Colonel Richard Fortescue's Regiment of Foot

Active1645 to 1660
ConflictsFirst Civil War,
Second Civil War
ColonelsRichard Fortescue (1645-47)
John Barkstead (1647-59)
Thomas Fitch (1659)
John Miller(1659)
George Twiselton ( 1660)
Edward Massie ( 1660)
Coat ColourRed
Flag ColourCrimson or Green?
Flag DesignUnknown
Field ArmiesWeldon 1645
Fairfax 1645-6
Fairfax 1648

Also Colonel John Barkstead, Thomas Fitch, John Miller, George Twisleton and Edward Massie's Regiment of Foot

New Model Army infantry regiment that fought hard in Fairfax's western campaign then became a long-serving garrison regiment in London under its second colonel, John Barkstead.

Service History


  • April: Formed as one of the original New Model Army infantry regiments from Colonel Richard Fortescue’s Regiment of Foot
  • May: Relief and defence of Taunton - Lt.Col. Richbell and Capt. Gollidge killed
  • July: Siege of Bridgwater
  • August: Siege of Sherborne
  • September: Storming of Bristol - Lt.Col. Durfey killed
  • Storming of Tiverton - Capt. Fownes killed


  • January: Storming of Dartmouth
  • February: Battle of Torrington
  • March-August: Siege of Pendennis Castle - Lt. Col. Oliver Ingoldsby killed
  • September: Part of the regiment garrisons the Isles of Scilly


  • Fortescue replaced as colonel by John Barkstead during the political disputes of 1647


  • January-May: The regiment stationed in London and suppresses several riots during civil disturbances
  • May: Secures Southwark against the Kent insurgents
  • 1st June: Battle of Maidstone
  • June: Secure Canterbury
  • June-August: Siege of Colchester
  • August: Garrisoned at Yarmouth (until April 1650)
  • November: Lt. Col. Cobbett supervises the removal of King Charles from Carisbrooke to Windsor


  • January: Col. Barkstead attends the King's trial and signs the death warrant


  • April: The regiment appointed to guard Parliament and the city of London
  • September: 500 men detached to Scotland



  • August: Col Barkstead appointed lieutenant of the Tower of London; six companies of the regiment quartered in the Tower


  • October: Barkstead appointed major-general for Middlesex; his regiment acts as policemen to suppress vice and immorality


  • May: After the fall of the Protectorate, Barkstead dismissed for corruption and replaced by the republican Thomas Fitch
  • 12 December: Fitch plots against the military junta of Lambert and Fleetwood and is replaced as colonel by John Miller
  • 24 December: Miller and the Tower garrison submit to Parliament when Fleetwood steps down


  • February: George Twiselton appointed colonel; the regiment moved out of London
  • July: General Monck appoints Edward Massie colonel
  • 9 October: The regiment disbanded at Gloucester and Bristol1)


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.

Fortescue's New Model Army regiment was formed from his regiment of foot of Essex's Army. This regiment had originally been formed as part of the Earl of Warwick's reserve army in late 1642 by Colonel Henry Bulstrode and served on Essex's campaigns of 1643 and 1644. Bulstrode was succeeded as Colonel by Adam Cunningham then by Richard Fortescue. The regiment also included contingents from a number of weak regiments that were 'reduced' into it. These likely include part of Charles Essex's foot, tawney-coated, of Essex's Edgehill army and Sir William Constable's blue-coated foot also of Essex's Edgehill army 2).

Fortescue's regiment fought at Taunton in 1645, rather than Naseby, then linked up with the main army under Fairfax. During these western campaigns (1645-6), the regiment lost three lieutenant-colonels and two captains killed. In 1646 the regiment remained in the West Country after Hopton's surrender, then in 1647 Fortescue was replaced by Barkstead. They moved to London and fought under Fairfax in Kent and Essex during the Second Civil War. In the Third Civil War they remained in London. The regiment was based at London for much of the 1650s, sending detachments for service in Scotland. After several changes of colonel during the political turbulence in the run-up to the Restoration, the regiment was removed from London to Gloucester and Bristol and disbanded in October 1660.

Coat and Flags

In common with the rest of the New Model Army Fortescue's would eventually have worn red coats. However it's possible that for some of 1645 they may have soldiered on with their old coats, which are unknown but likely either red or grey. Their flag colours and designs are also unknown but it's possible that they continued with the standards they'd been issued in November 1644. They would have been issued either green colours (with differences of yellow billets, yellow half moons or white diamonds), or crimson colours (with differences of yellow mullets or white balls)3).

Notable Officers

Richard Fortescue

Richard Fortescue (d.1655) was a major in the infantry regiment raised by Col. Henry Bulstrode. He rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel during the First Civil War and was commissioned to command a regiment of foot on the formation of the New Model Army in 1645. Fortescue's regiment fought with distinction on Fairfax's western campaign during 1645-6, but Fortescue lost his command during the political disputes between the Army and Parliament in 1647. He was imprisoned for involvement in a Presbyterian conspiracy during 1651. However, in 1654 Fortescue was given command of a regiment under General Venables on the Western Design expedition to the West Indies. He was promoted to major-general after Heane was killed during the attack on Hispaniola and took command of land forces in Jamaica after the ailing Venables returned to England. Fortescue was praised for his diligence by Cromwell but died of fever in Jamaica during October 1655.4)

John Barkstead

Thomas Fitch

Thomas Fitch previously led his own regiment, Colonel Thomas Fitch’s Regiment of Foot in Scotland

John Miller

George Twistleton

Edward Massey

Officer Lists

More detailed lists of officers for April and May 1645, December 1646, May and August 1647 and May 1649 are shown in Reconstructing the New Model Army. Volume 1, Regimental Lists April 1645 to May 1649 by Malcolm Wanklyn, Helion & Co. 2015. ISBN 978-1-910777-10-7.

May 1645

From Anglia Rediviva5)

  • Colonel: Richard Fortescue
  • Lieutenant Colonel: Jeffrey Richbell
  • Major: Ralph Cobbett
  • Captain: Edward Gettings
  • Captain: Humphrey Fownes
  • Captain: Arthur Young
  • Captain: Gollidge
  • Captain: Whitton
  • Captain: John Bushell
  • Captain: John Jennings

December 1646

From Anglia Rediviva6)

  • Colonel: Richard Fortescue
  • Lieutenant Colonel: Ralph Cobbett
  • Major: John Jennings
  • Captain: Arthur Young
  • Captain: Whitton
  • Captain: John Bushell
  • Captain: Farley
  • Captain: Richard Pooley
  • Captain: John Denison
  • Captain: John Cope


  • 1648: Approximately 800 in 10 companies at the siege of Colchester

See Also

1) Service history from The Regimental History of Cromwell's Army vol.i, Firth & Davies, Oxford 1940
2) , 3) Old Robin's Foot, Stuart Peachey & Alan Turton, 1987. Partizan Press.
4) Richard Fortescue, Andrew J. Hopper, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
5) , 6) Sprigge, Joshua, Anglia Rediviva, London 1647