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. More recently Foard suggested less than 8,720 foot, 7,200 horse and 1,000 dragoons, a total of about 17,000. Ashley estimates 8,000 foot and 7,000 horse, a total of 15,000, which may, or may not, include Okey’s Dragoons.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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! 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.
Pay of the foot
|Rank||Foard||Barrife||SP28/130 Pt III||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)|
|Gentleman at Arms||1s6d||1s6d||1s|
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.|
|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|
|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|
Less information is available for the rates of pay for the horse, Barrife contains the following;
|Colonel||30s||Major||22s||Captain||24s + 15s for horses|
|Lieutenant||8s + 10s for horse||Cornet||6s + 7s6d for horses||Quartermr.||4s + 5s for horses|
|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|
|Total||46s4d p day||Total||86s6d p day||Total||85s8d p day|
|CSPD cost||43s8d p day||CSPD cost||85s10d||CSPD cost||82s10d|
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|
|Prov. Mrsh||5s||3s4d||3 Cpls||3s||3s||3s|
|2 C. Mates||5s||5s||Farrier||1s||1s||1s|
|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.
The Horse (Colonels are in bold)
This gives the following grand totals;
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. 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. Captain Holmstead, Provost Marshall General of Horse, and his 8 men received £6-15-4d for 7 days whilst Captain Wicks, Provost Marshall General of Foot and his 16 men received £12-15-21/2d. All in all, the New Model at Naseby must have comfortably exceeded 15,000 men.
 Brigadier Peter Young, Naseby 1645 ( London 1985), p. 245
 Glenn Foard, Naseby (Guildford, 1995), pp. 199-203.
 Maurice Ashley, The Battle of Naseby (Stroud, 1992), p. 72
 Calendar of State Papers Domestic, Charles I, Vol. DVI, p. 232.
 National Archives, SP 28/30, SP 28/29/I and SP28/30/II
 Ian Gentles, The New Model Army (Oxford 1992), p. 47.
 Glenn Foard, Colonel John Pickering’s Regiment of Foot (Whitstable, 1994), p. 40
 JB, ‘Some Brief Instructions for the Cavalry’, pp. 17-20, in Col. William Barrife, Militarie Discipline (Leigh-on-Sea, 1988)
 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)
 SP 28/130 quoted in English Civil War Notes and Queries, No.13, p9.
 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
 Ingoldsby’s were also with the Taunton detachment but also had men marching in Barclay’s, SP 28/30/427, 453 and 509