Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Flags of the 1st and 2nd Bishop's wars- can you help?

Can anyone help me with what flags did the English Militia/Trained Bands carry in 1638? Any info on coat colours would be very useful too.


  1. Alan, can't help much with flags for this early but it is fairly clear that trained bands in 1638 would wear ordinary civilian clothing with perhaps a few wealthier members having a buff coat with coloured sleeves.


  2. Nothing like starting off with the easy questions.

    I am going to disagree to a certain extent with Jim but I do not know which of us is right (if either).

    TB's start off in civilian clothing for sure. Peter Edwards in his book on the arms trade, says that there were no large orders for uniforms in London for the Bishops wars compared with 1642 or raising the army for Ireland. He takes this to mean that the responsibility for clothing their militias lay with the counties.

    Their certainly was a widespread imposition of a 'Coat and Conduct' tax levied " to provide each soldier with a good coat and put him on the march". So, IF that money made its way to the county militias and IF it was spent properly it implies that militias received at least a uniform coat, before starting out on their march.
    (mainly from Fissel: The Bishops Wars.)

    As to flags; I can only think of looking at Civil War trained bands. This is mainly London and the system of a St Georges cross in the corner and a differing no of devices per company (ie the common ECW system) seems well documented. There is however a Kent TB flag recorded with horizontal stripes, which is (I think) an older system. So you could look at using Elizabethan type flags which would be nice.

    I look forward to seeing what you decide.


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