It would seem that Charles was considering clothing at least part of his army in March 1643, and Thomas Bushell equipped the, "..liefe Guard and three regiments more, with suites, stockings, shoes and mounteroes...". The colours of the uniforms and the regiments receiving the issue remains unclear. Red is traditionally the colour attributed to the Lifeguards, and a reference is made to that colour when describing them at Edgehill, although it is unclear as to whether this refers to the coats or the regimental colours However, these four regiments notwithstanding, it is highly likely that large part of the Royalist Foot at Edgehill served in their civilian clothing.

Regimental Colours
We have a number of unattributable colours and references to colours borne by regiments in the Edgehill campaign. The Kings Life Guard are noted as having red colours but with no further description. These may have been of the unusual design noted for the 1645, or may have simply have been of a 'standard' type. Other references are made to 'green regiments, and we do have a record of some captured colours, again unattributed.
So for all of 1642, we have the following


In July suits of clothing consisting of coats, breeches and monteroes were issued to troops in Oxford. These suits were blue or red, but unfortunately we cannot attribute them to specific regiments. We can determine that Darcy's, Charles Gerrard's and Lunsford's/Rupert's wore blue, and that the King's Lifeguard wore red. It is also highly probable that the regiments of Percy, Pinchbeck, Dyves and Pennyman were dressed in grey/whitecoats, as befitted their Northern origin.

Regimental Colours
We have little information for this year, other than references to 'red', 'green', 'yellow', etc. regiments or colours. The following are all specifically mentioned but with no details other than the field colour. The only exception to this could be that of the black Colour which, in an ambiguous reference, can be traced to Sir Thomas Blackwell's regiment. Members of the present day re-enactment regiment choose to interpret this as black coats rather than Colours, but under the pressure of a certain amount of alcohol will usually concede the point that as an Oxford Army regiment they would probably wearing an issue blue or red suit, leaving the way open for the attribution of black Colours for their unit.

Frustrating isn't it? However, we begin to get more concrete evidence in 1644 and 1645.


Much of the confusion of the previous year becomes clearer, as more references enable us to identify more coat colours. However, there is one group of regiments who received an issue of clothing in either red or blue, but we cannot accurately define which.

The following may have been issued either red or blue clothing: J. Astleys, Pennymans, Lisles, Thelwells

Regimental Colours
Prior to the 1644 campaign season, the Oxford Army mustered at Aldbourne Chase in April. Symonds took details of some coat colours and very importantly made sketches of a number of Colours. The details are not always clear, and there are some inconsistencies, but we gain a very good picture of the Colours carried by the Foot. In most cases I have chose to illustrate only one example when many more from the stand are known. A full set of illustrations can be found in Peachey and Prince.

In addition to these there are a number of unattributed captured flags. These may date from 1643 or 1644.


The most important point to note is that in its final campaigns, the Oxford Foot was a composite body of old regiments, garrisons and new-levied men, formed into brigaded to make viable battlefield units. These brigades could not have presented anything like a uniform appearance. Apart from a reference to Rupert's regiment being bluecoats, we have no further information to add to what is outlined below. Given that I would suggest that red and blue uniforms would have dominated would a sprinkling of white/grey and the odd yellow coat.

Regimental Colours
There is nothing like a spanking good victory to give us information about the colours of the defeated army. To the Parliamentarians, Naseby was that spanking good victory, and they proved it by parading the captured colours of the Royalist army. A series of eyewitness accounts and an illustrated manuscript enables us to add some more information about the Colours under which the Oxford army marched.

The unknown colours are based upon multiple references to Blue, Green, White, Yellow and Black colours mentioned by observers or illustrated by Turmile.

It is interesting to compare this version (Turmile's) of Bard's colours with those of Symond's, and the un-named regiment in the first plate, based on an eyewitness account.

The Stripy colours have been reconstructed from Turmile's illustrations of what are badly damaged flags. The actual colouring of the dark stripes is unclear, and has been presented here as black, although this is not certain.

Rupert's Colours continue to befuddle historians, wargamers and reenactors. There are two known sets of illustrations; Symond's (the first two), and four fragmentary drawings in Turmile (the third). Both versions have similarities, namely the black and while piles and the black annulets. Turmile's pictures of very badly damaged originals seem to show a more complicated patters and add a set of grey blue piles to the equation.
There have been many valiant attempts to impose an order and a system on this information, alas none of it really satisfactory. The Turmile illustrations are so fragmentary that any reconstruction based on them, including the one illustrated can only be highly speculative.

And now we come to the King's Lifeguard, but that will have to wait until I get a bit more time to get the images drawn!