As part of the English Civil War Society the Earl of Loudoun's Regiment of Foote, which belongs to the Armie of the Covenant, participates in the accurate re-enactment of 17th century life and warfare.
However what do we know of the actual history of the regiment in the 1600s? What of the campaigns they fought during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms?
John Campbell, 1st Earl of Loudoun , 1598-1662
The eldest son of Sir James Campbell of Lawers, John Campbell married Margaret, the daughter of George Campbell around 1620. Margaret was heir to her grandfather Hugh Campbell, first Lord Loudoun, who resigned his peerage in John's favour. As the second Lord Loudoun, Campbell inherited the Loudoun estates in Ayrshire; he was granted the earldom of Loudoun by King Charles I in 1633. Loudoun had been educated in Scotland and Europe.
Loudoun was among the noblemen who supported the protests against the King's attempts to introduce innovations into the Scottish church and at his interference in the traditions of the Scottish nobility. Naturally eloquent and persuasive, the Earl of Loudoun emerged as a leading spokesman for the Covenanter movement at the Glasgow Assembly of 1638. Although he was knighted by James VI, he had no great love of the Stewarts. Charles I created him an Earl and then suspended the charter in 1633. Loudoun had gained his peerage through marriage to the 1st Lord’s heiress and probably wished to strengthen his title. In 1639 he was appointed a commissioner to the army; as such he was involved in the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Birks.
The committee itself was composed mostly of nobles, of whom two, Rothes and Montrose, are found as signatories on several of the letters to different monarchs. Another eight nobles acted as signatories at least once on April Committee correspondence, and these include names very familiar to the historian of the Covenanters: Archibald Campbell, eighth Earl of Argyll; William Kerr, third Earl of Lothian; John Elphinstone, second Lord Balmerino; Robert, second Lord Balfour of Burleigh; Archibald, first Lord Napier of Merchistoun; Alexander Montgomery, sixth Earl of Eglinton; John Campbell, second Lord Loudoun; John Erskine, third Earl of Mar; and George, first Lord Forrester. Non-nobles included Alexander Leslie, who acted as a signatory on much of the correspondence, particularly that destined for Sweden and France – kingdoms where he had a well-established reputation.