[ ... back to main menu for this book]
Artillery Company—The Honourable Artillery Company of the City of London dates from as far back as 1585, when its members were known as the City Trained Band. In 1610 the City soldiers were re-organised: in the Civil War they fought stoutly for the Commonwealth, and they were appropriately called upon to defend the Bank of England during the Gordon Riots. Fortunately since that occasion they have only been required to furnish guards of honour and to assist in civic and state ceremonials. The Artillery Ground, near Finsbury-square, contains a good drill-hall armoury and the like. The Honourable Artillery Company is noticeable as being the only volunteer corps which includes horse artillery, and is distinguished by weaning the bearskin head-dress otherwise peculiar to the Guards.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879