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Anglesey Trained Bands

Activeto 1648
ConflictsFirst Civil War
Second Civil War
ColonelsLord Bulkeley
John Robinson
Area RaisedAnglesey
Coat Colourunknown
Flag Colourunknown
Flag Designunknown
Field ArmiesGarrison

Trained Bands that garrisoned Anglesey for the Royalists in the First Civil War and again rose in favour of the Royalists in the Second Civil War of 1648.

Service History

to 1646

  • Garrison of Anglesey
  • June: Surrender (14th)


  • June: Skirmish at Glynllifon Park?
  • June: Skirmish Y Dalar Hir?
  • October: Skirmish at Beaumaris
  • October: Surrender of Beaumaris


The Anglesey Trained Bands of 1637 consisted of 400 men armed with 259 muskets and 141 corslets (body armour, signifying pikemen). They also mustered a small troop of 25 horse at this time. The Talybolion, Menai, Beaumaris and Tyndarthwy hundreds seem to have formed a single unit of Trained Band Foot. The other hundreds of the county were Llyfon, Maltraeth and Twrcelyn.

Anglesey was Royalist during the First Civil War and dominated by two families, the Bulkeleys and the Cheadles. Thomas, Lord Bulkeley controlled the great medieval castle of Beaumaris , where the local Trained Band men likely served garrison duty. Although there were fears of a Parliamentarian sea-borne invasion, the trained bands saw no real action in the First Civil War. In October 1645 the local gentry forced Bulkeley to accept one of their number, David Lloyd, as governor of Beaumaris. When Beaumaris was summoned by Parliamentarian Thomas Mytton in 1646, Lord Bulkeley's nephew Richard briefly siezed the castle from David Lloyd, but surrender terms were quickly agreed and the whole island was handed over with no major bloodshed1). Subsequently a small Parliamentarian force garrisoned Beaumaris.

In the Second Civil War of 1648 Sir John Owen attempted to raise North Wales for the King, and the Beaumaris garrison under Captain Thomas Symkys joined the Royalists, assisted by Colonel John Robinson, who at this time led the Trained Bands of Northern Anglesey. Sir John Owen's small force in Caernarvonshire successfully ambushed Major General Thomas Mytton at Glynllifon Park but was defeated and dispersed by Lt Col George Twistleton at Y Dalar Hir. The Royalist foot were described as local levies, and may well have included Trained Band men from Anglesey, as the Bulkeleys and Robinson were said to be present 2).

While the Royalists retreated to Anglesey, Sir Thomas Myddleton and Thomas Mytton gathered Parliamentarian forces. On 1st of October they invaded Anglesey, first sending nine boat-loads of men across the Menai Straits to capture a bridgehead, which the Trained Band failed to engage. Marching on Beaumaris, the Parliamentarians were faced by the Royalist force, including Bulkeley's Trained Band, and a small pitched battle ensued, ending in Royalist defeat. Meanwhile Robinson's Trained Band of Northern Anglesey appears to have dissolved on hearing the news 3).

On October 2nd Beaumaris Castle surrendered after Mytton threatened to hang the prisoners he'd captured at the previous day's battle. Bulkeley went overseas while John Robinson escaped to the Isle of Man in a rowing boat. This was the end of the North Wales uprising.

Notable Officers

Lists of the Lord Bulkeley's trained band officers and John Robinson's officers are shown in Officers and Regiments of the Royalist Army by Stuart Reid (Partizan Press).

Thomas, Lord Bulkeley

Thomas Bulkeley, 1st Viscount Bulkeley (1585–1659) (also spelt Bulkley) was created Viscount of Cashel in the Irish Peerage in 1644. Despite busily engaging in a local feud against the Cheadle family, he ably supported Royalist efforts to supply and equip the 'Anglo-Irish' forces sent by Ormonde to Lord Byron. By 1646 Bulkeley was in dispute with Lord Byron, who described him as 'the drunken Lord'. Although he surrendered tamely to Mytton in 1646 he was sufficiently committed to join Sir John Owen's rising two years later.

Colonel Richard Bulkeley

Variously said to be nephew or son of Lord Bulkeley, he was Colonel in the Anglesey Trained bands prior to 1642 while still a minor. Presumably this was a semi-honorary appointment. By 1646 he led forces to regain Beaumaris, partly as a negotiating piece to extract better terms from the victorious Parliamentarians4).

John Robinson

In the First Civil War John Robinson (1617-1681) raised a foot regiment for the King from Denbighshire. In 1648 he appears to have been in command of the Trained Bands of Northern Anglesey. After Beaumaris Robinson “thought it safer to commit himself to the mercy of the sea in a cock boat than to trust to Mytton's favour, and after a day and a night rowing arrived safe in the Isle of Man”.


  • 400 foot and 25 horse in 1637

See Also

1) The Royalist War Effort 1642-1646, Ronald Hutton 1982, Longman ISBN:0582494117
2) The Royalist Rising in North Wales, 1648. Part I, John Barratt. English Civil War Notes and Queries 39 p22-27
3) The Royalist Rising in North Wales, 1648. Part II, John Barratt. English Civil War Notes and Queries 40 p3-7
4) The Old Service: Royalist regimental colonels and the Civil War, 1642-6 P.R. Newman, Manchester University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-7190-3752-2