Lord Digby’s Regiment of Foot

Active1585? to 1662
ConflictsAnglo-Spanish War
ColonelLord Digby
Richard Farrell
Lewis Farrell
Area RaisedFlanders
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesCharles II 1658

Also Colonel Richard Farrell and Lewis Farrell's Regiment of Foot

Irish regiment serving in Flanders that joined Charles II in exile, they fought at the Battle of the Dunes

Service History


  • in French service


  • March: Surrender of the garrison of St Ghislain, joining the Spanish and Royalists in exile


  • June: Battle of the Dunes
  • November: Farrell recognised as Colonel by the Spanish 1)



  • September: Leave Spanish service for that of Charles II


  • November: Shipped to Tangiers


  • January: Arrive at Tangiers
  • Incorporated into 'The Old Tangiers' Regiment


The regiment's history is discussed in Firth, C. H. (1898), Royalist and Cromwellian Armies in Flanders, 1657-1662, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, pp. 67–119

Charles II began to raise an army at Bruges in Flanders in 1656, having signed a treaty to ally with Spain against France and Cromwellian England. Over the winter of 1656 to 7 a small French garrison under the Duke of Schomberg occupied St Ghislain. Lewis Farrell's regiment had served overseas for many years, having been raised in 1585 and served the Spanish before the French. As the soldiers were mostly Irish, Lord Digby opened secret negotiations which led to them surrendering to Don John's Spanish and changing sides in March 1657. The regiment, unlike the rest of Charles' little army, appear in a list of Spanish regiments in Flanders 2). In July 1658 the regiment fought at the Battle of the Dunes in Blagge’s brigade, but the French and English Protectorate forces were victorious and Digby's regiment were routed. In 1659 Digby succeeded to the title of Second Earl of Bristol and the regiment are sometimes known by this name. Likely Digby was nominal commander and they were commanded in the field by Colonel Farrell throughout. Remaining in Flanders after the Battle of the Dunes, they were shipped to Tangiers in 1661, eventually being incorporated into the 'Old Tangiers Regiment'. The Old Tangier Regiment became the Second, or Queen’s Regiment of Foot, the senior English Regiment of the line in the British army, where it has now been amalgamated into the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

Flags and Equipment

Notable Officers

George, Lord Digby

Colonel Richard Farrell

Richard Farrell or O'Farrell, surrendered in 1652 and went into French service.

Colonel Lewis Farrell

Lewis, or Lisagh Farrell was a younger brother of Richard Farrell, one of the Confederate generals in Ireland.

Connell Ferrall

Connell Ferall, Lt Col? also defected at St Ghislain.


  • January 1662: 381 men

See Also