Who we are

Purpose

The Honourable Artillery Company was established and incorporated with a grant of a Royal Charter by Henry VIII on 25 August 1537 "for the better defence of this realm." From the 17th century the Company has been described as a regiment and remains so to this day. It is the oldest regiment in the British Army and, alongside the five Foot Guards regiments, one of few never to have been amalgamated with another.

Structure

The Regiment has over the years included infantry, artillery and light cavalry. Since 1974 its role has been focussed on in intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and gunnery. Today it consists of a major army reserve unit of an RHQ and 5 sub units, which is based in Finsbury Barracks, adjacent to Armoury House. This barracks is owned (in Trust) by the Company but leased to the Greater London Reserve Forces & Cadet Association and they, on behalf of the MOD, maintain the barracks for the occupation of the HAC unit.

The Regiment supports two HAC badged CCF contingents in local academies in Islington and Hackney. They offer challenging and enjoyable activities for young people, and prepare them to play an active part in the community while developing valuable life skills.

Governance

The Regiment’s civil and financial affairs, together with its clubs and societies, are managed by the Court of Assistants and the staff employed by the Company to administer the membership, finances, property, and the facilities of Armoury House, the Artillery Garden and Welsh Pencelli.

In 1964 the Company was registered as a charity, (Charity No: 208443) so it could effectively financially support the regiment. Its charitable purpose, in line with the charter, is “for military exercise and training and for the better defence of the realm”.

Annual grants from the Court of Assistants financially support the serving units of the Regiment, including the two CCFs, thus continuing to meet both the intent of the Royal Charter and the charitable purpose. In addition the Company supports a unit of the Metropolitan Special Constabulary, and the ceremonial units of the Pikemen and Musketeers, the Light Cavalry and the Corp of Drums all of whom are housed in Armoury House.

Find out more

Our sub-pages describe the component parts of our Regiment, active and retired. Please read about the modern HAC, a major unit of the Army Reserve, and about our unique Detachment of Special Constables of the City of London Police. This is our active or serving element.

Read also about our cadets, the Company and how we administer the Trust, our many veteran members who have ceased active soldiering but remain committed to their Regiment, and the affiliations in the United States and South Africa of which we are so proud.

HAC Troops on Exercise
Light Cavalry at Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch
Company Members at Remembrance Sunday

Captain-Generals of the HAC

 1657-60 Major General Phillip Skippon
 1660-90 Prince James, Duke of York (later King James II)
 1690-1702 King William III
 1690 Henry Howard, sixth Duke of Norfolk*
 1702-08 Prince George of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Cumberland**
 1715-60 George, Prince of Wales (later King George II)
 1766-1830 George, Prince of Wales (later King George IV)
 1830-37 King William IV
 1837-43 Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex

 

 1843-61 Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Saxony***
 1863-1910 Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII)
 1910-36 King George V
 1936 King Edward VIII
 1936-52 King George VI
 1952-present Queen Elizabeth II
 
*while King William III was in Ireland
**consort of Queen Anne
***later The Prince Consort