ECW reading list

  • 'By the Sword Divided', John Adair, (Century Publishing)
  • 'Decisive Battles of the English Civil War', Malcolm Wanklyn, (Pen & Sword)
  • 'Sir Ralph Hopton's Narrative', ed C.E.H. Chadwyck Healey, (Somerset Record Society)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Found a new set of rules, courtesy of the Louis Quatorze blog, 'For Parliament King or Glory' by David Marks. Look good, and free to download after joining the group.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

‘The Earle having so closely beset the inn, the Marquesse dares not look outside the doores;' (A Perfect Relation, King’s pamphlet E240, No 39)

One thing spending some time away did do, is allow me to catch up on some reading. Namely a book that I bought some time ago and hadn’t got round to reading, ‘Decisive Battles of the English Civil War’ by Malcolm Wanklyn (Pen and Sword Books Limited). Excellent study of the major battles, which include Edgehill, Cheriton, Newbury and Naseby, with each preceded by discussion of context, landscape and sources, showing how they can effect the narrative through inclusion, omission or position of importance.

Hopefully his critical methods of study will, some day, be applied to the smaller campaigns, campaigns which to those involved in, or affected by, them would have proved just as important as, say, Edgehill 1642. One of the points he makes is in reference to ‘eyewitness’ reports or memoirs, suggesting care is needed when using these as they usually reflect the position of the writer, either as a celebration of, or a denial of responsibility, for their exploits. However, there is a lot of thought provoking elements within this book, making it one worth reading.

However, with respect to the above, I thought I might quote a passage from ‘Sir Ralph Hopton’s Narrative’ ed. C. E. H. Chadwyck Healey (Somerset Record Society). I which he details his confrontation with William Strode in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, whilst attempting to publish the King’s Commission of Array in 1642 just prior to the outbreak of war. He, Hopton, along with others, was met on the outskirts of the Town and advised to enter without military support thereby preventing any riot.
“soe in obedience to the present necessity he left his troopes at the Townes end, and himself with the rest of the Gentlemen, and their ordinary retinue, went into the Towne, where they alighted at the high Crosse in the Markett place, and there sate calling the Towne to them, to examine the busines of the Peticion; Where verie shortlie after Mr. William Strode, a great stickler for the other party, and a neighbour to the Towne, with a partie of some eight or ten horse, verie well mounted and arm’d for offensive armes ridd up to the place where they sate, and pressing through the crowde of the people, commanded them in Parliaments name to retire themselves, and forbad the Assemblie; whereupon Sir Ralph Hopton rose from the place where he sate, and tooke Mr. Strode of his horse, tooke away his pistolls , and committed him to a Constable…”
At least that is the way it is remembered in Hopton’s memoirs, differently for others perhaps. The journal is hard to read, written in an age when the rules of grammar and spelling were far different to ours, but it’s, in my opinion, worth the effort. Especially for those interested in the early days of the Civil War.

Monday, 3 May 2010

‘They stood as upon the eaves of an house for steepness, but as unmovable as a rock’ (Richard Atkyns, Grenville’s at Lansdown, 5th July 1643 )

A week away (grrr), well nine days to be exact Nine wasted days, well not exactly. However days that I have been unable to work on this project, so it's just as well that I managed to finish the regiment the evening before we left.

Pictures of the completed Sir Bevil Grenville’s regiment of Foote, ready to ‘bring rebellious western subjects to heel’.

I’ve added the extra stand of pikes simply to please the eye (my eye), it has no bearing on combat, the rules being based on a three, 60x60mm, stand system. I’m also considering changes to musketeer stands in order to make them more adaptable, two 30x60 stands replacing the single 60x60 suggested in the rules. The rules has ‘commanded shot’ as a separate formation, personally I would rather have them as being ‘drawn off’ from the regiments on the field and replacing two 60x60 stands with four 30x60 would, I hope, allow for this.

I also completed my first command base, Sir Bevil Grenville and a drummer.

The next foot regiment I am constructing is a Parliamentary one – Col William Strode’s Regiment of Foote. They probably never existed, but what the heck! Waller’s force in the west country is said to have contained several unknown regiments, so I have taken the liberty of creating a regiment for Somerset dignitary and well known supporter of the Parliamentary cause. A William Strode (MP?), not to be confused with the poet, lived in what was then the small Somerset village of ‘Streete’, he and Hopton had crossed paths before during the attempted reading of the ‘Commission of Array’ at Shepton Mallet in August 1642 (a full description of the ‘altercation’ can be found in Hopton’s own journal, published by the Somerset Historical Society). He is described, therein, as a ‘great stickler for the other party’, so it is quite likely that he would have been involved in the raising of local troops for Waller’s Western Association, and politician or simple local big-wig his behaviour that day in Shepton Mallet would have probably ensured his position with regard to local regimental command.

I have chosen to clothe this regiment in green, why? Simple, I like green.