Cambridge Trained Bands

  • Cambridge Trained Band (Col Oliver Cromwell, later Col Francis Russell, Col Valentine Walton)
  • Cambridge Trained Band Horse

The Cambridge Trained Bands of 1638 consisted of 1000 men armed with 540 muskets and 460 corslets (body armour, signifying pikemen). They also mustered 80 mounted men consisting of 30 carbines and 50 dragoons.

In 1639 Trained Band men were selected for service in the First Bishops' war, in Sir Simon Harcourt’s Regiment of Foot.

In March 1640 it was ordered that Trained Band men should be shipped to Newcastle for service against the Scots: Cambridge 300. to be shipt the tenth of June at Yarmouth, to be at the General Rendezvouz the twenty fifth of May, to march thence the fifth of June.1).

In August 1651 the Cambridgeshire militia were ordered to rendezvous at Oxford.

Colonel Oliver Cromwell’s Cambridge Trained Band Regiment of Foot

Active1643 to 1648+
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelOliver Cromwell
Francis Russell
Valentine Walton
Area RaisedCambridge
Coat Colour
Flag ColourYellow
Flag DesignCrimson Crosslets
Field ArmiesGarrison

Later Colonel Francis Russell’s then Colonel Valentine Walton’s Trained Band of Foot

Cambridge Trained Band supporting the Parliamentarians

Service History


  • July: Cambridge Trained Bands called out to garrison Ely
  • October: Taking of Sleaford and Crowland


  • April: Loss of Crowland?
  • October to December: Siege of Crowland


  • January: Lt Col Dodson in garrison at Crowland with 80 foot and 20 horse
  • August: Cromwell replaced as Colonel by Francis Russell.


  • Garrison Isle of Ely


  • Garrison Isle of Ely


  • Russell replaced as Colonel by Valentine Walton


In July 1643 Cromwell was made Governor of the Isle of Ely and given command of the Trained Band unit in garrison. It is possible that this was an auxiliary regiment of the Cambridge Trained Band, as it appears to have served up until 1647, whereas true Trained Bands were usually only active for a short time.

Coats, Flags & Equipment

“Whereas there was eight ensignes of yellow florence sarsnett with crimson Cross Crosletts Bolts inc & stands with guilt heads & Tassells delyvered by order of Major West for the furnishing of a Regiment of the Militia in the said Island almost seaven yeares since by mr Edward Adams upholster in London as is apparent unto us amounting to twenty one pounds wch yet is unsatisfied. 18th day of March 1651”2)

Notable Officers

A list of the regiment’s officers is shown in Laurence Spring’s Regiments of the Eastern Association3)

Oliver Cromwell

Francis Russell

Valentine Walton

Officer Lists

Officers in 16474)

  • Colonel Francis Russell (Dragoons)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Norton (previously Lt Col to Colonel Thomas Ayloffe’s Regiment of Foot)
  • Major Francis Underwood
  • Captain George Kendall
  • Captain Roger Bolton
  • Captain Alexander Blake
  • Captain Martin Husband (Dead at the time of the July muster)
  • Captain Richard Stane (Had taken over Husband's company by November)


  • August 1645: Ordered to be 500 foot and 100 dragoons
  • July 1647: 477 foot and 42 dragoons
  • November 1647: 464 foot and 42 dragoons

See Also

2) N.A. SP28/223/pt3/unfoliated
3) The Regiments of the Eastern Association Vol. 1, Laurence Spring, Stuart Press 1998 ISBN 1 85804 119 8
4) N.A. SP28/128/Pt6/3-7