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Foot Guard Regiments
The First Regiment of Foot Guards
(English establishment; ranked 1st Foot Guards)
The Regiment originated from the two King's Royal Regiments of Guards raised by Charles II - one, in 1656, whilst in exile, the other shortly after the Restoration. The Regiment raised by the King while abroad in Flanders was composed of a band of English Royalists and, on its formation at Bruges, was commanded by Thomas, Lord Wentworth. It was present with the Spanish Army throughout the campaign of 1657, against the French and, in 1658, distinguished itself greatly at the 'Battle of the Downs'.
The remains of the Regiment continued in Flanders until the Restoration, shortly after which they were sent to Dunkirk where Lord Wentworth, in 1660, received a second commission from the King as their Colonel. They continued doing garrison duty until the sale of Dunkirk, in 1662, when Charles II brought his 'Royal Regiment of Guards' to England.
Meanwhile, in 1660, the King had issued a commission to Colonel Charles Russell to raise another regiment of Royalists, which he called 'His own Royal Regiment of Guards'. The first captains in this regiment were old Cavaliers who had received commissions from Charles I to raise regiments during the Civil War. On the death of Lord Wentworth, in 1665, the two regiments were amalgamated thereby constituting one regiment of 24 companies under Colonel Russell.
- 1656 Lord Wentworth's Regiment (raised at Bruges, Spanish Netherlands, as bodyguard to exiled Charles II).
- 1660.08.26 Placed on English establishment.
- 1660.11.23 John Russell's Regiment of Guards (raised in London at Restoration).
- 1662 King's Royal Regiment of Guards.
- 1665.03.16 1st Regiment of Foot Guards (formed by union of Russell's [1st Bn], and Wentworth's [2nd Bn]).
- 1656 Col. Thomas Wentwort), 5th Lord Wentworth, PC
- 1660.11.23 Col. Hon. John Russell
Motto: Honi soit qui mal y pense - Evil be to him who evil thinks (French) Nicknames:
The Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards
(English establishment; ranked 2nd Foot Guards)
"The town of Coldstream, because the General did it the honour to make it the piece of his residence for some time hath given title to a small company of men whom God hath made instruments of Great Things; and though poor, yet honest as ever corrupt Nature produced into the world, by the no dishonourable name of Coldstreamers." Thomas Gumble, 1671.
Oliver Cromwell, after raising the New Model Army, in 1645, to fight against the Royalists, finally defeated them, in 1649. This paved the way for the execution of Charles I, on 30th January 1649. With the Civil War over, Cromwell held unprecedented power in England. Ireland, however, was still in a state of revolt and Cromwell led a force across the Irish Sea to impose his rule on the country. During the campaign, he became impressed by the military qualities of a certain Colonel George Monck and determined to give him command of his own regiment. Cromwell created a completely new body of men, by taking five companies from the Regiment of George Fenwick and five from the Regiment of Sir Arthur Hazelrigg, then Governor of Newcastle. Both these formations had been raised as part of the New Model Army in 1645. Cromwell formed the new Regiment on 13 August 1650 and gave it the name, Monck's Regiment of Foot. The modern-day Coldstream Guards is directly descended from Monck's Regiment of Foot and is therefore the oldest Regiment in continuous service with the Engish Army.
Scotland at this time still held great sympathy for the Royalist cause. Charles Stuart, on his return from exile, seized the offer of a Scottish army to help reclaim the throne of England. On hearing this news, Oliver Cromwell, now back from Ireland, marched north, and decisively defeated Charles's army at the Battle of Dunbar, on 3 September 1650. Monck's Regiment of Foot took part in the battle under Cromwell. Afterwards, Cromwell ordered a special medal to be struck and awarded to the officers and men of the New Model Army. The Coldstream Guards are the only surviving Regiment to have earned this early example of a campaign medal.
After Oliver Cromwell's death, in 1658, Charles saw again his opportunity to reclaim the English throne. On 1 January 1660, General Monck assembled a large part of his troops in the little town of Coldstream on the Scottish border and decided to march to London. The march took five weeks and Monck entered the capital on 3rd February, for the first time. Despite some opposition to his ideas, Monck managed to break the army's domination of the Government and brought about the election of a freely-chosen parliament, which met on 25 April 1660. One of the first acts of this new Parliament was to vote for the return of the Monarchy.
On 25 May 1660, the King landed at Dover, where General Monck welcomed him. During the journey to London, the King showed his gratitude to General Monck by bestowing on him the Order of the Garter, which is now the basis of the Regimental cap star. On 26 August 1660, Parliament passed an act ordering the disbandment of the entire New Model Army. No exceptions, including General Monck's regiments, were allowed, although one concession was made: they should be the last to disappear.
This concession had far reaching effects. On Sunday, 6 January 1661, two days before Monck's Regiments were to be disbanded, an armed revolt occurred against the King, forcing an alarmed Parliament somewhat reluctantly to call on "Monck's Regiment of Foot" for help. Monck's men, veterans of a decade of hard campaigning, swiftly quelled the rebels and ended the rioting. A grateful Parliament repealed the order for disbandment. On 14 February 1661, Monck's Regiment of Foot paraded at Tower Hill. The men symbolically laid down their arms and with them their association with the New Model Army. They were immediately ordered to take them up again as Royal troops in the New Standing Army.
The new Regiment received the title of "The Lord General's Regiment of Foot Guards" and became Household Troops from that moment. A Royal Commission placed them as the second senior Regiment of Household Troops. However, the Regiment, to make its views clear on the injustice of this decision, took as its motto the phrase Nulli Secundus, or "Second to None". To this day, the Regiment does not accept that it should ever be referred to as "The Second Guards". Monck, who had become the Duke of Albemarle, died in April 1670 and the Lord General's Regiment was conferred upon the Earl of Craven. From this time the Regiment became officially known as the "Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards."
- 1650.08.26 George Monck's Regiment (raised for service in Parliamentary Army in Northumberland from five companies of George Fenwick's Regiment and five companies of Sir Arthur Hesilrige's Regiment [Hazlerigg]).
- 1660 The Duke of Albemarle's Regiment of Foot, or The Lord General's Regiment (transferred to the King's service).
- 1661.02.14 Lord General's Regiment of Foot Guards (elevated to Guards status, and placed on English Establishment). Note: the regiment never accepted the designation "2nd Regiment of Foot Guards".
- 1670 Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.
- 1650.08.26 Gen. George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, KG
- 1670.01.06 Lt-Gen. William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven
Motto: Nulli secundus - Second to none (Latin).
The Scots Regiment of Foot Guards
(Scotish establishment; ranked 3rd Foot Guards)
In the autumn of 1641, Ireland rose in rebellion against the Scottish settlers who for some time past had been colonizing Ulster. No standing army then existed, and to deal with this situation King Charles I sanctioned the raising of ten Scottish regiments for service in Ireland to be paid for by the English Parliament.
The King had intended to go himself to Ireland, in 1642, to direct the operations against the rebels, and on 16th Marth, 1642, he issued at Westminster a Commission addressed to Archibald, 1st Marquess of Argyll, authorizing him to raise a Royal Regiment of 1,500 men to be “led into our Realm of Ireland”. This Regiment was intended by the King to be his Royal Guard, and from this date the history of the Scots Guards begins.
Argyll already possessed a Regiment of foot which he had raised for his own use in 1639. This regiment he at once transferred to the Royal Service, and as “Argyles Regiment”, it sailed for Ireland within the month. A politician rather than a soldier, Argyll appointed his kinsman, Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck, to command his Regiment for him. This custom of Colonel of the Regiment and Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding was universal at this time and exists in the Regiment to the present day.
For six long and ill-paid years Argyll’s Regiment protected the Scottish colonists in Ulster from the onslaughts of the native Irish, only returning to Scotland once, between April 1645 and June 1646, when it fought for its Colonel against Montrose at Kilsyth. Meanwhile in England and Scotland the Civil War raged, and in January of 1649, King Charles I was executed in London.
In this year Argyll’s Regiment, much diminished in strength and known now as the “Irish Companies”, returned to Scotland, where in the following year, 1650, it welcomed King Charles II on his arrival from France. One of the King’s first acts was to take the 1650 Irish Companies as his “Lyfe Guard of Foot” and to appoint Argyll’s son, Lord Lorne, to be its second Colonel.
At Falkland Palace in Fife, on 22nd July, the Regiment was presented with new Colours. On this same day Cromwell crossed the Tweed with a large army and advanced on Edinburgh. On 3rd September the Scots and English armies met at Dunbar. In the Scots Army were four companies of the “Lyfe Guard of Foot” and in Cromwell’s Army was Monck’s Regiment, now the Coldstream Guards.
Despite a gallant stand by the Scottish Foot Guards, the Scots Army was badly defeated and forced to retire to Stirling. On New Year’s Day, 1651, King Charles II was crowned at Scone with his “Lyfe Guard of Foot” on duty in the Palace. In August they accompanied their King on his invasion of England, and on 3rd September suffered with him the disastrous defeat of the Battle of Worcester. King Charles escaped to France, but his Regiment was scattered, Scotland fell into the hands of Cromwell, and the Scottish Army ceased to exist.
In May, 1660, King Charles II landed at Dover and was restored to his throne. His first need was for an army; and to this end he raised at once a Regiment of Guards in England partly from those who had shared his exile. This Regiment was later called the First Regiment. In recognition of the great services of General Monck, whose Regiment had marched from Coldstream to occupy London before the Restoration, Monck’s Regiment was also created as a Regiment of Foot Guards, later to be known as the Coldstream Guards.
His protection in England thus secure, King Charles turned his attention to Scotland, and in October issued orders for the re-raising of companies of his Scottish Foot Guards to garrison Edinburgh and Dumbarton Castles. They were recruited in January, 1661.
In the following year these companies were expanded into a regiment of six companies, one of which was to garrison Stirling Castle. Each had a Colour and 100 men, and in 1666 the Scottish Regiment of Foot Guards was raised to a proper establishment of thirteen companies and the Earl of Linlithgow was appointed as its Third Colonel. This was the final step in the re-creation of the Regiment after the Restoration.
- 1642 Marquis of Argyll's Royal Regiment.
- 1650 Foote Regiment of His Majestie's Lyffe Guard.
- 1651 disbanded.
- 1660.11.23 six independent companies in Scotland.
- 1661.05.01 Scots Regiment of Foot Guards (also known as The King's Regiment, The King's Foot Guards, or Scotch Guards).
- 1660.10.23 Maj-Gen. George Livingstone, 3rd Earl of Linlithgow
The Irish Foot Guards
- 1642 Irish Guards.
- 1645 lost at Naseby and disbanded.
- 1662.04.23 Irish Foot Guards (raised at Dublin - two bns.)
- 1662.04 Gen. James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde, KG
- 1675 ?????