Sir Thomas Aston’s Regiment of Horse

Active1642-1646
CountryEngland
AllegianceRoyalist
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeHorse
ColonelSir Thomas Aston
Sir William Radcliffe
Sir Thomas Prestwich
Area RaisedCheshire
Lancashire
Flag Colourunknown
Flag Designunknown
Field ArmiesOxford 1642
Cheshire 1643
Oxford 1643-5
Goring 1645-6

Later Sir William Radcliffe’s Regiment of Horse, then Sir Thomas Prestwich’s Regiment of Horse

Royalist regiment of horse from Cheshire fighting throughout the First Civil War at Edgehill, Cheshire, with the Oxford Army and lastly in the West

Service History

1642

  • October: Battle of Edgehill
  • November: Storm of Brentford
  • November: Standoff at Turnham Green?
  • December: Garrison of Reading

1643

  • January: Aston orders the two troops in Cheshire to rejoin the regiment
  • January: Skirmish at Nantwich
  • February: Skirmish at Taporley
  • March: First battle of Middlewich
  • July: First storm of Bristol
  • August: Siege of Gloucester
  • September: Battle of Aldbourne Chase
  • September: First Battle of Newbury

1644

  • Quartered at Evesham
  • March: Skirmishes at Poole and Wimbourne
  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • August: Skirmish at Caradon Down
  • November: Relief of Donnington?

1645

  • February: Siege of Melcombe and Weymouth
  • July: Battle of Ilminster
  • July: Battle of Langport
  • October: Skirmish at Kidderminster?

1646

  • February: Battle of Torrington?
  • March: Surrender at Truro

Notes

Sir Thomas Aston raised two troops of horse in Cheshire and one in Lancashire, leading them south in time for the Battle of Edgehill, where they served on the Royalist left flank, routing the opposing Parliamentarian horse. They were at the storm of Brentford and therefore probably at Turnham Green. Meanwhile Aston had left officers to recruit in Cheshire and support Lord Cholmondley in holding the county. In the winter of 1642-3 Aston and his regiment returned to Cheshire, united with their missing troops and began a campaign against the local Parliamentarians under Sir William Brereton.

The campaign went badly for the Royalists, with Aston being defeated in a succession of skirmishes, which he blamed on recently-raised local troops rather than his own regiment. With the failure of this independent command he was recalled to Oxford, bringing his regiment of horse along with him. The regiment served as part of the Oxford army for the 1643 campaign, and were in the thick of the fighting at First Newbury, where Aston had his horse shot from under him. In the winter of 1643-44 they are noted as quartered at Evesham then winning a skirmish near Poole in Dorset. By Lostwithiel they had re-joined the Oxford army and pursued the fleeing horse of Essex’s army over Caradon Down. They don’t appear to have been at Second Newbury but Aston was commander of a brigade of horse at the relief of Donnington, though his regiment’s presence is not confirmed.

By February 1645 they were back in the West Country, with Lewis Dyve’s and Lord Goring’s forces at the siege of Weymouth, then at Ilminster and Langport. By this stage command had passed to Radcliffe, then Prestwich. Somewhat confusingly a number of officers from the regiment were captured in a skirmish at Kidderminster in Worcestershire in October 1645, which does not appear likely for a regiment serving with Lord Goring in the West. In 1646 they surrendered at Truro.

Flags

Unknown

Notable Officers

A list of the regiment's officers is shown in Officers and Regiments of the Royalist Army by Stuart Reid (Partizan Press).

Sir Thomas Aston

Sir Thomas Aston, 1st Baronet (29 September 1600 – 24 March 1645) was the nephew of the more notorious Sir Arthur Aston. He raised a regiment of horse in 1642 and commanded them at Edgehill. By January 1643 he had been sent back to Cheshire to lead the local forces against Sir William Brereton's Parliamentarians, but was defeated in a succession of skirmishes and minor battles. While in Cheshire he also raised a regiment of dragoons. He returned to the Oxford Army, having his horse shot from beneath him at the 1st Battle of Newbury and was later captured during a skirmish in Staffordshire (1645). He died of a fever in prison at Stafford after a failed escape attempt where he was knocked on the head by an enemy soldier.

Sir William Radcliffe

He took over the regiment after Sir Thomas Aston.

Sir Thomas Prestwich

Sir Thomas Prestwich (1604-1674) was created First Baronet Prestwich of Hulme in Lancashire on 25th April 1644. He commanded the regiment after Sir William Radcliffe.

Officer Lists

The Regiment in 16421)

  • Sir Thomas Aston's Troop
    • Captain Lieutenant
    • Cornet Aston
    • Quartermaster Cartwright
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sir James Bridgeman's Troop
    • Lieutenant Fleming
    • Cornet Colledge
    • Quartermaster Ravenscroft
  • Sargeant Major Mason's Troop
    • Lieutenant Langston
    • Cornet Osbaldston
    • Quartermaster Wall
  • Sir William Ratcliffe's Troop
    • Lieutenant Yates
    • Cornet Hanslop
    • Quartermaster Kelsall
  • Captain Prestwich's Troop
    • Lieutenant William Massey
    • Cornet John Pavney
  • Captain Reston's Troop
    • Lieutenant Hawkin
    • Cornet Norman
    • Quartermaster Brandon
  • Captain John Vangerish Troop (also given as Vangall)
    • Lieutenant Hanse Jacop Freish
    • Cornet Stoopier
    • Quartermaster Sturgesse
  • Captain Wiltshire's Troop
    • Lieutenant Langston
    • Cornet Vincent
    • Quartermaster William Saunders
  • Captain Masterton's Troop
    • Lieutenant Masterton
    • Cornet Wright
    • Quartermaster Dudley

Contemporary References

Orders from Oxford

To our Trusty and Wellbeloved Capt. Prestwiche and Capt. Radcliffe. Whereas wee have lately given order of the 21 past required with your Troopes of Horse under your command to attend our Right Trusty and wellbeloved the Viscount Cholmondeley and to stay with him until you shall receave our further order; wee are now pleased and doe hereby recall such our command hereby willing and requiring you and both of you for this time upon sight hereof to repaire unto our Army or to such place as you shall receave our command from our Trusty and wellbeloved Sir Thomas Aston your Colonell and for your so doeing this shalbee your sufficient warrant. Oxford the 8th of Jan. (1643)

Plundering

Extract. Undated. The humble petition of divers inhabitants of Armescole & Blackmell in the parish of Tredington in the said County to the Governor and Commissioners of Worcestershire. That 40 horse plundered, and found in the Regiment of Colonel Thomas Aston in their quarters around Black Bourton near Bourton Co. Oxon.

Strength

  • 9 troops in 1642

See Also

1) From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642