King’s Lifeguard of Horse

Flag Illustration 11)
Flag Illustration 22)
Flag Illustration 33)
Active1649 to 1651
ConflictsThird Civil War
ColonelCharles II
Earl of Eglinton
Viscount Newburgh
Area RaisedVarious
Flag ColourBlue
Flag Design3 known
Field ArmiesCharles 1651

Covenanter cavalry regiment raised in the Third Civil War as a Lifeguard for Charles Stuart

Service History


  • March to June: Remains of the Ulster army return to Scotland
  • August: One troop formed from the returnees, known as The Irish Troop under Captain Cullace


  • April: Quartered near Inverness
  • April: Battle of Carbisdale
  • July: Eglinton commissioned Colonel of the Life Guards, Newburgh as Lt Col
  • Regiment recruited
  • August: Accused of oppressing Perthshire, the Estates plan to discharge the regiment but after Dunbar decide to keep it
  • September: Quartered at St Andrews the regiment commit further abuses
  • Quartered in Fife over the winter
  • October: Lt Col Viscount Newburgh supports Middleton's rising


  • March: Cpl Naismith of Rm Gibson's troop forces the Anstruther watch to release two women imprisoned for theft and rides off with Helen Clark, who later admits to fornication with Naismith
  • April: Misbehaving at Dunfermline
  • April: Eglinton and his son James captured at Dumbarton by the English while recruiting
  • May: Assigned to the 8th cavalry brigade, consisting only of the Life Guards and to be posted in the position of honour on the right of the line
  • June: Newburgh commissioned Colonel
  • June: Ordered to Stirling
  • September: Battle of Worcester


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

Led in the field by the Earl of Eglinton until he was captured in April 1651 and replaced by Viscount Newburgh

Flags & Equipment

Charles’ Lifeguard of horse carried three cornets, recorded by Sir James Balfour. All had a blue field and gold fringe and the inscription COVENANT FOR RELIGIONE KING AND KINGDOMES on the reverse side. The first, Eglinton's, had a crown above a crossed sword and sceptre above the motto NOBLIS HAEC INVICTA MISERVNT, all in gold (Illustration 1). The second (Lt Col) had a crowned thistle (or just a crown?) proper surrounded by the motto NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT (Illustration 2) and the third (Major) had a small white (or gold?) saltire above the motto PRO RELIGION ET PATRIA (Illustration 3}. 4). Other troops carried blue cornets with the motto COVENANT, RELIGION, KING AND COUNTRY. 5)

Notable Officers

Charles II

King Charles II, biographies can be found online, at BCW, Wikipedia, Britsh Royal History amongst many others.

At the age of 12 Charles and his younger brother James were present at the Battle of Edgehill, where they amused themselves shooting toy pistols in the direction of Essex's army and Charles had to be dissuaded from charging the enemy himself. Parliamentarian cuirassiers broke through the Royalist infantry causing havoc at the rear of the army and the Princes were saved from capture by the efforts of the Gentlemen Pensioners. The young Prince of Wales visited Raglan Castle to raise support, charming the proud Welsh, but spent most of the war together with his father at Oxford or on campaign. In March 1645 at the age of 15 he was appointed nominal Captain General of the West Country Royalists with a headquarters at Bristol, but despite the advice of Clarendon and Hopton the West Country forces fell apart in the face of the New Model Army. After the fall of Bristol Charles fled via the Scilly Isles and Jersey to join the Queen at St Germain in France. His father was executed in 1649. Desperate to gain the support of the Scots Covenanters he signed the Treaty of Breda, and landed in Scotland in 1650, was crowned King of Scotland in 1651, then marched South on the fateful Worcester campaign. Soundly defeated by Cromwell, Charles spent six weeks on the run, aided and unintentionally hindered by Henry Wilmot Earl of Rochester, before escaping to France again. In 1654 Charles was forced to move to Cologne then Bruges and allied with Spain against Parliament and the French. By 1658 he had raised a small army of English and Irish exiles allied to the Spanish, which was defeated by Turenne and Protectorate forces at the Battle of the Dunes. As the Protectorate collapsed after the death of Cromwell, General Monck organised Charles' return to England in 1660. He landed at Dover on 25 May. Amid wild rejoicing across the nation, Charles made a triumphal entry into London on his 30th birthday, 29 May 1660. His coronation at Westminster Abbey took place on St George's Day, 1661.

Alexander Montgomerie, 6th Earl of Eglinton

Viscount Newburgh

James Livingston, Viscount Newburgh later commanded one of Charles' regiments in exile in Flanders, Lord Newburgh’s Regiment of Foot.


  • August 1649: One troop of 40 plus officers
  • June 1651: 193 Dunfriesshire and Teviotdale recruits planned
  • June 1651: Levy increased to 263, unlikley to have materialised

See Also

1) , 2) , 3) Original artwork by Tony Barton, shown by kind permission of Tony Barton and Charles Kightly. Previously published in Military Modelling magazine
4) Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the 17th Century 2: Scots Colours Partizan Press 1988
5) Edward M. Furgol’s A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651 Edinburgh, 1990. ISBN 0 85976 194 0