Association – a group of counties, under Parliamentary control, which worked together to produce their own army, for example ‘the Eastern Association’.
Back and Breast - set of armour consisting of a cuirass (breastplate) with a backplate attached (see also Corselet, Cuirass, Breastplate).
Bandolier – a set of wooden bottles of gunpowder, usually but not exclusively 12, attached to a shoulder strap.
Base - the smallest artillery piece used in the period.
Breastplate - a piece of armour covering the front of the torso.
Brigade – a group of regiments banded together.
Bucket-top – a boot, used by horsemen; the bucket top is the full length boot folded over.
Buff Coat - a thick leather coat, reaching to the thighs, worn by cavalry and officers.
Cannon Royal - a large cannon, firing a 63 lb shot. Used in sieges to batter fortifications.
Captain – the leader of a group of troups, usually a company, or division.
Captain-General – the leader of an army.
Carbine – a short musket usually carried by cavalry.
Cartridge – a paper packet of gunpowder, usually containing one charge..
Cavalier – an insult levelled at members of the upper classes, referring to a band of ravaging Spanish horsemen.
Clubman - Clubmen were groups of local vigilante militia, affiliated to neither side. Poorly armed, they grouped together to protect their lands and families from the rampaging soldiers of both the King and Parliament.
Colonel – the leader of the regiment; in charge of raising the regiment, clothing it and equipping it.
Colour - a large flag carried by companies of soldiers to identify them to friend and foe.
Commissary General – second in command of all of the horse troops in the army.
Company - a unit of soldiers within a regiment of foot, nominally of 100 men.
Corporal – the junior non-commissioned officer in the company or division.
Corselet – back and breast armour.
Covenanter – a Scottish soldier who believed in the ‘Solemn League and Covenant’; Presbyterians and generally on the side of Parliament.
Cuirass - see Breastplate.
Cuirassier - a heavy cavalryman, dressed in a suit of articulated armour and sometimes wearing a closed-faced helmet (although the 'lobster-pot' was also used). Expensive to equip, they were not widely employed during the civil war, Sir Arthur Haslerigge's regiment (know as 'Haslerigge's Lobsters') being a notable exception.
Culverin - a medium-sized field artillery piece (a demi-culverin was a smaller version).
Demi-Cannon - the smallest piece of artillery designated as a cannon (smaller pieces had different names), it still fired a shot weighing 30 lb.
Division – at the time of the civil war, a group of soldiers of the same arm, for example The Pike Division.
Doglock– a black powder musket fired by a flint falling on a steel (a ‘flintlock’); more expensive than a matchlock musket and less widely used.
Dragoon - a soldier, armed with a musket and sword, who travelled on horseback but fought on foot.
Drake - used to denote a smaller version of an artillery piece (e.g Minion Drake). Bastard was also used in this context.
Ensign - a junior officer who carried a company's colours.
Falcon - a light artillery piece, smaller than a Minion.
Falconet - a light artillery piece (slightly smaller than a Falcon).
Fascine – a large bundle of wood used to block passage or to bridge ditches.
Firelock – another name for a gun which used flint and steel as a means of ignition; alternatively, a musketeer equipped with a ‘doglock’ musket.
Flintlock – see Doglock.
Foot(e) - the term by which infantry was known (i.e. Prince Rupert's Regiment of Foote)
Forlorn Hope – from the Dutch Vorloen Hoop, a small group of soldiers used in advance of the main army for a task, often assaulting a defensive position, where the casualties may be high.
Gabion – a wickerwork basket filled with earth used as a defensive barrier.
Grenado - a small explosive device, usually thrown by hand (a grenade).
Halberd – a pole-arm, carried by a Sergeant. The head consisted of an axe-blade and a point with a hook or spike on the back.
Half-pike – a pole-arm, a shorter version of the standard pike (sometimes with a more elaborate head) carried by a Major.
Hanger – a short, broad-bladed sword (see also Tuck).
Harquebusier - the standard cavalryman of the time. Clothed in a buffcoat with a back-and-breastplate and a 'lobster-pot' helmet, he is the classic visualisation of what a Roundhead trooper would have looked like (although, in reality, the horseman of both sides were dressed in similar fashion). He would have been armed with a carbine, a brace of pistols and a sword.
Horse - the term by which cavalry was known (i.e. The King's Lifeguard of Horse)
Ironside - a trooper from Oliver Cromwell's own regiment of horse ("The Ironsides"), taken from the nickname "Old Ironsides", purportedly bestowed on Cromwell by Prince Rupert after the Battle of Marston Moor.
Latchet – a shoe.
Leading Staff – a pole-arm, carried by a Captain. Fairly short, and with an ornate head, it was more a badge of office than a weapon.
Lieutenant – the leader of the company or division in the captain’s absence; his deputy.
Lieutenant-Colonel – the second in command of a regiment, usually a professional soldier.
Leveller - a member of a political movement ('Levellers') during the English Civil War that emphasised popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law, and religious tolerance.
Lobster-pot – (Lobster-Tail pot) a design of helmet with a long articulated neck guard and some form of face guard, usually one or three barred.
Major – a senior officer who would assist the lieutenant-colonel in the running of a regiment and deputize for him in his absence.
Match – a piece of cord, soaked in salt-petre, used to ignite gunpowder.
Matchlock – a black powder musket fired by a length of burning match. Widely used throughout the civil war by both sides.
Minion - a small artillery piece, smaller than a Saker, larger than a Falcon.
Monmouth Cap - a round, woollen hat, worn by both musketeers and pikemen.
Montero - a soft cloth cap, usually peaked, whose sides could be rolled down to protect the face and neck from the elements.
Morion - an open-faced helmet, usually with a broad, flat rim, worn mostly by pikemen of the time.
Mortar – a high trajectory cannon which fired a ‘bomb’, eg an explosive charge. Used for getting projectiles over defensive walls.
Musket - a long, muzzle-loading, smoothbore firearm, with a 'lock' for ignition (either a firelock or matchlock).
Musketeer - a soldier armed with a musket.
New Model Army - the professional army, created in 1645, replacing the Parliamentary associations and local militias.
Partizan – a pole-arm, carried by a Lieutenant or Captain, consisting of a spearhead on a shaft flanked by two protrusions.
Pike - a weapon consisting of a long wooden shaft (usually of ash), around sixteen to eighteen feet in length and tipped with an iron or steel point. Pikemen were generally used to defend the slow-loading muskeeters from enemy horse (until being made all but obsolete with the introduction of the bayonet).
Pikeman's Pot - the usual English name for the helmet worn by pikemen (see Morion).
Pistol – a short firearm, either wheel-lock or doglock in operation.
Powder Flask - a wooden container, usually with a measured brass spout, for holding and dispensing black powder.
Puritan – strict observer of a Protestant belief.
Regiment – a colonel’s command; a group of soldiers who fight under the colonel’s colour and wear his coat.
Robinet - a light artillery piece, smaller than a Falconet.
Roundhead – an insult originally levelled at members of the London Trained Bands in 1642 - these were apprentice boys who cut their hair very short as a protest against the extravagance of the rich.
Saker - a medium artillery piece, slightly smaller than a Culverin.
Sergeant – the senior non-commissioned officer in a company or division.
Sergeant-Major – see Major
Sergeant-Major-General – a general, usually of a large group within an army such as all of the infantry.
Snaphaunce – an older model of black powder gun which used a combination of springs, steel and iron pyrites to produce a shower of sparks to fire.
Tassets – thigh armour. Articulated plates attached to a breastplate, they were usually discarded by pikeman as too cumbersome.
Tercio – originally a large (1000+) group of soldiers in Spanish service, later a group of regiments banded together.
Trained Band - a company of militia.
Troop – a small group of horse soldiers, the equivalent of a foot company.
Trooper – a low-ranking horse soldier.
Tuck - a short sword issued to pikemen.
Wheellock – a black powder gun which was fired by spinning a spring-loaded steel wheel against pyrite to generate sparks to ignite the charge.
Whole Cannon - smaller than a Cannon Royal, this fired a 39 lb shot.