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The Musketeers of the Guard ( ) or King's Musketeers ( ) had the full name - Musketeers of the military household of the King of France. ( ) They were an elite fighting company of the military branch of the Maison du Roi, the Royal Household of the French monarchy.
They were founded in 1622 when Louis XIII furnished a company of light cavalry (the carabins, created by Louis' father Henry IV) with muskets. The Musketeers fought in battles both on foot (infantry) and on horseback (cavalry). They formed the royal guard for the king while he was outside of the royal residences (within the royal residences, the king's guard was the Garde du corps and the Gardes suisses). The Musketeers of the Guard wore an early type of military uniform with a tabard (known as soubreveste), indicating that they "belonged" to the King, and an embroidered white cross denoting the fact that they were formed during the Huguenot rebellions in support of the Catholic cause.
Shortly after the Musketeers were established, a second company was founded to report to Cardinal Richelieu. At the cardinal's death in 1642, the company passed to his successor Cardinal Mazarin, who disbanded his Musketeers in 1646. He revived the Musketeers in 1657 with a company of 150 men. Upon Mazarin's death in 1661, the cardinal's Musketeers passed to Louis XIV.
In 1664, the two companies were reorganized: one company took the name "Grey Musketeers" (mousquetaires gris) from the color of their matched horses, while the second were called "Black Musketeers" (mousquetaires noirs), mounted on black horses. At roughly the same time, the size of the Musketeer companies was doubled.
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