Tuesday, 9 June 2009

2mm English Civil War: Part 2: The Foot

Looking at the Royalist OOB for Naseby, I've been concentrating on a number of sources, which have as their starting point the Streeter pictorial map from "Anglia Rediviva' and the work of Brigadier Peter Young. It would be tempting to see the Streeter map, unique as it is, as the best authority, particularly for the actual formations, or at least the placement of units within the line. Certainly, the setting out of the seven New Model Army Foot Regiments, and the various Horse under Cromwell speaks of a detailed knowledge on the part of the compiler and artist, and vies well with written accounts of the time. Furthermore, the layout of the battlefield itself, within the limitations of perspective, is very well portrayed; see an excellent discussion of this, and the battle at a whole, here:

(note, will download as a PDF file)

When it comes to the Royalist lines, however, having looked at as much written material as I could find, the neat delineation of the various regiments and the line of battle seems to differ from the known list of participating units. This is particularly so given the the nature of most of the King's armies at that time, when numerous weak units were brigaded together.
This is not meant as a criticism of Streeter, I think it merely reflects that he was participating in a history of the New Model, written for and by the other side; again, if to a contemporary reader, 'Sir George Lisle's Tertia" serves well enough in identifying the commander as Royalist, then it is perhaps only us modern wargamer types who demand to know every detail of cloth and button of those who served under him.
From my point of view, that wonderful, evocative engraving is eloquent in speaking of the brigade level placement and organisation of King Charles' Army, but less so in speaking of what made up those brigades.

Brigadier Peter Young has his critics and detractors, and some bridle at his apparently Royalist sensibilities, but it is undeniable that his reference to first hand written accounts and contemporary records and sources mean that his insight, particularly at the time he was writing, were second to none. As a 'popular' historian, rather than solely an academic one, he forms the well-spring of what most of us armchair generals refer to in understanding this historical period in warfare.

His take on the battle has the following for the Foot of the King's Army on the day in question:
The Royalist Right:
Sir Bernard Astley
Duke of York
Sir Edward Hopton
Sir Richard Page

Sir Henry Bard
The Queen's Lifeguard of Foot
Sir John Owen

Sir George Lisle
William St. George
The Shrewsbury Foot

The King's Lifeguard of Foot
Prince Rupert's Regiment of Foot

This allotment of the various regiments is no doubt as accurate a picture as we might want to find, yet for me still lacks some detail, but luckily this can be found from other sources, particularly those who have had access to transcripts of the Royalist Ordnance Papers, in this I would highlight the work of Barry Denton in his "Naseby Fight", Stuart Reid in "Gunpowder Triumphant" and Peachy and Prince's "ECW Flags and Colours". 
It is here where the presence of small, un-ascribed units are highlighted, and tempts us into speculation as to where they might have been employed.

For now, and I do not claim any special insight or professional knowledge in this, I've come up with the following view, upon which I intend to base my 2mm version of the Royalist troops:

Sir Jacob (Lord) Astley: commanded musketeers
Sir Bernard Astley: small musketeer unit, perhaps 300 in number
Sir Edward Hopton (had been Sir Alan Apsley's Regt):
The remnants of the Western Foot: probably Sir John Paulet, and Matthew Appleyard's commanded musketeers
Sir Richard Page: (had been William Pennyman's Regt.) likely to be one of the strongest regiments present, 2:1 ratio of shot to pike.

Sir Henry Bard: weak unit of probably firelocks
Queens' Lifeguard of Foot: under Rhys Thomas, likely 2:1 shot/pike ratio
Radcliffe Gerard; garrison unit, likely to contain musketeers only

Sir George Lisle: 2:1 shot/pike ratio
Remnants of the Reading tertio:
William Murray: (had been Lord Percy's Regt.)
Sir John Owen
William St. George: garrison unit, probably musketeers
Shrewsbury Foot: contained the following small units:
Fulk Hunck

Reserve: as above.

An outstanding issue, I have found, is the actual splitting of the above into a number of lines, and a further complication is the depiction by Streeter of Horse brigaded with Foot in the second line. This design is echoed in the DeGomme plat that can be seen online on the same page linked in my previous post on this subject. 
I feel that the main list given above probably was the make-up of the frontal dispositions of the Royalists, which may or may not, given the ground, have been split into a number of groupings or even lines; and then this was backed by a further line, before coming to the Reserve itself.
The occupants of this second line seem to come down to the fact that the Horse units correspond to those leaders brigaded under Sir Thomas Howard, whilst the Foot were probably the garrison regiments of those same commanders.
Certainly, Howard is known to have had regiments of both Horse and Foot, as did Bagot and Leveson. 
Richard Symond's Diary:

has each of the following with regiments of Horse before Naseby:

whilst at the same time, we know that all of these men were garrison commanders as follows:

Samuel Sandys: Worcester Garrison
Thomas Leveson" Dudley Castle
Richard Bagot: Lichfield
Sir Henry Bard: Campden House
Robert Byron: Chester

I think therefore, it is likely that the second line depicted by streeter's engraving was made up of this 'Howard's Brigade', which was an amalgam of the various, probably weak and musket armed garrison units, alongside the small Horse units of their commanders.

In my next post, I will look in more detail as to the dispositions and makeup of the Royalist Horse, and then go on, more importantly, to set out how I see them being depicted by the 2mm miniatures from Irregular. 
Obviously, I am no authority on these matters, and I defer to the work of all those who have gone before me, as well as saying that anyone is welcome to join in with comments or suggestions, but I hope to come up with a good looking contingent that would not shame their historical forebears, so look out for more on these subjects this week!

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