Lord Kirkcudbright’s Regiment of Horse

1643 to 1648
ConflictsFirst Bishops' War
Second Bishops' War
First Civil War
Second Civil War
Third Civil War
ColonelLord Kirkcudbright
Sir James Mercer
Area RaisedVarious
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesLeslie 1639
Leven 1643-4
Charles 1651

Later Sir James Mercer’s Regiment of Horse

Covenanter Regiment of Horse raised for the Bishops' Wars then raised anew for service in England, forming part of Leven’s army. Later led by Mercer in the Scots New Model and in 1651

Service History


  • May: Raised in Kirkcudbright
  • Join Leslie’s army at Duns Law
  • June: Standoff at Duns Law
  • June: Disbanded following the Treaty of Birks


  • September: Raised in Kirkcudbright
  • September to August 1641: Occupy Newcastle


  • August: Return to Scotland and disbanded after the Treaty of London


  • November: Raised anew from Wigton, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Perthshire


  • Assigned to Leven's army
  • 19th February: Battle of Corbridge
  • March: Battle of Hylton
  • April to July: Siege of York
  • 2nd July: Battle of Marston Moor left wing under Leslie
  • July: Siege of York
  • October to July 1645: Siege of Carlisle


  • May: Skirmish at Stanwick during the siege of Carlisle
  • 13th September: Battle of Philiphaugh - 600 men
  • October: at Aberdeen under Middleton
  • November to December: At Banff, Aberdeen, Fife, Mearns and Angus
  • December: Ordered to England again


  • January to May: Siege of Newark (det)
  • Quarter in Cumberland
  • May: Whole regiment ordered to Newark
  • May: Taking of Newark
  • Regiment split with 4 troops remaining under Kirkcudbright, 4 troops under the newly-promoted Col Mercer
  • June: 4 troops under Mercer in Scotland


  • February: Mercer commissioned Colonel and leads one troop in the Scots New Model Army, the remainder disbanded


  • May: Mercer to raise a new troop in Perthshire
  • September: Taking of Stirling for the Engagers under Lanark


  • December: Mercer commissioned colonel of horse to be raised in Perthshire


  • Re-raised in Perthshire
  • May: Detachment at Alyth
  • May: Assigned to Middleton's 4th Cavalry Brigade
  • 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

In February 1647 Mercer's troop was formed from 20 of Eglinton's, 20 of Kirkcudbright's and 40 of Mercer's regiment. There is a possibility that some of the regiment went to Ulster under John Maclellan, 3rd Lord Kirkcudbright, where they were defeated by Parliamentarians at Lisnegarvy in December 1649, but this is not confirmed.


Notable Officers

A list of the regiment's officers is shown in Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the 17th Century 1. The Army of the Covenant 1639-1651 Partizan Press 1998 ISBN 094652550

Thomas Maclellan, 2nd Lord Kirkcudbright

Thomas Maclellan, 2nd Lord Kirkcudbright In June 1645 he disputed command of a position at the siege of Carlisle with Lt Col Beecher of Parliamentarian Sir Wilfrid Lawson's Regiment of Foot, requiring Leven's mediation.

Sir James Mercer of Aldie

Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, captured at Kilsyth. Leading 4 Perthshire troops as Colonel in 1646. He led the remaining troop in the Scots New Model Army of 1647 as a Colonel. Led the re-raised regiment in 1651.

James Agnew

Major in 1644, Lieutenant Colonel by 1646


  • Initially 8 troops
  • 1644: 7 troops at Corbridge
  • October 1645: 8 troops with 350 troopers
  • 1647: 1 troop of 80 horse

See Also