Colonel Francis Thornhaugh’s Regiment of Horse

Active1643 to 1660
ConflictsFirst Civil War
Second Civil War
Glencairn’s Rising
ColonelFrancis Thornhaugh
Thomas Saunders
William Goffe
Richard Cromwell
Ralph Knight
Duke of Gloucester
Area RaisedNottingham
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesMeldrum 1644
Leven 1645-6
Cromwell 1648

Parliamentarian regiment of horse based at Nottingham in the First Civil War and fighting on the Preston campaign in the Second Civil War

Service History


  • February: Siege of Newark
  • July: Storm of Gainsborough
  • July: Battle of Gainsborough (2 troops)
  • September: Besieged in Nottingham
  • December: Skirmish near Nottingham


  • 16th January: Defence of Nottingham
  • February to March: Siege of Newark
  • 20th March: Beacon Hill
  • March: Storm of Muskham Bridge
  • March: Battle of Cotes Bridge
  • March: Battle of Newark
  • April: Storm of Selby??
  • May: Skirmish at Elston and Sierston?
  • August: Battle of Ormskirk?
  • November: Skirmish at Muskham Bridge
  • December: Skirmish at West Bridgeford?
  • December: Skirmish at Southwell
  • December: Repulsed from Thurgarton Priory


  • February: Repulsed from Norwell
  • September: Battle of Rowton Heath
  • October: Skirmish at East Bridgeford?
  • October: Skirmish at Langar?
  • November: Storm of Shelford House
  • November to May 1646: Siege of Newark


  • May: Capture of Newark


  • June: Side with the army against Parliament


  • Quartered on the Welsh Marches and one troop at Coventry
  • May: Quartered at Glasbury Bridge (3 troops)
  • June: Move from Brecon into Glamorgan
  • July: Sent North to join Lambert
  • 17-18th August: Battle of Preston
  • August: Battle of Winwick Pass
  • August: Thornhaugh killed in the pursuit after Preston, Saunders promoted Colonel


  • May: In London guarding Parliament
  • September: Quartered at Warwick, Shropshire, Stafford, Cheshire, Derby and North Wales


  • At London (det)


  • 25th August: Battle of Wigan Lane? Detachment?
  • August: Serving with Maj Gen Harrison in Yorkshire


  • Sent to Scotland


  • November: Three troops return to England


  • February: Remaining three troops return to England
  • December: Saunders resigns after disagreeing with the constitution of the Protectorate


  • Goffe appointed Colonel
  • Quartered in the Midlands



  • December: Richard Cromwell replaces Goffe as Colonel


  • March: Sent to Scotland


  • May: Saunders re-appointed Colonel
  • October: Monck promotes Knight to Colonel


  • January: March into England with Monck
  • February: Quartered in London
  • July: Regiment given to the Duke of Gloucester
  • September: Duke of Gloucester dies, Colonelcy reverts to Knight
  • December: Disbanded


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.

Francis Thornhaugh raised his regiment of horse in late 1642 or early 1643. It was based at Nottingham, the city being under the governorship of John Hutchinson. Hutchinson's wife, Lucy Hutchinson, wrote a diary that mentions a number of the regiment's actions. In 1643 Thornhaugh's served at the unsuccessful first siege of Newark and later in the year were victorious at Gainsborough under Meldrum's command and alongside Oliver Cromwell's Ironsides. Over the winter of 1643 to 1644 Nottingham was put under severe pressure by the Royalists but the garrison resisted all attempts. In the spring of 1644 Thornhaugh led the regiment to the second siege of Newark, where they were defeated by Prince Rupert's relief force at the Battle of Newark. The regiment were involved in a number of skirmishes throughout 1644, and were led for a time by Hutchinson while Thornhaugh recovered from a wound. Thornhaugh reinforced Poyntz at the Battle of Rowton Heath in 1645, then led the regiment to reduce the garrisons of the Nottinghamshire Royalists, ending the First Civil War at the third and final siege of Newark.

Thornhaugh's regiment sided with the army in 1647, then in the Second Civil War of 1648 fought in Cromwell's army on the Preston campaign. Thornhaugh was killed pursuing Scots lancers after Preston and the regiment was given to its major, Thomas Saunders. During the 1650s the regiment served in Scotland and England without seeing much further action. By 1659 they were serving in Scotland and formed part of Monck's army that marched on London from Coldstream. After some changes of command, the regiment were disbanded in December 1660.


Notable Officers

Francis Thornhaugh

Thomas Saunders

Best known for being one of the three colonels who petitioned against the Protectorate.

William Goffe

Richard Cromwell

Ralph Knight

Duke of Gloucester

Officer Lists

First Civil War

  • Colonel Francis Thornhaugh
  • Major Charles White
  • Captain Philip Pendocke
  • Captain Thomas Warren (served from 20/10/43 to 29/03/44 when he lost his horses and broke his thigh at the siege of Newark)1)

August 1648

  • Colonel Francis Thornhaugh
  • Major Thomas Saunders
  • Captain John Wright
  • Captain Philip Pendock
  • Captain George Palmer
  • Captain Richard Creed


See Also

1) N.A. SP28/20/85