Life Guards Company

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Life Guards Company

 

a grenadier company (364 men) of the Preobrazhenskii Life Guards Regiment, with whose aid a palace coup was carried out in Russia on Nov. 25, 1741, and Empress Elizaveta Petrovna was elevated to the throne.

The company received the name “Life Guards,” with a special uniform and banner, on Dec. 31, 1741. Elizaveta Petrovna took the rank of captain of the Life Guards, and all officers of the Life Guards Company were made generals (ensigns were promoted to the rank of colonel), and noncommissioned officers and soldiers were made officers; those not members of the dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry) acquired hereditary membership and estates. All members of the Life Guards Company were given a special coat of arms with the motto “For Loyalty and Zeal.” The Life Guards Company was billeted in special quarters near the Winter Palace; they performed internal guard duty and made up the honor escort of the empress. On Mar. 21, 1762, the Life Guards Company was abolished by Emperor Peter III. Under Catherine II a portion of the company was enlisted in the Cavalier Guards Regiment, and others received pensions.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.