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The English, Scottish and Irish Armies
The English Army was born by Royal Warrant, on 26 Jan. 1661, eight months after the Stuart Restoration to the throne. The army, of 1660 onwards, consisted of a mix of regiments that the King brought to England from his exile, Cromwellian units which switched allegiance, and newly raised units. At this point in history, there were three separate small armies on the English, Scottish, and Irish establishments, all owing allegiance to the same monarch, and co-mingling with the forces of the Dutch and other establishments.
Both cavalry and foot regiments were either known by names given to the regiments by the King, or the names of their colonels, which may lead to confusion when new colonels take over and when the same person successively commands different regiments. Efforts to sort out this confusion leads to regimental nicknames which, in turn, sometimes evolves into official titles.
An important consideration was that of a particular regiment’s prestige. To serve in a higher-ranked (smaller-numbered) regiment was more prestigious than to serve in a lower-ranked (higher-numbered) regiment. Cavalry was more prestigious than infantry, and Guards regiments more prestigious than non-guards. Also, only gentlemen could serve in the Life Guard, no commoners allowed.