Troops of Horse Guards



In the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western ...
, the Horse Guards comprised several independent troops raised initially on the three different establishments. In the late 1660s, there were thus three troops in England, one in Ireland, and two in Scotland of which one was ceremonial for attendance of Lord High Commissioner (named after
John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton ( – 3 July 1674) was a professional soldier and mercenary from Kincardineshire Kincardineshire, also known as the Mearns (from the Scottish Gaelic meaning "the Stewartry"), is a Shires of Scotland, hi ...
and after John Leslie, 7th Earl of Rothes). In 1707, there were four troops of Horse Guards (the three original English and one Scots), and two troops of Horse Grenadiers. From 1658 to 1788, the Horse Guards existed as independent troops. They were placed on the English establishment in 1661, with the founding of the modern Regular British Army. In 1788, as part of the re-organisation of the British Army, the remaining 1st and 2nd Troops were united with the 1st and 2nd Troops of
Horse Grenadier Guards The Horse Grenadier Guards, usually referred to ''Horse Grenadiers'' were a series of cavalry troops in the British Household Cavalry between 1687 and 1788, who used grenades and other explosives in battle. Originally attached to the Troops of H ...
to form, respectively, the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Life Guards. Originally, as befitted their role as bodyguards to the Sovereign, the ranks of these Troops were filled by members of the
gentry Gentry (from Old French ''genterie'', from ''gentil'', "high-born, noble") are "well-born, genteel and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past. Word similar to gentle imple and decentfamilies ''Gentry'', in its widest ...
. They, therefore, had no non-commissioned officers, their ''brigadiers'' (i.e.
corporal Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. The word is derived from the medieval Italian phrase ("head of a body"). The rank is usually the lowest ranking non- ...
s) being commissioned and ranking as
lieutenant A lieutenant ( , ; abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an Military, armed force or Uniformed services, uniformed service. Broadly ...
s, their ''sub-brigadiers'' (i.e. sub-corporals) ranking with
cornet The cornet (, ) is a brass instrument similar to the trumpet but distinguished from it by its conical Bore (wind instruments), bore, more compact shape, and mellower tone quality. The most common cornet is a transposing instrument in B, thou ...
s in the rest of the army. Although this no longer obtains, the
non-commissioned officers A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. (Non-officers, which inc ...
of their successor regiment, the Life Guards, are still grades of Corporal, rather than
sergeants Sergeant (abbreviation, abbreviated to Sgt. and capitalized when used as a named person's title) is a Military rank, rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, ''serjeant'', is use ...

1st Troop 658-1788/h1>

*1658-1788 1st (His Majesty's Own) Troop of Horse Guards ormed in exile in Holland from followers of Charles II *1746 absorbed 3rd Troop, The Horse Guards. *1788 absorbed 1st Troop, The Horse Grenadier Guards and was reorganised to form the 1st Regiment of Life Guards

2nd Troop 659-1788/h1>

*1659 aised as a Parliamentary life guard for attending the Council of State * Nov 1659 re-modelled as Monck's Life Guards *1660-1661 3rd (The Duke of Albemarle's) Troop of Horse Guards. *1661-1670 3rd (The Lord General's) Troop of Horse Guards. *1670-1788 2nd (The Queen's) Troop of Horse Guards. *1788 absorbed 4th Troop, The Horse Guards. *1788 On 8 June it absorbs the 2nd Troop, The Horse Grenadier Guards, and on 25 June it is reorganised to form the
2nd Regiment of Life Guards The 2nd Regiment of Life Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry The Household Cavalry (HCav) is made up of the two most senior regiments of the British Army, the Life Guards (United Kingdom), Life Gu ...

3rd Troop 658-1746/h1>

*1658-1670 2nd (The Duke of York's) Troop of Horse Guards ormed in exile in Holland from followers of Charles II*1670-1746 3rd (The Duke of York's) Troop of Horse Guards *1746 absorbed by 1st Troop, The Horse Guards.

Scots and 4th Troop

4th Troop 686-1689

*1686-1689 4th ( Lord Dover's) Troop of Horse Guards isbanded_upon_the_deposing_of_James_II_of_England_.html" ;"title="James_II_of_England.html" ;"title="isbanded upon the deposing of James II of England">isbanded upon the deposing of James II of England ">James_II_of_England.html" ;"title="isbanded upon the deposing of James II of England">isbanded upon the deposing of James II of England

4th (Dutch) Troop [1689-1699]

*1599 raised on 30 April in Holland as a troop of horse and redesignated in 1665 as ''Garde du Corps van Zijne Majesteit'', i.e., ''His Majesties Life Guards''
(in Dutch).
*1689-1699 Placed on English establishment in 1689 and returned to Dutch service in 1699 upon conclusion of the
Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between Kingdom of France, France and a European coalition which mainly included the Holy Roman Empire (led by t ...
and the
Treaty of Ryswick The Peace of Ryswick, or Rijswijk, was a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Rijswijk between 20 September and 30 October 1697. They ended the 1688 to 1697 Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War o ...
. During this period the Dutch troop was ranked as the 4th Troop of Life Guards. In literature this troop is sometimes confused with the Dutch Regiment of Horse Guards, known as Portland's Horse after its commander
William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland Hans William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, (20 July 164923 November 1709) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch and England, English nobleman who became in an early stage the favourite of William III of England, William, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder i ...
. *1705 The troop lost its Guards status.

4th (Scots) Troop 709-1746

*1661-1709 Scots Troop of Horse Guards aised on the Scottish establishment*1709-1746 4th Troop of Horse Guards ransferred to the British establishment*1746 absorbed by 2nd Troop, The Horse Guards.

Other Troops

The Scottish Troop 661-1676

Raised on the Scottish Establishment for attendance on the Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland. *1661-1663 The Earl of Middleton's Troop of Horse Guards *1664-1676 The Earl of Rothe's Troop of Horse Guards

The Irish Troop 662-1685

*1662 raised on the Irish Establishment *1685 disbanded following the ascent of James II


In some literature reference is made to the existence of a 4th, 5th and 6th Troop of Horse Guards, between 1661 and 1683, 1664 and 1676, and 1664 and 1685, respectively. However, no explicit evidence if found of these troopsSee, e.g., Charles Dalton (1892). ''English army lists and commission registers, 1661-1714'', volume 1. and it is thought that these 4th, 5th and 6th Troops were confused with the Scots Troop, the (other) Scots Troop for attendance of the Lord High Commissioner, and the Irish Troop.

Ranks 766


* Captain and ColonelThe Scots Magazine, Vol XXXV, p. 501 et seqq.
/ref> * First Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel * Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel * Guidon and Major


* Exempt and Captain * Brigadier or Adjutant and Lieutenant * Sub-Brigadier and Cornet * Gentleman


{{DEFAULTSORT:Horse Guards Regiments of the British Army Former guards regiments 1658 establishments in England Household Cavalry