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English Civil War in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire’s participation within the English Civil War is somewhat varied. From large Cavalry battles to skirmishes and the seizing of towns such as Gainsborough and Lincoln activity can be considered ‘brisk’.

However one of the major events that gets overlooked is how the men of Lincolnshire were the first to join the King when he raised his standard in Nottingham in the summer of 1642.

From the estates of Grimsthorpe Castle on the southern reaches of Lincolnshire near Bourne the Earl of Lindsey (14th Baron Willoughby D’Ersby) raised 2 regiments of Lincolnshire men. The first was known as the Lord General’s regiment and numbered around 800 men, this was the Earl’s personal regiment which he was to lead at the battle of Edgehill. The second regiment was the King’s Lifeguard of foote and this numbered about 600 men with its ranks swelled by Cheshire Lead miners when they departed Nottingham with the king.

Little is known about the Lord Generals regiment, however the Kings Lifeguard of Foote had a well documented history, due to it taking up lodgings in Oxford where it’s activities were well documented and was thoroughly researched by the late Brigadier Peter Young in his book ‘Strangers in Oxford’.

What we find is the activities of  a few Lincolnshire men who were officers. Firstly there is Sir Henry Radley of Yarborough. He commanded the 6th Company up until 1643 when he left for a Cavalry command. Captain Johnson of Riby who commanded the 9th company upto about 1644 and finally Sir Robert Markham of Sedgebrook near Belvoir Castle, he commanded the 3rd Company or ‘Majors’ company.


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