Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

disciplined Militia ; the author's observations on the Reman Militia, in the second section, are no less curious than juft; but having already given a full account of the manner of their forming their armies, we shall not repeat it here*.

We come therefore to section third, where the plan for a national Militia is laid down. In the first place, then, it is proposed, that every man in Great Britain, froin feventeen to forty-six years of age, having 40 s. a year in land, and under 50 1. a year; or who is worth 401. in personal estate, and under 6ool. and his son or fons, being of the proper age ; and all those not having 40 s. a year, or 401. in money or goods, who have votes for members to serve in parliament, and their fons of proper age, to be of the Foot. And persons having an estate of gol. a year in land, and under 300l. a year; or who are worth 6ool. in personal estate, and under 3600l. (and their sons) to be of the HORSE. And he who has 300 l. a year in land, and under sool. or has 3600l. in personal estate, and under 6oool, may have in his choice to serve personally in the horse, or furnish a man for the foot service, at his own proper expence: But every one who has in pofleffion sool. a year, and upwards ; or a personal estate of boool. and upwards, shall be obliged, at his own expence, to furnith a man and horse, for the horse service. He next gives a list of persons to be exempted from personal service: these are peers and their fons, privy counsellors, members of the house of commons and their sons, knights of all degrees, justices of the peace who act, all the clergy, the gentlemen of the law, practitioners in physic, all persons employed in the service of the Royal Family, or the gover ment, all such as by their religion (being papists) render themselves incapable of serving, and all civil magistrates, parish-officers, failors, fea-faring men, fishermen, and watermen

Having enumerated the persons who are to compose this general Militia, he next fhews the manner of registering and training them, viz. ' by making the conftables of each parish keep a list of all the fighting men, qualified as above, within their bounds; whom the churchwardens, the first Sunday of every month, are to instruct in the exercise and ufe of military arms, to be kept for that purpose. But beside this montbly exercise, he proposes that there should be

* From the ingenious Abbe de Mably. See Review for O&ober laft, Vol. V. p. 341, feq.

a ge

a general muster of the whole county, or rather of every hundred in a year.

The general Militia thus established, he comes to the most useful part of the scheme, which is, to propose the manner of forming a select or standing Militia, by county regiments (horse and foot) to be chosen out of the standing Militia. And,

First, To proportion, as near as possible, to the property of each respective county, the numbers of men they are each to maintain for their standing Militia. In general, he proposes that one man in ten of the general Militia of every county should be chosen by lot or ballot to serve in the standing Militia ; by which means each county will maintain an equal number of men, in proportion to its extent and property ; because, as all the Militia is compofed of men of some property, the number of such men will be equal to the property and extent of each respective county.

Secondly, That these men 'fo chofen be formed into two regiments in every county ; one of Light-Horse, and the other of Foot, which are to be divided into companies and troops. Hence, though every county in Great Britain will have two regiments, yet the regiments of the larger and richer counties will be composed of a greater number of troops and companies; and of course have a greater number of men to maintain, than the lefser and poorer counties.

Thirdly, That this proportion of men to each county, be fixed at the first establishment of the standing Militia, never to be altered; because it would be endless to be add. ing or diminishing every year, according to the number of fighting men, who should happen to be upon every annual

register. Fourthly, That these county regiments have an uniform dress, to be furnished by the county.

Fifthly, That the time of their service be two years ; to be reckoned from the time of their being chofen out of the general Militia ; at the expiration of which, each man may demand his discharge; and upon his return home to the patish from whence he was chosen, be exempted from all Militia duty for one whole year; except he chuses to attend as a volunteer. And as this two years service, befide death and other accidents, will naturally cause great vacancies, the manner of recruiting them should be as plain and caly as posible; which, I think, is answered in every

respect

[ocr errors]

respect, when I propose the county-regiments to be recruited out of the general Militia, assembled together at the annual county muster; or whenever else the lord lieutenant thinks proper to appoint a county mufter: which, perhaps, will be sometimes found necessary, more than once a year ; especially in time of war, threatened invasion, or actual rebellion.

Sixthly; The method of chusing those who are to serve in the county-regiments, should be by lot; much in the same manner as was proposed above, at the first establishing these regiments : only, instead of every tenth man, it should be the exact number, more or less than every tenth, which the regiments at that time should happen to want ; and these to be drawn by lot 'or ballot, out of the whole number of militia, present at the general muster. But in order to make this military service as little burdensome to the people as possible ; it is proposed, that if any man, whose trade or calling depends on his personal attendance, atid whose family depends on his trade, should chance to draw the lot for entering into the service of the county regiments, shall have it in his option to fubftitute another in his stead; provided the person so substituted, be equally qualified as to height, age, &c. with himself.

Seventhly, The head quarters of the county-regiments to be in or near the county town of each county.

Eighthly, Neither the general Militia, nor the county regiments, or any part of them, fo as to make a body of armed men, to march out of their respective counties upon any pretext, or by any command whatsoever ; upon pain of being declared enemies to their country, and guilty of high treason.

Ninthly, A reasonable standard, for height should be fixed, under which no man should be admitted into the county regiments, notwithstanding he draws a lot for fuel admission: And, in this case, the lot drawn by a person not of the standard height, should de thrown in again into the common heap.

Tenthly, The Lord Lieutenant of each county, to have the command of the whole Militia (under the King, which is always to be understood) within the county : And to be colonel of each regiment of horse and foot, without pay; and to appoint the officers of each, who are to be paid by the county.

Eleventhly, If any Lord Lieutenant attempt to persuade, or presume to cominand, the whole, or any part of the

general

general Militia ; or of the county regiments, so as to make a body of armed men, to march out of the county, he Thall be guilty of high treason.

N. B. All cities, which are counties in themselves, are, by these proposals, to be under the same regulations in regard to their Militia, as the counties, the chief magistrate of each city having the same power and command over the Militia, as the Lord Lieutenant of a county.

As to the great metropolis, the cities of London and Weftminster, which have a Militia already, the author flatters himself with the hopes of seeing the magistrates of these corporations exerting themselves, in restoring the credit of their ancient Militia ; that in cases of sudden emergency, they may make use of their own natural strength, and conftitutional enforcement of obedience to the laws.

Having laid down this plan of a national Militia, he proceeds to fhew the advantages of it; and first, for recruiting the standing or crown army, which, in time of peace, he thinks, should never consist of more than the guards, the foreign garrisons, and the necessary regiments for the Plantations and Ireland » The manner proposed for recruiting these, is by balloting, or chusing a proportionable number of recruits by lot out of the regiments of each county. The men fo chosen, to enter immediately into the service and pay of the crown, and engage for three years in time of peace, and seven in time of war; and after the expiration of which, to be exempted two whole years from all Militia duty in the former case, and in the latter to be released from all military duty whatever, during the remainder of his life; except they chufe to act as voluntiers upon any occasion, or in case of invasions and infurrections.

So far, then, is the noble author, from disapproving of a standing or crown army altogether, that he proposes this method of recruiting it with men of property ; and even goes farther, by laying down the manner of increasing or adding new regiments to it in time of war. But for this as well as the arguments proving the necessity of a Militia, we must refer to the pamphlet itself *.

ART.

* We may justly observe with Ld Mx himself, (see his preface, p. 6) that the advantages of this Plan will be best known by reading it; acknowledging that cur extracts are far from fufficient to give an adequate idea of it.

N. B.

T

ART.XIII. The COUNTERPOISE. Being Thoughts on a

Militia and a Standimg Army. By WT
Efq; 810. Is. Cooper.

HE author of this pamphlet concurs with L-M

(of whose performance we have given some account in the preceding article) in the supposition of our great want of a militia, and in the means of restoring and improving this our natural defence; but he differs from that noble writer's opinion of a standing army's being too dangerous to be entertained or trufted at all : as some other writers have also imagined, particularly Mr. Moyle and Mr. Trenchard. Our author thinks that a standing army may still be kept up, with a more numerous militia for a Counterpoise. The latter, he very justly concludes, would be a continual check upon the former, if ever a weak or wicked prince, or general, should attempt to make an ill ufe of them, by employing their arms against the rights and liberties of their country. After laying down his scheme, which is in general the same with that of L-M-, ahe author obferves that the establishment of such a militia as he proposes, will be of inestimable advantage to the community in general; and that the charge thereof will be furprizingly small, when compared with that of other military forces: if, indeed, says he, they should happen to be drawn out on real service, in time of war, the expence

N. B. The following extract from the preface, p. 7. may not improperly be quoted here.

When I wrote these papers,' says the noble author, • I had the honour to attend upon the person of the best and most truly PATRIOT Prince, that I believe, ever adorn'd, or bless'd any country in the world; and whose loss I had

next to his own Family, the greatest reason to lament, of any other person in his service. But I lament it more for the sake of my Country than for myself. I know he intended many excellent regulations for the happiness of ENGLAND ; and did me the honour to approve of this scheme for a Militia, in many conversations I had with him upon it. And at his request I committed it to writing, but too late for his inspection

• I now make it public, that the present generation may kaow the thoughts of their favourite Prince, upon this favourite subject : and if they reject it, that pofterity may justify, or condemn their choice ; and neglect, or adopt it. I only wish, if this Plan is not pursued, that there never may come a time, in which we may want that SECURITY this promises us.'

must

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »