THE STANDARD OF THE THREE COUNTY TROOP.
[ object sketch ]
[[ Standard of the Three County Troop ]]
Mr. Joseph L. Chester, of London, has kindly furnished the following copy of an entry on a Herald-painter’s book of the time of Charles II, now in the British Museum, add. mss. 26, 683, fo. 31^b. [^1][*1]
It is as follows:
|For painting in oyle on both sides a Cornett one rich crimson damask, with a hand and sword and invelloped with a scarfe about the arms of gold, black, and silver [*2][*3]||[£2. 0. 6.]|
|For a plaine cornett Staffe, with belte, boote and swible at first penny [*4]||1. 0. 0|
|For silke of crimson and silver fring and for a Cornett string||1. 11. 0|
|For Crimson Damask||11. 0|
|£5 2. 6.|
(Note. — The first item £2. 0. 6 is not given but is deduced from the adding. The term “at first penny” may be the same as “at first cost.”)
I had already received a copy of the same from H. G. Somerby, Esq., which agrees in reading the inscription as “Thre County Trom.” I presume, however, that this is a mistake, and that the flag really bore the words “Three County Troop,” as that was the name of a company of cavalry mentioned on our records. I will therefore put together the few items relating to the troop, sufficient, however, to prove its existence.
(Mass. Rec, Vol. iv. part i. p. 369.) May 28, 1650.
“In answer to the request of the troopers lately raised in the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex, for the Court‘s confirmation of their officers, the Court judgeth it meet to allow and confirm Edward Hutchinson to be their Captain.” [*5]
(Ibid. Vol iv. part ii. p. 82.) June 12, 1663.
“In answer to the petition of Capt. Edward Hutchinson, captain of the three county troop, the Court judge it meet to declare —
1^st That the troopers of the Three County Troop residing in Lynn are not taken off from that troop whereof they were.
2 That the troop, not troopers at Essex, be divided &c.
3 That the said troop be divided under their present officers.
4 That the said officers command their respective divisions.
5 That the troopers of Essex horse, and so of Lynn, be under the command of the respective officers.
[ p 139 ]
6 That Capt. Hutchinson’s commission doth bind him to command the troopers residing in Lynn, that are listed with him as formerly.”
(Ibid. p. 95.) Oct. 21, 1663.
“In answer to the petition of Lynn troopers this Court having considered the several allegations made referring thereto, and especially the division of Essex troopers into two troops, do order, that henceforth the troopers inhabiting in Lynn shall appertain unto and join with Salem troop, any former order of this Court otherwise disposing of them notwithstanding, excepting only such as shall rather choose to continue with the Three County Troop, and shall certify their desire so to do under their hands at the next meeting of Salem troop.”
(Ibid. p. 558.) May 7, 1673.
“Upon the request of Lieutenant John Tuttle, Lieutenant to the Three County Troop, he is dismissed from that service, and Mr. Eliakim Hutchinson is to supply that place.”
This change is repeated on the records (p. 567) under date of Oct. 15th, 1673.
(Ibid. Vol. v. p. 6.) May 27, 1674.
“Cornet William Haisy is appointed to be lieutenant and Jonathan Poole to be Cornet to the Three County Troop, under the conduct of Edward Hutchinson, their captain.” [^2]
(P. 17.) Oct. 7, 1674.
“In answer to the motion of Capt. Edward Hutchinson that he might lay down his captain’s place of the Three County Troop, the Court grants his request, and do order and appoint Mr. Humphrey Davis to be Captain of the Three County Troop, and that he have commission accordingly. Mr. Humphrey Davis having declared his non-acceptance of the office of Captain of the Three County Troop, the Court judgeth it meet to respite any supply for that place till the Court of Election.” [*6]
(P. 73.) Feb. 21, 1675-6. Out of 72 troopers to be raised for the war the Three County Troop was to furnish ten.
On May 6th, 1676, (p. 85), 80 troopers were to be raised
“out of the several troops in Essex, Suffolk, Middlesex and Norfolk and Three County Troop.”
(Ibid. p. 151.) June 1, 1677.
“Jonathan Wade is appointed Captain of the Three County Troop, and corporal William Green, Cornet, Isaac Brook, quartermaster of that troop.”
The existence of this troop of cavalry being thus clearly shown, there can be no doubt that this drawing represents its standard. We may allow ourselves to imagine that it was ordered from England before king Philip’s war, and that under its folds the best soldiers of three counties took part in the fight. It is an additional proof, if any were needed, that the first settlers here not only depended on England for articles of luxury, but that they were able to command them. [*7]
- William H. Whitmore’s “The standard of the Three County Troop”
in The New England HG register: Volume XXV (1871) pp 138-140
- Charles II, ∨ Charles II.
- Hutchinson, ∨ Huthinson,
- Whitney Smith’s “The Bedford Flag” 
in Report of the third international congress of vexillology:
the flag bulletin: Volume X: Numbers 2–3 (pp 46-54) [ no scan ]
- cf. The British Museum’s “Add MS 26683” Folio 31B [ no scan ]
- “Cornett” (i.e., “cornet”): flag (to be) carried by a cornet
- “one . . . damask”: on . . . damask
- Smith glosses “swible” as “swivel-socket” and suggests that the “boote” was “probably a case made to protect or hold the flag”. (Report) p 51
- “meet”: proper
- “respite any supply for that place”: delay the filling of that position
- Whitmore hereafter appends two additional paragraphs not pertaining to the Standard.