Colonel William Gould’s Regiment of Horse

Active1642 to 1646
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelSir John Pole
William Gould
Eliza[r] Leighton
John Lutteral
Nicholas Boscowen
Sir Francis Drake
Area RaisedDevon
Flag ColourBlue
Flag Design
Field ArmiesWaller 1643
Essex 1644
Massey 1645-6

Later Colonel Eliza Leighton’s John Lutteral's, Nicholas Boscowen’s, then Sir Francis Drake’s Regiment of Horse

Parliamentarian regiment of horse raised in Devon serving with Waller in 1643, Essex in 1644 and Massey in 1645-6. Sometimes called the Plymouth Regiment

Service History


  • December: Skirmish at Modbury
  • December: Besieged at Exeter


  • January: Battle of Braddock Down
  • April: Battle of Beacon Hill
  • April: Battle of Sourton Down
  • May: Skirmish at Bodmin
  • July: Battle of Lansdown
  • July: Siege of Devizes
  • July: Battle of Roundway Down


  • Plymouth Garrison
  • July: Battle of Horsebridge
  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • December: Relief of Taunton


  • May: Relief of Taunton
  • May to July: Besieged in Taunton
  • July: Battle of Ilminster?
  • September: Became part of Massey's Western Brigade


  • October: Drake's colonelcy ends


Whilst it would appear that Capt Chaffin (see Contemporary Documents) was acurate in his list of Colonels of this regiment he appears to have erred as far as chronology is concerned. Sorting out the correct sequence of commanders is further complicated by some officers in their pay claims failing to note change of command and only naming the colonel they started or finished their service under. The actual sequence would seem to be

  • Col Sir John Pole November 1642? to May 1643
  • Col William Gould c. May or June 1643 died March 1644
  • Col Eliza Leighton March 1644 to November 1644
  • Col John Lutterall December 1644 to January 1645
  • Col Nicholas Boscowen January 1645 died Sept 1645
  • Col Sir Francis Drake Sept 1645 to October 1646

Flags & Equipment

Blue flag noted on Lostwithiel campaign.

Notable Officers

Sir John Pole 1st Baronet

(1588-1658) A Deputy Lieutenant in Devon with long experience with the militia. He was raising horse in November 1642 and took part in the actions at Modbury and Bodmin. 1) The fact that Peachey & Turton found no trace of a troop in his name may indicate that one of the known Devon captains of horse may actually have been his Capt-Lt.

William Gould

Elizar Leighton

Also 'Layton', he was captured but exchanged for Royalist Col Joseph Bampfield during the summer of 1644.

John Lutteral

Lutteral was commissioned to raise regiments of Horse and Foot for the planned recapture of North Devon on 02/06/44, both these commands were terminated on the 06/12/44. Luttrell then returned to Plymouth where he was instead issued a new commission taking over the Plymouth regiment of Horse which he commanded until 28/01/45. (N.A.SP28/266/Part2/80)

Nicholas Boscowen

Boscowen was a Cornishman and is named as a Colonel as early as the Lostwithial campaign. Given the timing this probably indicates an unsuccessful intent to raise a regiment in Cornwall. He died in September 1645 aged just 23 and was buried in Westminster Abbey from where he was unceremoniously disintered following the restoration.

Sir Francis Drake

Drake raised a troop of horse at the begining of the war but appears to have retired from military service from January 1643 until he took over command of the Regiment in September 1645.

Officer Lists

Sir John Pole.

The timing and degree of regimentation of the Devon Horse in this period is obscure, Peachey and Turton found none. However Pole's command would have been made up of some or all of the following, one of which may have been Pole's own troop under a Capt-Lt:

  • Captain Sir Francis Drake (22/09/42 - 17/01/43)
  • Captain Thomas Drake (possibly the same troop as above)
  • Captain William Gould
  • Captain John Yeo
  • Captain Walter Baskerville
  • Major General James Chudliegh
  • Captain Thomas Halsey
  • Captain Nicholas Boscowen
Colonel William Gould

After the battle of Straton, Gould led the surviving Devon horse to join with Waller. Fighting at Lansdown before retreating to London. His command probably contained the remnants of the following troops

  • Col William Gould
  • Captain Thomas Drake (Later defected to Royalists)
  • Captain Halsey
  • Captain Nicholas Boscowen
  • Earl of Stamfords?
  • Captain George Thompson?

Gould arrived back in Plymouth by sea at the end of September bringing reinforcements. Troops in the regiment at this time include:

  • Major Elizar Leighton (Raised in London possibly from amongst disbanded troopers from the Lansdown troops)
  • Captain James Moore (01/01/44 - 09/03/44)
  • Captain John Wandsey (31/08/43 - 03/12/43 when he was killed.2) He had previously served as Captain in Sir John Northcott’s Regiment of Foot and in Sir William Waller’s Regiment of Dragoons Although the clark's copy of Wansey's posthumous account3) give his name as John4) the supporting documents give his name as variously Jesew, Jehew, and Jehugh5))
Colonel Elizar Leighton

The following five troops were paid by the Earl of Essex for service on the Lostwithial Campaign

  • Colonel Leighton - Capt Lt Reignold
  • Major Archibald Strahan (20/05/44 - 18/12/44)6)
  • Captain George Walters (29/06/44 - 30/11/44 under Leighton 30/11/44 - 24/07/46 under Luttrell)
  • Captain Lewis Carr (His Cornet served from 20/05/44 - 11/03/45)
  • Captain Edward Herle

Other Officers

  • Captain [ ] Parker (Leighton received an issue of salt for this troop during the Lostwithial campaign)7)
  • Captain John Chaffin (26/03/44 - 21/10/46) May have taken over Wandsey's troop of which he had been Lt
  • Captain Mathew Cousens? (04/10/44 - 15/06/46 Captain of horse at Plymouth no regiment given)
  • Colonel Michael Searle? (28/07/44 - 05/04/45 Searle was a Colonel of Dragoons at this time but also had a troop of horse between the dates given that may have been attached to this regiment)
  • Captain Whyte (exchanged alongside his Colonel according to Bamfield's Apologie)
John Lutteral
  • Major Richard Stephens (01/12/44 - 14/06/46 but prisoner in Bristol 01/02/45 - 01/05/45)
  • Captain George Walters
  • Captain John Chaffin
  • Capt William Braddon (10/07/44 - 22/10/46)
  • Captain Mathew Cousens?
  • Colonel Michael Searle?
Nicholas Boscowen
  • Major Richard Stephens
  • Captain George Walters
  • Captain John Chaffin
  • Captain William Braddon
  • Captain William van Jaxheim (05/04/45 - 22/10/46 under Drake. Previous service under Lord Roberts)
  • Captain Henry Courtney (09/01/45 - 21/10/46 under Drake)
  • Captain Mathew Cousens?
Colonel Sir Francis Drake

Mustered 10th August 1645

  • Colonel Sir Francis Drake - Capt-Lt Samuel Serle
  • Major Richard Stephens (from 01/05/46 he was in London)
  • Captain John Chaffin
  • Captain George Walters
  • Captain William Braddon
  • Captain William van Jaxheim
  • Captain Henry Courtney

Contemporary Documents

Captain Chaffin’s Pay Claim8) The following is from the pay claim of Capt John Chaffin “hee craveth allowance as Capt of a Troope of Horse in ye regiment of Collonell Baront Poole, Coll Gould, Colloll Lutterell, Coll Biscoyne, Colloll Eliza Leighton, and Collonell Sr Francis Drake, From the 26th of March 1644 to the 5th of April 1645 being 375 daies att 39s pr diem for his personall pay and his six horses. Also hee craveth allowance as Capt of the said Troop from ye 5th of Aprill 1645 to ye 21th of October 1646 being 564 daies att 36s pr diem for his personall pay and his six horses.”

Northcott's Certificate for Captain Wansey9) “These are to Certifie that Jehugh Wansey actuallie served in my Regiment as Captaine of ffoote from decembr 1642 till nere about the tenth of May 1643 at wch time I comanded him to march from Exeter with Sr John Poole and Major Willm Gold as Captaine of Dragoones whoe afterwards ioyned wth Sr William Waller.”


  • Likely very weak (a troop or two) on the Lansdown campaign.
  • The regiment was paid by the Earl of Essex at the end of the Lostwithial campaign (17/09/44) at which point it consisted of 5 troops totaling 30 officers and 182 men. As the regiment surrendered with the foot, rather than breaking out with Essex's Horse, and thus endured a dispiriting and hostile march to Portsmouth. It had presumably started the campaign somewhat stronger.

See Also

1) Gentry Leaders in Peace and War, (1997), pp 215-20 Mary Wolfe, University of Exeter Press, ISBN0859895130
2) N.A. SP28/267/Pt1/86
3) N.A. SP28/253B/LiberB/item 109
4) the original document submitted by his brother Henry is unfortunately damaged by damp N.A. SP28/267/Pt1/93-4
5) N.A. SP28/267/Pt1/89,91
6) N.A. SP28/46/345
7) N.A. SP28/128/Pt28/14
8) NA SP28/257/unfoliated
9) N.A. SP28/267/Pt1/89