Marquis of Hertford’s Regiment of Foot

Flag Illustration 11)
Active1642 to 1645
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelsMarquis of Hertford
Sir Bernard Astley
Area RaisedSomerset
South Wales
Coat ColourWhite??
Flag ColourGreen
Flag DesignRed 'hawk lures'
Field ArmiesHertford 1642-3
Hopton 1643-4
Oxford 1644-5

Later Sir Bernard Astley's Regiment of Foot

Royalist infantry regiment raised in 1642 that served in the West Country then with the King's Oxford Army throughout the First Civil War

Service History


  • Raised in Somerset
  • September: Besieged in Sherborne Castle
  • September: Retreat from Minehead to Cardiff
  • October: Recruit in South Wales
  • November: Occupy Hereford?


  • January: Failed attempt on Cirencester
  • June: Skirmish at Chewton Mendip
  • July: Battle of Lansdown
  • July: Besieged in Devizes
  • July: Storm of Bristol
  • September: Detachment at First Newbury?
  • September: Repulsed from Poole


  • March: Battle of Cheriton
  • June: Battle of Cropredy Bridge
  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • October: Relief of Portland Castle
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury?


  • February: Storm of Rowden House
  • February: Skirmish at Lydney?
  • April: Storm of Ledbury
  • May: Storm of Leicester
  • June: Battle of Naseby
  • July: Recruited in Wales
  • September: Besieged at Bristol


The Marquis of Hertford's Regiment of Foot were likely raised from a nucleus of the foot besieged at Sherborne Castle in September 1642, that accompanied Hertford in his withdrawal to Minehead and Cardiff in the October together with the nucleus of Sir Thomas Lunsford’s Regiment of Foot. Interestingly Joseph Bampfield claimed to have commanded Hertford's regiment (presumably as Lt Col before Bernard Astley?) before being captured, possibly around Sherborne or in the Welsh marches. Initially they may not have been formally organised into a regiment. Hertford raised men in South Wales over the winter, before marching to reinforce the Oxford Army in January 1643, and along the way making an unsuccessful attempt on Cirencester with Prince Rupert. Rupert returned to storm Cirencester the next month, but Hertford's regiment are not mentioned as being present.

In May, Hertford, together with Rupert's brother Prince Maurice and a small army of 1000 foot in three or four regiments and 1500 horse, marched into the West Country where they joined with Lord Hopton's forces at Chard. They served with the Western army for the remainder of the campaign, fighting at the Battle of Lansdown, defending Devizes and storming Bristol. Subsequently the regiment remained in Bristol to recruit and equip, though likely sent a detachment of musketeers to the First Battle of Newbury as part of a unit of commanded shot.

By the winter of 1643 Sir Bernard Astley had been promoted to Colonel since Hertford had returned to court at Oxford. They remained under Hopton's command into 1644, being defeated at Cheriton and marching to join the Oxford Army. The regiment served on the Cropredy and Lostwithiel campaign but it's unclear whether they were present at Second Newbury as Astley was ordered to relieve Portland, thus missing the battle.

In 1645 Astley led the regiment in skirmishes in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire before they rejoined the Oxford Army for the fateful Naseby campaign. At the Battle of Naseby Sir Bernard Astley commanded an brigade of infantry. Heavily defeated after a valiant fight against superior numbers, the Royalist foot were surrounded and surrendered to the New Model Army.

Quite a few foot Regiments that fought at Naseby were subsequently re-recruited in Wales from July 1645, including William Murray’s, Appleyard’s Tillier’s, John Pawlett’s, Sir Jacob Astley’s, Duke of York’s, King’s Lifeguard, Sir Henry Bard’s, Sir Bernard Astley’s, Robert Broughton's and Lisle’s2). Sir Bernard later accompanied Prince Rupert to Bristol, where he was mortally wounded in September 1645. Astley brought his new-raised regiment to Bristol, as his Major Symonds surrendered and was given a pass by Fairfax (see below).

Coats, Flags and Equipment

They were issued 300 muskets from Weymouth by February 1644.3)

By a process of elimination Peachey & Prince have tentatively identified the regiment’s coat colour as white in April 1644, however this relies on some unconfirmed assumptions and is therefore not definite. At the Aldbourne Chase muster in April 1644 Richard Symonds noted that they carried green flags with red charges and illustrated one plain green flag, one with a St George canton and one with a St George canton and red device. The device looks like a ring with three tails and has been interpreted as a hawk-lure or grenade but is not a standard heraldic device, and breaks the ‘metal-on-colour’ rule generally adhered to in Civil War flag designs4).

Notable Officers

William Seymour, 1st Marquis of Hertford

William Seymour (1588-1660) biographies at BCW and Wikipedia.

Sir Bernard Astley

Sir Bernard Astley (k. 1645) was the son of Sir Jacob Astley, Sergeant Major General of the King's infantry. He served as Major of his father's regiment Sir Jacob Astley’s Regiment of Foot in the Bishops' Wars, then as Major of Sir Michael Earnley’s Regiment of Foot in Ireland. In 1643 he returned to England and became Lieutenant Colonel of the Marquis of Hertford's Foot. After the Storm of Bristol in 1643 Hertford withdrew from military command and returned to Court at Oxford, Astley being promoted to Colonel after recovery from an illness. He commanded an infantry brigade of the Oxford Army during the 1644 campaign and at Naseby in 1645. Astley then accompanied Prince Rupert to Bristol, and was mortally wounded during the Second Siege of Bristol on 4th September 1645.

Officer Lists

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

  • Colonel Sir Bernard Astley
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Sargeant Major Thomas Symonds (4) + ment. I.O.
  • Captain John Anguish (1a)
  • Captain Edward Bridges I.O. Somerset
  • Captain Robert Brown I.O. Somerset
  • Captain John Cantloe I.O. Dorset
  • Captain Richard Chapman I.O. L + W
  • Captain Hampson Ment. I.O.
  • Captain William Ivy I.O. Dorset
  • Captain William Pearsons Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Thomas Pitman Ment. I.O.
  • Captain Marmaduke Wyvell (1) + I.O. Sussex
  • Captain Greville Wyke (5) (Only at Sherborne 1642)
  • Captain Lieutenant Christopher Tart (2)
  • Lieutenant William Guy I.O. Herefordsh. to Capt.John Anguish
  • Lieutenant Thomas Hart I.O. Somerset to Capt Pearsons
  • Lieutenant Edward Huckwell I.O. Oxon. to Capt. Hampson
  • Lieutenant Robert Towers (3) to Capt. Wyvell
  • Ensign Robert Ball I.O. Somerset to Capt. Pitman
  • Ensign Thomas Fry I.O. Somerset to Sgnt. Maj. Simmons

A list of the regiment's officers is also shown in Officers and Regiments of the Royalist Army by Stuart Reid (Partizan Press).

Contemporary References

Attempt on Cirencester

From the Royalist news-sheet Mercurius Aulicus: 9 Jan 1642/3 (Mon)

[Last] night Prince Rupert came againe to the Court, from whence he went towards Cyrencester on Friday morning, as before was said, he came in sight of Cyrencester on Saturday about nine of the Clocke expecting to have met there with the forces of the Lord Marquesse of Hartford, who by reason of their long and troublesome march (in which they found more difficulties then was first expected) could not reach the place till towards evening: before which time, the Princes horse and foot being much wearied, as well with their long march from Oxford thither, as their long standing on the place, having in all that time neither sleepe nor victuals; and the approaches to the Towne being found so dangerous, by the overflowing of the waters, that the foot Companies which came with the Lord Marquesse, could not come neere the workes without manifest hazard, (though they desired very eagerly to give the onset) it was thought fitting to returne, and not expose their wearied forces to the present danger, which a darke night accompanied with so many disadvantages might bring upon them. So that this action ended without losse upon either side, save that some five or six musketeers coming severally out of the Towne to dare the Prince, and draw him within reach of gun-shot, were killed upon the place for their foolish bravery, and that Captaine John Villiers, (a brother of the Viscount Lord Grandisons) having lost his way, and falling into the hands of some of the Parliaments Scouts, was taken Prisoner. Peter Heyleyn – Mercurius Aulicus (Reporting The Civil War)

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642
(1) Capt Wyvell

Thurloe vol 7.p.96 Extract.

The examination of Duke Wyvell of Ossington, in the county of Sussex, gent. taken this 26th of April, 1658. before William lord Goffe, and Henry Scobell esq; two of his highness's justices of the peace for the city of Westminster and liberty thereof.

This examinate saith, he was some times a captain in the late king's army, in Sir Bernard Astley's regiment;

(1a) Capt Anguish

These are to Certifie all whom it may concerne that Capt. John Anguish came into the Garrison of Gloucester before the 1st of December 1645, and did submit himselfe to the obedience of Parliament before mee, upon whose submission and taking the Negative Oath I granted him a passe to come to London to make his Composition, certified under my hand the third of August 1646 at the Leager before Raglan Castle Tho: Morgan

(2) Capt Lt Tart

SP.29.133.85 Petition of Christopher Tart

That ye petitioner faithfully served your Majesties Royall Father of ever blessed memory from the beginning of the late unhappy rebellion and in that warr was Captain Lieutenant to Sir Bernard Ashley. Possibly related to the Lieutenant in Colonel William Ashburnhams Regiment.

(3) Lt Towers

Parish Register St. Nicholas alias St. Thomas Oxford Buried 23.2.1642/3 of Lewes, Sussex. Lieutenant to Captain Wivall

All the above Officers are listed in I.O. under Sir Bernard Astley.

(4) Major Symonds

SP19.125.52 Extract. Mar: 15 1648 In the case of Mr Tho: Symonds upon information of delinquency.

I find that Nov: 30th last information was given that Thomas Symonds of Sandown in the Isle of Wight was a Major in the Kings Army. Which by Mr Symonds is confessed. Sept. 15th 1645 ye said Major Symonds had a passe from the Generall to passe from Bristol to Gorwell in Com. Dorset having engaged himselfe never to bear Armes against the Parliament

Several officers are listed under The Marquess of Hertford and could be of his Foot Regiment commanded by Sir Bernard Astley, or equally likely, officers in the Army commanded by the Marquess, such as Capt Wyke:

(5) Maj. Wyke's Petition

The humble petition of Grenville Wyke

Sheweth that your petitioner having byn a Captayne to the Marquess of Hartford at Sherbourne, he passed with him into Wales where he was Major to the Regiment of Colonell Danyell in which service he continued throught the warrs there.


  • March 1644: 6 or 8 companies at Cheriton

See Also

1) Flag images by kind permission of Wargames Designs
2) from original research by Victor Judge, BCW user 1642
3) Bodleian Library Rawlinson Ms D395
4) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846