Earl of Northampton’s Regiment of Foot

Active1642 to 1646
ConflictsFirst Civil War
Colonel2nd Earl of Northampton
3rd Earl of Northampton
Area RaisedWarwickshire
Coat Colourunknown
Flag Colourunknown
Flag Designunknown
Field ArmiesOxford 1642

Royalist regiment of foot raised in 1642 and serving with the Oxford Army, then in Banbury Garrison

Service History


  • July: Standoff at Kineton Heath
  • August: Taking of Banbury
  • August: Siege of Warwick Castle
  • August: Battle of Southam
  • October: Battle of Edgehill?
  • October: Siege of Banbury
  • October: Quartered at Bramley
  • November: Storm of Brentford
  • November: Standoff at Turnham Green
  • December: Garrison of Banbury


  • Garrison of Banbury
  • January: Detachment of 100 under Capt Waldron enter Hillesden House, returning 3 days later
  • May: Skirmish at Middleton Cheney
  • May: Quartered at Culham Camp
  • September: Attempt on Leicester


  • June: Besieged at Compton Wynyates (det)
  • August: Skirmish at Canons Ashby
  • August to October: Besieged at Banbury Castle


  • January: Skirmish at Culham Bridge (det?)
  • January: Attempt on Compton House


  • January to May: Besieged at Banbury Castle
  • May: Surrender at Banbury Castle


Like Earl Rivers’ Regiment of Foot, Northampton's foot aren't shown on de Gomme's plan of deployment for Edgehill. However Capt Tirwhit claimed he had served at the battle. Possibly he was on detached service or perhaps Northampton's regiment was present but brigaded with another and overlooked by de Gomme.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Northampton's regiment are often said to have worn green coats as early as 1642. A Royalist William Legge was captured at the battle of Southam on August 23rd because he mistook John Hampden's men for the Earl of Northampton's, supposedly because of similar uniforms 1). However this seems very unlikely as Hampden's men had not received their uniforms at this date, see Colonel John Hampden’s Regiment of Foot.

Northampton's regiment were clothed by Thomas Bushell. They were equipped with matchlock muskets according to ammunition issues.

Notable Officers

Second Earl of Northampton

Spencer Compton, Second Earl of Northampton, killed at Hopton Heath in March 1643.

Third Earl of Northampton

James Compton, 3rd Earl of Northampton inherited the Earldom and his father's regiments. Until 1643 he was titled Lord Compton.

Sir William Compton

Sir William Compton third son of the second Earl of Northampton and governor of Banbury during the First Civil War, despite being only eighteen years old at the start of the war.

Officer Lists

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

  • Colonel the Earl of Northampton
  • Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Greene (9)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Henry Hunkes (7)
  • Sargeant Major Sir Charles Walrond (6)
  • Captain William Betts I.O. Bucks.
  • Captain Spencer Lord Compton (brother of James & William)
  • Captain Robert Blencoe (6)
  • Captain William James I.O. Northamptons.
  • Captain William Tirwhit (3) + (5)
  • Captain Vaughan (4)
  • Captain Charles Waldron (1)
  • Captain Gannock (6)
  • Captain Lieutenant Michael Pultney (6)
  • Lieutenant John Paris I.O. L + W
  • Lieutenant George Waldron I.O. L + W to Sir Will. Compton
  • Lieutenant Robert Wright (2)
  • Ensign John Underhill I.O. L + W to Capt. Tirwhit
  • Ensign John Walters (10)
  • Quartermaster William Collitt (9)
  • Quartermaster William Silman (8)
  • Thomas Valentine (7)

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

Capt Waldron

(1) Sir William Dugdales Diary 10.1.1642/3 100 foot under Captain Waldron of Earl of Northamptons Regiment sent into Hilsden House, Co. Bucks 13.1.1642/3 Captain Waldron came out of Hilsden House.

Katherine Wright's petition

(2) Public Record Office Middlesex Sessions Books. Westminster October 1676 Petition of Katherine, widow of Robert Wright who was a Lieutenant of Foot to Earl of Northampton. N.b He died after the war.

Capt William Tirwhit, his dimissal

(3) SP29.61.141 Extract. October ? 1662 To the Kings most excellent Majestie The humble Petition of William Tirwhit Gent. Most humbly sheweth

that your petitioner did attend on and engage with Spencer lare Earle of Northampton ye petitioners Lord in ye verie beginning of the late unhappie Warres both before and att Edgehill afterwards att Brainford where your petitioners right arm was shott off by a Greate shott and from that tyme untill ye end of ye Warre served as a Captaine under ye Earle of Northampton att Banbury and hath ever since firmly adhered to your Majesties Royall interest, but by such the losse of his arm and his being thereby served with ye Palsy in his limbes he doth dayly soe much decline as that hee is rendred wholly uncapable of doeing any thing for necessary subsistance and by his many yeares burthening of his friends hath even worne out their patience.

Captain William Tirwhit was dismissed from the Regiment by Sargeant Major Walrond in September 1645 as he was marching to his post at Banbury.(5)

A Council of War was held 4.10.1645 and the decision was ratified by the following Officers:- (6)

  • James, Earl of Northampton Governor
  • Sir William Compton Lieutenant Governor
  • Sir Charles Walrond Sargeant Major

Captains of Horse

  • Captain Philip Willoughby
  • Captain George Rawleigh
  • Captain George Ward

Captains of Foot

  • Captain Lieutenant Michael Pultney
  • Captain Gannock
  • Captain Robert Blencoe

(6) f.57

The state of Captain Tirwhitt case as it was stated 20. October 1645 Upon Tuesday the last of September 1645 as Captaine Tirwhitt was marching to ye guard the Major of the Regiment came to him and in the Earl of Northamptons name discharged him of his duty and desired him to quit the garrison the next day by twelve of the clock at his peril, whereupon ye Captaine came ye next day to Oxford and addressed himself to the Lords by way of appeal expressed in his humble petition to his Lordships.

f.32 ? Captain Tirwhitt was to be dismissed his command by Lord Compton as he had been a factious and mutinous officer.

Capt Vaughan at Culham Bridge

(4) Add. Mss 29570 f.100 Mention of Captain Vaughans Company put by 18th July 1645. This may well be due to his alleged weak performance at Culham Bridge mentioned in a letter by the Earl of Northampton to Lord Hatton 22.7.1645 (f.20) in which he states Sir Henry Gage died at the head of his Company but Vaughan did not bring on his own.

(5) Add.Mss 29570 f.62

Clothing Northampton's

Harl. Mss. 6833 f.96 To the Right Honourable Lord Ashley (Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper) Having receaved ye enclosed letter from Mr Bushell obliges mee to certifie that he did not only cloathe my Regiment and diverse more…. Northampton

Tobell Aylmore's skulduggery

(7) SP19.139.156 Extract. Information given in to the Committee for the Advance &e. by Henry Stephens Merchant against Tobell Aylmore of the Parish of Martins Ludgate.

That the siad Tobell Aylmore did hold correspondence and intelligence with the late Kings party in the yeares 1642 and 1643, and did send privately a messenger to severall Garrisons of the late Kings, and to Banbury, being then a Garrison also for the King, to one Thomas Valentine being then an Officer or souldier under the command of Sir Henry Hunkes then Governor and did invite the said Valentine to come upp to London secretly which the said Valentine did and the said Tobell Aylmore did lodge and entertaine the said Thomas Valentine.


(8) WO55.423.191 December 24th 1642 (Rec)d by me William Silman Quarter Master to the Earle of Northampton of John Harrisson conducter of his Majesties Amunission 14 Barrells Powder 23 bundles of Match 4 Barrells of Match & 13 Barrells bullett, (torn) the third part of Barrell powder & third part of Barrell (torn) of bulletts, I say rec'd by me Will: Silman His Highness order David Scrymgoure

(9) WO55.423.145 Sir, I desire you would be pleased to give order For Ammunition to be delivered for the Regiment of the Earle of Northampton unto this bearer our Quarter Master (TORN) for 180 Musqueteeres ery man his bandilier full the proportion these

  • Powder 90lb
  • Match 90lb
  • Bulletts 180lb

Yr servant. A. Greene

1. November 1642 Received out of his Majesties magazine for the use of the Earle of Northamptons Regiment

  • Powder 1cwt
  • Match 1/2cwt
  • Muskett Shott 1cwt

p me William Collitt Quar(TORN)

Walters and Tysoe

(10) SP19.158.108

John Walters of More Hall in ye County of Warr. was actually in Armes for the late Kinges party in the latter end of 1642 and in 1643 and carryed the Colours for the late Kinges party. Jos: Collett

Nicholas Tysoe of Tysoe in Cum. War. was actually in Armes under the Earle of Northampton and did assist the Kinges party in the Commission of Array and endeavoured to raise forces in Stratford upon Haven in 1642 and 1643 to oppose Colonell Needham then a Capt. for the Parliament and assisted the Lord of Northampton when he beseidged Warr.

Jos: Collett

Assault on Compton House 30th January 1645

Virtually the entire garrison of Banbury attempted a night assault in an attempt to regain Compton House. This document printed in its entirety tells of the fierce fighting that raged

E.268.12 A Letter from Sergeant Maior Purefoy Governour of Compton House in Warwickshire to his Colonell Colonell Purefoy… Printed for A.R. Feb.7 1644(5)


I shall here relate in part (for all passages would be too tedious for me to trouble you with all. First,with all my soule I desire God may have his praise and glory which is due to a God that hath now and ever shewed himself to me almost by miracles, in delivering me and all under my command.

This night about two of the clock about 1000 or 1200 Horse and Foot fell upon me at Compton, storm'd my out-works, gain'd the stables and cut down my great Draw-bridge, and possest themselves of all my Troop horses, and took about 30 of my foot Souldiers in their beds, who lay over the stables, almost before a man could think what to do; we received that alarm as we had good cause, and presently made good the new Sconce before the stone Bridge, & beat them out of the great Court, there being about 200 entred, and ready to storme the Sconce; but we gave them so hot a sallie, that we forced them to retreat backe to the stables, barnes and Brew-house, where from the windowes they played very hot upon us: I then commanded Lieutenant Purefoy and my Quarter Master (having no other Officers of quality at home, the rest being abroad with about 30 of my best Troopers) to sally out upon the enemy with a partie of 40 and to attempt the regaining of the Brew-house and the roomes above, which they did with gallant resolution and courage; Sergeant Bird was one who came not short in bravery of any.

This party fought with the enemy and came to push of Pike, nay to swords point, and did lay about so bravely, that they forced the enemy to retreat from chamber to chamber; I then sent out my youngest brother the Ensign with three Corporalls of horse, and about 40 more men, to relieve the first partie, and I will assure you the young boy will fight, he led on his men bravely and relieved his brother; by which meanes all the upper roomes were gained, and the enemy kept onely the stables and the barnes stoutly; my souldiers did then so thunder their horse, and reserves of foot that stood within pistoll shot, that Sir William and Sir Charles Compton began to give ground, which my souldiers perceiving, some leapt out at the windowes, and so into the out-works, by which meanes I recovered my out-works againe, and made good a sally port,by which the enemy endeavoured to retreat at,but finding they were frustrated of their hopes,and that my Musketeers did play so hot upon the great Draw-bridge, that they could not be relieved; and withall having beaten the enemy out of that worke which we storm'd when you took the house, I had time to recover the great Draw-bridge, and presently got new ropes and new lockes, and drew it up agian in spight of them all.

Now these (whose names you have here inclosed were all in Cobbs pound. having no meanes in the world to retreat, whereupon they fought desperately for the space of three houres, and the valiant Comptons perceiving their extreame loss, attempted three severall times to storme and regain my out-workes, but all three times were beaten off with as much resolution and gallantry as could be. The enemie within set fire on the hay, straw, and all combustible stuffe, to smother my men out of the upper roomes, which did indeed much anoy them: And the enemy without threw at least 100 hand-Granadoes upon the houses, that they set them on fire in divers places; Sir Charles and Sir William Compton then thinking all was their own, sent a Trumpeter to parlie, but I commanded that none should parlie, nor would I permit the Trumpeter to speak at all, though faine he would have said something to the souldiers, but commanded him upon his life to be gone and returne no more at his perill.

Wee continued in fight still, and the fire did so encrease, that I thought it fit to offer quarter to all those in the stable, for their lives onely, but they would not heare me: Upon which I drew all my men together and fell violently in upon them, wherein was slaine and taken prisoners all whose names are in the insuing list. This did so dishearten the Comptons and all their forces, that they did presently draw off all their foot, and onely faced me with their horse, and sent another Trumpeter to parley, but I commanded to give fire upon him, so that he returned with no other answer but what a Musket could speake.

Sir, I am (as we all are) Your obliged servants and kinsmen, George Purefoy William Purefoy

Compton Jan. 30. at 9.a clock at night.

We recovered all our own men againe that the enemy had taken.

A List of the Officers slain, and taken prisoners.

  • Capt. Chamberlaine
  • Capt. Colburne
  • Capt. Gannock
  • Ensign Layton
  • Quartermaster Blackford

The names of the Officers we have prisoners.

  • Lieutenant Harvey
  • Lieutenant Clarke
  • Cornet Bishop
  • Corp. Heyworth, Corp. of Horse
  • Corp. Lambert, Corp of Horse
  • Serg. Francis
  • Serg. Linsey
  • Serg. Farbush
  • Corp. Morgan
  • Corp. Scargill
  • William Atkins

Troopers of Captain Coleburne; John Webb, Thomas Tusker, William Mason, Simon Berry, Thomas Foster, William Chamberlain, William Adams the Earl of Northamptons man, Thomas Dorrington, Robert Moore, Richard Collins, Richard Willer

Foot Souldiers of the Earl of Northampton's own Company; George Grumbell, John Childe, Anthony Smith, William Eason, Henry Taylor, Roger Smith

Sir William Compton's men; Richard Abram, John Atkins, Joseph Walkes, John Moore, Thomas Smith, William Warde, William Robinson, Thomas Norman

Major Waldrum's men; William Ansill, William Freeman, Robert Hurlestone, Thomas Aires, Edward Gibbs, Thomas Cotforth

Captain Willoughbie's men; Richard Colins, William Walker

Captain Territ's; Thomas Tradde, Thomas Roberts

Captain Rawleys men; John Beeson, William Worsley

Captain Wardes men; Richard Conerley, William Milburne, Henry Fenne, John Clarke, Thomas Lisseman, Henry Musgrave

Captain Gannocks men; William Smith, George Prince, William Wilkins

Besides sixe Cart-load of wounded men carried off. And neer upon forty Common souldiers left dead behind them Of mine own men, both Horse and Foot only one desperately wounded, and another slightly hurt. Horse and Foot armes taken from the enemy. Musketts 100. Pistolls. and 20 hand Granadoes. The fight began about two of the clock in the morning, and continued till about nine, in which they stormed us foure severall times, and were beaten off.

The number of the enemie, horse and foot, were between 1000 and 1200 as the prisoners confessed. With their hand Granadoes they fired the stables, barnes, and Brew House, in three several places. We lost about 20 horse and some muskets.

Taking of Banbury Castle

Memorials of the great civil war in England from 1646 to 1652 : Edited from original letters in the Bodleian Library of Charles the First and of numerous other eminent persons (1842)


SIR, I can now tell you, blessed be God, we are possessed of Banbury Castle; we exceedingly rejoice at it, for I dare confidently affirm there are not many stronger holds in England. Sir Wm. Compton yesterday marched out with about four hundred and sixty officers and soldiers, disbanded his regiment some two miles from Banbury; they had passes to their several homes. We had in the castle, with musquet barrels, six hundred arms, eleven pieces of ordnance, ten barrels of powder, eight foot and one horse colours: there is great store of all manner of provision; we only fell short in our expectation for money, we had but 49, besides 40 worth of plate.

Sir, I am your most humble and faithful servant, EDW. WHALEY. Banbury, May 9, 1646.

  • Sir William Compton
  • Captain Birsing Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Endymion Canning I.O. Rutlandsh.
  • Captain John Dussing I.O. L + W
  • Captain Snellgrove Ment. I.O.
  • Captain John Wright I.O. L + W
  • Captain Lieutenant Henry Leighton I.O. Oxfordsh.
  • Lieutenant John Andrewes I.O. Suffolk to Capt. Birssing
  • Ensign William Adams I.O. Northants.
  • Ensign Thomas Griffin I.O. L + W to Capt. Dussing
  • Ensign William Neale I.O. Suffolk to Capt. Snellgrove
  • Ensign George Pike I.O. Kent
  • Quartermaster Humphrey Bayliffe (Dudley Parish Register, Burial 18th March 1645 Humphrey Bayliffe Quartermaster to Sir William Compton.)


See Also

The Earl of Northampton's regiment are re-enacted by The Earl of Northampton's Regiment of Foote of the Sealed Knot.

1) Men-at-Arms 014 - The English Civil War Armies, Peter Young & Michael Roffe 1994, Osprey Publishing ISBN:0850451191