The armies tried to get round this in a variety of ways. (Above left) Powick Bridge: (he commander of Prince Rupert's Lifeguard, SK, in combat with the commander of I lungerford's Horse, Roundhead Association, ECWS. Cavalrymen were given coloured scarves or sashes to wear. Corrections? Please enter your number below. The Civil War cross-dressers: the women who swapped dresses for breeches, Charles Spencer on the White Ship disaster, “the most disastrous moment in British maritime history”. These were normally red for the Royalists, tawny orange for the Parliamentarians. You will shortly receive a receipt for your purchase via email. Shop Resources, The Most Helpful Types of Fundraising Systems, Powered By Article Dashboard Confederate Military Ranks. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). These were essentially "mounted infantry", enjoying the mobility of horse but dismounting to fight as skirmishing infantry. After the rout, at Roundway Down in July 1643, of Parliamentarian Sir Arthur Haslerigge's regiment of so-called "Lobsters", cuirassier armour was probably only seen worn by some individual commanders (for its "knightly" prestige) and their bodyguards. You have successfully linked your account! Thanks! Roundheads was the name given to soldiers who supported Cromwell and the Parliamentarians. The English Civil War invokes images of elaborately dressed Cavaliers against the practically armoured Roundheads. Oliver Cromwell: the secret of his military genius. (Left) Powick Bridge: cavalry melee between the Cavaliers of Grenville's and the Roundhead troopers of Hungerford's. They were called Roundheads after the shape of the helmets that they wore. Write For Us By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Armies in the Civil Wars of 1642–51 were dressed in exactly the same way and any cavalryman, Roundhead or Cavalier, offered the opportunity of wearing a helmet, breastplate and thick leather coat would have jumped at the chance. Many Puritans wore their hair closely cropped in obvious contrast to the long ringlets fashionable at the court of Charles I. Roundhead appears to have been first used as a term of derision toward the end of 1641, when debates in Parliament on the Bishops’ Exclusion Bill were causing riots at Westminster. Privacy Policy They were very useful for patrolling, foraging, local security and outpost duties. Various 17th century commentaries lay differing emphasis on their infantry/ cavalry roles, some recommending tactics for firing from the saddle; but in practice they seem mostly to have fought on foot while horse holders guarded their mounts. Very few Civil War units wore full "cuirassier" armour - the last echo of the medieval knight -with a "close" helmet or a burgonet and full torso, shoulder, arm and thigh armour. Omissions? John Rushworth, in Historical Collections of Private Passages of State (1680–1701), claims that the word was first used on Dec. 27, 1641, by a disbanded army officer, David Hide, who, during a riot, brandished his sword threatening to “cut the Throat of those Roundheaded Dogs that bawled against Bishops.” But Richard Baxter (Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1696) ascribes the origin of the term to a remark made by Queen Henrietta Maria at the trial (March–April 1641) of Thomas Wentworth, 1st earl of Strafford; referring to the parliamentary leader John Pym, she asked who the roundheaded man was. As a result there were regiments on both sides wearing the same colour coats – red, blue, green and white- and this could lead to considerable confusion on the battlefield. However, the torso and arm sections of such armour were practical for use on their own, and were no doubt retained by those who had them, trading a little extra weight for improved protection. Did Roundheads and Cavaliers really dress so differently? | Thank you for subscribing to HistoryExtra, you now have unlimited access. | | This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine. But is this accurate? An army might adopt a ‘field sign’ to distinguish its soldiers – maybe a bit of greenery stuck in the hat – and was usually given a ‘field word’ – a simple phrase to shout out as a kind of password. In a word, no. Until the establishment of Parliament’s New Model Army whose soldiers were uniformly clothed in red, infantry regiments were clothed in whatever colour uniform their colonels chose for them. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Roundhead, The Roundhead Revolution - The Roundhead Revolution. About 20 riders were unhorsed during this muster, but suffered no serious injuries; no more than slightly dazed and winded, they followed their training and lay still, letting the horses avoid them until the battle swirled away. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is limited to European countries. Both sides ¡11 the Civil War fielded serveral units of dragoons. About There seems to be a problem, please try again. By entering your details, you are agreeing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions. Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! Roundhead, adherent of the Parliamentary Party during the English Civil War (1642–51) and after. The official website for BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine. If you subscribe to BBC History Magazine Print or Digital Editions then you can unlock 10 years’ worth of archived history material fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The idea of gaily dressed Cavaliers in plumed hats doing battle with helmeted Roundheads is a Victorian misconception. Updates? Single combats in front of the crowd are almost always practised and "choreographed" beforehand. Did women fight in the British Civil Wars? Battle of Naseby, (June 14, 1645), battle fought about 20 miles (32 km) south of Leicester, Eng., between the Parliamentary New Model Army under Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax and the royalists under Prince Rupert of the Palatinate. Contact Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time. | The civil war between king and Parliament reached its…. In pitched battles they were used in support of conventional cavalry, firing from cover on the flanks, or as a "forlorn hope" to seize advanced positions. Advertise Obviously field words were hardly secret, field signs could be swiftly removed (the Parliamentarian general Sir Thomas Fairfax avoided capture by doing this at the Battle of Marston Moor) and at the Battle of Cheriton in 1644 both sides took to the field with something white in their hats as a field sign and shouting out ‘God with us’ as a field word! Many Puritans wore their hair closely cropped in obvious contrast to the long ringlets fashionable at the court of Charles I. Roundhead appears to have been first used as a term of derision toward the end of 1641, when debates in Parliament on the Bishops’ Exclusion Bill were causing riots at Westminster. Our best wishes for a productive day. The uniform consisted of a leather tunic, a metal helmet and later a metal breastplate The cavaliers and roundheads were opponents in which war? It was not unusual for earlier, even Elizabethan helmets and armour to be pressed into service from family armouries. Although it gave very good protection it was expensive, difficult to maintain for whole units on campaign, and cxhaustingly heavy and hot to fight in for a generation of men who - unlike their ancestors - had not been raised from boyhood to bear it. | Armies in the Civil Wars of 1642–51 were dressed in exactly the same way and any cavalryman, Roundhead or Cavalier, offered the opportunity of wearing a helmet, breastplate and thick leather coat would have jumped at the chance. (Left) Second Battle of Newbury, SK: burgonet, rerebraccs and tassets being tried on in Merchant's Row. After the rout, at Roundway Down in July 1643, of Parliamentarian Sir Arthur Haslerigge's regiment of so-called "Lobsters", cuirassier armour was probably only seen worn by some individual commanders (for its "knightly" prestige) and their bodyguards. The idea of gaily dressed Cavaliers in plumed hats doing battle with helmeted Roundheads is a Victorian misconception. (Below) Weston Super Marc, SK: a member of Prince Rupert's Lifeguard of Horse wearing a burgonet and pauldrons. |