Posts Tagged ‘Household Cavalry’

Mounted guard from Lifeguards

Mounted guard from Lifeguards

A trip into London and some time to kill. I decide to visit the Household Cavalry museum off Whitehall. The museum is located in Horse Guards Parade in part of the stable block for the Guards on duty.

Mounted guard from Blues and Royals

Mounted guard from Blues and Royals

The regiments which now form the Household Cavalry were originally 3 regiments: the Lifeguards were founded in 1660 by King Charles II. Two other regiments, the Royals (Royal Dragoons) and the Blues (Royal Horse Guard) were added to the Household Cavalry in 1820, although they had been founded in the 17th century as independent cavalry regiments. The Blues and the Royals were merged to form a single regiment in 1969. In ceremonial dress the Lifeguards wear red tunics with a white helmet plume and the Blues and Royals wear blue uniforms with red plumes.

Dismounted guard from Life Gaurds

Dismounted guard from Life Gaurds

Dismounted guard from Blues and Royals

Dismounted guard from Blues and Royals

The Museum deals with the history of the regiments over the years and also highlights the two roles that the regiments take in the modern day army. There is the well known ceremonial role – duty at Horse Guards parade and escorting members of the royal family on ceremonial occasions such as trooping of the colour.
What is less well known is the role that the majority of the regiment has as an active mechanised regiment serving around the world as part of the British Army.

One section of the museum enables you to look through into the working stables as the troopers prepare their horses for duty on the parade ground.

Dress uniform of Lifeguards and Blues and Royals. The black plume designates a Farrier

Dress uniform of Lifeguards and Blues and Royals. The black plume designates a Farrier

Dress ceremonial coat of a member of the Regiments mounted band

Dress ceremonial coat of a member of the Regiments mounted band

My favourite story was of the tradition that when an officer left the regiment, he was expected to donate a piece of silverware to the officers mess. One officer wasn’t particularly worried or concerned by such traditions and when reminded of the tradition waved it off saying ‘ oh just buy something and charge it to my bill’. His fellow officers hurt by his indifference to regimental tradition went out and commissioned a large table centre-piece and then presented him with the bill

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A great little museum in a very interesting location,ideally coupled with a visit to the changing of the guard.

The Marquis of Granby, Knaresbourough

The Marquis of Granby, Knaresbourough


Photo by Mtaylor848 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The Marquis of Granby, Knaresbourough

The Marquis of Granby, Knaresbourough


Photo by Mtaylor848 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It is one of those bizarre facts that I know from some quiz that the title ‘Marquis of Granby’ was the commonest name commemorating an individual for a public house in England. I had wondered why and on my recent visit to the Household cavalry Museum I discovered the answer.

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John Manners, Marquis of Granby, was born in 1721. In 1741 he was elected as MP for Grantham and in 1745 was commissioned to a regiment raised by the Duke of Rutland (his father and indecently another very common public house name) to fight the Jacobite rebellion. He served on the staff of the Duke of Cumberland and in 1752 was appointed as colonel in the Blues (Royal Horse Guards). However he was not popular with the King who blocked his appointment. He returned to politics being elected as MP for Cambridgeshire in 1754 and his appointment to the Blues was finally ratified two years later. He commanded a cavalry brigade during the 7 years war. At the battle of Warburg his hat and wig were blown off (see painting above), but contrary to custom still saluted his commander when he rode up. This action is commemorated by the tradition the non-commissioned officers and troopers from the Blues may salute officers whilst not wearing headdress (the only soldiers in the British army permitted to do so). On his return from the war he continued his role in parliament. In 1766 he was appointed Commander in chief of the army but resigned from this and his parliamentary seat in 1770. He died shortly afterwards.

But what is the connection between John Manners and Public Houses?

The Marquis of Granby, New Cross London

The Marquis of Granby, New Cross London


Photo by Ewan Munro from London, UK (Marquis of Granby, New Cross, SE14 Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Well, he made it a habit to look after his troopers when they retired from the regiment, most commonly by buying public houses and set the ex-troopers up as publicans. As a thank-ypu these pubs were named ‘The Marquis of Granby’ in his honour.

Mounted guard from Lifeguards

Mounted guard from Lifeguards

A trip into London and some time to kill. I decide to visit the Household Cavalry museum off Whitehall. The museum is located in Horse Guards Parade in part of the stable block for the Guards on duty.

Mounted guard from Blues and Royals

Mounted guard from Blues and Royals

The regiments which now form the Household Cavalry were originally 3 regiments: the Lifeguards were founded in 1660 by King Charles II. Two other regiments, the Royals (Royal Dragoons) and the Blues (Royal Horse Guard) were added to the Household Cavalry in 1820, although they had been founded in the 17th century as independent cavalry regiments. The Blues and the Royals were merged to form a single regiment in 1969. In ceremonial dress the Lifeguards wear red tunics with a white helmet plume and the Blues and Royals wear blue uniforms with red plumes.

Dismounted guard from Life Gaurds

Dismounted guard from Life Gaurds

Dismounted guard from Blues and Royals

Dismounted guard from Blues and Royals

The Museum deals with the history of the regiments over the years and also highlights the two roles that the regiments take in the modern day army. There is the well known ceremonial role – duty at Horse Guards parade and escorting members of the royal family on ceremonial occasions such as trooping of the colour.
What is less well known is the role that the majority of the regiment has as an active mechanised regiment serving around the world as part of the British Army.

One section of the museum enables you to look through into the working stables as the troopers prepare their horses for duty on the parade ground.

Dress uniform of Lifeguards and Blues and Royals. The black plume designates a Farrier

Dress uniform of Lifeguards and Blues and Royals. The black plume designates a Farrier

Dress ceremonial coat of a member of the Regiments mounted band

Dress ceremonial coat of a member of the Regiments mounted band

My favourite story was of the tradition that when an officer left the regiment, he was expected to donate a piece of silverware to the officers mess. One officer wasn’t particularly worried or concerned by such traditions and when reminded of the tradition waved it off saying ‘ oh just buy something and charge it to my bill’. His fellow officers hurt by his indifference to regimental tradition went out and commissioned a large table centre-piece and then presented him with the bill

DSCN4240a

A great little museum in a very interesting location,ideally coupled with a visit to the changing of the guard.