Colonel Robert Venables’ Regiment of Foot

Active1649 to 1660
ConflictsIrish Confederate War
ColonelRobert Venables
Thomas Cooper
Alexander Brayfield
Area Raised
Coat ColourRed?
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesJones 1649
Cromwell 1649
Venables 1649-52

Later Colonel Thomas Cooper’s and Colonel Alexander Brayfield’s Regiment of Foot

Commonwealth regiment of foot serving in Ireland, notably under Venables in Ulster

Service History


  • April: Venables ordered to raise a regiment of foot in England for Irish service
  • July: Shipped to Dublin
  • August: Battle of Rathmines
  • September: Siege of Drogheda with Cromwell. The regiment spearheaded the second storming of the breach and captured the drawbridge across the River Boyne, which enabled the Parliamentarians to cross into the northern part of the town and slaughter the Royalist defenders.
  • September: Venables sent with a detachment of four regiments into Ulster to join forces with Sir Charles Coote.
  • September: Taking of Carlingford
  • September: Taking of Newry
  • September: Skirmish at Dromore
  • September: Taking of Lisburn
  • September: Taking of Belfast
  • November: Taking of Carrickfergus
  • December: Battle of Lisnagarvey


  • April: Taking of Toome Castle
  • June: Battle of Scarriffhollis – Coote and Venables defeat the Ulster Irish army, the last Confederate field army.
  • August: Repulsed from Charlemont
  • August: Take Charlemont



  • September: Take surrender of Lt Gen Farrell



  • Venables appointed General of the ‘Western Design’, his regiment remains in Ireland


  • December: Colonel Thomas Cooper takes over Venables’ regiment in Ireland





  • July: Cooper replaced by Brayfield
  • December: Brayfield loses Athlone to Coote


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

The regiment were raised in England in 1649 for service in Ireland, perhaps from Cheshire, where Venables had served in the First Civil War. They were swiftly shipped to Dublin, fighting in Michael Jones’ force at Rathmines, then under Cromwell at the notorious storm of Drogheda. After Drogheda, Venables was sent on detached service into Ulster, leading his own regiment of foot, Colonel James Castle’s Regiment of Foot and two regiments of horse. Although nearly defeated at Dromore, he cooperated with Sir Charles Coote to take Irish and Scots garrisons and defeat Munro at Lisnagarvey and Bishop McMahon at Scarriffhollis. In August of 1650 he took Charlemont and the regiment spent the next two years suppressing remaining Irish resistance.

In 1654 Venables was appointed General of the force sent to the West Indies, but his regiment remained in Ireland where it was given to Thomas Cooper. In 1659 Cooper was replaced by Brayfield, who was surprised at Athlone by Coote during the disturbances leading up to the Restoration.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

In June 1649 the Treasurer at War provided £20 to buy flags for Venables' regiment.

Notable Officers

Robert Venables

Robert Venables Fought under Brereton in Cheshire and became a veteran of the Irish service, his career ended in disgrace with the failure of the Western Design expedition to the Caribbean.

Thomas Cooper

Alexander Brayfield


  • July 1649: 1200 men

See Also