Saturday, 2 March 2013

ECW Clubmen

Something a little out of the ordinary this post.  I completed this mob of Clubmen only this morning and I couldn't wait to get some pics of them up on-line today.  They have jumped the queue somewhat as I was going to put pics of Sir Ralph Hopton up! Next time for him perhaps.

These figures are a mix of Wargames Foundry figures that I painted around 15 or so years ago and Warlord Games clubmen figures.  I wanted figures that I could mix with my old Foundry chaps, so I went with Warlord because they fit in better than the others and also looked great fun. They are somewhat bumpkin-like with a comical charm about them.  They seem to represent an angry assortment of villagers quite nicely, providing a suitable mix of age ranges, weaponry and perceived IQ (much like a village I once lived in!).  They are led by their local grandee who no doubt feels he is doing the right thing in taking charge, due to his social rank, but also probably knowing that they would have gathered whether he was there or not!  At least his reputation will remain intact!

"If you plunder or take our cattle,
be assured we will bid you battle"
(From contemporary Clubman Banner)

The Clubmen were formed in local defence 'clubs' (named so because of that and not because some may have carried clubs...ignore Wiki in this case).  A whole variety of ad-hoc weapons would have been carried, along with fowling pieces and no doubt, muskets and pikes from trained bands armouries, and the private collections of their social betters, as well as from deserters, the fallen etc.

Clubmen tried to be a neutral force to protect their homes and families in the areas where they lived.  Sometimes this did mean becoming allies of one of the local sides.  Across England it tended to be the Royalists who robbed and oppressed the locals and pushed them into taking up arms. 12,000 Clubmen gathered to besiege Hereford after depredations by Hereford's governor, the Royalist Sir Barnabas Scudamore.  In the West country, the Royalists frequently had to contend with fighting bands of Clubmen.

"...And up yours too!!!"

Cromwell had some difficulty with Clubmen in Dorset.  He showed his leadership skill by going on the offensive immediately against them and preventing the Clubmen from gaining confidence and spreading their power.  Cromwell's view once he had defeated a large force was: '....and we have taken about 300, many of which are poor silly creatures, whom if you please to let me send home, they promise to be very dutiful for time to come, and will be hanged before they come out again.'

As you can see there are some real characters amongst this lot and they were so much fun to paint up.  If you are interested in reading further about the fascinating history of this ad-hoc group of organisations which was capable of changing the balance of power in their localities then the following websites might be of interest:

I used some snippets of the above in my research.

Tomorrow brings forth another dilemma....I'm off to the 'Overlord' wargames show at Abingdon tomorrow.  Will I be tempted by new things? Will I carry on my ECW collection or pause?  I started the major ECW re-vamp back in May (or there abouts) and I keep dipping into making shopping lists for other periods.  I have a large number of different periods which I never quite a got a 'playable' army for. A little bit of focus here and there and I can get them like my ECW collection. It's a dilemma but a nice one.  We must surely have one of the best hobbies there is. :-)  I'll post up the last of my pics of the clubmen for now.

"There be bogies at sixxe of the hour" (!)


  1. I really like those figures : a lot of variety, great painting style, and very nice bases too!
    Great work!

  2. I've never heard of the Clubmen before. They sound like hooligans.

  3. Another lovely looking unit, great paintjob and base work (I really must get my own lot finished)