Due to the many theatres and campaigns of the British Civil Wars, it often becomes necessary to take up differing regimental guises to suit particular historical scenarios. We have further identities other than the Tower Hamlets Trayned Bandes.

The Kyle and Carrick Foot

Since 1994 and the 350th anniversary reenactment of the battle of Marston Moor, we have taken the field at some musters as the Kyle and Carrick Foot from Ayrshire, one of the Scots Covenant regiments which fought in northern England and in Scotland. The uniform for these troops included a blue bonnet and hodden grey coat. The added piece of equipment carried by the Scots musketeers was the swine feather which consisted of a six foot shaft with a pike head attached. These replaced the musket rest and offered a great advantage in hand-to-hand fighting.

History of the Regiment

Colonel: John, 6th Earl of Cassillis
Lieutenant-Colonel: John Kennedy
Major: Archibald Houston

Scots Colours

In August 1643 the Earl of Cassillis was commissioned colonel of central and southern Ayrshire. The area raised ten companies which were in Dalkeith on 14th January 1644 and entered England on the 19th as part of Lord Leven’s Covenant army. In early 1644 it heavily burdened Henry Hinde of The Sterling, Bywell Peter, Northumberland, by seizing 31 cattle, 60 sheep, 5 pigs, 40 foother of hay, 3 horses, 1 bible and sundry other goods, valued at a total of £316. 10s.

The Kyle and Carrick served with Leven up to the siege of York and the battle of Marston Moor. At the latter it was one of the three second line Scottish foot regiments to stand. The regiment was brigaded with the Nithsdale Foot and together they cleared the Royalist foot from the ditch in front of the allied line.

After Marston Moor and the fall of York, the Kyle and Carrick moved to the Newcastle area to participate in the siege of that city. On 24th August the garrison sallied forth against the section of the works held by the Kyle and Carrick and the Nithsdale Foot who, in the absence of their officers, fled.

The regiment returned to Scotland shortly after under the command of Lieutenant-General Baillie. It stayed in Aberdeen for ten days in September with a strength of 700 men. On 19th October the regiment formed part of the third brigade whose target was the Pilgrim Street Gate-Cariol Tower area. Cassillis personally led seven companies of the regiment in the storming operation.

The Kyle and Carrick probably spent the winter in England but returned to Scotland before the spring. From spring 1645 until it was disbanded, it served as part of the home army. In late March Cassillis and his men were with Baillie near Brechin. On 2nd and 3rd April the regiment, 800 strong, quartered in Perth, 160 commanded men returning to the Burgh on the 4th. They may have taken part in the pursuit of Montrose from Dundee on 5th April. From 14th to 18th June Lieutenant-Colonel Kennedy commanded 700 men of the Kyle and Carrick in Aberdeen costing the Burgh £560. The regiment probably formed part of Baillie’s army before then, but was definitely with him from the 18th. On 2nd July, the regiment was badly mauled at Alford. The officers later joined in a petition with those of other regiments for the replacement of baggage, clothing and necessities lost in the battle.

Photo: Craig Wilkinson

On 1st August the Estates decided to recruit the regiment back to full strength. Wigtonshire and the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright received orders to levy 600 foot while Ayrshire and Renfrewshire were assessed to provide a further 200 foot. Due to Montrose’s victory at Kilsyth two weeks later, however, it is doubtful that any of these reinforcements reached the regiment. The whereabouts of the regiment for six months is not known, but in November 1645 it was assigned several hundred hundred recruits from Galloway.

Photo: Craig Wilkinson

In February 1646 it was serving under Middleton in the North East and may be assumed to have campaigned with him against Montrose. The regiment was quartered in Glasgow on 18th December, and on 14th January the Estates ordered that it should be quartered in barns because of an outbreak of plague. It was to muster its men every ten days and not to live on free quarter but on the money with which it was provided. However, payment was heavily in arrears, and on 4th February the regimental officers petitioned to receive the £2,000 owed to them by the Burgh of Glasgow. This was finally received on 20th February.

On 5th February the Estates ordered the regiment to disband within four days. Fifty foot were retained for the General of Artillery’s Foot in the New Model Army, all others were disbanded.

  • Furgol, Edward M., A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651