General Robert Venables’ Regiment of Foot

Active1654 to 1662
ConflictsAnglo-Spanish War
ColonelRobert Venables
Philip Ward
Thomas Ballard
Area RaisedEngland
Coat ColourRed
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesVenables 1654-5

Later Colonel Philip Ward’s, then Colonel Thomas Ballard’s Regiment of Foot

Protectorate regiment of foot serving on the Western Design in the West Indies

Service History


  • Raised in England
  • December: Sail from Portsmouth for Barbados


  • January: Arrive at Barbados where the regiment is recruited up to strength
  • April: Sail for Hispaniola
  • April: First repulse from Santo Domingo
  • April: Second repulse from Santo Domingo
  • May: Sail for Jamaica
  • May: Taking of Santiago de la Vega
  • July: Venables falls ill and sails for England
  • Ward succeeds Venables


  • Garrison Jamaica


  • Garrison Jamaica


  • Garrison Jamaica


  • Garrison Jamaica


  • Garrison Jamaica


  • Garrison Jamaica
  • July: Ward dies and is replaced by Ballard


  • Disbanded at Spanish Town, Jamaica


A history of the regiment is given in The Regimental History of Cromwell's Army by Sir Charles Firth and Godfrey Davies, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1940

Venables’ regiment were raised in England in 1654 for service in the West Indies. The five regiments under Venables’ command totalled 2000-2500 men, of whom only 1000 were experienced soldiers. Shipped to Barbados in 1655 they recruited up to strength before invading the Spanish possession of Hispaniola, which ended in two defeats at Santo Domingo and the force sailing instead for Jamaica. Venables’ regiment lost five of its 10 colours in this defeat. Venables’ force successfully invaded Jamaica at Santiago de la Vega (later Spanish Town) against light opposition and the regiment remained in the Jamaica garrison until disbanded by Charles II in 1662. Meanwhile Venables had returned to England in disgrace, being succeeded in command of the regiment first by Colonel Ward, then by Colonel Ballard.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Presumably red coats.

Notable Officers

Robert Venables

Philip Ward

Thomas Ballard

Unsure if same Ballard as colonel at Edgehill?


  • March 1655: 1000 men
  • November 1655: 245 men fit for service, 238 sick, 38 women and children attached
  • November 1656: 302 men in total
  • October 1657: 496 men

See Also