In March 1759, Horse Guards having realised the value of Light Cavalry as a distinct arm, King George II Commanded Colonel George Augustus Eliott (who had previously commanded the 2nd Horse Grenadier Guards) to raise a regiment of Light Dragoons, who would appear in the Army Lists with the designation The Fifteenth Light Dragoons - although they were popularly known as "Eliott's Light Horse". He was assisted in this by his Lieutenant Colonel, the Earl of Pembroke, and Major William Erskine, formerly of the 7th Dragoons (also among the troop captains was one David Dundas, later to find fame as 'Old Pivot' - author of The Drill Book).
This, the first regiment of Light Dragoons to be raised for permanent service, was a cause of much public excitement, and young men came very willingly to the various rendezvous (Acton, Knightsbridge, etc.) at which the troops were to be formed. Among these were many young journeymen tailors, who were involved in a march upon Parliament to present a petition about working conditions, and the enlistment of many of these gave rise to a Regimental nickname which is still current as the title of the Regimental Association Magazine - The Tabs.
The six troops of 60 men were rapidly formed, and by July were already sufficiently well trained for several troops to be sent to Kent to "assist the Civil Power". By the end of the year the regiment was up to its full establishment, and it was ordered that each troop be augmented by one cornet, one sergeant, one corporal, and forty three privates. In less than a year from the order for the raising of the regiment it was up to a strength of 684 NCOs and soldiers, and was placed under orders for foreign service.