Colonel William Purefoy’s Regiment of Horse

Active1643 to 1646
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelWilliam Purefoy
William Coleman
Area RaisedWarwickshire
Flag ColourBlue
Flag DesignSee below
Field ArmiesMassey 1644
Waller 1644

Later Colonel William Coleman’s Regiment of Horse

Parliamentarian regiment of horse serving with Massey and Waller

Service History


  • March: Purefoy Commissioned Colonel1)


  • March Skirmish at Adderbury (1 troop)
  • April: Repulsed from Tewkesbury?
  • May: Storm of Westbury on Severn
  • May: Storm of Newnham
  • May: Taking of Beverstone Castle
  • May: Storm of Malmesbury
  • June: Taking of Tewkesbury
  • June: Siege of Compton Wynyates
  • June: Battle of Cropredy Bridge
  • August to October: Siege of Banbury
  • October: Fail to prevent relief of Banbury


  • January: Storm of Addisbury
  • January: Defence of Compton House, det under Capt Lt George Purefoy
  • April: Skirmish at Sherborne Field
  • September: Battle of Rowton Heath (detachment of 300 under Major Hawksworth)
  • November: Battle of Denbigh Green (detachment of 300 under Major Hawksworth)


  • January: Stormed at Ashley House (1 troop)
  • March: Battle of Stow on the Wold?


For the defence of Compton House, see the Earl of Northampton’s Regiment of Foot.

Possibly Purefoy's regiment served at Stow on the Wold, if Major Hawksworth is to be equated with Major Hankefford of the Warwick Regiment: E.334.1 Lord Astley was taken prisoner at Stow by Nicholas Whitehead, servant to Major Hankefford of the Warwick Regiment. He gave his arms and money to Whitehead, seven pounds in Gold and three pounds in Silver.


A 19th C source contains comments on Purefoy's flag: Colonel Purefoy gave his own crest with this motto alluding to his name 'Pure Foi, ma Joie' - A pure faith is my delight. 2)

According to Prestwich; Colonel Purefoy. Azure ; in bafe his creft, viz. on a wreath Or and Azure, a dexter hand armed in a gauntlet proper, grasping, in pale, near the bottom, a broken tilting spear Or; over all. In chief, a scroll, thereon PURE FOI MA JOY ; fringed Or and Azure3).


The various Purefoy branches had different devices. One list (Encyclop. Heraldica Vol 2 Wm Berry 1828 has a similar list) gives: PUREFOY ARMORIALS:(the names are dwellings of the Purefoy branches)

  • Wadley: az 3 stirrups or, az 3 gauntlets ar
  • Shadlestone: gu 3 pairs of hands back to back ar, gu 2 arms issuing from sides of escocheon, hand in hand ar betw human hearts or
  • Caldecot: sa 6 armed hands embracing ar 2 and 1
  • Drayton 1227 : ar on a fesse sa 3 escallops of the field
  • Drayton: sa 3 pair of gauntlets clipping ar

Colonel Wm Purefoy was of Caldecot and near Drayton so would use black and silver I think, CRG.

Notable Officers

A list of officers is shown in Laurence Spring's Waller's Army, The Regiments of Sir William Waller's Southern Association The Pike and Shot Association 2007 ISBN 978-1-902768-34-2

Col William Purefoy

Col William Coleman

Maj Joseph Hawksworth

Led a detachment of 300 horse to reinforce Poyntz at Rowton Heath, they were described by Brereton as 'valiant and well-armed'. Some of Hawksworth's correspondance survives Link to sale at Bonham's.

Capt Vincent Potter


See Also

1) CSPD 1641-43 p449
2) The Gentleman's Magazine Vol 89/2 1819 page 211
3) Prestwich's Respublica, London, 1787


tim, 11/02/2016 20:18
crgsos writes: A 19th C source contains comments on Purefoy's flag: The Gentlemans Magazine Vol 89/2 1819 page 211 says "Colonel Purefoy gave his own crest with this motto alluding to his name 'Pure Foi, ma Joie' - A pure faith is my delight." This motto is also mentioned by Dugdale in 1730 although on a tomb. The armorials for Purefoy of Caldecot (Col. Purefoy's home) include a black background (sa) and three pairs of clasped gauntlets in silver (ar).
tim, 11/02/2016 20:18
Many thanks, will update
tim, 19/02/2016 21:37
Great heraldry info CRG, I've added it in as a subheading to the 'flags' section, all the best, Tim
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