The Regiment's London links date from the formal foundation of 'Our Royal Regiment of Fusiliers' by Royal Warrant of James II on June 11th 1685. The Royal Fusiliers were formed as the Ordnance Regiment by George Legge, Lord Dartmouth, the Governor of the Tower and Master General of the Ordnance, to secure and protect the Royal Arsenal. The Regiment was constituted from two old independent companies that had long garrisoned the Tower, together with ten additional companies that were raised from the City, largely men of the Trained Bands - particularly the Tower Hamlets Regiment. To fit them for their specific role each man was to be armed with a 'fusil', a new French design of musket, safer for use near carts of open gunpowder due to its covered flash-pan. The Fusiliers were the first regiment of foot to be titled Royal and to be formed upon English soil, rather than by renaming private or mercenary regiments brought home from European service. The United Red and White Rose within the Garter with Crown over it, the traditional Royal emblem marked upon all the King's ordnance of war, was adopted as the Regiment's badge.

After the Glorious Revolution of 1688-9 the Fusilers departed the Tower to fight on many foreign shores. Except for brief visits, they did not return to be permanently stationed in London until the 1st Battalion again made its home in the Tower in 1880. Under the Cardwell Reforms, in which all infantry regiments were given a territorial title, the Royal Fusiliers were designated the 'City of London Regiment'. The Royal Fusiliers were granted the Freedom of the City on October 13th 1924.

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