Defence of Carlisle

I haven’t posted much in the last year, since I have been preoccupied with my wife’s medical conditions. However, I have now given up some other activities and am making time to resume my hobbies.

Inspired by Jonathan Oates excellent book “The Sieges of the ’45”, I earlier created several posts on the defence of Edinburgh. I have now turned my attention to Carlisle. Here is a view of the City in the 18th Century, looking from the South West. The castle is on the left, the town in the centre (dominated by the cathedral) and the southern English Gate on the right..

Oates lists the troops defending Carlisle as:

Two Independent Invalid Companies (80 Men)

37 men from Cope’s Army who had fled after Prestonpans.

Cumberland and Westmorland Militia – Seven Infantry Companies (525 Men) and one Horse Troop (70 Men).

Carlisle Volunteers – Nine Companies of 30 men each.

I decided to model these.

The Castle should have had a Governor and Lieutenant Governor, but both were absent. Initially efforts to improve the defences were led by the Deputy Mayor, Alderman Pattison (for some reason the Mayor himself did not take the lead). On 3rd October the Government ordered Lieutenant Colonel Durand of the 1st Foot Guards to Carlisle to take command of the Garrison. He is described as a good officer but lame with gout. He arrived to take command of the Garrison on 11th October.

Here is my model of him, both before and after painting. It is an Accurate/Revell/Imex AWI British Officer (they are all the same sets of figures issued by different manufacturers). I have mounted him on a 2 euro cent coin, to give him a weighted round base some 20mm diameter, as I do for all of my commanders on foot.

I used two RedBox British Infantry for the Independent Invalid Companies, exactly the same figures as I had used for those Invalid Companies in the Edinburgh Garrison. I swapped the grenadier mitre for a tricorn and removed his haversack, since they were purely for defence of the castle and not going to be deployed into the field.

I also made one figure as an Invalid Artilleryman, again exactly the same as the similar figure I made for the Edinburgh Castle Garison. He is a converted IMEX American Artilleryman.

Here are the completed Invalid Company and Invalid Artillery.

For the 37 men who were fugitives from Cope;s Army I would just use one figure from the Prestonpans British Army set up. Oates says they were infantry, although I have my doubts that infantry fugitives would have fled over 100 miles across the borders to Carlisle, when Berwick was much closer. I suspect it is more likely that these would have been fugitive dragoons.

In Edinburgh, the only Milita type unit was the Edinburgh Regiment, formed just one week before the Jacobite Army arrived. However, the Cumberland and Westmorland Militia were much older than that. English Militia Regiments traced their origins back to Alfred the Great’s Anglo-Saxon Fyrds. They had originally been responsible to the County Sheriffs, but in 1557, Henry VIII had established Lord Lieutenants in each County, directly responsible to him, and placed the Militia under the command of those Lord Lieutenants. On the restoration of Charles II, Parliament passed an Act “King’s Sole Right over the Militia Act 1661”. However, the Militia could not be called out without Parliament’s approval, thus creating a check on the King’s power over the Militia.

Alarmed by Prince Charles raising his Standard at Glenfinnan on 19th August, the Militia in the Northern Counties were called out by Parliament on 5th September 1745.

Strictly speaking, Cumberland and Westmorland were separate counties, each with their own Lord Lieutenants, however for most of the 18th Century the same man held both appointments. The Cumberland and Westmorland Militia Regiment acted as a single Composite Regiment, both in 1715 and 1745. There is a good description of their activities in 1715 in an article published in 1963 by The Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (TCWAAS). This shows the same organisation of seven infantry companies and one cavalry troop, as in 1745. It actually lists most of the officers, including showing Lord Lonsdale as Colonel (and commanding the 1st Company as was normal in both Regular and Militia Regiments in the 18th Century). I also found a map showing the locations of the Infantry Companies and Horse Troop in 1715 in the August 2020 newsletter “The Lion & the Dragon” published by the Cumbria Museum of Military Life. Here it is, slightly modified for clarity.

I used RedBox British Infantry for my Cumberland and Westmorland Militia. Here is their officer, modified from a grenadier figure.

Their drummer was modified from another RedBox figure, with his mitre from a Strelets Swedish Infantryman of Charles XII. I used that head since I needed all of my RedBox grenadier heads for my British and allied infantry grenadiers. The drum is scratch built from a piece of sprue, since I had run out of suitable ones.

Here is the completed Cumberland and Westmorland Militia Infantry. I have modelled them as 14 figures (two figures per company including the command stand). At my 1:30 ratio this is slightly less than the 75 men per company which Oates lists, but I suspect they would probably have had some dropping out. The earliest record I can find of their uniforms is from 1757 (in an article on English Militia in the Winter 1936 Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. This shows red coats with red facings, so I have assumed that was also so in 1745.

Their Regimental Colour in 1757 is described as red sheet with the crest and cypher of Sir James Lowther in Blue. I have shown the full Lowther Coat of Arms, five blue circles on a yellow shield, which may be too much.

The connection of the Lowther family with the Cumberland and Westmorland Militia was very strong. Henry Lowther, 3rd Viscount Lonsdale had commanded the Regiment in 1715 and by 1745 was Lord Lieutenant. In 1745 the Regiment was commanded by Sir John Pennington (whose mother was Mary Lowther, daughter of the 2nd Viscount Lonsdale). Sir John Pennington’s sister also married into the Lowther family and was the mother of a future Lord Lonsdale.

Sir John Pennington went on to be Lord Lieutenant himself in 1756, and he was succeeded in that post by four successive members of the Lowther family

I therefore think that it is reasonable to show the Cumberland and Westmorland Regimental Colour with the Lowther Coat of Arms.

I modelled the Cumberland and Westmorland Horse Troop as two figures. Oates shows them as 70 men, but again I suspect there might have been some dropping out. I made both mounted and dismounted versions. The figures I used for the mounted Horse Troop are RedBox British Horse. The dismounted figure is modified from an Accurate/Revell/Imex AWI British infantryman and his tethered horse is s Strelets Swedish Trabants (Dragoons) of Charles XII.

I trimmed the horse’s tail so that it was docked as done by British Cavalry. I also inserted a pin (piece of staple) in the saddle and made a hole in the seat of the figure, so that I could fix the figure securely ont his horse.

Here are the completed Cumberland and Westmorland Militia Horse Troop. They were used for reconnaissance and scouting around Carlisle to give warning of the approach of the Jacobite Army.

Here are the figures for the dismounted Horse Troop. I have removed the figures backpack, modelled a slung sword and removed the bayonet from his musket. I have also added a tether (thin wire) to the horse.

Here are the completed dismounted figures. Normally I would leave one mounted figure as a horseholder, but in this case I have assumed that they would tether their horses in the castle when they dismount, to help defend the castle.

I modelled a Carlisle Volunteers officer from an Accurate/Revell/Imex AWI American Militia figure, by removing his musket, then giving him a sword and an officer’s sash.

I modelled a Carlisle Volunteers drummer by converting a RedBox Militia and Volunteers figure. I had previously swapped his original Scots bonnet for a tricorn, since I used all the Scots bonnets for Jacobite Lowlanders. I now removed his musket, changed the position of his right arm, added a drum (an actual one from a Strelets Swedish Infantry of Chrles XII figure) and welded a pair of drumsticks.

I used another figure from the Redbox Militia and Volunteers set for the Carlisle Volunteers infantry. I changed the position of the musket since I had previously used this same figure as Paisley Volunteers and Dalkeith Volunteers and wanted to distinguish between them

I only had enough figures left to make six Carlisle Volunteers, which at my 1:30 ratio would represent 180 men.

Oates says they had nine companies of 30 men, so if I wanted to model them at that strength, I would add some figures (two at each end of the line) from the Paisley Volunteers, which are the same figures with their musket in the original pose. That actually makes them slightly overstrength.

In his summary, Oates says that there were 350 “armed townsmen”. If I wanted to represent them at that strength, I would add two more figures from the Dalkeith Volunteers (one at each end) again making them slightly overstrength.

Finally, I thought I would model a figure of the Deputy Mayor, Alderman Pattinson, who organised the defence of Carlisle before the arrival of Lieutenant Colonel Durand. He is a RedBox Militia and Volunteers figure modified by removing his sword and officer’s sash, to show his civilian status.

Here is the completed figure. He also provides a good visual image of the divided command arrangements, since Lieutenant Colonel Durand only commanded the Regular soldiers of the Invalid Companies, invalid Artillery and the fugitives from Cope’s Army.

The Cumberland and Westmorland Militia reported to the Lord Lieutenant (Lord Lonsdale) , although in practice their Commanding Office, Sir John Pennington, did work closely with Lieutenant Colonel Durand.

The Carlisle Volunteers reported to the Mayor, or in practice to the Deputy Mayor, Alderman Pattison, since he was much more active in this respect.


4 thoughts on “Defence of Carlisle

  1. mosstrooper7 November 29, 2022 / 1:01 pm

    Nice to see you back, Carlisle Castle is dear to me it has a wonderful business look about it, not very picturesque I grant you, but I do like it.


    • rodwargaming November 29, 2022 / 1:10 pm


      I’ve never actually been to Carlisle. Both my wife’s family and half of mine came from Edinburgh so we tended to travel up the East side of UK. I found out a lot which I previously was unaware of about the English Militia and the Cumberland and Westmorland Militia in particular.

      Best wishes



  2. Peter van Vugt November 29, 2022 / 7:05 pm

    It’s again another thoroughly researched historical item which is very interesting. Cheers!


    • rodwargaming November 29, 2022 / 8:41 pm

      Hi Peter,

      I get a lot of enjoyment doing the research.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s