Defending the City, 1702 - 1799

In 1702, Queen Anne appointed her husband, Prince George of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Cumberland, to be Captain-General. He took little interest and the Company was in a state of financial neglect on his death in 1708. Its fortunes were revived with the election of new officers later that year. In 1722, George I gave the Company £500 which contributed towards the cost of building Armoury House in 1735.

In November 1779, the longstanding connection between the Company and the City’s Trained Bands ceased following a squabble with the Lord Mayor. City funding was withdrawn in April 1780 and officers and sergeants of the Trained Bands were then only permitted to serve on Company marches with the City’s approval. Nonetheless, the Company continued to aid the civil power and played a crucial role in defending the City during the Gordon Riots of June 1780. In 1781, a grateful Lord Mayor presented the Company with the two brass field guns now displayed on the Great Stairs.

By 1770, the Grenadier Company was considered to be the elite sub-unit of the Regiment. In February 1781, a major reorganisation of the Regiment created an infantry battalion of eight numbered divisions and the Light Infantry Division, in addition to the Grenadiers. The Matross Division was also formed in 1781 to man the new guns, while the Archers’ Division operated from 1784 to c.1799.