No. 6 London & Westminster Dismounted Light Horse Volunteer
SHOULDER ARMS [1st Motion] (see original 1799 description below)
Westminster, a central area of London, became a city in 1539. (See map). For centuries Westminster and the City of London were geographically quite distinct. (See Map). It was not until the sixteenth century that houses began to be built over the adjoining fields, eventually absorbing nearby villages such as Marylebone and Kensington, and gradually creating the vast Greater London that exists today. Westminster is bordered by the City of London to the East and, until 1965 by Marylebone and Paddington to the North (which were both then absorbed into Westminster) and by Kensington and Chelsea to the West. The River Thames forms the Southern border.
This Corps was an earlier creation than many of the other volunteer units – formed in 1779. At that time Britain was at war on three fronts: The Revolutionary War in America, the East India Company, with British troops, fighting the Marathas in Wadgaon, India, and were forced to return all territories acquired since 1773 and the Siege of Gibraltar had began. The London & Westminster Volunteers were a group of well connected gentry from across the whole of London (London and Westminster by this time being two neighbouring cities).
Original Description of the unit from 1799:
LIGHT HORSE VOLUNTEERS OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER.
COMMANDED BY COLONEL HERRIES.
THIS distinguished Corps was formed so long ago as the year 1779, when the French Fleet was off the coast. They did Duty, and rendered essential Service, during the Riots in the memorable year 1780, for which they were rewarded by Commissions from His Majesty, and a Royal Standard; and by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen with the City Standard. These they deposited in the Tower of London at the Peace in 1783, and resumed them again in the beginning of the year 1794. They consist at present of nine Troops of 65 Gentlemen each, exclusive of Olﬁcers; but the seventh, eighth, and ninth Troops are dismounted, and act as Riﬁemen, carrying a Riﬂe- barrelled Gun of a new construction, which will do execution at a great distance; and their Broad Swords are so contrived as to serve occasionally as Bayonets. Cars, or Expedition Carriages, are always ready to convey them at the same pace the Cavalry may march. This Corps can only be called out in case of Invasion or Insurrection, to do Duty in the Metropolis, or within the distance of ten miles. When not on actual Service, they are regulated by a Committee of their own choosing, and this Committee elects all new Members by ballot, but these cannot join till approved by the King.
NAMES OF THE OFFICERS.
Colonel Herries. Lieutenant Colonels, Beachcroft, and Bosanquet. . Majors, Hoare, and Stracy; Lieutenant and Adjutant, Gordon. Captains, Coiling, Dunlop, Dorrien, Bird, Harris, Harrison, Parish, Vansittart, Moore. Lieutenanls, Downing, Markham, Smith, Steuart, Shiﬂiner, H. M. Hoare, Divett, Biddulph, Courthope. Cornets, T. S. Beachcroft, Wilson, French, Cornwall, Walford, R. Sutton, Haslewood, Turner, Borens. Chaplain, Rev. G. Buchanan ; Surgeon, Thompson Forster; Veterinary Surgeon, ]ames Harrison ; Secretary, Edward Hughes.
Scarlet Hussar Jacket, black Cape and Cuff with silver Loopings, and silver chain Epaulets: white leather Breeches and Gloves; military Boots.
Helmet: the turban of mole-skin, forming a black ground to the words LIGHT HORSE VOLUNTEERS, in front; and on the right side a Crown above the Garter, with G. R. in the centre: Motto, FORWARD, all in silver; the whole topped by black Bear-skin, and a white Feather on the left side.
The Badge is an oval silver Plate, with a Lion rampant, bearing up a Shield having G. R. in the centre: Motto, FORWARD.
Poucb, of plain black leather.
Sabretasch, worn on the right side, mounted with Black Bear-skin; and L. H. V. under a Crown of silver.
The Officers are distinguished by a Sash, a red top to the Feather of the Helmet, and Leopard-skin furniture for the mounted.
|Dimensions||25.25 × 32.5 cm|
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