Lord Fairfax’s Lifeguard of Horse

Flag Illustration1)
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelLord Fairfax
Area RaisedYorkshire
Flag ColourWhite
Flag DesignSee below
Field ArmiesFairfax 1642-5

Parliamentarian regiment of horse belonging to Lord Fairfax, General of the Northern Association

Service History


  • 23rd January: Capture of Leeds
  • June: Battle of Adwalton Moor


  • April to July: Siege of York
  • 2nd July: Battle of Marston Moor
  • July: Siege of York
  • October: Skirmish at Halton
  • 10th October: Skirmish at Leeds (Capt Greathead claimed to have lost 8 horses in this service)


  • 10th January: Skirmish at Skipton
  • February - May: Sent to Cheshire to assist Brereton
  • April: Siege of High Ercall
  • 10th May: Brereton pays regiment £200 to procure their march into Wales.2)
  • May to July: In Derbyshire area
  • July 10th: Return to Yorkshire
  • October: Battle of Sherburn in Elmet


Flags and Equipment

In 1644 Lord Fairfax's horse were armed with pistols, swords and carbines.

Lord Fairfax's Cornet

The Lord Fairfax figured a sword renting a triple crown, with a crown imperiall on the point of it and this motto in Spanish VIVA EL REY: Y MUERA EL MAL GOVIERNO; wishing, (as it should seem) no hurt to the King, but to his evil Government3).

According to Prestwich; The Lord Fairfax. Argent; a two-handed broad fword, in pale, the hilt Or, pierced through the bottom crown of the Pope's blue triple crown of gold, and lying in bend ; and the top of the fword enfigned with the English crown, proper. In fess, a fcroll or label of three folds, with thefe words, VIVA EL REX—Y MVERRA EL MAL GOVIERNO ; fringed Argent and crimfon.4)

Lord Fairfax's cornet is depicted in the Flag Illustration above.

Notable Officers

Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax

Officer list

  • Captain Lawrence Parsons (commanded the troop from 26/03/43 to 26/04/44, at which point he was promoted to Colonel)
  • Lieutenant Colonel William Spencer (led the regiment while it was in Cheshire)
  • Major Hans George von Stroble (Captain 26/09/44 Major 06/12/44 - 01/12/45 This was Fairfax's actual Lifeguard troop)
  • Captain Nicholas Greathead (10/05/44 - 02/12/45 No evidence that he was in Cheshire himself but his troop may have been under a Lt.)
  • Captain John Greene (02/04/45 - 25/12/455) In Cheshire)
  • Captain Adam Baynes (In Cheshire)
  • Captain John Boynton (In Cheshire)
  • Captain William Farrer (Previous service as Ensign and Captain of Foot. Captain of Dragoons and later as Captain of Horse in Christopher Copley's Regiment)6)


Initially a single troop, but expanded to a full regiment. The regiment was paid for two and a half days service at the siege of High Ercall where 9 troops were present under a Major and 8 Captains. Lt. Col. Spencer was at this point in Yorkshire consulting with Lord Fairfax so one of the Captains was presumably his Capt-Lt (this is supported by only 8 Lt's being paid). However it is possible that all or part of Sir Thomas Norcliffe’s Regiment of Horse was attached to Fairfax's regiment for this campaign and made up some of these troops.

See Also

1) Original artwork by Tony Barton, shown by kind permission of Tony Barton and Charles Kightly. Previously published in Military Modelling magazine
2) N.A SP28/225/177
3) The Art of making Devises 2nd Ed, Thomas Blount, London, 1655.
4) Prestwich's Respublica, London, 1787
5) N.A. SP28/266/pt1/97-99
6) N.A. E121/3/1