Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper’s Regiment of Foot

ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelsAnthony Ashley-Cooper
Area RaisedDorset
Coat ColourUnknown
Flag ColourUnknown
Flag DesignUnknown
Field ArmiesGarrison

Royalist Dorset infantry regiment whose Colonel changed sides and fought for Parliament

Service History


  • Raised in Dorset
  • July onwards: Garrison of Weymouth and Portland. Ashley-Cooper was Governor of Weymouth
  • August: Lt Col Chilcott commissioned
  • October: Action at Weymouth


  • February: Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper left the Royalist service and surrendered himself at Hurst Castle 24th February, then he joined the Parliamentarians.


A short-lived regiment of foot, that appears to have disbanded after Ashley-Cooper’s defection to the Parliamentarians. However, it is possible the Regiment was taken over to become Colonel James Strangeways’ Regiment of Foot.

Coats and Flags

Coat colours and flags are unknown.

Notable Officers

Sir Anthony Ashley-Cooper

Ashley-Cooper (1621-1683) is better known as the First Earl of Shaftesbury, a prominent statesman and politician during the Inter-regnum and Restoration. Despite being only 19 he represented Tewkesbury in the Short Parliament. After some vacillation he raised a regiment of foot and a troop of horse, and was appointed a Royalist commissioner for the surrender of Dorchester, coming into dispute with Prince Maurice whose men plundered the town contrary to the terms of surrender. Appointed temporary governor of Weymouth and Portland, the position of High Sherriff of Dorset was promised to him. Despite this he defected to the Parliamentarians where he led a brigade of Dorset troops during 1644 at the siege of Wareham, storm of Abbotsbury House, taking of Shaftesbury and the relief of Taunton. In 1645 he resigned from the Parliamentarian army at the Self-Denying Ordinance. Patently a skilled politician, he continued in government throughout the Commonwealth and Protectorate, then became Chancellor of the Exchequer under Charles II and member of the ‘Cabal’ ministry. He went on to further high office and was instrumental in formation of the Whig party. Fearing that Charles II and James would impose Catholicism he formented various Protestant rebellions but had to flee abroad and died in Amsterdam.

Officer List

Original research by Victor Judge aka '1642'

  • Colonel Anthony Ashley Cooper
  • Lieutenant Colonel William Chilcott (1)
  • Sargeant Major ?
  • Captain George Bryant (4)
  • Captain John Cade Ment. I.O.
  • Captain James Geare Ment. (5) + I.O.
  • Captain Harrison Keymer (2)
  • Captain Maximillian Mohun Ment. I.O.
  • Lieutenant Fabian Hodder I.O. Dorset to Capt. Geare
  • Lieutenant Cornelius Weston I.O. Somerset to Capt. Mohun
  • Ensign Gregory Babbidge (3) to Lt. Col. Chilcott
  • Ensign John Hodder I.O. Dorset to Capt. Cade

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

(1) Commission dated 4.8.1643, Bristol signed by Marquess of Hertford appointing William Chilcott Lt. Col in the regiment of Foot commanded by Sir Anthony Astley Cooper and Captain of a Company of Foot. The commission was in the possession of Julian Browning and sold in 2001.

(2) Harley Mss.6852 f.190 18.11.1643

(3) SP29.70.34 Fabian Hodder, Richard Harrison, John Hodder and three others state that Captain Gregory Babbidge was a Captain of Militia for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis and that in 1643 Lord Ashley (Anthony Ashley Cooper) caused six of his houses to be pulled down. Babbidge was then Ensign to Lieutenant Colonel William Chilcott.

He appears in I.O. as a Cornet of Horse to Colonel Rossen La Plane.

(4) SP19.116.327 extract

The humble peticion of George Bryant of Broadwinsor in the Countie of Dorset, Gent. Sheweth that heretofore he was in armes for the King and a Captaine of Foot against the Parliament for which he became sequestable.

SP19.116.340 To the Committee for the County of Dorsett & others whome this may concerne

The Parishoners of Broadwinsor and others humbly shew

That whereas George Briant of the said Parish & Countie did heretofore serve within his Majesties Garrison of Waymouth & Melcombe, during which tyme & sithence he did many friendly offices and curtesies for diverse of the parishoners and others, as well as preserving their places and goods and procuring diverse to be released that were in custodie and oft such (as) stood well affected to the Parliament and that sometymes to the hazarding of his own person. And that to our knowledge as far as we haver ever heard or doe believe, he never wronged any man either in person or goods since this unnattural warre began.

All which we the said Parishoners and others whose names are hereunto subscribed doe humbly desire may be taken into consideration and we shall daily pray, etc.

Broadwinsor 24 June 1646

Tho. Smith, Giles Studley and numerous others.

(5) SP19.128.79 EXTRACT. A charge of Delinquency against James Geare of Waymouth in the Co. of Dorset,Merchant. In the yeare 1643 did in the presence of one John Allen then Lieutenant in Waymouth for the Parliament take a Commission from the Kings party of one John Russell for a Company of Foot and did then exercise and muster the sayd Company for the late King against the Parliament.


The time frame best matches that of Sir Anthony Ashley Coopers Regiment of Foot.


See Also