Parliamentarian army - Rank Structure

I decided to do a bit of research into my family history because in all honesty I knew absolutely sweet FA about them past a couple of generations, anyway more through luck than judgment and with a little help from a genealogist acquaintance I've managed to go back to around 1520 on the paternal side but only about three generations on the maternal side so far as they are mostly Chinooks.

I've come across one relative, (Adam Baynes 1622-1670) Baynes, Adam (DNB00) - Wikisource, the free online library who was a Captain in the Parliamentarian army & by all accounts a wealthy York trader, landowner & eventually the first MP for Leeds (although he did spend a bit of time in the Tower).

My question is, what was the rank structure within the Parliamentarian army, was a Captain on a par with the modern equivalent?
'Captain' was a fairly fluid concept, and so were the regiments of the day- Their were all sorts of landowners and gentry forming little militia 'regiments' from their tenants, and appointing themselves colonel, and all their relatives 'captains' . It depends on whether he was a captain in the later part of the War, when the more organised 'New Model' Army was around, or in the more chaotic early part.
As far as I can tell he was in both, he also served in Ireland in the New Model Army as a Captain AFAIK although no rank is mentioned specifically then.
In the New Model Army proper Cromwell titsed off the aristocracy on the Parliamentarian side who had assumed that they and their sons would take up what they considered to be their rightful place as Cavalry Officers. He found them to be useless fops by and large, inacpable of following orders beyond the first charge, always galloping off to persue personal glory instead of forming back up where they were needed to make another charge.

He often promoted troopers from the ranks to lead troops, if they could read the bible and understand the scripture properly, not just reading it back by rote, it meant they had the education and the moral leanings he was looking for, if they were truly observant protestants it also meant they would follow orders.

This was the direct result of the educational and social mobilty created by the King James bible, which is possibly one of the most important books ever printed in England.
the irony is when I was at school history consisted solely of the English Civil war, I was so enraptured with it I joined the orchestra instead. Maybe if I'd known I had a distant relative involved that I could relate to I may have done otherwise.

The more I read about the guy the more I like him. Anti William Wilberforce, land grabber et al.

I'd love to know where all the wealth went because it certainly never came in this direction. :)

It stayed where it always had been - in the hands of the chinless inbreds, it was only the ones who crossed him who lost land and title.

The aristocracy did not go away, Cromwell had no problem hanging the Levellers and he also reformed the Navy and ruthlessly put down an early attempt by the American colonials to become independent of England, they exploited the civil war as they thought the eyes of both the Crown and Cromwell were off them.
Oh well, I've found out why I'm not a member of the landed gentry, still the lad done well;

Baynes, Adam (bap. 1622, d. 1671), parliamentarian army officer, was baptized on 22 December 1622 in Leeds, the first son of Robert Baynes (d. 1626) of Knostrop Hall, Leeds, and his wife, Joan Brown. His family had been associated with the Leeds area for many generations, settling just outside the town, at Knostrop, by the mid-sixteenth century. Baynes came from relatively humble origins. His father was a yeoman, and the grant of arms that Baynes received in 1650 was not confirmed after the Restoration. Nothing is known about his education, though the fact that he was later referred to as a merchant suggests that he may have been apprenticed to a local cloth trader. About July 1650 he married Martha (d. 1713), daughter of Richard Dawson of Heworth, with whom he had sixteen children.

At the outbreak of civil war Baynes had joined the northern parliamentarian army under Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax. By June 1643 he was a captain of foot in Fairfax's own regiment, and that autumn he raised a troop of horse at his own expense. He fought at numerous engagements against the northern royalists, including Adwalton Moor and Marston Moor, and by about 1646 was an officer in the regiment of Colonel John Lambert (appointed commander of the northern brigade in August 1647). By the winter of 1648–9 Lambert had installed him as the brigade's financial agent in London, where he acted as its attorney in the purchase by debenture of crown and church lands. Baynes bought up many hundreds of soldiers' debentures at a fraction of their face value, contracted for numerous estates on behalf of his fellow officers, and supervised the purchase of Wimbledon House and other substantial properties for Lambert. He also acquired a number of estates and fee farm rents for himself using the profits he made buying and selling debentures and from land speculation. Most of these properties he sold again, but he retained possession of his most spectacular purchase—the royal manor of Holdenby in Northamptonshire, which he bought in 1650 for £22,299. The profits he made from his position aroused resentment among his fellow officers, and prompted some of his civilian business associates to accuse him of having ‘an unconscionable desire of lucre and gayne’ (TNA: PRO, C6/153/49).

Although Baynes's surviving correspondence is voluminous it contains few of his own letters, making his political views difficult to ascertain. He seems to have favoured the trial and execution of the king—endorsing the northern brigade's declaration of December 1648 demanding justice against capital offenders, and receiving several letters in February 1649 referring approvingly to Charles's demise. There are also signs that he was well disposed towards the Leveller leader John Lilburne, and it may be significant that one of his friends felt it necessary to caution him against accepting the Agreement of the People without fuller consideration. On the other hand he had misgivings about taking the engagement, particularly in pledging to maintain the government ‘as it is now established’ (BL, Add. MS 21426, fol. 341), and several of his correspondents were under the impression that he regarded the Rump as self-interested, tyrannical, and hostile to the interests of the army and the ‘saints’.

As a protégé of Lambert, the author of the ‘Instrument of government’, Baynes was well placed to profit from the establishment of the protectorate. By the spring of 1654 he had been appointed to the army committee and to the commission for regulating customs and excise, at a salary of £300 a year. It may well have been Lambert who was responsible for the enfranchisement of Leeds in 1654, thereby laying the foundation for Baynes's parliamentary career. Baynes already had a number of friends among the town's leading inhabitants, having acted as their attorney under the Rump, and was said to have possessed a considerable estate in the borough. His interest at Leeds owed less to his local connections, however, than to his ‘present power in the court’ (BL, Add. MS 21426, fol. 97). ‘You are alwayes neare the stern of affaires of the comanwealth’, one of his correspondents remarked, ‘& much accquainted with the pasadges & transactions thereof, and much interesed in those that have the cheefe agitation therein’ (BL, Add. MS 21423, fol. 117). Above all Baynes enjoyed the patronage of Lambert, ‘and hee strikes with great hammer’ (Whitaker, 90).

Nevertheless Baynes's election for Leeds in July 1654 did not go unopposed. A powerful faction in the corporation feared (rightly) that he would support the area's clothiers in trying to break the mercantile élite's stranglehold on local political and commercial affairs. There was also a religious dimension to this quarrel, for most of Baynes's opponents were staunch presbyterians, who equated his lack of sympathy for ‘high-kirk’ presbyterianism with ‘disaffection to [godly] religion’ in general (BL, Add. MS 21422, fol. 419). The elections to the second protectorate parliament in the summer of 1656 led to further confrontation between Baynes and the ‘high-kirk gang’ (ibid., fol. 453). Baynes's election for Leeds was again opposed by the senior office-holders, but their efforts to return one of their own number were thwarted at Westminster. They would doubtless have been scandalized in December, when Baynes urged leniency towards the Quaker leader James Nayler. Indeed Baynes was sympathetic to the Quakers in general, and repeatedly spoke in their defence at Westminster. Several of his correspondents were Quakers, and evidently regarded him as receptive to ‘Truth’ and ‘loving’ to Friends. He certainly seems to have shared the Quakers' disdain for the professional, tithe-maintained ministry. None of his children was baptized in church, and he angered his brother-in-law by advising him that if he intended ‘to live of the sweate of other men's browes’ then he should become a physician rather than a minister (BL, Add. MS 21418, fols. 327–327v). It was probably Baynes's low opinion of the ministry and ‘formal’ religion that inspired the accusations against him of atheism, i.e. ungodliness. Yet he seems to have shared many of the traditional concerns of the godly, such as the suppression of alehouses and the abolition of Christmas.

Like the majority of Lambert's army friends, Baynes was opposed to ‘The humble petition and advice’, and in particular the offer of the crown to Cromwell. It was reportedly Baynes's ‘first stiffe motion in Parliament’ (BL, Add. MS 21424, fol. 239) that ensured that the title of protector was retained. Following Lambert's dismissal by Cromwell in July 1657 for disaffection to the new constitution, Baynes was either cashiered or resigned his commission, and was subsequently removed from the army committee and the West Riding bench. Leeds lost its parliamentary seat in the 1659 elections, and Baynes was returned instead for Appleby in Westmorland. He was elected as a friend and kinsman of Richard Clapham—steward of Appleby Castle's owner, the countess dowager of Pembroke. At Westminster Baynes worked with Lambert and other Commonwealthsmen to impede the passage of the bill recognizing Richard Cromwell as protector. He was outspoken in his condemnation of the Cromwellian ‘other house’, which he criticized as the tool of government by a single person. He was keen to deny Cromwell any negative voice in the legislative process, declaring that he was not prepared to trust him with control of the militia or public revenue. He also questioned whether he should be acknowledged a hereditary ruler.

Following the downfall of the protectorate in April 1659, Baynes was restored to his captaincy in Lambert's regiment and to his office as a customs and excise commissioner. His own downfall followed closely upon the readmission of the secluded members in February 1660, and in April he was imprisoned on suspicion of harbouring Lambert. Yet there were many who fared worse at the Restoration, for though he was required to relinquish the crown and church lands he had purchased he managed to retain, on leasehold, a substantial amount of land at Holdenby. In addition, he was appointed crown receiver for the manor of Leeds, at a yearly profit of £185. He was apparently in financial difficulty during the mid-1660s, and his fortunes took a further turn for the worse in the autumn of 1666, when he was imprisoned in the Tower on suspicion of ‘treasonable practices’ (CSP dom., 1666–7, 531). He died on or about 5 January 1671; his place of burial is not known. In his will he bequeathed houses, coalpits, and a ‘considerable colliery’ in Leeds parish to his wife and ten surviving children. According to one of his trustees, he died ‘seized of diverse lands and tenements of a good yearly value, and possessed of diverse leases, goods and chattells of a great value’ (TNA: PRO, C10/175/113).
ve you been to either of the battles in which your ancestor fought? Adwalton and Marston Moor are both Registered battlefields. We run annual walks at both locations.


I remember researching "the Noddle" some time ago, and thought there are fewer records at the National Archives about Parliamentarians, than there are for Royalists from that period. But if I have this right, the New Model Army MA pretty much held Cromwell's Protectorate together though expensive to maintain. Also that Cromwell "wrote" "he'd rather have a plain, russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else." In other words, officers promoted on merit and not because of some status. There were Brewers and Shoemakers at the rank of Colonel. The 1645 NMA win at Naseby saw earlier, smaller armies disbanded or absorbed in to the NMA with Fairfax as over all commander of Parliament forces by 1647. Followed by Cromwell as CinC when Fairfax refused to invade Charles II in Scotland. Cromwell took the NMA to victory over Scotland and the Royalists , ending the civil wars and having suffered one defeat in Ireland. Why tell all this? After the Stuart restoration, General Monck's Regiment of Foot became the (King's ) Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, now the oldest, but not senior, regular regiment in continuous service and perhaps the only link to the New Model Army.
I remember researching "the Noddle" some time ago, and thought there are fewer records at the National Archives about Parliamentarians, than there are for Royalists from that period. But if I have this right, the New Model Army MA pretty much held Cromwell's Protectorate together though expensive to maintain......................

Why tell all this? After the Stuart restoration, General Monck's Regiment of Foot became the (King's ) Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, now the oldest, but not senior, regular regiment in continuous service and perhaps the only link to the New Model Army.
There are fewer records associated with the Parliamentarian armies than the Royalists because after 1660 the Parliamentarians were traitors.

There are some other remnants of the New Model Army besides the Coldstream Guards. The Blues and Royals trace their lineage to the Regiment of Cuirassiers founded in 1650 by Sir Arthur Hazlerigg as part of the New Model Army.

The PWRR also have a claim to originate in the armies of the Civil War. After the reformation the the New Model Army troops in the Dunkirk garrison were merged with the Royalist Troops in the service of Spain. (The fact that these two bodies of troops had been in battle against each other only months earlier must have made for some interesting bar discussions.) Charles II handed Dunkirk over the the French but shipped the troops to Tangiers which was Catherine of Braganza dowry, forming the the 2nd of Foot. So even though thre was no regiment predatig the 2nd of Foot it was formed from soldiers whose continuous military service overlapped the restoration.

And the HAC predate the NMA having provided the officers for the trained bands of London fighting at Edgehill, Brentford, Newbury etc.
A Captain is the commander of a Company of Foot or Troop of Horse. It's the rank that matters at the time. A senior Officer was commissioned as, for example, Colonel of a Regiment of Foot and Captain of a Company of Foot. Even Robert, Earl of Essex, Lord General of Parliament's army was commissioned as LG, Colonel and Captain.....

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