Sir Simon Harcourt’s Regiment of Foot

ConflictsIrish Confederate War
First Civil War
ColonelSir Simon Harcourt
Richard Gibson
George Vane
Coat Colour
Area RaisedCheshire
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesOrmonde 1642-3
Byron 1643-4

Later Colonel Richard Gibson’s Regiment of Foot, probably then Colonel George Vane's Regiment of Foot

Regiment that was raised for service in Ireland, returned to Britain in late 1643 and fought for the Royalists

Service History


  • December: Raised in Cheshire, arriving in Dublin on 30th December1)


  • March: Siege of Carrickmines; Harcourt mortally wounded and replaced by Gibson
  • April: Taking of Trim?
  • May: Defence of Trim?
  • May: In garrison at Dublin


  • February: Battle of Rathconnell?
  • 16th November: Shipped from Leinster, Ireland to Mostyn, North Wales
  • November to December: Siege of Hawarden Castle
  • December: Second Battle of Middlewich


  • 18th January: Siege of Nantwich
  • 25th January: Battle of Nantwich
  • May: Storm of Stockport
  • May: Storm of Bolton
  • June: Siege of Liverpool
  • 2nd July: Battle of Marston Moor
  • September: Siege of Montgomery Castle
  • September: Battle of Montgomery Castle
  • October: Shut out of Conway


  • January: Skirmish at Christleton
  • January to February: Besieged at Chester
  • 31st May: Storm of Leicester?
  • June: Battle of Naseby
  • December: Skirmish at Dolgellau?


Coats, Flags and Equipment

Notable Officers

A list of the regiment's officers is also shown in An English Army for Ireland by Ian Ryder, Partizan Press.

Sir Simon Harcourt

Colonel Richard Gibson

Commanded the regiment in Ireland after Harcourt's death and later in England

Colonel George Vane

Vane, previously Lt Col, appears to have been in command while besieged at Chester in early 1645.

Major Michael Woodhouse

Came to England to join the Royalists and led The Prince of Wales’ Regiment of Foot based at Ludlow.

Major Edmond Verney

Edmond Verney was son of Sir Edmund Verney who was the King's standard bearer until killed at Edgehill. He founght at Trim and Rathconnell in the Irish Confederate War.

Officer Lists


Collonell Gibson's regiment2)

  • Colonel Richard Gibson
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Pagett
  • Serjeant Major Michael Woodhouse
  • Captain George Vane
  • Captain Edmond Varney
  • Captain Robert Crofts
  • Captain Edmond Hippesly
  • Captain Humphry Nicholls
  • Captain Michael Bidulph (later briefly served with Sir Edward Dering’s Regiment of Horse in England)
  • Captain Francis Congrave

Captains Denn and Sir Thomas Meredith present in a 1641 list, not Hippesley or Nicholls3).

May 1643 muster roll

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

  • Colonel Richard Gibson
  • Captain Thomas Paget, Lieutenant Colonel now Captain William Fisher
  • Captain Michael Woodhouse Major now Captain John Connock
  • Captain George Vane now Lieutenant Colonel
  • Captain Edward Varney now Sargeant Major
  • Captain Robert Crofts now Captain Johnathan Atkins
  • Captain Michael Biddulph now Captain Humphrey Sidenham
  • Captain Francis Congrave
  • Captain Edward Hippesley now Sir Thomas Meredith
  • Captain Humphrey Nicholls now Captain Walter Denn

September 1643

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

  • Colonel Richard Gibson
  • Lieutenant Colonel George Vane
  • Sargeant Major Edmund Verney
  • Captain Henry Ellis formerly Captain Congrave
  • Captain Walter Denne
  • Captain John Atkins
  • Captain Sir Thomas Meredith
  • Captain John Connock
  • Captain William Fisher

In England

  • Colonel Richard Gibson
  • Lieutenant Colonel George Vane
  • Sargeant Major Edmund Verney
  • Sargeant Major Humphrey Sydenham
  • Captain Johnathan Atkins
  • Captain Walter Denne
  • Captain William Fisher
  • Captain Richard Kynnaston I.O. L + W
  • Captain Thomas Mallome I.O. Norfolk
  • Captain Humphrey Sydenham
  • Captain William Sydenham (2) + (3) + I.O. Somerset
  • Captain Arthur Ward (3) + I.O. Chester
  • Lieutenant William Sydenham
  • Ensign John Jones I.O. L + W
  • Ensign William Overley I.O. L + W to Capt. Mallome

Humphrey (born 1605) and William (born 1608) Sydenham were brothers and William was probably Humphreys Lieutenant. Humphrey was captured at Nantwich which probably led to Williams promotion to Captain. Henry was later a Sargeant Major acting under John Lord Byron see Clennenau

Contemporary References

King Charles to Ormond

To our Right trusty and most entirely welbeloved cousin and councellor James Duke of Ormonde, Lieutennant Generall of our Army in our Kingdome of Ireland.,

Right trusty and right wellbeloved cousin and councellor wee greete you well. Whereas we have use here of the personall attendance and experience among these our forces of Michaell Woodhouse Esq. Serient Major to Colonell Gibsons Regiment in that our Kingdome: Wee have therefore both commanded him to stay and given him a charge to attend here in our Army. But forasmuch as wee hope that by Gods assistance these troubles here wilbe soone at an end. Wee desire this his emploiment with us may not turne to his preudice elsewhere. And therefore wee will that the siad Serjeant Maior Woodhouse be continued in the self same place and command in the said Regiment of Colonell Gibson in Ireland, that he receave the benefit and advantages thereof, and returne thereunto when wee shall discharge him from attendance here, without any contradiccion, or diminuaccion in the interim whatsoever ,othere then is usuall to commanders of his rank absent with the leave and colleracion of their superiors whereof wee require you to take good notice: And for doeing soe these our letters shalbe your warrant. Given at our Court at Oxford the 20th day of March in the 18th yeare of our Reigne 1642/3.

Charles R

Edmund Verney to Ralph Verney

10.4.1643 Letter from Edmund Verney to his Brother Ralph. 'I shall this day be Sargeant Major to Collonell Gybsons regiment, of which I have hitherto been Captaine.'

Mennes to Rupert

John Mennes at Beaumaris to Prince Rupert 18.10.1644 extract. Colonel Gibsons men would not be suffered to enter into Conway but had the gates shut on them. Lord Byron has called them away.

Byron to Owen

1645, 26th August Lord Byron, at Chester, to Sir John Owen, High Sheriff of the County of Caernarvon By a late letter the writer could not but take notice of the extreme slowness and neglect of Caernarvonshire in payment of the contribution agreed upon at Denbigh, whereof he cannot but be the more sensible while he is daily solicited by several defending officers whose faithful service to His Majesty in these parts looks for some acknowledgement amongst them. The bearer hereof, Sergeant-Major Humffrey Sydenham, to whose industry and care these parts and this garrison are obliged, principally in his sole managing of the fort at Hanbridge, has been directed to receive out of the contribution agreed to be paid in Caernarvonshire thirty pounds. Hopes that he may meet with Owen’s favour and assistance.

1645/6, 3rd March Lord Byron, at Caernarvon, to Sir John Owen, High Sheriff of the County of Caernarvon, Major-General of North Wales. The writer has at last got Sydenham’s arms from Beaumaris ‘which by theire tumblinge upp and downe were most of them unfixed’. He is fitting them and others with what possible speed he can and will, he hopes, suddenly draw them together to the opposition of the enemy. Meanwhile desires Owen to issue orders for the drawing together of the forces of the county. They are to be disposed to such places and passes as may most secure the county from the enemy and prevent their incursion.

1645/6, 5th March Lord Byron, at Caernarvon, to Sir John Owen, High Sheriff of the County of Caernarvon, at Conway. ‘How those frends, the gentlemen of this countrye, have so longe expected me come amongst them, for certainly without invitation they had not come’. Doubts not that Owen will use all possible diligence for the victualling of his garrison. For the better doing whereof Owen must not suffer any provisions to remain in Gloddaeth as much to prevent the enemy as to furnish himself. The writer cannot possibly spare Major Sydenham’s men, and therefore Owen must be pleased to make shift with those he has when he has once settled things there. Thinks Owen may do the King much better service by going into the country to raise what forces he can to join with the writer’s, and to leave the garrison in the charge of the Lieutenant-Governor. He will send Owen some powder as soon as possible, but match cannot be spared till the country bring in materials to make more. This day an express came from Raglan, who assures the writer that Laughern is totally routed in South Wales by the King’s forces there, and is driven into Cardiff Castle where he is now besieged.

Ince's Petition

Petition of Roger Ince under Captain Sydenham in Regiment of Symon Harcourt. Afterwards under Colonel Gibson. Captured at York.

List of Captured Officers

There were 2 Fishers in the forces from Ireland, Captain William Fisher of Gibsons Regiment and Captain Edward Fisher ex Lord Lamberts Regiment. A Captain Fisher was in Crewe house with Sargeant Major Lisle when they marched away 5.2.1643/4 and this may imply that Edward Fisher came over as a Captain in Warrens Regiment.

Atkins' Petition

extract. To his most sacred Majestie The humble petition of Capt. Jo: Atkins Shewing, That your petitioner was commanded by his late Majestie of blessed memory by his orders to ye right honourable Marques of Ormond to march into England with his Company in ye Regiment of Major Generall Gibson to serve his Majesty in ye late warre which he willingly accepted,& faithfully served to ye loss of all his Estate, part of his bloud and often imprysonment…. Now may it please your Majesty, Major Generall Gibson deceased was your petitioners brother in law & bequeathed his arreares to him as there was due to him in Ireland…

Captain John Atkins petitioned in 1660/61 for the Captaincy of Hurst Castle, stating that he had come over from Ireland in Major General Gibsons Regiment, who was his Brother in law.


  • December 1641: 1100 armed men and 400 unarmed volunteers shipped to Dublin.
  • 1642: Establishment of 1000 men4)
  • November 1643: 700 men shipped to Flintshire5)

Mustered 3rd May 1642

Sir Simon Harcourt's regiment6).:

  • His owne company :—Present : officers, 8 ; pikemen, 47 ; musketeers, 103 = 158. Absent : Captain, dead ; ensigne absent in England, 1; sergeant, corporall, and 29 soldiars at Curduffe; absent by furlowe, 5 ; sick, 7 = 44. In all, 202.
  • Captaine Gibson, lieutenant colonell :—Present: officers, 10; pikemen, 47 ; musketeeres, 78 = 135. Absent : at Drogedagh, by commande, 3; sick, 10; dead, 3; absent, 1 = 14. In all, 149.
  • Captaine Michael Woodhowse :—Present: officers, 10; pikemen, 25 ; musketiers, 57 = 92. Absent : at Drogedagh, 4 ; sick, 18 = 22. In all, 114.
  • Captaine George Vane:—Present: officers, 8; pikemen, 31; musketiers, 66 = 105. Absent : sick sergeants, 2 ; souldiars, sick, 3 = 5. In all, 110.
  • Captaine Edmond Varney :—Present : officers, 9 ; pikemen, 24 ; musketiers, 58 = 92. Absent : drumme and 4 souldiars in prison, 5 ; sick, 13=18. In all, 180.

Appears to be part of the regiment in garrison at Dublin

Mustered 29th November 1642

Colonell Gibson's regiment :—

  • Lieutenant-Colonell Pagett, 88
  • Serjeant-Major Woodhouse, 88
  • Captaine Vane, 78
  • Captaine Varney, 67
  • Captaine Bidulph, 58
  • Captaine Croft, 78
  • Captaine Denne, 72
  • Total = 529.

See Also

1) An English army for Ireland by Ian Ryder, Partizan Press
2) Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fourteenth Report, Appendix, Part VII, The Manuscripts of the Marquis of Ormonde
3) Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fourteenth Report, Appendix, Part VII, The Manuscripts of the Marquis of Ormonde, p128
4) , 5) An English Army for Ireland by Ian Ryder. Partizan Press
6) Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fourteenth Report, Appendix, Part VII, The Manuscripts of the Marquis of Ormonde, p133