Lord Balfour of Burleigh’s Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 11)
1644 to 1645
ConflictsSecond Bishops' War
First Civil War
Third Civil War
ColonelBalfour of Burleigh
Lord Elcho
Charles Arnott
Area RaisedFife
Coat ColourGrey?
Flag ColourBlack
Flag DesignWhite saltire
Field ArmiesElcho 1644
Balfour of Burleigh 1644
Baillie 1645
Leslie 1650

Partly Lord Elcho's Regiment of Foot, later led by Lt Col Charles Arnott

Covenanter Regiment of Foot first raised in 1640, fighting against Montrose in the First Civil War, raised again in the Third Civil War

Service History


  • Raised in Fife
  • Subsequent history unknown, might have joined Leslie’s army


  • April: Elcho commissioned colonel but Balfour of Burleigh appears to have been joint colonel, the regiment raised anew in Fife
  • April: Rendezvous with Argyll at Dunottar Castle
  • May: Occupy Aberdeen
  • May: Take Kellie Castle
  • June: Quartered in Aberdeen
  • June: Detachments sent to garrison Kellie Castle, Bog of Gight, Drum and Auchindoun castles
  • September: Detachments called back to Aberdeen
  • 13th September: Battle of Aberdeen - 500 men, suffering heavy casualties
  • Autumn: Quartered in Aberdeen and join Baillie's force


  • July: Battle of Alford
  • Regiment under Arnott's command
  • August: Battle of Kilsyth


  • January: Accounts cleared, the regiment officially disbanded, if not de facto previously


  • July: Balfour commissioned colonel to raise a regiment in Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles
  • September: Battle of Dunbar?
  • December: Detachment of 20 men sent to the House of Lochleven


A history of the unit is shown in Edward M. Furgol’s A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651 Edinburgh, 1990. ISBN 0 85976 194 0

The 1644 regiment appears to have been jointly commanded by Lord Elcho and Balfour.

Perhaps at Inverkeithing not Dunbar? Little reference to the unit's activities in 1650 have survived. They may have been reduced into Colonel John Lindsay of Edzell’s Regiment of Foot.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Flags captured on the Dunbar campaign and identified as belonging to the regiment were a black Colonel's flag with a maiden proper above a motto on a scroll OMNE SOLVM FORTI PATRIA, a white saltire in a canton and a damaged inscription COV… FOR RE… KING… KINGD… and black flags with white saltires and the inscription Couenant for Religion King Kingdome. A reconstruction of the Colonel's flag is shown above (Illustration 1).

Notable Officers

Lord Balfour of Burleigh

David Wemyss, Lord Elcho

David Wemyss, Lord Elcho later 2nd Earl of Wemyss

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Arnott


  • April 1644: 800 foot
  • June 1644: 700 foot
  • August 1644: About 400 in Aberdeen, 100 detached in garrisons
  • September 1644: 500 men
  • July 1650: 900 men planned to be levied

See Also

1) Original artwork by Tony Barton, shown by kind permission of Tony Barton and Charles Kightly. Previously published in Military Modelling magazine