Duke of York’s Troop of Horse Guards

Active1656 to 1660
ConflictsAnglo-Spanish War
ColonelDuke of York
Area RaisedFlanders
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesCharles II 1658

Raised for Charles II from exiles in Flanders, they fought at the Battle of the Dunes

Service History


  • Raised in Flanders from exiled Royalists



  • June: Battle of the Dunes



  • July: Added to the army establishment and enter Dunkirk Garrison
  • December: Return to England and made into an additional troop of the Life Guards


The regiment's history is discussed in Firth, C. H. (1898), Royalist and Cromwellian Armies in Flanders, 1657-1662, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, pp. 67–119

Charles II began to raise an army at Bruges in Flanders in 1656, having signed a treaty to ally with Spain against France and Cromwellian England. Charles’ brother, James, Duke of York raised a troop of horse for a Lifeguard. In July 1658 they fought well at the Battle of the Dunes, but the French and English Protectorate forces were victorious.

At the Restoration, the troop were placed on establishment and entered the garrison of Dunkirk. In December 1660 they returned to England as an additional troop of King Charles II's Horse Guards, eventually forming the Third Troop of Life Guards. The regiment still exists today, and the Life Guards are the senior cavalry regiment of the British Army. In Union with the Blues and Royals, they form the Household Cavalry, consisting of an active service armoured regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment that still performs ceremonial duties and escorts the Sovereign.

Flags and Equipment

Notable Officers

Prince James, Duke of York

Sir Charles Berkeley


  • 1656: A troop of 50 horse
  • July 1660: 100 men besides officers

See Also