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The Inns of Court & City Yeomanry has a unique and rich history that can be traced back to 1584 when lawyers from the Inns formed Associations to defend the country against the Spanish Armada.
The regiment has an intimate relationship with the law and lawyers, earning its nickname‘The Devil's Own' from King George III in 1803, who had a dislike for lawyers – particularly ones carrying arms. The Law Association's drums - the oldest in the British Army - that beat time for Association troops (mainly volunteers from the legal profession) during the Napoleonic Wars are now on display in the Regimental Museum.
The Regiment's history includes the Civil War (lawyers from the Inns joined the Royalists but their clerks joined the Parliamentarians), quelling uprisings and riots, and the World Wars through to present day service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Regiment has 26 battle honours and was privileged to have HM The Queen Mother as its Royal Honorary Colonel from 1957 until her death in 2002. The Regiment's history is told through its units and regimental life:
• The Inns of Court Regiment (Devil's Own)
• The City of London Yeomanry (the Rough Riders)
• 68 (IC&CY) Signal Squadron (V)
• Royal Yeomanry Band (Inns of Court & City Yeomanry)
• 348 (IC&CY) Home Service Force Squadron (HSF)
• The Guidon and Battle Honours.
• The Band
The unit's motto is "Salus Populi Suprema Lex" the literal translation being "The safety of the people is the supreme law". This dates from 1860 when it was adopted by the 23rd Middlesex (Inns of Court) Rifle Volunteer Corps (ICRV), which later became the Inns of Court Regiment. At the time the country was gripped by the fear of another possible French invasion by Napoleon III (nephew of the great Emperor). The motto reflects the unit's overriding aim to protect the country and its unique links to the legal profession and is still used and cherished today by the Inns of Court & City Yeomanry.
The Collect of The Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
O Lord, raise up, we pray Thee, thy power and come among us that we may alway stand fast for that which is right.
Turn our hearts that we, putting our trust not in arms but in Thee, may be guardians of the Law, the protector of thy people and of the City and the Queen's most faithful soldiers and servants.
Grant this we beseech Thee through thy Son Jesus Christ who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever One God world without end. Amen.
Wreaths are laid annually at each of the three war memorials that remember the fallen in the two World Wars in which the Inns of Court Regiment (the Devil's Own) or the City of London Yeomanry Regiment (The Rough Riders) fought.
St Bartholomew the Great church - City of London Yeomanry Regiment
Berkhamsted (on the edge of the golf course) - Inns of Court Regiment Officer Training Corps 1914-18
There is also a memorial to the Rough Riders killed in the Boer War at Waltham Abbey.
Note: Not one of those listed came from Waltham Abbey. But their commander Sir Richard Beale Colvin did. He was a local benefactor to the church and went on to become a Brigadier General and Lord Lieutenant of Essex. He died in 1936.