Parliamentarian Commanders

Please note this infomation is out of date and there are many more Generals in For King or Country.

The armies of these men will form the backbone of the Parliamentarian forces. They represent the most important men in the early stages of the first English civil war. With the impending invasion from the south west by Hopton, the Royalist strong hold of Portsmouth declaring for the king, and both Hull and Pembrooke being cut off and under siege, wise use of these generals will be extremely important.

The following portraits had to be restored from Black and white images.

Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex

Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex was the Captain-general of the Parliamentarian armed forces, essentially he was the head of the army. He strongly believed in negotiating with the King from a position of strength in order to avoid all-out war. After 2 years of war with the Royalists, he was considered to be unsuccessful. Support was beginning to flag in London and in 1645 he resigned his commission.

In "For King or Country" he will be your faction leader and will start just north of London alongside cromwell. His first task must be to go straight for Oxford and decisively defeat the king. His army will wear Orange coats.

Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax

Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax was appointed commander of Parliamentarian forces in the North and lieutenant-general. This essentially makes him second in command. He was instrumental in the defeat of the Royalists of the North. In 1645, Essex was removed of his command, and Fairfax was chosen to become the leader of the New Model Army.

In For King or Country you will need to use Fairfax wisely. He is the only Parliamentarian in the North and he must simultaneously protect Hull and Leeds from the Earl of Newcastle. Hull will be an important city because of it's stores, but Leeds represents a gateway to the south. An bold, young commander, the future of the Parliamentarian forces, he must be kept alive at all costs. His army will march in red coats lined with blue.

Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester

Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester took control of a regiment of foot in Essex's army. He fought at Edgehill where his regiment was routed. In 1643 he become commander of the Parliamentarian forces in the east and worked alongside Fairfax to prevent the Earl of Newcastle invading from the north. At the subsequent battle of Marston Moor, Manchester distinguished himself as the only one of the three senior allied generals not to flee from the battlefield.

A solid commander he will an important asset in the army of Essex. He must be used to subdue the Royalists in Oxford and then sent north to assist Fairfax. His army will march in Green coats lined with red.

Sir William Waller

Sir William Waller was the most senior commander in the south and later became a political leader of the Presbyterian's in the House of Commons. At the start of the war he was stationed in the south. His first actions were to take Farnham Castle, Winchester, Chichester and Arundel Castle. For these actions he was given the nickname "William the Conquerer". It was Waller that took Portsmouth for Goring and he later fought with Hopton around Bristol. Waller was infact a comrade-in-arms of Hopton, both having served in the same regiment, the Royalist lifeguard of horse several years before.

In For King or country he will be an important general. It will be his task to supress Goring and move westward to block Hopton before he can advance and take the fortress of Bristol. His army will consist of cavalry, orange/red-coated dragoons and militia.

Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke

Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Warwickshire under Parliament's Militia Ordinance. He was tasked with creating a force to protect the Midlands against Royalist movements. He secured Warwick castle and often into conflict with The Earl of Northampton, a Royalist commander who was the Kings commissioner of array in the same region. Lord Brooke was one of the major supporters of the war.

He will be important in keeping the path from Pembrooke to Warwick open and in preventing supplies and men from the North reaching the armies of Oxford. Strangely, his army was kitted out in Purple coats.

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell rose from humble origins, he was a farmer. He became the single most successful commander of either side. So successful that he was offered and refused the crown of England. In 1642 however, he was barely a commander. Having a mere 60 men he secured Cambridgeshire for Parliament. Later in 1642 he joined Essex and became a successful commander of cavalry. By 1644 he had attained the rank of lieutenant-general (second in command) of horse in the Eastern association (eastern parliamentarian armies). He carried his rank over to the new model army in 1645. By 1645 and the surrender of Oxford, he was considered the greatest soldier in England despite having no pre-war training or experience.

At the start of the campaign he will be a cavalry commander in the south of Cambridgeshire. It will be important for him to join with the Earls of Essex and Manchester and march on Oxford. His army will consist of cavalry and he will not have his own regiment.

Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford

Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford was appointed governor of Hereford from where he directed raids on Royalist bases in Wales. He was appointed commander of Parliament's forces in Wales and the border counties but the predominantly Royalist townsmen of Hereford refused to co-operate with him and he withdrew to Bristol. Early in 1643, Stamford took command of Parliament's army in Devon to counter the threat from Sir Ralph Hopton's Cornish army. Stamford advanced into Cornwall in May 1643. He was decisively defeated by Hopton at the battle of Stratton and fled to Exeter. Besieged by Prince Maurice, Stamford surrendered Exeter in September 1643 and returned to London. Despite his attempts to blame his military failure on his subordinates, Stamford was lampooned in the press for incompetence.

Stamford will be represented as a poor commander and an unwise choice for most jobs. However, he is the closest commander to the southwest of England andwhile Waller is busy with Portsmouth, the resonsability will fall upon Stamford to prevent Hopton from advancing on Bristol. His challenge is huge, Hoptons army is both experienced and expertly led.

Previous page: Commanders
Next page: Royalists Commanders