Sir Allen Apsley’s Regiment of Horse

Active1643 to 1646
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelSir Allen Apsley
Area RaisedDevon
Flag ColourUnknown
Flag DesignUnknown
Field ArmiesGarrison

Royalist cavalry regiment that served in the West Country

Service History


  • Raised in Devon?
  • August: Raid on Tiverton


  • January: Taking of Axminster?
  • April-June: Siege of Lyme?
  • August: Relief of Appledore?


  • July: Battle of Langport
  • Garrison of Barnstaple


  • February: Relief of Dunster Castle?
  • April: Besieged at Barnstaple
  • April: Disbanded at surrender of Barnstaple


Sir Allen Apsley was commissioned to raise a troop of dragoons on 24th of December 1642, but it appears that instead he chose to raise a troop of horse that formed part of Lord Byron’s Regiment of Horse. In 1643 he raised his own regiment. Previously it was thought that a detachment served with Hopton on the Cheriton campaign but now it appears that this was instead Colonel John Apsley's Regiment of Horse.

By 1645 the regiment were part of Lord Goring's forces in the west, fighting at Langport. They then probably then re-joined Sir Allen, serving in the garrison of Barnstaple, mentioned in the History of Apsley. Barnstaple was besieged by Sir Thomas Fairfax and the New Model Army, surrendering on 19th April 1646. Sir Thomas Fairfax wrote from Barnstaple in March 1646 It is generally believed that Sir Allen Apsley is willing to surrender the town, fort and castle, but that his desperate brother swears he will cut him to pieces if he offer to surrender the castle.

It appears likely that mentions of Colonel James Apsley's horse refer to Sir Allen's regiment, as James was Lieutenant Colonel.

Flags & Equipment

Notable Officers

Colonel Sir Allen Apsley

Sir Allen Apsley (1616-1683) (also spelt Allan or Alan) was born in London and had two brothers and a sister. His sister Lucy married John Hutchinson, who became Parliamentarian governor of Nottingham in the Civil Wars, and her diary is a major source for the period. Apsley served in Goring's Regiment during the First Bishop's War of 1639. He was knighted in 1642 and comissioned to raise a troop of horse in the West Country, serving as a captain in John, Lord Byron's Regiment of Horse in 1642. Somewhat oddly he was also appointed Governor of Exeter, despite the city being under Parliamentary control until September 1643. During 1643 he raised his foot regiment and a small regiment of horse. In late 1645 he was appointed governor of Barnstaple, surrendering to Sir Thomas Fairfax and the New Model Army on 19th April 1646.1)

Lt. Colonel James Apsley

James Apsley was a younger brother of Sir Allen Apsley. He seems something of a firebrand, according to Fairfax. In 1651 he attempted to assassinate Oliver St John, the Commonwealth ambassador to Holland, an act erroneously attributed to Sir Allen. By 1662 he was Colonel of one of the regiments of foot serving as part of Charles II’s British Brigade in Portugal 2).

Major Rowland St Leger

Major St Leger had been a Captain in the army of 1640. He also served as Major in Sir Allen Apsley's Regiment of Foot.

Officer List

Original research by Victor Judge aka '1642'

  • Colonel Sir Allan Apsley
  • Lieutenant Colonel James Apsley
  • Sargeant Major Rowland St. Leger
  • Sargeant Major Buckingham
  • Captain Thomas Awbry
  • Captain Henry Chichester
  • Lieutenant Barnard (captured at Langport)
  • Lieutenant Thomas Bayly
  • Lieutenant William Farmer
  • Quartermaster John Leay
  • Quartermaster Nicholas March

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 aka '1642'

Petition of Thomas Awbry of Bampton, Devon.

Humbly sheweth that your petitioner being a Commander of a Troop of Horse in his Majesties service against the Parliament in Colonel Allan Apsleys Regiment of Horse, and in the town of Barnstaple in the said County of Devon, at the time of rendering thereof, and nowe having taken the National Covent and the Negative Oath, as by the certificate annexed appeareth. 30th July 1646

SP23.185.855 These are to Certifie all whome it may concerne that Thomas Awbrey of Bampton in the County of Devon Esq. did render himselfe upon the Articles of Barnstaple the 12th day of Aprill 1646, and is to have the benefitt of the Articles agreed thereunto, since which time I am credibly informed hee hath lived quietly, conforming himself to all orders and Ordnances of Parliament and payd all Dutys and Taxes impose on him. Tho. Gibbens

Historical memoirs of the town and parish of Tiverton. Martin Dunsford 1790.

‘In the month of August, this year [1643], Sir Allan Apsley and Major Buckingham came with a party of horse, for King Charles the first, and attempted to enter the Town of Tiverton: they were resisted by the inhabitants some time, by throwing stones, etc., upon which the horsemen fired upon the inhabitants; the people, seeing some of their party drop, fled; in the pursuit one John Lock, a Miller, was taken prisoner, and hanged by the said troops, at the sign of the White Horse, on the north side of Gold-street; the officers and soldiers then plundered the Town.’

SP23.212.193 P6090261 Pass from Fairfax to Captaine Henry Chichester of Bittadon, Devon in Barnstaple at its surrender.


See Also

17th Century Life and Times Website of Sir Allen Apsley's Regiment re-enactment group. Includes detailed regimental history.