Sir Robert Byron’s Regiment of Foot

Active1643-1644
CountryIreland
England
AllegianceRoyalist
ConflictsFirst Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelSir Robert Byron
Area RaisedLeinster
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesByron 1643-4

Royalist regiment of foot raised in Ireland and serving with Lord Byron

Service History

1643

  • March: Ordered that Sir Robert Byron should raise 1000 musketeers from Ormond’s Leinster Army
  • 16th November: Shipped from Leinster, Ireland to Mostyn, North Wales - Part deployment
  • 13th December: Shipped from Leinster, Ireland to Chester - Remainder of regiment
  • December: Storm of Barthomley Church
  • December: Second Battle of Middlewich

1644

  • January: Siege of Nantwich
  • 25th January: Battle of Nantwich
  • May: Storm of Stockport
  • May: Storm of Bolton
  • June: Siege of Liverpool
  • July: Garrison of Liverpool
  • August to November: Besieged in Liverpool
  • November: Mutiny and surrender in return for passage back to Ireland
  • November: Recruited in Dublin by Colonel Napier for Lord Byron’s Foot
  • Shipped back to Chester

Notes

Raised out of a number of regiments of Ormond’s army in Leinster, Byron had been Lieutenant Colonel of Sir Henry Tichborne’s Regiment of Foot, so likely started with men of his own regiment. On reaching Cheshire the regiment were involved in a notorious massacre at Barthomley Church but went on to serve bravely in the defeat at Nantwich. They took part in the first phase of Prince Rupert’s York March but were left as garrison in Liverpool. Besieged for three months by Brereton, they mutinied and negotiated to surrender, with terms including being shipped back to Ireland. On arrival at Dublin they were promptly recruited again by Lord Byron’s agent, Colonel Napier, and shipped back to Chester where they joined Lord Byron’s Regiment of Foot.

Flags and Equipment

Tichborne’s regiment had ash and red colours in 1640 but it seems unlikely that Byron’s would have kept the same design. When commissioned the regiment was supposed to be comprised solely of musketeers, but whether this actually transpired is uncertain.

Notable Officers

Sir Robert Byron

Sir Robert was one of the brothers of John, 1st Baron Byron.

Lt Col William Walton

Sometimes referred to as Colonel [to check]

Officer Lists

Colonel Robert Byron's Regiment of Foot by Victor Judge
  • Colonel Robert Byron
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Butler
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Mayart (1)
  • Sargeant Major John Mayart (Conjecture or John Morris ?)
  • Sargeant Major John Morris (6)
  • Captain Edmond Farrall (2)
  • Captain William Hamilton (1)
  • Captain Thomas Harley (1) + I.O. L + W
  • Captain Thomas Harlow Ment I.O. Same man ?
  • Captain Charles Haughton (1) E16.11 has his rank Sgnt. Maj.
  • Captain William Moore (1)
  • Captain George Saville (1)
  • Captain Thomas Smith (1)
  • Captain Henry Trapps (1) + I.O. L + W
  • Captain Thomas Games (in Ireland then disappears. I believe he possibly died at siege and attempted storm of Nantwich. VJ)
  • Captain Lieutenant William Boone (1)
  • Lieutenant Martin Brough (5) to Sir Francis Butler
  • Ensign Richard Malpas I.O. Chester to Capt. Harlow
  • Ensign Hercules Withers to Capt. Byron 8.12.42 in Ireland. CSPD Ireland.
  • Chaplain Thomas Price (4)

Notes Francis Butler taken prisoner at Nantwich. Was Mayart Sgnt. Maj. Then ?? E.79.20 MENTION OF FRANCIS BUTLER DEC 1643

See Robert Elsing under Cuthbert Clifton regarding Savill

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

From original research by Victor Judge

Charles to Ormonde

An history of the life of James Duke of Ormonde, from his birth in 1610 to his death in 1688 by Thomas Carte. Published 1735-1736.

Charles I to Marquess of Ormonde

Ormonde,

This is only to desire you to believe and assist this bearer concerning a proposition of Captain Biron's for bringing a thousand musketeers to my service in England out of Ireland.

So I rest Your most assured constant friend Charles R. Oxford 31st March 1643

(1) Captured at Liverpool

Moore Mss.

(2) Killed at 2nd Middlewich
John Mayart

Moore Mss.

John Mayart, Captain under Tichborne, probably Sgnt. Maj. under Robert Byron. Lieutenant Colonel following Francis Butler's capture at Nantwich.

John Mayart was a Captain under Lord Lambert

Lieutenants unaccounted for

Burleigh, Burrough, Barton, Plat, Parker, Blakeston, Taylor, Channell, Davis and Vause.

Captains unaccounted for

Weaver, Asston, Greenhaugh, Norton, Collison, Congrave

(4) Chaplain Price

SP29.7.101 Extract.

July 12th 1660 To the Kings most Excellent Majesty

The humble petition of Thomas Price Bachelor in Divinity and Chaplaine to the late Lord Wilmot Humbly showeth

…that for his loyalty and constancy to the Protestant Religion and the cause then in hand your poor suppliant came over into England Chaplaine to Sir Robert Birons Regiment, where upon surrender of Liverpool he was also imprisoned and endured much misery for a long time having received some wounds in that expedition.

(5) Brough's petition

Historical Manuscripts Commission 8th Report

Petition of Elizabeth Brough for arrears of her late husband Martin Brough who served in England as Lieutenant to Sir Francis Butler. After the Army was destroyed in Enland he served under Major Merediths Troop and Lord Berkeley.

n.b. Sargeant Major Ames Meredith served under Lord Berkeley and was at Powderham Castle and later surrendered on Exeter articles.

(6) Morrice

A general history p.510

betrayed to Brereton by Morrice, Major of the Regiment of Sir Robert Byron Governor. Although incorrect in regard to the fact that Middleton took Liverpool

Second Battle of Middlewich

A Collection of original letters and papers concerning the affairs of England from the year 1641-1660 by Thomas Carte M.A.

Robert Byron to Marquess of Ormonde

May it please your excellency,

I doubt not, but before this comes to your Excellency’s hands, you will have heard of the carriage of our business with Sir William Brereton at Middlewich on St. Stephens Day; but lest it should suffer any mistake (as it may well do) by such as take it but by report, I think it my duty to give your Excellency the following relation.

Having made our quarter at Beclye, [check where this actually is possibly Betley] at a convenient distance from Nantwich, the first business we undertook was the taking in of a Church, which after summons they refusing to surrender we took and put all the men to the sword: which hath made the rest love Churches the worst ever since. On Christmas day we rose with the army upon intelligence that Sir William was drawing to an head at Sanbage [Sandbach] a place famous for strong ale. When we came within a mile and a half of the place, we discovered 200 horse of theirs seeming to make a pass good against us. We drew up in order, and as soon as we were ready advanced towards them: they instead of making the pass good, drew themselves off and away, and left us their quarter, but not a drop of ale. This night we lodged at Sanbage,and having sent parties of horse abroad to know what was become of the zealous crew, in the morning notice was brought us they were all at Middlewich, whither we marched directly.

We were but three Regiments there, Warren’s not being yet come up, and Sir Fulk Hunkes’s with a Regiment of horse remained behind, for the safety of our quarters and baggage. So Colonel Gibson had the van, I the battle and Sir Michael Earnly the rear. When we came near the town, the enemy were drawn out twice musket-shot from the town, and had placed themselves in hedges and ditches to as much advantage as could be. Colonel Gibson drew upon my left hand, whither I know not; I fell on right before me, where I saw the enemy most busy. I disputed with them an hour and something more; and could not make them budge. All this while I had never a second; at last I discerned some few of Gibson’s men coming, at the same instant I was shot: the enemy (it seems) seeing relief coming, quit and begun to run; but gave fire as they went, till they came to the town. There almost 300 of them took sanctuary in the Church: the rest ran through the town, where our horse overtook them, and did pretty good execution on them; and because we could not be hindred in our pursuit of them, we were glad to give quarter to them in the Church. There were slain of them about 300 and upwards, prisoners 274. We got good store of excellent good arms, and good store of munition: there was hurt of my regiment myself, three captains, and a Lieutenant, and 41 soldiers, whereof 15 killed outright.

Captain Farrell and his lieutenant died the next day. The whole service of that day fell upon my regiment: I pray God they never do worse than they did then.

For other news, I know your Excellency receives daily advertisements from better pens, and the anguish of my hurt made me heedless of any thing; this being the first day I have been able to sit up, which I a little forced myself unto, that I might not seem unthinking in my respects to your Excellency, which I shall ever endeavour to preserve, being by so many obligations due from, Your Excellency’s etc.,

Robert Byron Chester 9th January 1643/4.

Surrender of Liverpool

(October or November, 1644.) Paper headed “The condicions of a treaty offered to Sir Robert Byron for the rendringe up of the towne of Leverpoole for the use of the Kinge and Parliament by the Lief tenant Generall of the Northerne Forces [Sir John Meldrum].

“1. That upon the surrendringe of the towne of Leverpoole with all such ordnance armes amunicion and other provisions unimbeziled as are within the towne, within 24 houres signinge the condicions Sir Rob. Byron (with all field officers and captaines bearinge actuall charges within Leverpoole) may march to what Garrison they please (Chester excepted) with horse and armes as followeth: Sir Robert Byron himselfe and the officers of his regiment with 15 horses, the Lord Byron and Collonell Tyldsley’s officers with 16 horses, Collonell Clyfton and his officers with 10 horses, every of them with armes and pistols and proportionable to the aforesaid number of horses and with such baggage as properly belongeth to any of them.

“2. That all officers and souldiers (of what nation soever) that will serve the Kinge and Parliament (takinge the nationall covenant) shall have free entertainement into service, and bee maintained with their free choyce either to serve heere in England or to serve in Ireland whither they shall be safely transported under the comand of Sir Charles Coote, Lieftenant Collonell Coote, or any other comander that shall bee imployed by the Parliament.

“3. That all officers and souldiers (of what nation soever) that will not serve the Kinge and Parliament shall have liberty to withdraw them selves to their country in safety with their owne proper goods, or to any such garrison as shall bee made choyce of by their comanders (Chester excepted).

“4. That all Ladyes and gentlewomen within Leverpoole shall have liberty to transport themselves within their linnens, baggage, and horses to them properly belonginge to any place wheere they shall make choyce (Chester excepted).

“5. That all the inhabitants of the towne shall have their choyce of forsakinge or stayinge in the towne with the fruition of such priviledges as shall bee agreeable to the ordnances of Parlyament.

6 That within 24 houres after the signinge of the Articles on both sides 500 souldiers for the Kinge and Parliamente under the comand of (sic) are to enter the towne at Rupert's port, at which time Sir Rob: Byron, the officers and souldiers, are to march out of the towne with their equipage allowed by Articles.

“7. That accomodacion shall bee provided for such sick men as shall bee lefte behind untill they shall bee able to be transported to any garrison they shall make choyce of (Chester excepted).

“8. That a convoy of 300 horse shall bee appoynted to march with them 3 myles of the garrison that Sir Robert Byron shall make choyce of, for their safe conducts, for the which the Lieftenant Generall together with the Deputy Lief tenant doe ingage themselves faith and reputations, that the conditions of the treaty shall bee inviolably kept on their side.”

Certificates for William Ireland

4. Copy of certificate by Sir Robert Byron.

At the beginning of the late wars Wm. Ireland, of Liverpool, merchant, was in great dealings and credit, and reputed a rich man. When Prince Rupert took Liverpool for the King, Ireland was released (having been imprisoned for his fidelity to the King) in exchange or the Mayor of Liverpool and ten sailors captured by Prince Rupert.

Afterwards when Liverpool was besieged by Sir John Meldrum (myself being then Governor thereof) Ireland supplied me with provisions for 1,500 men for nine weeks. When the town was taken he was plundered of his whole estate, his family and children turned out of the town and himself taken as a prisoner on board ship and placed in irons. He continued in irons for sixteen months until he was released by Lord Byron, my late brother (then Governor of Chester), where he remained till Chester was taken.

P. 1 a/nd p. f. Original and copy, one certified by John Jesson. S.P. Ireland 803, 182 and 188.

5. Certificate of John Davies.

Corroborates the statements made in the petitions above. Capt. Twigg made several journeys by day and night to Dublin, where the garrison was refractory. P. J. Signed (HoL). Ibid. 134.

6. Copy of certificate by Sir Henry Tichborne and Sir Robert Byron.

Corroborates foregoing. After the taking of Chester Wm. Ireland came over to Ireland where he had also a considerable estate a great part whereof (being in provisions) was taken by Lord Moore, Sir Henry Tichborne, and others in authority, and put into His Majesty's store for the maintenance of the army. The remainder of his estate was lost when Cromwell took Drogheda, and his children and family turned out to the mercy of the Irish. Original and copy. Each p. |. Endd. Ibid. 185 and 136.

This concludes the documents relating to this case, - END OF S.P. IRELAND 303.

3 Aug. 1661 Whitehall

The King to the Lords Justices for Widow Worrall, now Mrs. Twigg.

Mrs. Miriam Twigg is the daughter of Wm. Ireland, and widow of Henry Worrall, both of whom suffered for the Royal cause. Worrall was slain in our service. On her petition her now husband, Charles Twigg shall have the first foot company of foot, which shall fall vacant in Ireland. P. i. S.P. Dom. Signet Office V. p. 10.

Strength

See Also

1) An English Army for Ireland by Ian Ryder. Partizan Press