The Horse Guards Regiment
was a regiment only in name: it actually consisted of 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
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-organization of the British Army, the remaining 1st and 2nd Troops were united with the 1st and 2nd Troops of Horse Grenadier Guards
to form, respectively, the 1st
and 2nd Regiments of Life Guards
Originally, as befitted their rôle as bodyguards to the Sovereign, the ranks of these Troops were filled by members of the gentry
. They, therefore, had no non-commissioned officers, their corporals
being commissioned and ranking as lieutenants
in the rest of the army. Although this no longer obtains, it has resulted in the unique rank structure of their successor regiment, the Life Guards
- 1658-1788 1st (His Majesty's Own) Troop of Horse Guards .
- 1746 absorbed 3rd Troop, The Horse Guards.
- 1788 absorbed 1st Troop, The Horse......