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"Whatever happened to Thomas Grantham's Regiment of Foot?" Topic

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Wargames Designs28 Aug 2022 7:22 a.m. PST

I was looking for information about the fate of Thomas Grantham's Regiment of Foot, but seem to have come up against a brick wall. I looked at the entry on the BCW Regimental wiki where it says that they were destroyed at the Battle of Aylesbury in November 1642.

I looked up several accounts of the battle which say that the Parliamentarian casualties were 90 killed being far less than Grantham's 740 strong regiment. At least one account of the battle says it may not have even happened and if it did it was probably just a skirmish.

So, does anyone have any clues as to what happened to Thomas Grantham's Regiment of Foot?

Timbo W28 Aug 2022 8:47 a.m. PST

Now that is a very good question Steve!

Aylesbury 1642 does seem a rather shady encounter, relies on one very pro-Parliamentarian source and some Victorian finds of 200 human remains, that they couldn't date. I agree the story is likely to have been highly embellished, the press were not above completely inventing battles at the time! Rupert was elsewhere on the day in question too. As you say, likely a skirmish blown out of proportion but I don't think we can tell for sure.

Grantham's disappear from the records after this as far as I'm aware, going by Old Robin's Foot and Hey for Old Robin!. They were definitely gone (disbanded or reduced into another rgt probably) by March 1643 when Essex set about re-organising his army for the Reading campaign.

So possibly fell apart after some loss at Aylesbury, or could have hung on over the winter until depleted by desertions and sickness and merged into another rgt, I don't know.

I'll edit the wiki to reflect this.

Oddly there seems to be little information on Thomas Grantham himself. He lived to 1655 but not much on what he got up to after 1642 from Wiki, BHO etc.

Can anyone add more?

Timbo W28 Aug 2022 9:12 a.m. PST

PS. I had a quick look in the BHO directory of Parliamentarian offices but the only extra info I could find was that the regiment's Major Holman took up a commission as Lieutenant Colonel of Lord Fairfax's regiment in Yorkshire on 16th November 1642.

So looks as if either Holman swung a promotion and left or the regiment had disintegrated by mid Nov at the latest.

Wargames Designs28 Aug 2022 10:16 a.m. PST

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the help it's much appreciated.

My son painted the regiment as his first venture into 28mm ECW because of the unusual coat colour. He was absolutely gutted when he found that it had been destroyed within a few months of being formed.

Hopefully more information may come to light.

KeepYourPowderDry28 Aug 2022 10:30 a.m. PST

Apologies, stood in a park in London waiting for Nick Cave to play, so haven't got my notebook to hand (I know, a sorry state of affairs). Pretty sure they were reduced…

Timbo W28 Aug 2022 10:46 a.m. PST

Now I'm not really suggesting this is what happened, but…

To cheer up young Master Designs, I suppose there's just a chance that Granthams went up North and were taken over by Lord Fairfax. 😁

Grantham had married a Yorkshire lass and gained property there after all.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2022 7:17 a.m. PST

I see there's a pretty complete roster of officers. Possibly some of the real ECW gurus can see what happened to a few of the others? It might give us a better feel for what happened.

Steamingdave230 Aug 2022 9:50 a.m. PST

BCW project says disbanded by May 1643.


KeepYourPowderDry30 Aug 2022 2:02 p.m. PST

The officers listed come from Peacock's lists. Of the comprehensive list given there are only a handful that turn up after 1643 (in Portsmouth Garrison, & Suffolk TB) – there are quite a few other officers possibly serving in other RoF in both Essex and Waller's armies (surnames only recorded).

Now have my notebook to hand, sadly no reference next to the note "reduced?"

Timbo W30 Aug 2022 3:26 p.m. PST

Thanks for chasing those Mike, I checked the captains and field officers only.

Quite odd the majority of the rgt disappeared without trace. Maybe there's a story behind it if someone comes across the right archive.

Wargames Designs30 Aug 2022 5:38 p.m. PST

I am wondering whether the strength of 740 rank and file given in October 1642 is accurate as there seems to be so little information about the regiment other than officers.

Looking at various accounts of the Battle of Aylesbury it is repeatedly stated that there was a force of around 1,500 Parliamentarians. With Hampden's Regiment apparently there which had a strength of 963 rank and file as of October 1642 and Balfours Horse also possibly present, this would make the total well over 1,500 if Grantham's regiment was actually 740 strong.

If the regiment were only a couple of hundred strong and they suffered the bulk of the casualties at Aylesbury added to sickness and desertion through the winter then it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to disband or be absorbed into other regiments.

All supposition I know, but it could help explain their disappearance.

KeepYourPowderDry31 Aug 2022 6:22 a.m. PST

With the old adage "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" at the back of one's mind, there is something about Grantham's RoF that doesn't quite feel right…

There are very comprehensive officer lists for Grantham's (okay, our source is Peacock which has been shown to be a little iffy at times), possibly too complete. A little delving into the given officer lists and you quickly find that there is only any depth to a handful of men – the vast majority exist in Grantham's list and no where else.

Two or three men have history pre-Grantham's, and a handful post-Grantham's. One would certainly expect some of the junior officers to continue with their soldiering in other regiments and, inevitably, the New Modelled Army. But they don't appear to do so. There is always the possibility of missing records which could explain everything away about the fate of Grantham's; but, if they were disbanded/reduced then I would expect to see more men crop up in other regimental lists. The NMA records are pretty meticulous, but none of Grantham's officers appear.

One captain in particular, Sir Thomas Pigot, raises another question – official court records only show one Sir Thomas Pigot who was knighted in 1604. Unless he was knighted in the cradle, he'd be quite old for a fighting man. Not impossible, but certainly questionable.

Throw into the mix the issue of numbers of men and casualties at Aylesbury, and something really doesn't add up.

Was Grantham claiming monies for a much bigger regiment than actually existed? All could be explained by a big hole in records , but for so many men not to exist in other records (that do exist)raises more than just an eyebrow

Lapsang31 Aug 2022 8:07 a.m. PST

The IX Legion of the Civil War…?

Mollinary01 Sep 2022 10:35 a.m. PST

There is a portrait, by John Hayls, of a Colonel Thomas Pigott, d1674. Could this be him? Seems to be painted in 1647, by which time he is a Royalist. His regiment served the King at Lostwithiel, and possibly 2nd Newbury.

KeepYourPowderDry01 Sep 2022 11:36 a.m. PST

There are 2 Thomas Pigot/Pigott listed in Indignant Officers, one a captain in Vincent Corbett's, the other an ensign in Henry Farr's. Neither are Captain Sir Thomas Pigot/Pigott.

There is only one knight by the name Thomas Pigot (the one listed in Grantham's), he was knighted in 1604 by James VI/I. Not known for changing sides. His age is troubling if he was knighted on the day of his birth he'd have been 38 in 1642, pretty unlikely albeit technically possible. He doesn't appear to have been from a titled family, which puts knighted at birth very much into the unlikely option. It looks very much like he earned his knighthood so add 20 years (or more) to 38…

Young (Edgehill) has a bit to say about Grantham's states that the regiment had 10 experienced officers (he later changes this to 9, BHO gives only 2 or 3 with known prior service), he also says that they "may have worn russet coats" (this appears to be supposition, centring around an account of a pub brawl at the Starre Inn, 30th September 1642 "quarrell betwixt the blewe coates and russet coates"). He does mention Pigot as being a captain in 1627 (Calendar of State Papers 1627-8 p145).

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