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Last Updated 12/31/00
AN ACT for the better regulating the Militia of this Government
Whereas the safety of this as well as all other well Governed Colonies greatly depends upon the well regulating the Militia thereof We pray your most Sacred Majesty that it may be enacted
And be it Enacted by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esqr. Governour Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over this province by and with the advice of his Majesty's Council and the General Assembly of the same that from hence forward the Militia of this Government shall consist of all the Freemen within the same between the age of Sixteen Years and Sixty and the Several Captains now appointed Commissionated or hereafter to be appointed and Commissionated shall within three months next after the ratifycation of this Act take a List of the Names of all such Freemen within the districts of which their Several Companys shall consist and return a Copy thereof to the Colonel of the Regiment under the penalty of ten pounds Proclamation Money to be levied by a Warrant from the Colonel of such Regiment to be applied as herein after is directed.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid that when such Lists are taken as aforesaid the said Captains shall once every Year from hence forward videlicet in the month of October take new Lists of all the Freemen in their said Several Districts and return Copys thereof as before directed under the like penalty of ten Pounds to be levied as before directed.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid that any Person or Persons after having been so Inlisted who shall at any time hereafter (without Sufficient cause to be allowed of by his Comanding Officer) fail or refuse (on Notice given) to appear at such times and places as shall from time to time be appointed by the Colonel of Regiment to which he belongs for that purposes there to be mustred Trained and Exercised in arms or that shall not at such times and places be well provided with a good Gun well fixed and a Sword or Cutlass and at least twelve Charges of powder and Ball or Swan Shot shall forfeit and pay for his non appearance the sum of two Shillings and Six pence proclamation money and two Shillings and Sixpence like money for want of any of the accoutrements aforesaid to be Levied by a warrant from one of the Field Officers belonging to the Regiment or the Captain of the Company directed to the Searjant of the said Company.
Provided that no person shall incurr the penalty for appearing in the Field without Sword or Cutlass untill the Expiration of two Years after the Ratification of this Act Provided that no Minister of the Church of England no Member of his Majesty's Council no Member of Assembly Secretary Attorney General practicing attorney no Man who has been a Field Officer or Captain no Justice of the peace no practicing Physitian or Chirurgeon no Clerks of any of the Courts of Justice Millers or Ferrymen shall be obliged to Inlist themselves or Attend such Musters as aforesaid.
And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that in case of any Invasion of this province or Expedition to be carried on against an Enemy within the Province it shall and may be Lawfull for the Governour or Commander in Chief to raise all or so many of the Forces of this Government as he shall think necessary for opposing the said Invasion or Supporting the said Expedition and any Person whatsoever who shall refuse or neglect on Summons to appear at such times and places as shall be appointed by his Captain or other Officer by his Command with well fixed arms and at least one Quarter of a pound of powder and a pound of Swan Shot or Bullets or shall refuse to march against the Enemy where Command within this province shall forfeit and pay for either of the said Offences the Sum of five pounds proclamation money to be Levied by a Warrant from the Colonel of the Regiment and if the said Officer shall neglect or refuse to issue his Warrant and do his duty as aforesaid he shall forfeit and pay the sum of twenty pounds proclamation money to be levied by a warrant from the Governour or Commanding Officer on that Service.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that in case of any Invasion of the Province of Virginia or South Carolina it shall and may be Lawfull for the Governour or Commander in chief for the time being by and with the advice and consent of the Majority of the Council to raise so many of the forces of this Government as shall be thought necessary to give proper relief to such of the provinces aforesaid as shall be Invaded and to march them to their Assistance at the expence of the province desiring such assistance.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that if any Person shall be so disabled in the Service of the Country as not to be able to maintain himself or pay for his Cure he that is so disabled shall be cured at the Publick Charge and have one good Negroe man purchased for and given to him at the charge of the Publick for his maintainance and if one shall be killed the Publick shall make the same provision for his wife and Family.
And be it Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that such Persons who by this Act are Exempt from Inlisting themselves or appearing at musters shall be ready at any time of danger to attend the Commands of the Governour or Commander in Chief for the time being within the Province compleatly furnished with Arms and Amunition on penalty of five pounds proclamation money to be levied by a Warrant from the Governor or Commander in Chief.
And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid that if during the time of Muster any Soldier shall resist his Lawfull Officer or refuse to obey his Lawfull Comands or be any ways Mutinous such Soldier shall be punished at the discretion of the Captain with the Lieutenant or Ensign by being tyed neck and heels or Riding the wooden Horse and if any person during the time of any alarm Invasion or Expedition against any Enemy shall desert his Colours or be any ways Mutinous or be disobedient to his Officers Commands it shall and may be Lawfull for one Field Officer and four Captains at least if so many are in Service or for want of them Lieutenants to Call a Court Marshal to be held openly and on Tryal and conviction to Punish the Offenders according to Marshal Law as the nature of the crime shall require Death Excepted.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that all fines that shall accrue by virtue of this Act shall when Levied be accounted for and paid to the Colonel of the Regiment to be by him laid by in purchasing Colours Drums and such other ornaments as he shall think proper for the use of the company from whence such Fine or penaltys shall arise or become due and the overpluss if any there be laid out in purchasing arms and amunition for the Publick Service and the said Colonel shall once every Year lay a true and just account of all such money as he shall receive for the fines aforesaid before the Governour or Commander in Chief for the time being under the penalty of fifty pounds Proclamation money to be Levied by a Warrant from the Governour or Commander in Chief by him to be applied to Purchasing Arms and Amunition for the use of the Publick.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that if the Officer to whom any Warrant shall be directed to Levy any of the fines aforesaid cannot discover any of the goods or Estate of any persons against whom he hath a Warrant then the said officer shall apprehend the body of such Persons and bring him before the Colonel of the Regiment who is hereby required and impowered to call together all the Officers of his Regiment Lieutenant and Ensigns Excepted and if the said person shall refuse or neglect imediately to pay the said Fine then the Colonel by and with the advice and consent of the Majority of the said Officers shall bind out such Person if of able body to any person who shall pay the said Fine to serve as long as shall be thought Equivalent to the said Fine at the rate of Seven Shillings and Sixpence proclamation money per week.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid that every Captain of a Company shall twice every Year at such times and places as the Colonels of the Several Regiments of this province shall appoint Muster their Companys and see that every Soldier in their Companys be furnished with such Arms and Amunition as by this Act is before directed under the penalty of five pounds proclamation to be Levied by a warrant from the Colonel of the Regiment and by him to be applied as the other fines in this Act are before directed to be applied.
And be it Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the Colonels of each and every Regiment in this Province shall once every Year cause a General Muster to be made of all the Companys within their respective Regiments which if any of them shall neglect or refuse to do he or they so Offending shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Twenty Pounds proclamation money to be recovered by a Warrant from the Governour or Commander in Chief to be applied to the uses aforementioned in this Act.
And be it Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid in case the Governour or Commander in Chief for the time being shall at any time hereafter appoint any Troop or Troops of Horse in any County in this Province that then and in such case the said Troop or Troops that shall be so appointed are hereby Exempt from Mustring in any of the Foot Compantys within their Several Countys and shall be accoutred as Horse Men ought to be and Subject to Muster at the same times and under the same penaltys as before by this Act is directed.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that from and after the ratification of this Act all other Acts relating to the Militia of this Province shall be and they are hereby declared Null and Void.
CO 5/333, fs. 58-59b
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