The Sealed Knot
English Civil War Re-enactment

Sir Thomas Glemham's Regt of Foote

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History - more detailed history follows
Glemham gained much of his land and property from the crown when it was decreed that land reclaimed from the sea was property of the crown. He was originally from Little Glemham, in Suffolk, and grandson of the Earl of Dorset.
17th March, at Doncaster, the king discussed a strategy for besieging Hull with Sir Thomas, involving cutting off it's fresh water supply.
August 22nd, the Civil War begins.
August 24th, a force commanded by Sir Thomas, checked Parliament advances from Hull (commanded by Sir John Hotham)
Glemham was one of the first men to totally give service to the king as did the Earl of Cumberland and Lord Flaconberg. Glemham was regarded as the Earl of Cumberland's right hand man.
June, Besieged in York
July 2nd, Battle of Marston Moor. After the battle, many of the Northern Royalists gave up the fight (some escaped to the continent)
Glemham was promoted by Rupert to 'principal command in the north' July 16th, York was surrendered 'on excellent terms' and with 'the honours of war' Also an order was given by the treaty that no damage was to be done to the Minster or any other historic building.
August, Glemham (in Cumberland) had re-assembled 3000 men ready for action. In command of the garrison at Carlisle.
July, had to surrender Carlisle after several months under heavy siege and also being promised relief. When Glemham met with the King in Cardiff soon after, he was ignored when rewards/promotions were given to other 'loyal servants' the most notable of which was the barony given to Sir Charles Gerard who had not been able to gain any support for the king in South Wales due to the way in which he allowed his men to 'run riot' in several towns and villages.
October, Glemham became governor of Oxford as Parliament forces began surrounding it. The king arrived there on November 5th knowing that Glemham was an expert in prolonging defence with no hope of relief. While governor in Oxford, Glemham was determined to hold out for as long as possible. It was said he was 'the first man that taught soldiers to eat cats and dogs' He was told by the Privy Council at Oxford that he should surrender.
April 27th, Early in the morning, Glemham opened the east gate to let the disguised king and a small entourage to try to get to London to negotiate peace via the Scots.
As a gesture of appeasement the king ordered Glemham to surrender Oxford with terms to be agreed upon.
June 25th, The garrison at Oxford marched out with full military honours, and with the remains of the king's war-time court. Imprisoned but soon after released, Glemham fought in the Second Civil War.
Glemham died.

by Ian Walker
J.Shaw, Yorkshire diaries, pp 120-125,134
Royalist Officers in England and Wales, A Bibliographical Dictionary, (New York) 1981
The Royalist War Effort, R.Hutton, 1982
The Great and Close Siege of York, 1644, P.Wenham, 1970.
The Yorkshire Gentry from the Reformation to the Civil War, J.T.Cliffe, 1969
Bibliography of British History: The Stuart Period. M.F.Keeler, 1928.
Grey coats/black breeches, yellow hose
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Find out more on the man and his Regiment.

Sir Thomas Glemham - a brief history
by Liz Laycock
Thomas Glemham was probably born about 1594 or 1595, son of a wealthy landowner, Sir Henry Glemham of Glemham Hall, Little Glemham in Suffolk. He matriculated at Trinity Colleger, Oxford in 1610 but abandoned his studies to pursue a military career in Europe. He returned to England, where he was knighted by James I in 1617 while still in his early twenties, after which he settled in Suffolk and sat in the first two parliaments of Charles I's reign, as MP for Reigate 1621-1622 and MP for Aldborouh, 1625-1626. Lafe as a politician doesn't seem to have suited him, since in 1627, he took part in Buckingham's expedition to relieve the French siege of the Huguenot city of La Rochelle. He was a captain amongst the English troops landed on the Isle de Rhe and was captured when the relief ended in disastrous defeat in November 1627. Following his release he settled down to life as a JP, and later as Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk. His civil and political life was eventful and it may have been this as much as his military service which caused Clarendon to comment that he was "a gentleman of noble extraction and fair fortune, though he had much impaired it". He was involved in a long running land dispute in Lincolnshire which began in 1633 and continued unresolved until the civil war. He was also implicated in a scandal over the soap monopoly. He supported common rights and opposed enclosures in Suffolk. He also advocated stricter implementation of recusancy laws against Catholics. This would have produced fines and confiscated property from which he might well have benefited.

At the outbreak of the Second Bishop's War against the Scots in 1640, Glemham once more took up arms, as Colonel of a regiment of 1,200 West-countrymen. Following the dismal performance of the English at the Battle of Newburn, they withdrew to Hull, where the army was disbanded and their arms and equipment put into store. In August 1640 Glemham was installed as Governor of Hull, with a garrison of 1,000 men to guard this arsenal, despite complaints from the Mayor that he should have been made Governor. The garrison at Hull was disbanded in July 1641 and Glemham returned to London.

In 1642 Glemham was named as one of the Commissioners of Array to raise men in the King's name in his home county of Suffolk. In fact he was in no position to carry this out, having been part of Charles I's entourage in York since at least March. During that month he dined with Charles I in Doncaster where his advice was sought on the possibility of cutting off Hull's water supply, should the King be refused access to his arsenal there. Glemham assured the King that this was not possible. On April 22nd, accompanied by the 9 year old Duke of York, the Elector Palatine and Lord Willoughby de Eresby, Glemham entered Hull unnanounced to inspect its defences. The Governor, Sir John Hotham, had been warned of the visit and used an official reception to keep them from their mission. While they were thus detained the King demanded and was refused entry to the city with his forces. After proclaiming Hotham a traitor he withdres to York with Glemham's party.

No attempt was made to capture Hull until war had officially been declared, with the raising of the Standard on 22nd July 1642. Shortly afterwards Glemham was part of he army sent to besiege the port. Together with Lord Willoughby, he was sent over the Humber into Lincolnshire with 200 horse to hold the opposite shore, but recieved a setback when the vessel bringing over cannon and ball, to arm a fort on that bank, was sunk by enemy fire. The royalists once more withdrew to York leaving Hull free tol launch raiding parties into the West Riding. During September once such expedition, however, was cut off in the Yorkshire Wolds by a party under Glemham. It's commander, Captain John Hotham (son of the Governor) only barely escaped back to Hull.

In October 1642, apparently due to the popular opinion of the local gentry, Glemham was made deputy to the Earl of Cumberland, supreme royalist commander in the North. Glemham was entrusted with the governorship of York, with the rank of Colonel-General, and given responsibility to raise any forces he thought necessary for its defence. The response of the gentry to raise any such forces was dissapointing, causing Clarendon to remark that Glemham was " Officer of very good esteem in the King's Armies and of courage and integrity unquestionable; but that he was not of so stirring and active a nature, as to be able to infuse fire enough into the flegmatick constitutions of that people..."

Clarendon's comments perhaps reflect more on the mood of the gentry than any shortcoming in Glemham. He worked diligently to raise a substantial force and to put York in a position to withstand a long hard siege. In November 1643 the threat of a Scots invasion caused the new Royalist commander in the North, the Marquess of Newcastle, to remove Glemham from York and send him into Northumbria where his skills would be of more immediate use. From his headquarters at Alnwick Castle, Glemham began to raise recruits and put the forces and defences there in a condition to withstand the impending attack. The Scots crossed the broder at Berwick in overwhelming force on 18th January. The appalling weather conditions and the absence of the promised re-enforcements forced Glemham to withdraw to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, destroying bridges behind him as he went. The Marquess of Newcastle set out to relive Northumbria on the 28th January but in the event only arrived in Newcastle 12 hours before te Earl of Leven's Scots arrived before it. Despite various successes against the Scots, notably at Corbridge on 19th February, the Marquess was eventually forced to abandon Northumbria to it's fate and return to York, which was under threat from Parliamentarian Armies. Newcastle itself held out until ctober 1644, although Glemham returned to York with the Marquess, arriving on 16th April.

From the 21st April until 30th July 1644, York underwent a close siege which eventually included three opposing armies under Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Earls Leven and Manchester. Glemham was obviously subordinate to the Marquess during the siege although he seems to have been regarded as Governor. During an incident in which he organised the construction of a counter-mine, successfully destroying a mine under Walmgate Bar, Glemham was referred to as "that Gallant and VigilantGovernor". The siege was eventually relieved by the approach of an army under Prince Rupert. The Marquess of Newcastle's army then combined itself with that of Rupert and fought the allied Parliamentary and Scots armies at Marston Moor on 2nd July. During the battle, Glemham remained in York as Governor with his own regiment and those of Slingsby and Belayse. After the disastrous defeat suffered by the Royalists the city was surrounded by fleeing soldiers clamouring for sanctuary. Glemham wisely refused entry to all but those who had belonged to the original garrison to prevent the enemy entering York by subterfuge. The Marquess of Newcastle having abandones the fight and elected to go into exile, Prince Rupert divided his commission as supreme commander of the North between Glemham and George Goring. Glemham was left in York with a small garrison to defend it as best he could and failing that, to agree the best possible surrender terms. On 4th July Glemham, having given his men false report that Rupert had won a victory over their besiegers, refused the first summons to surrender. On 11th July he consented to a parley, but drove a hard bargain over terms only finally finalising a surrender on 16th July. Glemham's departure was described by Henry Slingsby who was amongst those present in the garrison.."wee marched out with these colours, namely Sir Thomas Glemham's nine colours, but not with above 120 or 170, then one of Colonel Tillier's, one of Sir John Girlington't, and one of mine, with such only of the Prince's men as were left in York." By the agreement those of the garrison who wished to continue the fight were allowed safe passage with their personal arms and baggage to Skipton Castle. Here the force divided, those who belonged to Rupert's army left in search of their Prince. Glemham elected to take his foot tohelp defend Carlisle against the Scots but left most of the cavalry, including his own regiment of horse behind, considering them of better use elsewhere.

Upon is arrival at Carlisle in August, 1644, a townsman described the forces Glemham brought "..with him came some white-coats and about 200 of reformadoes most of themm of great prudence and proneness in arms." Glemham assumed command at Carlisle. as Commander-in-chief of the four Northern Counties (Westmoreland, Cumberland, the Bishopric of Durham and Northumberland). Although the Scots were active in the area, Carlisle was not put under close siege until October when Lt. General David Lesley began to invest the city. This gave Glemham ample time to improve the defences of Carlisle and its outlying garrisons, organise the gentry, raise additional forces and adequately provision the sity for a long siege. A mint was set up by authority of the King in which plate of the wealthier inhabitants was turned into coin to pay his forces. Once the siege bagan it wsa defended vigorously, Glemham organising many daring raids which proved costly to the Scots. In one notable display of nonchelance he rode out of the city with several gentlemen and their ladies and coursed hares under the noses of the Scots. Eventually provisions began to grow scarce but Glemham, following his experience in Europe, persuaded the garrison to eat horse flesh. Glemham set the example himself, when one of the Scot's horses was killed during a skirmish with the garrison "The shot horse was fetched into town; being a very stately beast, very fat, and because he was not to be cured, Sit Thomas Glemham eat him as his own table. This was the first horse flesh eaten in Carlisle siege." Later horse became the staple diet of the garrison and few of their own horses remained uneaten. When this too began to run out hempseed, dogs cats and even rats are said to have been eaten, one acccount speaks of them as "having eaten things most reluctant to nature". In June 1645 the little horse flesh still available was reserved for the use of the military. When he complaints of the townsfolk were ignored, a croud of women made a voluble protest on the streets, until Stradling (the Governor of Carlisle) threatened to fire upon them if they did not disperse. It was clear that the garrison would not last much longer. The soldiers were rationed to a half pound of horse flesh every four days. "Now were Gentlemen and others so shrunk that they could not choose but to laugh one at another to see their clothes hang as upon men on gibbets; for one might have put their head and fists between the doublet and shirts of many of them. The foot would be now and then stealing away, but not a man of the cavalry."

After several false reports that relief was at hand, Glemham finally decided to discuss terms with Lesley on 23rd June 1645. Even now Sir Thomas attempted to prolong negotiations as long as possible by subterfuge. "Ye first commander sent to treat with Sir Thomas was made so drunk with...ale, that, at his return to Lesley, he could give no account of his errand, nor utter a wise word." The next officer Lesley sent fared little better athough said to be a graver person. Sir Thomas assured him that Carlisle would yield but persuaded him to stay overnight. During the evening's entertainment "the Cavaliers drunk water, and the Scot ale so excessively that he returned to Leslie in the same pickle with the former, professing that the Garrison was everywhere full of strong drink." Glemham however kept his word and agreed surrender terms the next day, 25th June 1645. "They rendered upon as honerable conditions as had been given upon any surrender" according to Clarendon. Those of the garrison who wished to fight on were allowed to march out "with their arms, flying colours, drums beating, matches lighted at both ends bullets in their mouths, with all their bag and baggage, and 12 charges of powder a piece." The articles also included one telling condition "That all troopers who have not by accident lost their horses, may march out with their horses and arms." The Garrison were to be permitted to march to the king, wherever he was to be found, for which purpose Lesley personally escorted them as far as Hereford. Lesley's gesture indicates the high regard he held for his opponent. In fact, towards the end of the siege, he had warned Glemham not to trust the English Parliamentarians but to treat with the Scots alone.

At Hereford, Glemham learnt that the King was at Cardiff, vainly attempting to raise a new army after the disaster at Naseby. Following his surrender conditions to the letter, Glemham immediately set out for Cardiff, arriving by 4th August 1645. He brought with him 200 foot who the King, having no other infantry since the defeat at Naseby, made his new Life-guards. Glemham was also escorted by a good body of reformado horse, who were given leave by the King to serve in one troop under Sir Henry Stradling and Sir Philip Musgrave. By unfortunate coincidence Glemham arrived in Cardiff at almost the same time tha Charles honoured the unpopular General of South Wales, Charles Gerard, by raising him to the peerage as Baron Brandon. As Clarendon and others pointed out Glemham, as heir to the lands of the Brandons, formerly Earls of Suffolk, had a better claim to the title than Gerard. Clarendon also considered him more deserving. "This would have troubled another man" as another contemporary put it. Within a day or two of Glemham's arrival the King marched all his forces north over the mountains to Brecon. The difficulty of their keeping up with the King's cavalry necessitated the conversion of Glemham's foot to dragoons whilst still in Breconshire. Glemham and his forces remained with the King in his vague perambulations around the Midlands and then back into Wales in search of a new army. They were probably with the King at Chester when his cavalry was defeated at Rowton Heath, just outside the city. Sir Henry Stradling was captured and his troop of horse destroyed in the battle on 24th September.

At the beginning of October, Prince Rupert (having fallen into disfavour after surrendering Bristol), the King decided to replace his protoge, Will Legge, as Governor of Oxford. For this purpose, Glemham was despatched from Bridgenorth to assume command of the Royalist capital. Glemham, presumably accompanied by his regiment, arrived in Oxford on 5th November. Glemham took his task seriously. "By him many additions were made to render it impregnable". These precautions apparently included the construction of covered pits filled with stakes on the approaches to the walls. The final scene in the defence of Oxford began in April 1646 when Sir Thomas Fairfax surrounded the city to begin its last siege. Shortly afterwards the King left his capital in disguise in the early hours and evaded the encircling enemy. Glemham bid them farewell at Magdelen bridge, calling "Farewell Harry!" to his ill fated sovereign. Thereafter the noose around Oxford tightened. Glemham had provisioned the city well but he was soon forced to threated soldiers stealing food from civilians with the death penalty. Fairfax summoned Oxford to surrender on 11th May, promising honerable terms. Many of the nobles within the city wanted to deliver the city immediately and put pressure on Glemham to do so. Eventually he agreed to enter into negotiations with Fairfax, but not before issuing a document on 17th May signed by himself and 24 other officers, declaring that they had been forced to do so by the King's Privy Council against their better judgement. In a last act of defiance, before terms were agreed, the cannon of Oxford were fired day and night into the enemy siege-works, 200 shots being fired on the first day. This seems to have been done to expend as much powder as possible before the surrender, rather than do any real damage. Finally a letter was recieved from Charles I, now a prisoner of the Scots army, commanding Glemham to quit Oxford and disband his forces. On 23rd June, Glemham marched out of the city with a body of 3,000 men, fully armed and with their colours flying. At THame they were disbanded and given passes to return to their homes or to arrange to leave the country. In Glemham's case the terms were at first broken and he was imprisoned, but on Fairfax's insistance he was soon released. Along with is son, Captain Sackville Glemham, he compounded for his estate with Parliament, upon payment of a fine of 951 15/-

With most of the other defeated Royalist leaders, Sir Thomas Glemham joined the Prince of Wales in exile on the continent. During February 1648 he was in Edinburgh with other cavaliers including Sir Marmaduke Langdale, Sir hilip Musgrove and Sir Charles Lucas, when the English Parliament demanded their extradition. The Scots, ostensibly still allies of Parliament, claimed that they were English Presbyterians escaping the persecution of English Independants. An explaination treated with scorn by an English broadsheet. "It were as strange a Leopard should change his spots os a Black Moor his hue that Langdale, Glemham... [etc] should be covenanters." On 28th April they crossed into England in force and captured first Berwich and then Carlisle on 29th April. Glemham had returned to the scene of his epic defence of 1644-5. The sucess of the Northern rising was made less likely by the delay of the promised Scots army in marching to support the English Royalists. The Earl of Hamilton finally invaded Englandon July 8th but hopes were dashed when Langdale and Hamilton were defeated at Preston on 17th August. by the end of the month Hamilton had surrendered at Uttoxeter. Carlisle was abandoned and Berwick surrendered on 30th September. The last of the Northern Royalists surrendered at Appleby on 9th October. Glemham retired once more into exile in Holland but, in 1469, not long after the execution of the King for whom he had fought so tirelessly, Sir Thomas himself died. His brother, an Anglican Bishop, sought and was given the permission to return his body to his native suffolk, where he was laid to rest amongst his ancestors in Little Glemham.


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FISSELL, Mark Charles. 1994: The Bishops Wars: Charles I's campaign against the Scots 1638-1640. Pub Cambridge University Press.
HEATH, James. 1663; A brief chronicle of the late intestine wars .. KELLY, Rosemary. 1987: A City at War: Oxford 1642-6
MANNING, Brian. 1991: The English People and the English Revolution. 2nd Ed. Pub. Bookmarks.
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NEWMAN, Peter. 1981: Royalist Officers in England and Wales 1642-1660: a biographical dictionary. Pub Garland.
RECKITT, Basil N. 1988: Charles I and Hull. Pub Mr Pye. SPRIGGE, Joshua, 1988: Anglia Rediviva: or England's Recovary. Pub. Pallas Armata. Originally published 1647
SYMONDS, Richard, 1859: Diary of the marches of he royal army during the great civil war. Ed Charles Edward Long. Pub Camden Society.
TOYNBEE, Margaret and YOUNG, Peter, 1973: Strangers in Oxford. Pub Phillimore
TULLIE, Isaac, 1988: Siege of Carlisle, Michael Moon. (reprint of contemporary account)
WENHAM, Peter, 1970: The Great and Close siege of York. Pub Roundwood press
YOUNG, Peter, 1970: MArston Moor 1644: the campaign and battle. Pub roundwood press.

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