Thursday, 11 July 2019

Battle-Axe Guard

Standard of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

THE BATTLE-AXE GUARDS, based at Dublin Castle, were analogous to the Beefeaters in the Tower of London.

A 19th century description provides an insight of their ceremonial duties:
The Lord Lieutenant [of Ireland] holds a Court at the Castle; where levées are sometimes held; and His Excellency's State and Household is, in every respect, becoming a representative of Majesty.

He is allowed a company of battle-axe men, under the command of a captain, who has the rank of colonel; and two subalterns, who have the rank of captains.

The battle-axe-guards do duty in the public apartments of the Court. 
Besides this guard, the Lord Lieutenant has a bodyguard, consisting of a subaltern's guard of horse, with a captain of infantry, two subalterns, and sixty men.

This guard of honour is lodged in the Castle, and relieved every day by a detachment from the Royal Barracks.

The form of relieving guard at the Castle has always had attractions for the citizens of Dublin, who attend in great numbers every day, to witness this very interesting spectacle.

THE JACKET, or coatee, was scarlet, single-breasted, with a blue collar.

The collar was laced all round with wide gold lace showing only a narrow light of the blue in the centre.

The front edges of the coatee were also laced with this same wide gold lace, and there were loops of the same lace across the breast, the top loop extending to the shoulder, the others gradually narrowing to the waist.

A heavy gold bullion epaulette was worn on each shoulder, the straps embroidered in gold on blue cloth.

No pouch-belt was worn.


THE Battle-Axe Guards were disbanded, on grounds of cost, in 1831.

The official residences of His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland were Dublin Castle, and Viceregal Lodge, Phoenix Park, County Dublin.

First published in July, 2013.


Unknown said...

Are there any records as to who might have served in these Battle-Ax guards? I've found a blurb in a very old Dublin newspaper regarding what might be one of my ancestors but it only says he was one of them and died.

Demetrius said...

Between 1864 and 1866 The Lord Wodehouse was Lord Lieutenant. I wonder if he had a sense of humour?

Unknown said...

That's my 4th Great Grandfather

Anonymous said...

Gilbert's "Manuscripts of the Marquis of Ormonde, Preserved at the Castle, Kilkenny" includes a muster roll from 14 October 1662 of the Guard of Battleaxes.