

Will Legge took over from Selwyn.

Officer Lists

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

  • Colonel Sir Nicholas Selwyn
  • Lieutenant Colonel Francis Hall Ment. I.O. Promoted May 1646
  • Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Smith Replaced by Hall in May 1646
  • Sargeant Major Leonard Bowman (4) + ment. I.O.
  • Sargeant Major Francis Hall (3)
  • Captain Henry Stevens (1)
  • Captain Peter Langston (2) + ment. I.O.
  • Captain Leonard Bowman
  • Captain David Woodfield (4)
  • Lieutenant Browne (5) to Capt. Stephens
  • Lieutenant Robert Sivabie (3) to Sgt. Maj. Hall
  • Lieutenant Thomas Wells I.O. Oxon. to Sgnt. Maj. Bowman
  • Lieutenant Robert White I.O. Oxon. to Capt. Langston
  • Ensign William Andrews I.O. Oxon. to Capt. Stephens
  • Ensign Matthew Lello I.O. Oxon. to Lieut. Col. Hall
  • Ensign Penniall (5) to Capt. Stephens
  • Ensign William Stephenson I.O. Oxon. to Capt. Langston
  • Ensign John Wild I.O. Oxon. to Lieut. Col. Smith

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

Oxford Council Acts Hobson & Salter 1933 Oxford Historical Society

September 19th 1642 As a reward for their great services to the City in training the souldiers and in many other ways it is decided that Mr Painton and Mr Woodfield shall have £5 each, and Thomas Wells £2 and William Stevenson £1, out of the City Treasure.

October 16th 1643 The Mayor asks for advice 'touching the finishing of our Regiment sheweing to them that he and his brethren have endeavoured to take of Sir Nicholas Selwyn our intended Colonell and his Major and to procure a Colonell of our owne body but cannot yet prevaile and are uncertaine whether they cann prevaile or noe'.It is decided to refer the matter to the Mayor and Bailiffs.

July 5th 1644 David Woodfield being unable to attend the Mayor and Courts of this City owing to the fact that he is serving with the Regiment, it is decided that the Mayor, the thirteen and the Bailiffs, shall appoint some one to supply his place, during these distracted times, and that he shall have a suitable allowance out of his fees.

(4) Original Typescript of Strangers in Oxford (in my possession. V.J)

Note. David Woodfield was a Captain or Leader of the City soldiers in 1642 when he let Sir John Byron into Oxford.

September 26th 1644 Robert Mylls, Cordwainer, who has done good service to his Majesty and to this City as officer in Captain Langston's company, is admitted free with the consent of the Company of Cordwainers for £5.5s.0d and o.f.

May 1st 1645 Francis Hall, Major to the City Regiment, and now chosen Lieutenant Colonel in the place of Mr Alderman Smith, is admitted free gratis, and given a bailiff's place as a reward for his faithful service.

Meetings of the Mayors Council

20th June 1646 Whereas the much deserving Lieutenant Colonell Francis Hall who hath been Sargeant Major and after Lieutenant Colonell of our Citty Regiment, well now three yeares last, is now upon the Rendition of this Garrison to leave the same and to take upon him other imployments, for his further advancement; wee the Mayor, Aldermen and assistants of the Citty of Oxon, in gratitude to his meritt, whereof we are able to give an ample testimony, doe unanimously declare that the said Lieutenant Colonell, who ever since the raysing of our said Regiment hath undertaken the principall care and command thereof, hath in his martiall and civill administration of his said command and Government well demeaned himselfe, being vigilantly sedulous in the preservation of this Citty, actively valiant for the vindication thereof, courteously affable to all in their addresses to him, and really just, soe farr as in him lay, in redressing all grievances touching the said Regiment and Garrison. In testimony of the truth whereof, the seale of the Mayoralty of the said Citty is hereto putt at the Guildhall, 20. June 22 Car.l,1646.

(1) SP23.120.99 To the honourable Committee for Compositions at Goldsmiths Hall The humble petition of Henry Stevens Citizen of Oxon. Sheweth that your petitioner at his Majesties command (Amongst other Citizens of Oxon) took upp Armes for his Majestie against the Parliament for which his delinquencie he is sequestred by the Committee of Oxon. The petitioner humbly desires to be admitted to his Composition for his estate for which he submits to this Honourable Committee.

Henry Stevens

17. Decem. 1646

SP23.217.326 Extract. To the right honourable the Commissioners for Compounding with Delinquents att Goldsmiths Hall The humble petition of Henry Stevens of Essingdon* in Oxon. Gent Humblye sheweth that itt was the petitioners misfortune to be in armes against the Parliament in the first warr and that he served in the Garrison of Oxon for wch his delinquencye he desireth to compound,and shall willingly submitt to such fine as your honours shall impose. And shall pray for &e

Henry Stevens


(2) SP23.195.22 Extract. The humble peticion of Peter Langston of the Cittie of Oxon. Sheweth that your petitioner hath inhabited within the Cittie of Oxon. for the space of eighteen yeares last past; and duringe some part of that tyme the place was made a garrison for the King. He for the defence of that Cittie tooke a Command as a Captayne in the Regiment of Auxiliaries of that Cittie: Soe that therein yoyur petitioner did assist his Majestie in this warr against Parliament and is compounded within the Articles of Oxon.

Accepted 17. Novemb: 1646

(3) WO55.459.94 30. die March 1644 Received out of his Majesties stores according to the warrant written for the use of Sir Nicholas Selwynes Regiment of Foote Match One hundred weight Robert Sivabie Lt. to Maior Hall

(4) SP23.192.660 Extract. The humble petition of Leonard Bowman of the Citty of Oxford Merchant Sheweth that your petitioners antient habitation long before these troubles was in Oxford, which was long kept as a Garrison for the King, and during that tyme by the Kings command hee for the defence of that Cittie tooke upp Armes against the Parliament and defended the same during all ye siege thereof and is comprised within the Articles agreed upon the rendition of the same to the powers of the Parliament.

Accepted 17. Novemb: 1646

Being a Town Regiment led to some sad times.

Oxford Parish Register St. Mary the Virgin Burials 31st March 1643/4 Francis, wife of Leonard Bowman buried

(5) Oxford Council Acts Hobson & Salter 1933 Oxford Historical Society

July 27th 1644

It was likewise ordered that whereas Mr Browne, Lieutenant to Captayne Stephens, and Ensigne Penniall of the same Company have levied and gathered severall somes of money towards the paiment of the Officers of the Cittie Regiment, (they) shall uppon Monday next make upp their accompts and pay in all somes of money by them soe gathered


  • Symonds noted 6 ensigns therefore perhaps six companies.

See Also

1) , 2) Original artwork by Tony Barton, shown by kind permission of Tony Barton and Charles Kightly. Previously published in Military Modelling magazine
3) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846