Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sir Henry Cholmley's Regiment of Foot..

The man himself painted by Sir Peter Lely
The latest regiment to join the ranks.. I  finished the basing and flocking on these last weekend, while undercoating the next regiment, and assembling the artillery park I bought at Salute..  clearly Salute lit the fires under Steve the Wargamer...  

These represent Sir Henry Cholmley's (or Chomley or Cholemely - various spellings found, but all pronounced 'Chum-lee', I think..) Regiment of Foot..

Cholmley was the second surviving son of Sir Richard Cholmley of Whitby and his first wife Susan Legard (his brother, Sir Hugh Cholmley, fought for the King by the by, but Henry remained on good terms with him).

He entered Inner Temple (lawyer) in 1628 but was expelled in 1634 after the "Christmas disorders" (I think that was to do with the publication of a pamphlet called the 'Histriomatrix' by a chap called Prynne, basically it was a puritan denouncement  of  the theatre in general and the pagan nature of Christmas festivities).

By 1640 he was lieutenant-colonel of Sir Hugh Cholmley’s regiment of the Yorkshire Trained Bands, leading that regiment to Durham during the Second Bishops’ War.

In January 1641, Cholmley was elected Member of Parliament for Malton in the Long Parliament, and was knighted on 27 December (nice Christmas present!). Perhaps not surprisingly he supported the parliamentary cause during the war, but I suspect, and reading between the lines, more for religious reasons than who he believed had the ultimate right to govern the country.

My go to web site [clicky] for the period notes that the regiment were issued with blue coats in August 1642 (ref. "ECW Flags and Colours 1: English Foot" by Stuart Peachey and Les Prince) so given this was a mere 2 or 3 months before Edgehill I've assumed the regiment would have looked more uniform than most, so the greater majority of the unit are shown in blue, and as I had a flag in the same colour and no specific standard is noted, they also got that..

So here they are...  the blue is different to the one I used last time - it's still a wash/ink but this time from a set made by Cote d'Arms that I bought years ago..  more a 'true blue' than the navy blue I used last time..  very effective I think

Two sources give the same estimated number in the regiment at Edgehill, so I am assuming their source is the same, of 1128 rank and file ("The Earl of Essex and Parliament’s Army at the Battle of Edgehill: A Reassessment. War in History 17(3) 276–293, 2010" by Aaron Graham, and "Edgehill: The Battle Reinterpreted  By Christopher L. Scott, Alan Turton, Eric Gruber von Arni").

After the battle they were down to 724 (that's 36% losses!),  and they were down to 552 in the returns of November!

Apparently Sir Henry’s regiment became notorious for looting and fled at Edgehill. This may have been one of the reasons for why the regiment was reduced (ie. disbanded, and the men distributed to other regiments in all likelihood) in June/July 1643

I can only hope these little guys will fight better! 

After their all too brief appearance on the field of Mars, and during the second civil war (1648-9), Cholmley went on to raise, and lead, a regiment of horse.

In October 1648 he was in command of the (largely militia) forces besieging Pontefract castle. He seems to have been a fairly forceful man, as during the siege he protested to the Commons against Cromwell’s appointment of Thomas Rainsborough (or Rainborowe) to command the siege, which over-rode his own appointment by the York militia committee, and basically he refused to hand over command. Due to the standoff caused by Cholmley’s refusal to recognise his command Rainsborough retired to Doncaster, and his murder there (allegedly by four Royalists during a bungled kidnap attempt) sorted the matter for good..

Cholmley was an active figure in parliament, being closely involved with political Presbyterians such as his brother-in-law Philip Stapleton and Denzil Holles and in December 1648, he was secluded from parliament under Pride’s Purge (when troops of the New Model Army under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from Parliament all those who were not supporters of the Grandees in the New Model Army and the 'Independents', basically it was a coup d'etat by the army). As a Presbyterian I am assuming Cholmley was part of the Parliamentary faction keen to see firstly a rapprochement with Charles, and by that, secondly a limiting to the powers of the New Model, and that was why he was excluded..

Chomley was considered to be a Royalist in sympathies by the end of the Rump Parliament having supported Thomas Fairfax, in overthrowing the military style junta created by the New Model. He was arrested by order of the restored Rump Parliament (February 1660) but three days later he returned to the House of Commons.

He was active in local politics in Yorkshire, and as a JP, until his death in 1666 which was in Tangiers where he had been  persuaded to deputise for his nephew (not brother), Sir Hugh Cholmley in superintending harbour works although he quarrelled with the authorities there. It is reported that the deputy governor, Henry Norwood, found his 'excessive zeal and uncontrollable temper intolerable'.

His body was brought home for burial in his private chapel at West Newton Grange on 30 June 1666

Sir Henry was described by his brother Sir Hugh as ‘a kind well natured man and loving trew friend valliant and ingenious and a good solliscitor in law businesses’.

24 figures - Peter Pig 15mm - painted March/April 2019


  1. Really nice unit Steve, love the shade of blue.

    PS: Horse have been posted, hopefully 7 to 10 days :)

    1. Lee - you're a diamond... yes, I like that blue as well, I can see me using it more often... but right now I'm just waiting the opportunity to use a splendid purple I got at Salute! LOL...

  2. A nice addition, keep up the good work despite the onset of the sailing season! As ever, I enjoyed the background read too.

    1. Thanks David... I suspect it will inevitably slow down - boat launch next Thursday - but I'm going to try and keep up the pace..

  3. I always look forward to your posts about ECW regiments and personalities; very informative and inspiring.

    1. Codsticker - one of the delights of our hobby for me - unearthing the actual people and all their wonderful stories... it adds colour to my imaginary battles....

  4. I'm sure that a regiment looking this good will improve on their historical performance :-)

  5. That is a fine looking regiment, Steve! On a blogger note, I wonder why I got bumped from your Follower List? Curious and corrected.

    1. Morning Jonathan,thank you very much... Re. Blogger that's weird.. one thought, were you a Google+ user perhaps????

  6. Lovely looking unit, great choice of blue! Nice bit of background too!
    Best Iain