The King’s Lifeguard Regiment of Horse

Flag Illustration1)
Active1642-1646
CountryEngland
AllegianceRoyalist
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeHorse
ColonelKing Charles I
Area RaisedYorkshire
Flag ColourRed
Flag DesignKnown
Field ArmiesOxford 1642-1646

The King’s Lifeguard Regiment of Horse, serving with the Oxford Army throughout the First Civil War

Service History

1642

  • May: Raised in Yorkshire
  • July: First Siege of Hull
  • August: Repulsed from Coventry
  • October: Battle of Edgehill
  • December: Quartered at Oxford

1643

  • August to September: Siege of Gloucester
  • September: First Battle of Newbury

1644

  • June: Battle of Cropredy Bridge
  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury
  • November: Relief of Donnington Castle

1645

  • March: Skirmish at Kidlington
  • May: Storm of Leicester
  • June: Battle of Naseby
  • August: Storm of Huntingdon
  • September: Battle of Rowton Heath Lord Bernard Stewart killed
  • November to May 1646: Besieged at Newark

1646

  • May: Surrender of Newark

Notes

Flags & Equipment

The cornet illustrated above was taken by the Earl of Essex's army sometime between 1642 and 1644. It is not definitely identified as one of the King's Lifeguard's cornets, but this appears probable based on its extra wide gold fringing, crown and royal cypher.

According to Blount: The coronet-devise of His Majesties own troop or Life-guard of horse was a Lyon Passant, Crowned Or, with DIEU ET MON DROIT for motto2)

By 1643 the Lifeguard were being issued with harquebusier equipment3) though this does not necessarily preclude individuals wearing cuirassier armour.

Notable Officers

King Charles I

Lord Bernard Stewart

Sir William Killigrew

Sir Edward Brett

Captain Edward Brett commanded a troop of The Queen’s Regiment of Horse that escorted the Queen to Exeter then was attached to the King's Lifeguard during the Lostwithiel campaign of 1644. Brett was knighted by Charles I on the field of battle and promoted to Major. It appears that The King's Lifeguard was reorganised at this time into the King's troop and the Queen's troop.

Lt Col Gordon

Led the Earl of Lichfield's troop in August 1645

Officer Lists

August 1645

The Lifeguard of Horse at Doncaster, 19th August 16454), commanded by Lord Bernard Stuart, Earl of Lichfield

  • The King's Troop, commanded by Lord Bernard Stuart, Earl of Lichfield
  • The Queen's Troop, commanded by Sir Edward Brett, Regimental Major
  • The Earl of Lichfield's Troop, commanded by Lt Colonel Gordon
  • Sir Thomas Glemham's troop, commanded by Sir Henry Stradling

September 1645

The King's Lifeguard of Horse 'about 200' strong commanded by Lord Bernard Stuart, Earl of Lichfield

  • The King's Troop, commanded by Lord Bernard Stuart, Earl of Lichfield
  • The Queen's Troop, comanded by Sir Edward Brett, Regimental Major
  • The Earl of Lichfield's Troop, commanded by Lt. Col. Gordon
  • Sir Henry Stradling's Troop

Strength

  • October 1642: 2 troops at Edgehill
  • May 1645: 2 troops with 400 men at Leicester5)
  • August 1645: 4 troops with 300 men at Doncaster6)
  • September 1645: 4 troops with about 200 men at Chester7)

See Also

1) Flag images by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) The Art of making Devises 2nd Ed, Thomas Blount, London, 1655.
3) mentioned in Royalist Ordnance Papers
4) , 5) , 6) British Library Harleian Ms 911
7) British Library Harleian Ms 944