London Trained Bands

The London Trained Bands of 1638 consisted of 6,000 men armed with 3,000 muskets and 3,000 corslets (body armour, signifying pikemen). They had no cavalry. At this time the London Trained Bands were organised in four regiments, the North, East, South and West Regiments. Colonels immediately prior to the First Civil War included Col. Edward Bromfield (leatherseller and fishmonger) 1638-1642; Col. Richard Venn (haberdasher) 1631-1639; Col. Humphrey Smith (grocer) 1631-1638; Col. Henry Andrewes (haberdasher) 1635-1638; Col. Thomas Soame (grocer) 1638-1642; Col. John Gayer (fishmonger) 1638-1642; Col. John Wollaston (goldsmith) 16411).

In March 1640 it was ordered that Trained Band men should be shipped to Newcastle for service against the Scots: London 1200. to be shipt at Blackwall2).

The London Trained Bands were re-organised and expanded into six London regiments totalling 8000 men and three suburban regiments by the outbreak of the First Civil War. In April 1643 they were expanded again by raising the Auxiliary regiments 3).

During the First Civil War London Militia horse regiments were raised under Colonels Harvey and Turner. Harvey's served on campaign with the Earl of Essex's army, whereas Turner's became part of Waller's Southern Association, ending up in Massey's Western Association.

There is an impressive memorial to Martin Bond, who was Chief-Captain of the London Trained Bands (at the time of his death in 1643) at St Helen's Church, Bishopsgate. The memorial depicts Martin in full armour, and a number of musketeers.

In 1651 the London Trained Bands were mustered by Skippon, providing 15,000 men to hold the city during the Worcester campaign.

An extensive history of the London Trained Bands is shown in The Militia of London 1641-1649 PhD Thesis, Lawson Chase Nagel, King’s College, University of London, 1982.