The Coldstream Guards

 

Origins

 

George Monck was a Royalist soldier captured and imprisoned by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War but subsequently released by Oliver Cromwell and given a regiment in the New Model Army.

'Monck's Regiment of Foot' served with distinction in Scotland, most notably at the Battle of Dunbar and as a result Cromwell gave him responsibility for all Parliamentary forces in Scotland. 

Initially the Regiment made its headquarters in Berwick-upon-Tweed but after Cromwell's death moved to a small village called Coldstream near the border with England. The country was once again in polital turmoil and within days of its move the order was given to march south.

Shortly after its arrival in London, Parliament called for the return of the Monarchy and Monck's Regiment was amongst those to meet Charles II when he landed at Dover on 25th May 1660 and escorted him to London.

With the Royalists now in control the decision was made to totally disband the New Model Army however, Monck's Regiment was called upon to quell disturbances in the City of London just two days before its de-commissioning.

It was now apparent that the regiment was indispensable but the Act of Disbandment was still on the statute book therefore on the 14th February 1661 Monck's Regiment paraded on Tower Hill where they symbolically laid down their arms as a regiment of the New Model Army and then took them up in the service of the King. 

Monck's Regiment of Foot was immediately renamed 'The Lord Generals Regiment of Foot Guards' taking seniority after Lord Wentworth's and Colonel John Russel's Regiments ( both Royalist regiments and now the Grenadier Guards ). Not wishing to be forgotten as the oldest English regiment still in existence the regiment adopted the motto ' Nulli Secundus' ( second to none ).

George Monck died on 3rd January 1670, aged 61, and his regiment was officially renamed 'His Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.

In the remaining years of the 17th Century, the Regiment saw action as part of the Tangier Garrison for King Charles II, at the Battle of Sedgemoor ( 1685 ) in support of King James II and at the Siege of Namur ( 1695 ) as part of William III's army during the Nine Years War (1689-1697).

 


The British Redcoats and Regiments Guide.

Learn more about the British Regiments history by visiting:

The Guards Museum

The Coldstream Museum

The Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, 1815

 


The British Redcoats Collection.

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