Friday 13 July 2012

English Civil War flags - Royalist Infantry 1

I've done a fair number of WSS flags for commissions recently, which takes us back to the very early 18th century, and as I've a large collection of unpainted 15mm English Civil War figures I've decided to head even further back into the mid-17th century and make some ECW flags in the hope I might one day get round to painting my ECW armies. (As I've had the figures over 27 years that is probably, to use a 17th century phrase, a forlorn hope - but you never know...)

These are two infantry colours carried by the small Royalist infantry regiment of Colonel Francis Cooke. The unit was probably raised in 1643 in the south-west and it fought at Cheriton, Cropredy Bridge, Lostwithiel and 2nd Newbury. Three colours for the unit were recorded by Symonds at the Aldbourne Chase muster in April 1644, suggesting the unit counted 3 companies (at one flag per company), and these flags represent two of those. Cooke was captured in Salisbury in December 1644. He also raised a small cavalry unit. (Most information from Stuart Reid's invaluable series of booklets "Officers and Regiments of the Royalist Army", Partisan Press. On infantry colours of the ECW, "E.C.W. Flags and Colours: 1: English Foot" by Stuart Peachey and Les Prince, also Partisan Press, is an excellent summary and assessment of all the reliable sources of material.)

The material of these often short-lived infantry flags of the ECW was usually taffeta or sarcenet, a soft silk cloth, probably of lighter bulk than 18th century flags and less durable. I've experimented a good deal with trying to make the flags seem more "see through" than 18th century flags but am still not entirely happy with the results. Anyway, this is where I've arrived with them at the moment and at the price people can't really complain. :-)