Thursday, January 30, 2020

Lord Grandison’s Regiment of Horse

The Lydiard portrait of Grandison,
school of Anthony van Dyck, c. 1640
The sixth regiment of horse to join the project as a whole, the third for the Royalists, and these guys will bring parity back between the two sides...  welcome return to the glorious Peter Pig figures for this unit, who represent Lord Grandison's Regiment of Horse at Edgehill..

Both Young ("Edgehill"), and Scott, Turton and Gruber ("Edgehill: The Battle Reinterpreted") say the regiment was about 200 men strong in 4 troops at the battle, the ECW Wiki site [clicky] agrees with them all - but I suspect they are all going with Young..

The Colonel of the regiment was William Villiers, Second Viscount Grandison; by all accounts something of a veteran having already led a troop of horse in the First and Second Bishops' War.

He raised this regiment for the King in August 1642, and it had already seen action at Nantwich [clicky] where, with an additional regiment of Dragoons, Grandison had managed to capture the town from the Parliamentary garrison. He abandoned the town in order to join the King at Edgehill.

The Regiment was in the front line of the Royalist left wing at the battle, under the overall command of Wilmot. That wing of cavalry had charged at the same time as Rupert on the other wing and with the same results..  the Parliamentary troops were outnumbered and quickly gave way. Wilmot's cavalry then proceeded to chase them all the way to Kineton, where they then started looting the Parliamentarian baggage. In their favour Grandison and Lucas rallied about 200 men, but when they tried to charge the Parliamentarian rear, they were distracted by fugitives from Charles Essex's routed brigade (which we've heard of already).


One other story of note - during the battle the Kings standard bearer Sir Edward Verney was killed and the Royal standard captured - a Captain John Smith along with two others (Welch was one, don't know the other) managed to recapture it and for that service he was knighted on the field. Smith served in Grandison's, and following the battle Grandison gave him his own troop, and promoted him major.



After Edgehill, the regiment was sent as part of the garrison of Winchester, but in December 1643 Sir William Waller surprised Lord Grandison’s regiment in Winchester (on his advance to Chichester), and captured most of its men, Grandison and a few of his officers managing to escape.  

"....Lord Grandison by the miscarriage of orders was exposed at too great a distance from the army with his single regiment of horse consisting of three hundred and a regiment of two hundred dragoons to the unequal encounter of a party of the enemy of five thousand horse and dragoons and so was himself after a retreat made to Winchester there taken with all his party which was the first loss of that kind the King sustained but without the smallest fault of the commander and the misfortune was much lessened by his making an escape himself with two or three of his principal officers who were very welcome to Oxford ..." from 'Portraits of Illustrious Personages of Great Britain Volume 6'
By Edmund Lodge (published 1835)



After his escape he was made Colonel General of Foot in the Oxford Army under Lord Forth, but was mortally wounded leading an infantry brigade at the storm of Bristol - he died a couple of months later from a fever related to the injury.

Clearly a brave and dedicated man to the cause of the King, but as Bonaparte was to say "was he lucky"?

One last interesting story - his daughter, Barbara (Villiers), was to become mistress to Chales II...



Eight Peter Pig cavalry - 15mm - painted January 2020

13 comments:

  1. Nice job Steve and interesting history. I like the ECW for the variables in muted colours that become quite distinctive and then the splashes of colour that stand out against that.

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    1. Hiya Norm - many thanks... lots of texts I've read indicate that more than any other battle the troops at Edgehill would have been more non-uniform (in the other sense of the word) than later, as the battle was so soon after the outbreak of hostilities.. with the exception of a few notable regiments, I'm working on the assumption that most of them would have largely been in the clothes they turned up in..

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  2. Lovely troop of horse! Very nicely done!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain, very kind.. the Pigs almost paint themselves..

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  3. I really enjoy your posts accompanying each new unit Steve!

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    1. Thanks David, the research is as fun as the game for me..

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  4. Another fine unit Steve, really well painted and interesting history.

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    1. Ta, Lee.. he was an interesting fellow wasn't he...?

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  5. Hi Steve, great stuff! I suspect the debacle at Winchester had more to do with poor intelligence and lack of decent scouting rather than ill luck. You don’t normally move an army of 5000 any great distance without somebody hearing about it. Grandison should have employed my wife...she’d have made a great scout - she certainly seems to notice everything I do. Lol.

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    1. JBM... I took the "5000" with a pinch of salt, but I reckon you're spot on about the scouting/intelligence.. could you imagine it... Lord Knowall's Troope of Scouts... female to a tee, and all composed of our wives...

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  6. Wonderful regiment and history. Where are you able to find this sort of information? Do you have copies of the books you reference?

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    1. Hiya Codsticker... Google is your friend first and foremost... a lot of the sources I quote are available on Google books, sometimes in extract form, but as it happens if I get a reference they aren't sharing I also have a lot of the books anyway... the Scott, Young, and Wanklyn books are well worth getting. If I was to have just one the Peter Young book is so readable it would have to be that..

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  7. Always nice to see how somebody else paints up Piggies, even if harquebusiers don't rreally give much scope for the creative use of colour. Very nice.

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