Essex Trained Bands

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NotesEssex TB colours, regiments unknown

The Essex Trained Bands of 1638 consisted of 4,030 men armed with 2,152 muskets and 1,878 corslets (body armour, signifying pikemen). They also mustered 50 lancers and 200 light horse.

In 1639 men from the Essex Trained Bands were selected for service in Scotland in the First Bishops' War. Half went to Sir Thomas Morton’s Regiment of Foot and half to Sir Simon Harcourt’s Regiment of Foot.

In March 1640 it was ordered that Trained Band men should be shipped to Newcastle for service against the Scots: Essex 700. to be shipt the fourth of June at Harwich, to be at the General Rendezvouz the twenty fourth of May, to march thence the third of June.2).

During the First Civil War the Essex Trained Bands consisted of three regiments, the Earl of Warwick's, Sir Thomas Barrington's and Thomas Honeywood's. All supported Parliament, due partly to the influence of the Earl of Warwick. In autumn 1642 Warwick raised volunteers from the Essex Trained Band regiments for his 'Reserve Army', specifically Colonel James Holborne’s Regiment of Foot and Colonel William Ogilby’s Regiment of Foot, which soon joined and were absorbed into the Earl of Essex's army. Many Trained Band men returned home rather than serve with the field army. The Essex Trained bands served under Lord Grey of Wark at the siege of Reading in 1643, and were called out again for the siege of Greenland House in 1644.

In the Second Civil War of 1648, Lt Colonel Farr of the Earl of Warwick's Trained Band joined the Royalist insurrection in Essex and was besieged at Colchester. The other Trained Band units remained loyal to Parliament, taking part in the siege. Colonel Harlakenden’s Regiment of Horse, Sir Henry Mildmay’s Regiment of Horse and Colonel Carew Mildmay’s Regiment of Foot also served at the siege and were paid by the Essex committee, perhaps being additional militia units.

In the Third Civil War of 1651 three Essex Trained Band regiments marched to a rendezvous at Oxford then joined Cromwell's army at the Battle of Worcester. These were Honeywood's, Cook's and Matthews' regiments.