The Honourable Artillery Company (‘the Company’ or ‘the HAC’) was incorporated by a royal charter of King Henry VIII on 25th August 1537. The Company was registered as a charity in 1964 (charity no. 208443) ‘for military exercise and training and for the better defence of the realm’.
Today, the Charity Commission records the activities of the Company as being support to the HAC Regiment, support to a detachment of the City of London Special Constabulary, support to the Benevolent Fund and the ceremonial sub-units, conservation of the Company’s estate and preservation of the Company’s treasures.
Since 1908 the HAC has been a regiment of the Territorial Army and the Ministry of Defence is entirely responsible for training, equipping and, through the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, housing the Regiment, although much of the Company’s charitable funding goes towards supporting the Regiment in areas where public money is scarce or unavailable.
The Company consists of approximately 2,500 members, some 400 of whom are actively serving with either the Regiment or with the HAC Detachment of Special Constabulary of the City of London Police; the remainder are either veteran members who have previously served in the Regiment or non-Regimental members who have given military or police service to the Crown elsewhere.
The membership encompasses many activities and interests. Members have formed two veteran ceremonial sub-units and a number of sports clubs and societies.