Sir Charles Vavasour’s Regiment of Foot

Active1641 to 1645
ConflictsConfederate War
First Civil War
ColonelsSir Charles Vavasour
Sir Matthew Appleyard
Area RaisedCheshire
West Country
Coat ColourYellow
Flag Colourunknown
Flag Designunknown
Field ArmiesSt Leger 1642
Inchiquin 1642-3
Hopton 1643-4
Oxford Army 1644-5

Also Sir Matthew Appleyard’s Regiment of Foot

English infantry regiment that was raised for Service in Ireland in 1641, returning to England in 1643 to fight for the Royalists1)

Service History


  • November: Raised in Cheshire


  • January: Ordered that 500 men should be raised in Devon & Cornwall
  • January: Parliament orders that 200 of Vavasour's men should be sent to relieve Duncannon fort
  • February: Arrive in Ireland at Youghal (28th)2)
  • Serve in Munster under Inchiquin
  • September: Battle of Liscarroll


  • June: Skirmish at Cloghlea (Fermoy) Vavasour captured
  • October: Return from Munster to Bristol & Minehead with Sir John Paulet’s Regiment of Foot
  • November to March: Siege of Wardour Castle


  • March: Battle of Cheriton
  • June: Battle of Cropredy Bridge
  • August: Skirmish on Caryton Down
  • August: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • October: Second Battle of Newbury
  • December: Garrison Cirencester (see Sir John Paulet’s Regiment of Foot)


  • April: Battle of Ledbury
  • May: Storm of Leicester
  • June: Battle of Naseby
  • June: Besieged in Leicester
  • June: Surrender of Leicester
  • July: Recruited again in Wales, based at Radnor
  • July: To be sent to Newport
  • October: Appleyard takes the Covenant


Sir Charles Vavasour had raised a regiment of foot for the Second Bishops’ War of 1640 from Cheshire, Shropshire and Denbighshire. In November 1641, with the outbreak of the Irish rebellion, he raised a regiment for service in Ireland, with 500 men found by the Earl of Derby, mostly from Cheshire. The original plan was to recruit another 500 men on arrival in Ireland, but this did not transpire, as the recruits were taken by another regiment, so 500 additional men were ordered to be raised in Devon and Cornwall. The regiment arrived in Ireland in February 1642, serving in Munster in Inchiquin's forces.

In September 1642 the regiment fought at the Battle of Liscarrol where Lt Col Mynne led 300 musketeers on the left flank, while Vavasour led the right flank. In June 1643 Vavasour was defeated at Cloghlea (Fermoy or Funcheon Ford) by Castlehaven's cavalry and captured. The regiment took heavy casualties and lost several officers.

In autumn 1643 the regiment were shipped back to Bristol and joined Lord Hopton’s forces. Initially they were sent to the siege of Wardour Castle but were mutinous until Hopton exerted his authority and hanged the trouble-makers. Wardour Castle had been nobly defended by Lady Blanche Arundell in the absence of her husband Thomas Arundell (Second Baron), but Edmund Ludlow had taken the castle for Parliament. Henry Arundell (Third Baron), then conducted siege operations against Ludlow, finally springing a mine and reclaiming his ancestral seat in March 1644.

With Sir Charles Vavasour's death in spring 1644, the regiment were led by Sir Matthew Appleyard. At the end of March 1644 the regiment were part of Hopton’s army and were defeated at Cheriton, despite Appleyard leading a brigade of commanded musketeers to successfully evict Parliamentarian musketeers from the woods on the left of the Royalist position. After the defeat they marched to join the Oxford army and fought at Cropredy Bridge, capturing a dragoon guidon, Lostwithiel and Second Newbury in 1644. In April 1645 they were under Prince Rupert’s command for the storm of Ledbury then served on the Naseby campaign in Sir Bernard Astley’s brigade. A detachment was left in Leicester during the battle, surrendering to Sir Thomas Fairfax on the 17th of June 1645. The garrison was disarmed and permitted to march to Lichfield. In July 1645 they were recruiting at Radnor and were ordered to Newport3). In October 1645 Appleyard took the Covenant.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

When raised, the regiment was equipped with two muskets for every pike4). The regiment wore yellow coats in February and March 16445). The regiment were issued these suits of clothes at Bristol, supplied by Thomas Bushell6). Whether they were yellow-coated during their service in Ireland, or in 1645, is unknown.

Contemporary Documents

“And it is most true that those three Regiments which the King and Parliament sent over for this Province, under the commaund of Sir Charles Vavasor, Sir John Paulett and Sir William Ogle, are soe lessened, wakened and made unserviceable by fluxes, small pox, feavers, and with long marches and lyeing upon the cold ground, as we are not able out of these 3 regiments to draw into the field 1200 able and serviceable men; death and sickness having reduced them to sioe weake condition.” Earl of Cork to speaker of the House of Commons 25/08/427)

Notable Officers

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

Sir Charles Vavasour

Sir Charles Vavasour was 1st Baronet Vavasour of Killingthorpe in the County of Lincoln. He died in the spring of 1644, being buried at Oxford on 1st March.

Sir Matthew Appleyard

Sir Matthew Appleyard was a professional soldier. He was Major of Vavasour’s 1640 and 1641 regiments and Lieutenant Colonel in 1643, until promoted Colonel in 1644. He distinguished himself at the battle of Cheriton and at the storm of Leicester, where he was knighted by King Charles and appointed lieutenant governor of the city. Appleyard retired from public life until the Restoration when he was appointed deputy governor of Hull under Lord Belasyse and was elected MP.

Officer Lists

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

Muster Roll April 1643 in Ireland

  • Colonel Sir Charles Vavasour 162
  • Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mynn 140
  • Sargeant Major Matthew Appleyard 130
  • Captain William Howell 110
  • Captain Isaac Thornton 110
  • Captain Thomas Winde 110
  • Captain James Chudleigh 110
  • Captain Rowland St. Leger 110
  • Captain Bartholomew Price 110

Total: 1092

In Ireland in 1643

(Presumably with Fermoy casualties noted)

  • Colonel Sir Charles Vavasour Captured
  • Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Appleyard
  • Sargeant Major William Howell
  • Captain Pierce Lacy Killed
  • Captain Phillip Hutton
  • Captain Rowland St.Leger
  • Captain Winde Captured
  • Captain Fitzmorris Captured
  • Captain Francis Boyle (son of the Earl of Cork, took over Captain Thornton's company in June 1643)8)
  • Lieutenant Stradbury Killed
  • Lieutenant Kent Killed
  • Lieutenant King Captured
  • Lieutenant Rossington Killed
  • Lieutenant Walter St. Leger Killed
  • Ensign Boughton
  • Ensign Thomas Chaplain Captured
  • Ensign Dermot O’Grady to Capt. Rowland St. Leger
  • Ensign Simmons Killed

In England under Colonel Matthew Appleyard

  • Colonel Matthew Appleyard
  • Lieutenant Colonel William Woodhouse (probably Paulett's or Appleyard's Lieutenant Colonel)
  • Sargeant Major Giles Palmer (2) + ment. I.O.
  • Captain Robert Appleton (4)
  • Captain John Audley (3)
  • Captain Huband (1)
  • Captain Masters (1)
  • Captain Saunderson (1)
  • Captain John Tirwhytt (1) + I.O. L + W
  • Lieutenant Baker (1)
  • Lieutenant Lewin (1)
  • Lieutenant Middleton (1)
  • Lieutenant James Thomson (1) + I.O. L + W to Sgnt. Maj. Palmer

Contemporary References

From original research by Victor Judge aka BCW user 1642

(1) Journal of the House of Lords 16.6.1645 Officers taken of Appleyards Regiment at Naseby.

(2) SP19.135.24 March 2nd 1649

The examination of George Durant late Minister of Blockley in Co. Worcester aged about 49 yeares taken upon oath. Sayth that he this deponent hath knowne one Mr Giles Palmer about 8 yeares or upwards, sayth that he is of a Black hayre and of a reasonable stature and somewhat a fat & grosse man & of a blacke complexion, sayth that he this deponent hath seen the sayd Mr Giles Palmer in this deponents house in Blockley aforesayd with a sword by his syde and that many of the Kinges party were then neere & that the sayd Mr Giles Palmer went to his Aunt Palmers house in the same towne of Blockly sayth that he hath hearde ye sayd Mr Giles Palmer say that he was on the Kings party & this deponent verily believes it sayeth that he this deponent hath heard ye sayd Mr Palmer say that he was in Oxford while Oxford was a Garrison for ye late Kinge & that he was a souldier, but he did not heare him say he was in Commision because he is soe modest that he will not brag neither was this deponent soe uncivile to ask him.

George Durant

Giles Palmer is mentioned in the sequestration papers of the County of Warwickshire (Add. Mss. 35098 f.86) as having a legacy of £400 from his brother Edward.

(3) SP29. P5030349 DO + 352+ To the Kings most excellent Majesty The humble petition of Captain John Audley

Sheweth that for your petitioners loyalty to your Majestie certified by Coll: Sir Matthew Appleyard and others your Majestie was lately gratiously pleased to grant unto your petitioner the place of of the Towne of Kingston upon Hull the said Sir Matthew intending to supplant your petitioner hath layd an unjust charge upon him, which hee is consious to himself, hee is noe ways guilty of.

The signatories of the supporting note were William Legge, Richard March and William Sherburne.

March and Sherburn were in Bristol as Masters of the Stores and Ordnance-check

There is a note of a John Audley coming from Oxford in 1646 which leads me to believe he served under Appleyard during the first war.

Council Book of Youghall Appleyard was Vice Governor of Youghall in January 1641/2,the Governor then being William St. Leger

(4)Civil War in Dorset (Possibly quoting from Bellum Civile.

Some men marched to join Colonel Massey under Captain Appleton.

Harl. Mss 6802 f.347 To Sir Thomas Bridges Knt. High Sheriff of ye County of Somerset. Whereas wee have been informed by our Colonell Matthew Appleyard that he was enforced (for the recovery of his hurts) at Bath and Bristoll to borrow the some of 40L and that you engaged yrself to discharge the same uppon the receipt of your order which wee doe think fitt to give unto you and hereby, will and authorise you to satisfy and pay the some of 40L out of such money,as you have receaved in such manner as you shall thinke fitt shall now and for &e. 10 Obr. (December) 1644

SP.23.62.341 The humble petition of Sir Matthew Appleyard sheweth that your petitioner being employed in his Majesties service as a Collonel formerly and now being sensible of his errors is desirous to submit himself to the pleasure of the Parliament. And forasmuch as your petitioner being a souldier of fortune and not posessed of any estate except a small summe of money about one hundred and sixtie pounds left in ye hands of Mrs Grisell Williamson his sister in law before the beginning of these times. SP.23.62.343 A note that he took the solemn league and covenant October 19 1645.

(2) SP23.97.199 4th Sept. 1649

A discovery made by ye Lady Joane Countess of Kildare of an estate lately fallen into ye posession of Maior Giles Palmer Delinquent, for bearing armes against ye Parliament. The Estate situate att Compton in ye County of Warriks. and Charingworth and at Quinton in ye County of Glouc.


  • 1000 ordered to be raised in 1642
  • 1092 mustered in Ireland in 1643
  • Approximately 400 to 500 at Bristol 1643
  • July 1645: 200 at Radnor

See Also

1) , 4) Colonel Matthew Appleyard's Regiment of Foot Stuart Reid, English Civil War Notes and Queries 20 p5-6
2) An English army for Ireland by Ian Ryder, Partizan Press
3) from original research by Victor Judge, BCW user 1642
5) ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot, Stuart Peachey & Les Prince 1990, Partizan Press ISBN:0946525846
6) Original research by Victor Judge aka '1642'
7) Grosart (ed) The Lismore Papers 2nd series vol 5 (1888) p105
8) Grosart (ed) The Lismore Papers 1st series vol 5 (1886) p229