Raised in Lancashire at the beginning of 1643 Sir Thomas Tyldesley’s Regiment fought for the Royalists against the forces of Parliament. Their first action was at the unsuccessful siege of Preston on the 9th of February 1643 where Tyldesley’s Foote held the walls against assault for 2 hours before a gate was stormed and resistance collapsed. Sir Thomas received his knighthood for his action at the storming of Burton on Trent on the 2nd of July 1643. Tyldesley, at the head of his Regiment of Horse, charged across the thirty-six arch bridge and succeeded in entering the town. He then took his regiment to join King Charles I at Oxford and took part in many actions including Prince Rupert’s campaign to restore Royalist control to Lancashire in 1644. The engraving of Sir Thomas Tyldesley (seen to the left) is courtesy of Peter Tyldesley of Tyldesley Family History.
The Regiment took part in numerous actions during the war, the most famous being Marston Moor on the 2nd July 1644, the largest battle in the civil war. Tyldesley’s Horse formed part of the second line of the right wing of the Royalist Army and Tyldesley’s Foote took their place in the front line of the infantry. The battle went badly for the King and by the end of the evening only two Regiments, including Tyldesleys, continued to fight back as the rest of the King’s Army withdrew. It is said this group fought to the last man and their stand may have saved the remnants of the Royalist army, delaying pursuit until it was too late.
Regrouping back in Lancashire, the Regiment took part in further actions, predominantly in the North West, until eventually on 25th August 1651, Sir Thomas was killed in action at Wigan Lane.
“An high Act of Gratitude which conveys the memory of Sir Thomas Tyldesley to posterity.
Who served King Charles the First, as Lieutenant Colonel at Edgehill Battle, after raising Regiments of Horse, Foot and Dragoons, and of the desperate storming of Burton-on-Trent over a bridge of 36 arches, received the honour of Knighthood.
He afterwards served in all the Wars in great command, was Governor of Litchfield and followed the fortune of the Crown through the three Kingdoms and never compounded with the Rebels, though strongly invested.
And on the 25th August, A.D. 1651 was here slain, commanding as Major General under the Earl of Derby.
To whom the grateful Erector Alexander Rigby Esq. was Cornet when he was High Sheriff of this County A.D. 1679.
Placed this high obligation on the whole of the family of the Tyldesleys, to follow the noble example of their loyal ancestor.”
The Inscription above is from his Monument (seen to the right) in Wigan Lane which was raised by his Cornet Alexander Rigby Esq. In 1679. ( Image courtesy of Kings College London).
If you wish to know more about Sir Thomas, The Finest Knight in England (ISBN 094652534X) by Stuart Reid, a former Commanding Officer of Sir Thomas Tyldesley’s Regiment, is available from Caliver Books.
Further information can be found on Sir Thomas Tyldesley and the Tyldesley line on Tyldesley Family History and the diary of Sir Thomas Tyldesley’s grandson Thomas .