Robert Rugge’s Holy Island Garrison

Active1620s to
ConflictsFirst Bishops’ War
CaptainRobert Rugge
Area RaisedNorthumberland
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesGarrison

One of the few coastal garrisons in existence prior to the start of the Civil Wars

Service History


  • Garrison strengthened clandestinely by Sir Jacob Astley


One of the coastal garrisons in place since Tudor times, Holy Island is now better known as Lindisfarne. The garrison had been neglected, with their strength in the 1620s consisting of Robert Rugge (the commander) a master gunner who was eighty years old and anyone from the locality who might be persuaded to help. The garrison was strengthened by Sir Jacob Astley early in 1639 in preparation for the First Bishops’ War 1).

John Aston visited in May 1639 There is a pretty fort in it, which upon this occasion was repaired and put into forme. There are 2 batteries on it, on the lower stood mounted 3 iron peeces and 2 of brasse, with carriadges and platformes in good order. On the higher was one brasse gunne and 2 iron ones with all ammunition to them. There are 24 men and a captain kept in pay to man it.2)

Coats, Flags & Equipment

Notable Officers

Robert Rugge

Notable for his great nose. According to Aston, he was not fully trusted in 1639 so Captain Hodge Bradshaw was sent to join him.


  • May 1639: 25 men

See Also

1) The Bishops’ Wars, Charles I’s campaigns against Scotland 1638-1640. Mark Charles Fissel, Cambridge University Press 1994. ISBN 0 521 34520 0
2) Six North Country Diaries by John Crawford Hodgson. The Publications of the Surtees Society Vol. CXVII, Durham, 1910. available online via