c1900 Exon Officers Truncheon of Yeomen of the Guard


A fine and rare example of late Victorian British Exon Officer’s Truncheon of the Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, better known as the Beefeaters.

The truncheon is made of wood (possibly oak) and is long and cylindrical, with a ribbed handle. The truncheon has had 2 opposing sides cut back in order to make it fit more discreetly within the uniform. The flattened sides were painted yellow and black. The top of the truncheon is boldly engraved EXON 17. Condition is good, but some of the paint has rubbed off and there are a few old worm holes. There is a leather lanyard fitted through a hole in the handle.

Within the Yeomen of the Guard, the rank of Exon is the most junior, however, that still equates to the rank of captain. There are four Exons. The first mention of Exon is in the ceremony relating to Charles II. They were added to the staff of officers in 1668. The derivation and meaning of the word Exon has been a puzzle to many, but it is undoubtedly the French pronunciation of the word exempt. An exempt was an officer in the old French Garde Du Corps. "Exempts des Guedes du Corps" (Exons belonging to the Body Guards).
The Exon’s duty as defined in 1881 was to occupy the Exon’s quarters at St James’s Palace, to attend the calling of "the Bill" at mid-day at the Yeomen of the Guard’s Office, and to ascertain from the Lord Chamberlain’s Department what other orders there might be for the day. The present rules require that a candidate for the appointment of Exon must have been a captain in the Army, RAF or Royal Marines.

Size: 47 cm (18 ½ inches)
Weight: 250 g