The Armies


Advised by a Council of War, King Charles I had ultimate command over all three royalist armies and exercised strategic control during the actions which make up the battle of Lostwithiel.  The Oxford army was commanded by General Patrick Ruthven, Earl of Brentford.  It consisted of five brigades of horse along with three independent lifeguard troops, including those belonging to the King and Queen.  Combined these units and formations were likely to have totalled around 4,500-5,000 cavalry.  The foot were divided into three brigades and probably totalled about 5,000 men.  The Western Army commanded by Prince Maurice consisted of up to ten regiments of horse, numbering perhaps 1,500 troopers and, according to an account from late July 1644, almost 4,600 infantry.  This account excluded two infantry regiments known to have served with Maurice in Cornwall so the overall number of foot in the Western army was likely to have been about 5,000.  Sir Richard Granville’s force consisted of two regiments of horse and three of foot along with Cornish militia units of both types, Granville was therefore likely to have had around 500 cavalry and a little over 2,500 infantry.   This would put the combined totals of the three armies at a little over 12,000 foot and up to 7,000 cavalry excluding those personnel serving in the train of artillery.  The latter, which had been formed for the Cropredy Bridge part of the campaign, but continued with the King until the second battle of Newbury in October 1644,  consisted of 15 pieces of artillery; four firing 12lb shot,  five firing 6lb shot, a couple of sakers firing similar sized shot and four 3 pounders.  The 11 pieces of artillery captured from the parliamentarians at Cropredy also seem to have been integrated into the train .  It is unclear whether Granville’s Cornish troops made any further additions of artillery, but given that Maurice had been besieging Lyme Regis at least some of his artillery would have also been available to the King.   Symonds appears to confirm this with his claim that the King had 28 pieces of artillery and Maurice 11 at Lostwithiel.   



The size and organization of the earl of Essex’s Army can be estimated from the Exchequer papers in The National Archives and a captured muster document for the parliamentary horse reproduced by Symonds .  The pay warrants for Essex’s seven regiments of foot are available, though they do not provide numbers of soldiers, only the amounts paid to the regiments for both officers and soldiers.  Based on other pay warrants where numbers of soldiers are known, it is possible to generate an estimate of around 4,300 common soldiers in Essex’s foot regiments.  In addition to these regiments, two of the London auxiliary militia regiments, the Green and the Orange, served with Essex at Lostwithiel under Major General Christopher Whichcote.  These regiments are likely to have totalled around 1,200 men.  Essex also raised a regiment in the West County under Colonel John Weare for the campaign.  This was 12 companies strong and probably consisted of around 500 common soldiers at the start of the action around Lostwithiel.  Finally two foot regiments, under Colonels Carr and Rouse, were withdrawn from the Plymouth garrison to serve with Essex’s army.  These were paid by Essex in mid September 1644 in a single warrant, suggesting they had fought as a combined unit during the campaign, and probably had a united strength of 500 men.   The parliamentarians are therefore likely to have had a total of about 6,500 infantry excluding officers.  Based on a muster record from Tiverton in July 1644 captured by the royalists, the parliamentarian cavalry totalled just over 2,700 troopers or almost 3,200 with officers.  This did not include the 200 strong regiment of horse from the Plymouth garrison commanded by Colonel Leighton which was also with the army.   One troop of dragoons attached to Essex’s own cavalry regiment also participated in the campaign.  Essex therefore probably had around 9,400 men excluding officers at Lostwithiel.  The army would have been over 11,000 strong once soldiers in the train of artillery and officers were included. Symonds claimed that the royalist captured 42 cannon and one mortar from the parliamentarians at the end of the battle. 


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