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Counting the New Model Army

This article first appeared in ‘Counting the New Model Army’, Civil War Times, No. 58 (2003), p.3. It has been cited in Martin Marix Evans, Naseby 1645 (Oxford, 2007), p. 30. For anyone not familiar with ‘old’ money, there were twenty shillings in a pound and twelve pennies in a shilling. £ = pounds, s = shillings, d = pennies. Unfortunately the formatting has not transferred very well, but I hope it is clear enough.


Over the years there has been much discussion of the strength of the New Model Army, particularly at Naseby, and many historians have made their estimates. Brigadier Young estimated 6,400 foot, 7,200 horse and 1,000 dragoons, a total of 14,600.[1] More recently Foard suggested less than 8,720 foot, 7,200 horse and 1,000 dragoons, a total of about 17,000.[2] Ashley estimates 8,000 foot and 7,000 horse, a total of 15,000, which may, or may not, include Okey’s Dragoons.[3]

In this article I hope to show that, rather than depending upon educated estimates, the strength of the New Model can be calculated with a high degree of accuracy.

The Calendar of State Papers Domestic contains a detailed specification for the cost of the New Model Army per month, a month in this case being 28 days.[4] The figures given are thus easily converted into a daily cost.

Cost per month Cost per day
The officers of a regiment of foot £73-10-0d £1-12-6d
The officers of a colonels company £38-5-4d £1-7-4d
The officers of a private company £31-19-4d £1-2-10d
The officers of a regiment of horse £61-2-8d £2-3-8d
The officers of a colonels troop £120-3-4d £4-5-10d
The officers of a troop of carabineers £115-19-4d £4-2-10d
The officers of a company of dragoons £58-2-0d £2-1-6d

The rest of the costs are made up of foot soldiers at 8d per day, troopers at 2s per day and dragoons at 18d per day.

Within the State Papers in the National Archives are preserved the pay warrants for the New Model Army, including those immediately before and after Naseby.[5] The warrants give lump sums and state how many days pay it represents. If that lump sum is divided by the number of days it represents we get a daily rate. Deduct from that the appropriate sum for officers, divide by the daily rate of the appropriate soldier and you have the number of men in that unit.

Of course, the reality is not that simple. To know the total numbers it is necessary to know who is covered by the description “officers”. Even then the assumption has to be made that the officers were kept at full strength.  Further there is the question of whether or not the officers were paid in full. Gentles writes that “Officers who were paid between 5s and 10s a day had one third of it withheld, or “respited upon the public faith”, whilst those paid above 10s had half of it withheld.[6] Did this in fact happen and if so is the lump sum in the CSPD before or after deductions?

In considering the pay of the foot a number of sources are available and provide the figures below. The respiting by half of the pay of senior officers is clearly demonstrated in a warrant for the pay of Col. Robert Hammond. A warrant of 26 April 1645 authorises 7days pay for him as a Colonel and captain of foot, in total £7-17-6d, or 22s6d per day, exactly half the full rate.[7] Another warrant, dated 7 June 1645, gives 26 days pay for Pickering’s minister, or chaplain, as £10-8s, or 8s a day, showing no deductions for spiritual officers![8] A warrant for Skippon’s regiment dated, 29 April 1645, gives £64-3-4d as 7 days pay for 4 Gentlemen at Arms and 269 soldiers, 8d per day for the soldiers but only 1s per day for the Gentlemen at Arms.[9]

Pay of the foot

Rank Foard[10] Barrife[11] SP28/130 Pt III[12] NMA actual pay when “respited”
Colonel 45s 30s as Col & 15s as Capt. 22s6d(15s + 7s6d)
Lt. Colonel 30s 15s as Lt.Col & 15s as Capt. 15s(7s6d + 7s6d)
Major 24s 9s as Major & 15s as Capt. 12s(4s6d + 7s6d)
Captain 15s 15s 7s6d
Lieutenant 4s 4s 4s 4s
Ensign 3s 3s 3s 3s
Sergeant 1s6d 1s6d 1s6d 1s6d
Corporal 1s 1s 1s 1s
Drum Major 1s 1s6d 1s6d 1s6d
Drummer 1s 1s 1s 1s
Gentleman at Arms 1s6d 1s6d 1s
Clerk 1s6d
Quartermaster 5s 5s 5s 3s4d
Provost Marshall 5s 5s 5s 3s4d
Carriage Master 3s 3s 3s
Chaplain 8s 8s 8s
Chirurgeon 4s 4s 4s 4s
Chirurgeon’s Mate 2s6d 2s6d 2s6d

Using these rates of pay and knowing how much the differing groups of officers were expected to cost it is possible to attempt to recreate the composition of those groups. Unfortunately it has not been possible to achieve an exact match with the CSPD costs. The best match is given below.

Officers of a Regt

Officers of a Cols. Coy. Officers of a Capts. Coy.
Colonel 15s Captain 7s6d Captain 7s6d
Lt. Colonel 7s6d Lieutenant 4s Lieutant 4s
Major 4s6d Ensign 3s Ensign 3s
Quarterm’r 3s4d 3 Sgts. 4s6d 2 Sgts. 3s
Prov. Marsh. 3s4d 3 Cpls. 3s 3 Cpls. 3s
Carriage Mr. 3s Drum Major 1s6d
Chaplain 8s 2 Drums 2s 2 Drums 2s
Chirurgeon 4s Gent at Arms 1s Gent at Arms 1s
2 Ch’s Mates 5s Clerk 10d[13]
Total 53s8d p day Total 27s4d p day Total 23s6d p day
CSPD cost 52s6d p day CSPD cost 27s4d p day CSPD cost 22s10d
Error +1s2d 0 +8d

Less information is available for the rates of pay for the horse, Barrife contains the following;

Rank Pay Rank Pay Rank Pay
Colonel 30s Major 22s Captain 24s + 15s for horses
Lieutenant 8s + 10s for horse Cornet 6s + 7s6d for horses Quartermr. 4s + 5s for horses
Corporal 3s Trumpeter 3s Farrier 3s6d
Saddler 3s6d Carriage Mr. 3s6d Chaplain 8s
Chirurgeon 4s Chs Mate 2s6d Prov. Marsh. 5s

Assuming the same respiting of pay as for the foot the following can be achieved as a possible listing of the officers of cavalry regiments. Again, an absolute match has not been possible.

Officers of a regiment Officers of a Cols. troop Officers of a Capts. troop
Colonel 15s Captain 12s + 15s Captain 12s + 15s
Major 11s Lieutenant 5s4d + 10s Lieutenant 5s4d + 10s
Chaplain 8s Cornet 4s + 7s6d Cornet 4s + 7s6d
Chirurgeon 4s Quartermr. 4s + 5s Quartermr. 4s + 5s
2 Chs Mates 5s 3 Cpls. 9s 3 Cpls. 9s
Prov. Marsh 3s4d 2 Trumpets 6s 2 Trumpets 6s
Farrier and Saddler 7s Farrier and Saddler 7s
Clerk 10d
Total 46s4d p day Total 86s6d p day Total 85s8d p day
CSPD cost 43s8d p day CSPD cost 85s10d CSPD cost 82s10d
Error + 2s8d +8d +2s10d

Applying the same methods and using the pay scales in Barrife the following table can be produced for dragoons.

Rank Barrife pay per day Respited pay per day Rank Barrife pay per day Horse allowance Respited pay per day
Colonel 30s 15s Captain 15s 5s 7s6d
Major 9s 6s Lieutanant 4s 3s 4s
Quartermr. 5s 3s4d Cornet 3s 2s 3s
Chaplain 8s 8s 2 Sgts 3s 2s 3s
Prov. Mrsh 5s 3s4d 3 Cpls 3s 3s 3s
Chirurg. 4s 4s 2 Drums 2s 2s 2s
2 C. Mates 5s 5s Farrier 1s 1s 1s
Total 44s8d 18s 23s6d
CSPD cost41s6d per day Total pay and horses per day  41s6d

Taking the CSPD figure as representing what was actually paid to the officers it is now possible to calculate the strengths of the various units of the New Model at Naseby. In doing this I have taken the pay of each unit as mustered on the latest date prior to the battle. Most of the resultant figures came to point something, an error presumably due to minor fluctuations in strength during the pay period, and I have rounded the figure to the nearest whole number. The numbers include the officers as above. For the foot I have been able to calculate a strength for after the battle. Unfortunately I do not have the figures for the horse. In addition I do not have figures for one troop each in Fairfax’s own horse, Ireton’s and Whalley’s, in each of these cases I have assumed a strength of 70 troopers as an approximate average.

Regiment Pre-Naseby Post-Naseby Regiment Pre-Naseby Post-Naseby
Fairfax’s 1397 1351 Skippon’s 1533 1373
Waller’s 560 511 Hammond’s 788 781
Pride’s 1151 1084 Montagu’s 1025 913
Pickering’s 1126 988 Rainsboro’s 888 761
Lloyd’s[14] 93 76 Ingoldsby’s[15] 63 47

The Horse (Colonels are in bold)

Fairfax’s 92 Cromwell’s 115 Ireton’s 97
Desborow 104 Huntingdon 124 Sedascue 88
Lawrence 75 Jenkins 51 Gwilliams 64
Browne 77 Middleton 82 Gibbons 63
Packer ? (70) Reynolds 87 Hoskins 44
Berry 71 Bush 83 Bury ? (70)
Total 489 Total 542 Total 426
Pye’s 117 Whalley’s 101 Fleetwood’s 92
Tomlinson 119 Bethel 96 Harrison 100
Margery 77 Swallow 74 Coleman 75
Knight 115 Groves 86 Selby 95
Barry 81 Cannon 79 Sanky 68
Rawlins 107 Evanson ? (70) Howard 43
Total 616 Total 506 Total 473
Rossiter’s 103 Rich’s 84 Butler’s 102
Twisleton 156 Alford 107 Horton 81
Markham 81 Nevil 102 Foley 86
Nelthrop 60 Ireton 87 Gardner 93
Peart 94 Dendy 101 Pennyfeather 94
Bush 71 Bough 64 Perry 79
Total 565 Total 545 Total 535
Sheffield’s 103 D’Oyley
Fincher 106 Lifeguard 240
Robotham 99
Rainsborow 82
Martin 84
Evelyn 67
Total 541

The Dragoons

Okey’s 78 Farre 55
Moore 65 Bridge 46
Farmer 105 Woggan 72
Mercer 82 Skirmager 52
Abbott 60 Turpin 61
Total 676

This gives the following grand totals;

Foot 8624 Horse 5478 Dragoons 676

These figures do not include the Trayne of Artillery with its companies of Firelocks. According to a muster taken on 31 May 1645 the Trayne, including officers, artificers, firelocks, pioneers and draught horses received 5 days pay totalling £338-7-11d.[16] At the moment, however, there is no way of breaking down that figure. Likewise there was a sizable army staff. Fourteen days pay for Scout Master Leon Watson and his 20 men was £98.[17] Captain Holmstead, Provost Marshall General of Horse, and his 8 men received £6-15-4d for 7 days[18] whilst Captain Wicks, Provost Marshall General of Foot and his 16 men received £12-15-21/2d.[19] All in all, the New Model at Naseby must have comfortably exceeded 15,000 men.

[1] Brigadier Peter Young, Naseby 1645 ( London 1985), p. 245

[2] Glenn Foard, Naseby (Guildford, 1995), pp. 199-203.

[3] Maurice Ashley, The Battle of Naseby (Stroud, 1992), p. 72

[4] Calendar of State Papers Domestic, Charles I, Vol. DVI, p. 232.

[5] National Archives, SP 28/30, SP 28/29/I and SP28/30/II

[6] Ian Gentles, The New Model Army (Oxford 1992), p. 47.

[7] SP28/29/I/70

[8] SP28/30/456

[9] SP28/29/I/17

[10] Glenn Foard, Colonel John Pickering’s Regiment of Foot (Whitstable, 1994), p. 40

[11] JB, ‘Some Brief Instructions for the Cavalry’, pp. 17-20, in Col. William Barrife, Militarie Discipline (Leigh-on-Sea, 1988)

[12] Pay of Colonel Ralph Weldon’s Regiment, in ‘The Account of Captaine Charles Bowles Commissary to the County of Kent for the yeare 1644’ in Alan Everitt, The Community of Kent and the Great Rebellion, 1640-60 (Leicester 1966)

[13] SP 28/130 quoted in English Civil War Notes and Queries, No.13, p9.

[14] Although Lloyd’s was with the detachment sent to relieve Taunton part of the regiment, under Lt.Col. Grey were marching in Skippon’s, SP 28/30/412, 451 and 506

[15] Ingoldsby’s were also with the Taunton detachment but also had men marching in Barclay’s, SP 28/30/427, 453 and 509

[16] SP28/30/530

[17] SP28/30/403

[18] SP28/30/II/208

[19] SP28/30/II/211

1 Comment

  1. I came here researching my g grandparents x 11 who I found in a ballad of ‘the famous woman drummer’!
    By the time-line of parish info in 1655 they signed up for Ireland with Cromwell. Training at the old artillery ground? I’ll put your link on my blogger.

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