laws, orders, and resolutions concerning the militia of massachusetts-bay

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  • 8/13/2019 Laws, Orders, And Resolutions Concerning the Militia of Massachusetts-Bay

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    Laws, Orders, and Resolutions Concerning

    the Militia of Massachusetts-Bay

    1693-1775

    Compiled and Transcribed by

    John Welch

    November, 2013

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    The following acts and amendments governed the militia of Massachusetts-Bay fromthe 1690s until the outbreak of war with England in 1775. As you will see, with the exceptionof several short term measures passed during the French and Indian War, the organization andregulation of the militia at the outset of the Revolution remained largely as it had during thereign of King William and Queen Mary (the last major revision to the original act was passedin 1738). As tensions mounted during the fall of 1774, the Provincial Congress began to passresolutions that, if followed, would better prepare the militia for a potential conflict. Theseresolves were not laws and did not alter the old militia act. Rather, they were recommendationsthat worked within the existing militia framework. It would not be until the late fall of 1775that the new provincial government would meet to revise the militia laws. On April 19, 1776, ayear after the fighting at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts-Bay formally abolished theMilitia Act of 1693 and adopted new Rules and Regulations for the Militia.1

    The acts, amendments, resolves, and recommendations given here have beentranscribed from printed period sources. While the original formatting has been followedclosely, the independent pagination has not. Spellings and capitalizations have not beenchanged.

    John Welch

    November, 2013

    Massachusetts-Bay. Acts and Laws, Passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of theProvince of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, From 1692, to 1719. London: Printedby John Baskett, Printer to the Kings Most Excellent Majesty, 1724.

    ________. Acts and Laws, Passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of His MajestysProvince of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, Begun and Held at Boston, uponWednesday the Thirty-first Day of May 1738. Boston: Printed by John Draper, Printer toHis Excellency the Governour and Council, 1738.

    ________.An Act, Passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of His Majestys Province of theMassachusetts-Bay in New-England: Begun and Held at Boston upon Wednesday the twenty-eight Day of May, 1755. And Continued by sundry Prorogations and Adjournments to Tuesdaythe thirtieth Day of March following, and then met. Boston: Printed by S. Kneeland, 1756.

    ________.An Act, Passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of His Majestys Province of theMassachusetts-Bay in New-England: Begun and Held at Boston in New-England, uponWednesday the twenty-fifth Day of May Anno Domini, 757 and continued by sundryProrogations to Wednesday the twenty-third Day of November following, and then met.Published January 26, 1758.

    ________. Temporary Acts and Laws of His Majestys Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England. Boston: Printed and Sold by S. Kneeland in Queen-Street, 1755.

    The Resolves of the Provincial Congress were printed as broadsides or handbills on or aboutthe dates given. No indication of the printer was included on the original documents.

    1Massachusetts-Bay, The Militia Act; together with the Rules and Regulations for the Militia, Published by Order of theGeneral Assembly, (Boston: Printed by J. Gill, in Queen-Street, 1776).

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    ACTS and LAWS Passed by the Great and General Courtor Assembly of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay inNew-England; Begun and Held at Bostonthe Eighth Day of

    November, 1693.

    An Act for Regulating of the Militia

    WHEREAS for the Honour and Service of Their Majesties, and for the Security of thisTheir Province against any Violence or Invasion whatever, it is necessary that due Carebe taken, that the Inhabitants thereof be Armed, Trained, and in a suitable Posture andReadiness, for the Ends aforesaid, and that every Person may know his Duty, and beobliged to perform the same; Be it therefore Enacted by his Excellency the Governor,Council, and Representatives, in General Court assembled; and it is Ordained andEnacted by the Authority of the same,

    I. THAT all Male Persons, from Sixteen Years of Age to Sixty, (other than such asare herein after excepted) shall bear Arms, and duly attend all Musters and MilitaryExercises of the respective Troops and Companies where they are listed or belong,allowing Three Months Time to every Son next after his coming to Sixteen Years of Age,and every Servant so long, after his Time is out, to provide themselves with Arms andAmmunition, &c.

    II. AND the Clerk of each Troop and Company, once a Quarter yearly, shall take anexact List of all Persons living within the Precincts of such Troop or Company, andpresent the same to the Captain or Chief Officer, on Pain of forfeiting Forty Shillings for

    each Default, to be paid to the Captain or Chief Officer, to the Use of the Company; and incase of Non-payment, to be levied by Distress and Sale of the Offenders Goods, by Virtueof a Warrant from the Captain or Chief Officer, who is hereby impowered to grant thesame.

    III. THAT every Person listed in any Troop or Company, shall so continue and attendall Duty in such Troop or Company, or otherwise suffer the Penalty by Law provided,until orderly dismissed or removed out of the Town or Precinct: And in case of Removalinto the Precinct of another Company in the same Town, to produce a Certificate underthe Hand of the Captain or Chief Officer of the Precinct whereto he is removed, that he islisted there.

    IV. IF any Person, liable to be listed as aforesaid, do exempt himself, by shifting fromHouse to House, or Place to Place, to avoid being so listed, he shall pay as a Fine forevery such Offence, to the Use of the Company to which he belongs, Ten Shillings, beingconvicted before any Justice of the Peace of that County.

    V. THAT every listed Soldier and other Housholder (except Troopers) shall be alwaysprovided with a well fixt Firelock Musket, of Musket or Bastard Musket Bore, the Barrelnot less than Three Foot and a half long; or other good Fire Arms, to the Satisfaction of

    Persons liableto Train.

    Clerk to takea List fourtimes a Year.

    Persons toattend Dutywhere listed,till orderlydismissed.

    Penalty onsuch as shallshift to avoidListing.

    Foot Soldiers,how to bearmed

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    the Commission Officer of the Company; a Snapsack, a Collar with Twelve Bandaleers, orCartouch-box; One Pound of good Powder, Twenty Bullets fit for his Gun, and TwelveFlints; a good Sword or Cutlash, a Worm and Priming-wire fir for his Gun, on Penalty ofSix Shillings for want of such Arms as is hereby required, and Two Shillings for eachother Defect, and the like Sum for every Four Weeks he shall remain unprovided; theFine to be paid by Parents for their Sons under Age, and under their Command; and byMasters or Heads of Families, for their Servants, other than Servants upon Wages.

    VI. THAT every Trooper shall be always provided with a good serviceable Horse ofFive Pounds Value, and not less than Fourteen Hands high, (the same to be determinedby the Two Chief Commission Officers) covered with a good Saddle, Bit, Bridle, Holsters,Pectoral and Crupper; and furnished with a Carbine, the Barrel not less than Two Footand half long, with a Belt and Swivel; a Case of good Pistols; with a Sword or Cutlash; aFlask or Cartouch-box; One Pound of good Powder, Three Pounds of sizeable Bullets,Twenty Flints, and a good Pair of Boots and Spurs; on Penalty of Twelve Shillings forwant of such Horse as is hereby ordered, and Three Shillings a Piece for every otherDefect, and the like Sum for every Six Weeks he shall remain unprovided; and that each

    Trooper list his Horse, and shall not dispose thereof without the Consent of his ChiefOfficer, on the Penalty of Five Pounds; and for Non-apperance at the Time and Placeappointed for Exercise, every listed Trooper, for each Days Neglect, shall pay TenShillings Fine.

    VII. THAT there may be Two Troops in a Regiment, each of which Troops shall notexceed Sixty Men with Officers.

    VIII. THAT Regimental Musters shall be but once in Three Years (except in Boston.)And every Captain or Chief Officer of any Company or Troop in any Regiment, shall beobliged, on Penalty of Five Pounds, to draw forth his Company or Troop, or cause them

    to be drawn forth Four Days annually, and no more, to exercise them in Motions, the Useof Arms, and Shooting at Marks, or other Military Exercises; which every Person, liableto Train, having been duly warned, and not appearing and attending the same, shall, foreach Days Neglect, pay a Fine of Five Shillings.

    IX. THAT the Commission Officers of any Company or Troop, or the major Part ofthem, may order the Correcting and Punishing Disorders and Contempt on a TrainingDay, or on a Watch, the Punishment not being greater than laying Neck and Heels,Riding the Wooden Horse, or Ten Shillings Fine.

    X. THAT there be Military Watches appointed and kept in every Town, at suchTimes, in such Places, and in such Numbers, and under such Regulations, as the Chief

    Military Officers of each Town shall appoint, or as they may receive Orders from theChief Officer of the Regiment: And that all Persons able of Body, or that are of Estate(and not exempted by Law) shall, by themselves, or some meet Person in their stead, tothe Acceptance of the Commander of the Watch, attend the same, on Penalty of FiveShillings for each Defect, there having been due Warning given.

    XI. EVERY Soldier, or other Person liable by Law, refusing or neglecting to attendMilitary Exercises on Training Days, or Military Watches, that shall not pay, or have no

    Troopers, howto befurnishd.

    RegimentalMusters, andTraining of

    particularCompanies.

    CommissionOfficersPower.

    MilitaryWatches.

    Penalty fornot attendingMilitaryExercises.

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    Estate to be found whereon to levy the Fine; it shall be in the Power of the Captain, orChief Officers of such Company, on the next Training Day after such Neglect (he nothaving satisfied the Clerk) to punish him for such Offence, by laying Neck and Heels, orRiding the Wooden Horse, not exceeding One Hours Time: And if such Delinquent shallabsent himself the second Training Day, without giving sufficient Reason to the Captain,or Chief Officer for the same, it shall be in the Power of the Chief Officer of the Companyto direct a Warrant to the Constable of the Town, requiring him to apprehend suchDelinquent, and bring him into the Field, that he may be punished according as by thisLaw is provided: And all Constables are hereby required to execute such Warrantsaccordingly.

    XII. THAT the Persons hereafter named be exempted from all Trainings, viz. TheMembers of the Council, the Representatives for the time being, the Secretary, Justices ofthe Peace, President, Fellows, Students, and Servants of HarvardCollege, exempted byCollege-Charter, Masters of Art, Ministers, Elders and Deacons of Churches, Sheriffs,Allowed Physicians, or Chyrurgeons, and Professed Schoolmasters, all such as have hadCommissions, and served as Field Officers, or Captains, Lieutenants, or Ensigns,

    Coroners, Treasures, Attorney General, Deputy Sheriffs, Clerks of Courts, Constables,constant Ferrymen, and One Miller to each Gristmill, Officers employed in and aboutTheir Majesties Revenues, all Masters of Vessels of Thirty Tuns and upwards, usuallyemployed beyond Sea, and constant Herdsmen, Lame Persons, or otherwise disabled inBody (producing Certificate thereof from Two able Chyrurgeons) Indiansand Negroes.

    XIII. THAT the Persons hereafter named be and hereby are exempted from MilitaryWatches and Wardings, viz. The Members of the Council, Secretary, Representatives forthe time being, President, Fellows, Students of Harvard College, and the Gentlemenbelonging to the Troop of the Governors Guard, Ministers and Elders of Churches,Allowed Physicians and Chyrurgeons, Constables, constant Ferrymen, and One Miller to

    each Gristmill.

    XIV. THAT the Captain and Commission Officers of each Company or Troop shall,and hereby are fully impowered to nominate and appoint meet Persons to serve asSerjeants and Corporals in the respective Companies or Troops; and to displace them, andappoint others in their room, as they shall see meet.

    XV. THAT twice every Year, or oftner, if required, every Captain or Chief Officer ofeach Company or Troop shall give Order for a diligent Enquiry into the State of hisCompany, and for taking an exact List of the Names of his Soldiers, and Inhabitantswithin the Limits of his Company, and of the Defects of Arms, or otherwise, and Names ofthe defective Persons, that they may be prosecuted as the Law hath provided, and such

    Care may be taken as is proper to remedy the same.

    XVI. THAT if any Person, who is by Law obliged to provide Arms and Ammunition,cannot purchase the same by such Means as he hath, if he bring to the Clerk of theCompany Corn, or other Merchantable Provision, or Vendible Goods, so much as byApprizement of the Clerk, and Two other Persons mutually chosen, shall be judged ofgreater Value by One Fifth Part than such Arms or Ammunition is of, he thereupon shallbe excused from the Penalties for want of Arms and Ammunition, until he can be

    Persons ex-empted fromTraining.

    Persons ex-emted fromMilitaryWatches, &c.

    CommissionOffiers to ap-pointSerjeants andCorporals.

    View of Arms.

    How Personsunable to pur-chase Arms,may be provi-ded.

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    determine all Matters proper for their Cognizance, and to give Sentence, and to grantMittimus, or Warrants for Distraint to the Clerk of the Company where the Offence iscommitted; for Executing which Warrant, if above Forty Shillings, he shall have TenShillings out of the smae for his Pains and Trouble therein, and no more.

    XX. THAT there be a Stock of Powder and Ammunition in each Town provided, andfrom time to time, as there is Need, be renewed by the Select-men; which shall be a Barrelof good Powder, Two hundred Weight of Bullets, and Three Hundred Flints for everySixty listed Soldiers, and after that Proportion for the listed Soldiers of each Town,whether more or less: Also that the Select-men procure such a Number of Arms, and somuch Ammunition, as it shall be made appear, by the Chief Commission Officers of eachCompany in the several Towns, to be needful for the Supply of such Poor, as by Law theyare to provide for. And such Town as cannot make it appear to the Chief Commander ofthe Regiment, that they are thus provided at or before the First of Maynext, shall payFive Pounds Fine; which hall be distrained by Warrant from the said Officer, directedunto the Constable, upon the Select-men of the Town, or any of them, and disposed of forthe Use of the said Town towards the Supply of such Stock; and the like Sum for every

    Three Months they shall remain so unprovided.

    XXI. AND the Select-men, where there is not a sufficient Stock of Powder, Arms, andAmmunition, and in such Towns where there is need of Watch-houses, Firing andCandles for their Watches; in such case the Select-men, for so much as is wanting, are toprocure or satisfie what is required or needed, as before; and shall make Provision for thesame by a Rate, equally and justly laid upon the Inhabitants and Estate in such Towns;and such Rate, signed and committed by them to the Constables, to collect, who shall andhereby are required and authorized to collect the same; and for Non-payment to distrainas for other Rates; and the Money or Pay collected, to be brought in to the Chief MilitaryOfficers and Select-men of the Town, to be by them improved for the Ends aforesaid: And

    the Select-men, or so many of them, as shall neglect their Duty herein, shall pay TwentyShillings Fine; to be paid to the Captain for the Use of the Company, being Convict beforeTwo Justices of the Peace, who are hereby impowered to convent the Party, and to hearand determine the same, and, if need be, to appoint other meet Persons in such Towns,under the like Penalties, to perform the said Service.

    XXII. THAT no Clerk Ex officiomake Distraint for any Fine until Four Days after theOffence committed, that so the Party may have Opportunity to make Excuse, if any hehave, why he should not pay the Fine. And every Clerk, that neglects or refuses toaccount or make Payment, as by this Law is provided, he, by a Warrant from the ChiefOfficer of the Company directed to the Constable, may be distrained on for so much as hehath or should have collected or distrained for.

    XXIII. That all Officer yield Obedience to the Warrants or Commands of theirSuperior Officers, on Penalty of Five Pounds, to be heard and determined at the nextMeeting of the Chief Officers and Captains of the Regiment; and that Fine to be taken byDistres and Sale of the Offenders Goods (returning the Overplus, if any be) by Warrantfrom the Chief Officer of the Regiment, directed to the Clerk of the Company to whichsuch Offender belongs, and to be improved to the Use and Benefit of such Company, asthe Officer so met shall agree, their Expences being first defrayd out of the same.

    Town Stock of

    Ammunition,&c.

    Penalty for be-ngnprovided.

    elect-men tomake a Rateor buying of

    Ammunition,&c. in case.

    Penalty forNeglect.

    Clerk ex officionot to distrainwithin 4 Days.

    Penalty for hisNeglect to ac-

    ount, &c.

    Penalty for Of-icers disobey-ng their Supe-ior Officers.

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    XXIV. THAT an Alarm at the Castle, upon Castle-Islandnear Boston, being made uponsuch Causes as are agreeable to Instructions to be given by the Governor to the Captainof the Castle, shall be by putting out Two Flags, and firing Two Guns towards the Town;at which Time there shall, with all possible Speed, such Numbers be sent down for theirRelief, as the Governor and Captain General, or such Person, as shall be Commander inChief in his Absence, shall think necessary. At any other Place an Alarm may be made, byfiring Three Guns one after another, or by firing a Beacon, their Drums beating anAlarm, all Persons being called upon to arm; upon which all the Trained Soldiers, andothers capable to bear Arms, that are then resident in any Town, shall forthwith appearcomplete with their Arms and Ammunition, according to Law, at the usual Place ofRendezvouz, or where the Chief Officers shall appoint, there to attend such Commands asshall be given for their Majesties Service; and that on the Penalty of Five Pounds Fine, orThree Months Imprisonment. The Members of the Council, Justices, and Sheriffs, toattend upon the Governor, if at or near Boston; and in other Places, to appear and advisewith the Chief Military Officers of the Town, and to be assisting in their MajestiesService, according to their Quality. And such Alarms shall at all times be carried on fromNeighbourhood to Neighbourhood, and from Town to Town, throughout the Province;

    and from such Town where the Alarm is made, there shall be forthwith dispatched One ormore Horse-men, to signifie the Occasion thereof to the Justice of Peace, Chief MilitaryOfficer, or Constable of the next Town or Towns; which all Persons are to take Notice ofand attend, as is before directed: And if the Alarm be made, either from a Sea-port Town,or other Town that lies a Frontier to, or in great Danger of the Enemy, the Captain orCaptains of the adjacent Towns shall forthwith go with, or send such Relief, as they shalljudge meet, for the Offence of the Enemy, or Defense of themselves and Neighbours; butso as to be observant to any Commands or Orders they may receive from their SuperiorOfficers. And if any Person shall wilfully make a false Alarm, he shall be fined to TheirMajesties Twenty Pounds, for Support of the Government, or suffer Six MonthsImprisonment.

    XXV. NO Officer, Military or Civil, or other Person, shall quarter or billet any Soldieror Seaman upon any Inhabitant within this Province, without his Consent (other than thePublick Licensed Houses) under Penalty of One hundred Pounds; to be recovered byAction, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any Court of Record; one Half to Their Majestiesfor the Support of the Government, the other Half-part to the Party grieved, that shallinform and sue for the same: And every such Inhabitant may refuse to quarter any Soldieror Seaman, notwithstanding any Order whatsoever.

    XXVI. THAT all Persons exempted by this Law from Trainings, shallnotwithstanding be provided with Arms and Ammunition complete, upon the samePenalty as those that are obliged to Train.

    XXVII. ALL Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures, arising by Virtue of this Act, or anyBreach thereof (not otherwise disposed of therein) shall be for the Use of the Regiment,Company, or Troop respectively; that is to say, for procuring and repairing Drums,Trumpets, Colours, Banners, Halberts, paying of Drummers and Trumpeters, or otherCharge of the said Company; and the Overplus (if any be) to be laid out in Arms andAmmunition for a Town Stock; and be recovered by Action, Bill, Plaint, or Information,in any of Their Majesties Courts of Record.

    Alarm.

    Penalty fornotappearingupon anAlarm.

    Relief to besent to theFrontiers.

    Penalty for aFalse Alarm

    Penalty forQuarteringSoldiers, &c.upon Inhabi-tants.

    Fines andForfeitureshow to bedisposedandrecovered.

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    ACTS and LAWS Passed by the Great and General Courtor Assembly of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay inNew-England; Begun and Held at Boston the Thirty first

    Day of May, 1699.

    An Act in Addition to the Act for Regulating the Militia.

    WHEREAS in and by the Act, Intituled, An Act for Regulating the Militia, amongstother things therein contained, It is Enacted, That Drums, Drummers, Trumpets,Trumpeters, Colours and Banners, be, by the Commission Officers of each Troop orCompany, provided at the Charge of the respective Companies and Troops, where theyare not already provided, and the Fines will not reach to procure the same: But noDirection being given by the said Law, hoe or in what Manner such Charge shall beraised and levied upon such Company or Troop; Be it therefore Enacted by his Excellency

    the Governor, Council, and Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by theAuthority of the same, That when and so often as the Fines, arising in any MilitaryCompany or Troop, shall not be sufficient to answer the Charge of providing suitableDrums, Trumpets, Colours, and Banners, and the Support of Drummers or Trumpeters,the Commission Officers of such Company or Troop respectively, are hereby authorizedand impowered to assess so much, as shall be wanting and necessary for that Use andOccasion, upon their Company or Troop; and to proportion the same in the most equalManner they may, upon all the Persons entered in the Roll of such Company or Troop,and liable to attend any Military Duty in the same; having due Regard unto Persons ofAbility for Estate and other Circumstances: And where there be Sons and Servants, theirParents or Masters to pay for them, if they cannot do it themselves. And the Assessment

    so made, being signed by the Commission Officers, shall be committed unto the Clerk ofthe same, requiring the said Clerk to collect and pay in the same unto himself, to beemployed and disposed to the Use aforesaid; and to make Distress of all Persons that shallneglect or refuse to pay their Proportion thereof: And such Clerk is hereby impoweredand required to execute such Warrant accordingly, and to pay in the said Monies unto hisChief Officer. And if any fail in their Betrustment and Duty aforesaid, that shall be liableto give Account to their Superior Officers, from time to time.

    Confirmed22 Octob.1700.

    CommissionOfficers tomakeAssessmentfor Drums,Trumpets,&c.

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    ACTS and LAWS Passed by the Great and General Courtor Assembly of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay inNew-England; Begun and Held at Boston the Thirty first

    Day of May, 1699; And Continued by several Prorogationsuntil Wednesday the Thirteenth of March following, andthen Sat.

    An Act for putting the Militia of this Province into a Rediness for Defense of the same.

    WHEREAS by the Law of this Province it is already Provided, That in case ofAlarms made either from a Sea-port Town, or other Town lying Frontier to, or inDanger of an Enemy, the Captain or Captains of the adjacent Towns shall forthwith goor send such Relief, as they shall judge meet, for the Offence of the Enemy, and Defense

    of themselves, &c. But forasmuch as the Occasion may be such, asso sudden, as it maybe necessary to call together, arm, aray, and put into a Posture of War, the whole Militiaand Forces of One or more Regiments, for the Defense of the Province, and His MajestysSubjects therein, in case of Invasion or near Approach of an Enemy, before the Noticesthereof can reach the Captain General or Commander in Chief, to have Directions orOrders from him for the same: Be it therefore Enacted and Declared by his Excellency theGovernor, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Council and Representatives, inGeneral Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That all Persons,commissioned by the Captain General or Commander in Chief of this Province for thetime being, to bear Office in any Military Company or Troop within the same, be andhereby are impowered and authorized by Virtue of such Commission, when and as

    Occasion shall require, in the Cases, and to the Intents and Purposes abovesaid, to arm,aray, and weapon the Company or Troop respectively under their Command, or Part ofthem, and by Force of Arms to encounter, repel, pursue, kill, and destroy any that shallappear in Hostile Manner to attempt or enterprise the Destruction, Invasion, Detrimentor Annoyance of any of His Majestys Subjects, Forts, Garrisons, Towns, or Plantationswithin this Province. And that such Officer or Officers so taking to Arms, shall forthwithdispatch Notice to his or their Superior Officer of his or their Motion, and the Occasionthereof, and observe such Commands and Orders, as he or they shall receive from him.

    ANDbe it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Colonel of Chief Officerof each Regiment be, and hereby is impowered and authorized, as Occasion shall require,in any of the Cases, and to the Intents before mentioned, from time to time, to assemble inMarital Aray, and put into War-like Posture, the whole Militia of the Regiment under his

    Command, or such Part of them, as he shall think needful, upon any Alarm, Invasion, orNotice of the Appearance of an Enemy by Sea or Land; and the Regiment, Companies orTroops so armed, arrayed, and put into War-like Posture, or Part of them, to lead,conduct, and employ, or to appoint some other fit Person, by Writing under his Hand, tolead, conduct, and employ them, as well within the Regiment and County whereto theybelong, as into any other adjacent County or Place within this Province, for the Assisting,Succouring, and Relieving any of His Majestys Subjects, Forts, Garrisons, Towns, orPlaces, that shall be assaulted by an Enemy, or in Danger thereof; and with such Party,

    Confirmed22 Octob.1700

    MilitaryCommissionOfficersimpowered,

    by Force ofArms, toencounterany HostileEnterprize.

    Colonel or

    ChiefOfficerof anyRegiment,his Power.

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    Companies or Troops, by Force of Arms, to encounter, repel, pursue, kill, and destroysuch Enemy, or any of them, by all fitting Ways, Enterprizes and Means whatsoever. Andthe Colonel or Chief Officer of such Regiment so taking to Arms, or sending forth anyParty of Men, shall forthwith post away the Intelligence and Occasion thereof unto theCaptain General, or the Commander in Chief, for the time being; and shall attend andobserve such Directions and Orders, as he shall receive from him. And in case it happenthe Colonel or Chief Officer of any Regiment be out of the Limits or Precincts of theRegiment, for which he is or shall be commissioned, at the time of any Invasion, Attack,or Appearance of an Enemy, or Alarm given from any of the neighbouring Towns orRegiments; the next Commission Officer then within the Regiment, shall have, use, andexercise the same Powers and Authorities herein before granted, until the Return of theColonel, or other Superior Officer. And such Officer so acting shall post away theIntelligence thereof, with the Occasion for the same, as aforesaid, unto the CaptainGeneral, or the Commander in Chief, for the time being; and shall attend and observesuch Directions and Orders, as he shall receive from the Captain General or Commanderin Chief therein.

    ANDfor the better Preventing of false Alarms by disorderly shooting off Guns in the

    Night, Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person or Personswhatsoever, in any Town or Garrison, shall, during the time of War, or of keeping aMilitary Watch in such Town or Garrison, presume to discharge or shoot off any Gun orGuns after the Suns Setting, or before the Suns Rising, unless in case of Alarm,Approach of an Enemy, or other necessary Defense, on Pain that every Person sooffending, and being thereof convicted before One of more of His Majestys Justices of thePeace, shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Twenty Shillings for each Gun so discharged; oneMoiety thereof to and for the Use of the Poor of the Town where the Offence shall becommitted, and the other Moiety to him or them that shall inform or prosecute for thesame. And if such Offender shall not have wherewith to answer the said Fine, or shallrefuse or neglect to pay the same, then he shall be set in the Stocks, not exceeding Two

    Hours Time. And in case any Person so offending be belonging to any Garrison or Forcesin actual Service, and born in His Majestys Pay, he shall be punished at the Discretion ofa Court-Martial, or the Commission Officers of the Garrison, Company or Troop wheretohe belongs, by putting into the Bilboes, laying Neck and Heels, or Riding of the WoodenHorse.

    To post awayntelligence tohe Captain

    General, &c.

    The like Powergiven to thenext Commiss-on Officer, inase of the Ab-ence of the

    Chief Officer.

    Penalty forhooting off

    Guns afterSun-set, andbeforeSun-rising.

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    An ACT Passed by the Great and General Court orAssembly of Her Majestys Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England; Begun and Held at Boston upon

    Wednesdaythe Twenty seventh of May, 1702.

    An Act in Addition to the Act for Regulating the Militia, and for Explanation of a Clause in thesaid Act.

    WHEREAS in the Enumeration of Persons exempted from Trainings, by the Act,Intituled,An Act for Regulating of the Militia, Persons lame, or otherwise disabled in Body(producing Certificate from two able Surgeons) are included: And whereas diversPersons, fit and able for Service, by corrupt and salacious Means, do obtain suchCertificates from some Practitioners in Surgery, in Elusion of the Law, and contrary tothe true Intent and Meaning thereof, and thereupon presume to neglect their Duty, and

    plead an Exemption, with Disregard to their Officers, having no orderly Dismission fromthem: For Remedy whereof, Be it Enacted and Declared by his Excellency the Governor,Council, and Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by Authority of the same,That no Person or Persons whatsoever, shall at any time hereafter, by Virtue of anyCertificate already given, or to be given, by Two Surgeons, as aforesaid, be excused orexempted from bearing Arms, and attending Trainings, and other Military Exercises andDuty, in the Troop or Company whereto they respectively belong, and are inlisted; orfrom Impresses for Her Majestys Service, unless for just Cause they first obtain anorderly Dismission under the Hands of the Commission Officers of such Troop orCompany. And in case they unreasonably refuse the same, then the first Field Officer ofthe Regiment, whereof such Troop or Company is Part; or of the Captain General or

    Commander in Chief for the time being; any Law, Usage, or Custom to the contrarynotwithstanding.

    LamePersons, &c.not to bedismissedfromTrainings,&c. withoutApprobationof theirOfficers.

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    ACTS and LAWS Passed by the Great and General Courtor Assembly of Her Majestys Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England; Begun and Held at Boston upon

    Wednesdaythe Thirtieth Day of May, 1711; And Continuedby several Prorogations unto Wednesday the Twelfth ofMarchfollowing, and then Met.

    An Act for further Regulating of the Militia.

    WHEREAS in the Fifth Article of the Act for Regulating of the Militia, among otherthings therein mentioned, Every Listed Soldier, and other Householder (exceptTroopers) is to be provided with a good Sword or Cutlash, under Penalty in the said Actmentioned: And whereas it is found by Experience, That Bayonets are of more Use, as

    well for Offence as Defence; Be it therefore Enacted by the Governor, Council, andRepresentatives, in General Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That,from and after the Twentieth Day of Junenext, every Person in the Town of Boston, whois obliged by the aforesaid Act to appear upon an Alarm at the Place of Rendezvous, orwhere the Chief Officer doth appoint, (except Troopers) shall be provided with a goodGoose-necked Bayonet with Socket, fit to fix over the Muzzle of his Musket, under thelike Penalty, as in the said Act is mentioned, for not being provided with a Sword orCutlash.

    Soldiers tobe providedof Bayonets.

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    Acts and LawsPassed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of His Majestys Province of the

    Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, Begun and Held at Boston, upon Wednesday theThirty-first Day of May1738

    C H A P V.An Act for Making more effectual an Act entitled, An Act for regulating the Militia.WHEREAS the several Penalties set or ordered to be imposed by the said Act Entitled, An Actfor regulating the Milita, made and passed in the fifth Year of the Reign of King WILLIAMand QueenMARY, do not answer the good Design proposed in said Act:

    For Remedy whereof;

    Be it enacted by his Excellency the Governour, Council and Representatives inGeneral Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same,That all and each of theForfeitures and Penalties set in the said Act, or thereby ordered to be inflicted, for theBreach or Non-observance of each or any of the several Clauses, Articles or Paragraphstherein, be henceforward paid in Province Bills of the new Tenor according to theirseveral Denominations, or in Bills of the old Tenor, in Proportion as three to one of thenew. And that the Clerk of each respective Troop or Company may, Ex officio, distrain forany Fine or Penalty for Breach of any of the Clauses or Paragraphs in the aforesaid Act,for Breach of which he might have distrained by Force of said Act, the augmenting of saidFine notwithstanding; or may recover the same by Action of Debt before a Justice of thePeace, or any Court or Record proper to try the same: All the said Forfeiture to beapplied to the Uses mentioned in said Act

    AND for preventing the Misapplication of the Money to be levied and collected for Breach ofsaid Act;

    Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Clerk of each Troop orCompany shall make and fairly enter in a Book (to be kept for that Purpose) a particularAccount of the several Fines and Forfeitures collected and recovered as aforesaid; and ofthe Moneys so collected he shall lay out and improve so much as shall be necessary (hisown Fees, as by Law established, being first deducted) for purchasing of Drums, Colours,Halberts, and other Necessaries, for the Use of the Troop or Company whereunto hebelongs, as from time to time he shall receive Order from the Captain or chief Officer inWriting under his Hand: And every such Clerk shall likewise make a fair Entry of hisseveral Disbursement of the Moneys by him collected, setting forth the Use to which thesame has been applied. And sometime in the Month of Marchyearly, if required, deliver to

    the Captain, and to such others as are or may be concerned in ordering the Disposition ofany Part of the Moneys so collected, an attested Copy of such Account of his Receipts andDisbursements; and shall receive for his Trouble therein (to be paid out of the Fines) suchRecompence as the Commission Officers of such Company shall judge reasonable; and theOverplus (if any be) on Ballance of such Account shall, in the Month of Marchannually,render to the Treasurer of the Town where such Company is, to be improved for thepurchasing of Arms, Powder, Bullets, and such other Ammunition for a Town Stock, asby said Act is required. And every Military Clerk shall be under Oath (to be administeredto him by a Justice of the Peace of the same County) for the faithful Discharge of his Duty

    5W.&M.ch.8.

    Preamble.

    Fines forneglect ofDuty in theMilitia stated

    in Bills of thenew Tenour.

    Manner oflevying them.

    Clerks of theTroops andCompanies tokeepAccompts ofthe ReceiptsandDisburse-ments of theFines.

    Overplusafter theCompaniesCharges to bedeliverd tothe Town-Treasurer

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    and Trust in every of the Particulars before mentioned: and upon Conviction, before theCourt of General Sessions of the Peace (upon Complaint made) of neglect therein, shallforfeit and pay the Sum of Five Pounds, to be laid out and improved for the Purposesaforesaid.

    And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That upon the Death orRemoval of any Military Clerk, his Successor in the said Office, shall have Power, and ishereby authorized to demand, sue for and recover of such Clerk (if living) and of theExecutors or Administrators of any Clerk deceased, such Sum or Sums of Money(collected as aforesaid) as remained in his Hands at the Time of his Death or Removal,and not applied to the Use of such Company, according to the Directions of the Law.

    And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That when any Servant,Apprentice or other Person, under the Age of Twenty one Years, liable by Law to Train,and having been duly warned (not less than four Day Notice beforehand to be accountedsufficient, unless in Case of an Alarm or other extraordinary Occasion) shall not attend onMilitary Exercises or Training Days, or on Military Watches, the Master, Parent or

    other Person, who hath the immediate Care and Government of such Delinquent, shall beanswerable for such Neglect, and be obliged to satisfy and pay the Fine by Law imposedfor such Delinquency, and shall be liable to a Suite for the same as above provided.

    And be it further enacted, That every Person listed and orderly admitted into anyCompany, shall so continue and attend his Duty there, unless such Person (by Name) bedismissd, by writing under the Hand of the chief Officer of the Company or Regiment, towhich he belong, or of the Captain General or Commander in Chief of the Province, or beremoved out of the Town or Precinct, on pain of incurring (for each Offence or Neglect)the Penalty by Law already provided in Case of Non-appearance on Training Days.

    THIS Act to continue and be in Force for the Term of three Years from thePublication hereof, and no longer.2

    2This Act was renewed for a term of seven years by the General Court in the session beginning the Wednesday,May 26, 1742. It was Revivd and Continud a further two times (until March 25, 1760 and again until July 1,1770).

    Clerks of theCompanies tobe underOath.

    SucceedingClerk impow-red to recoverMonies duefrom the for-mer.

    Parents andMasters topay the Fines

    of their Sonsor Servants.

    How Personsmust bedismissd fromtheir Com-pany.

    Limitation.

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    An Act,Passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of His Majestys Province of the

    Massachusetts-Bay in New-England: Begun and Held at Boston upon Wednesday thetwenty-eighth Day of May, 1755. And continued by sundry Prorogations andAdjournments to Tuesday the thirtieth Day of

    Marchfollowing, and then met.

    C H A P XXIII.An Act in Addition to an Act Intitled,An Act for regulating of the Militia.

    WHEREAS by an Act of this Province made in fifth Year of the Reign of their late MajestiesWilliam andMary, IntitledAn Act for regulating of the Militia,several Persons are excluded

    from all Trainings, Military-Watches and Wardings; and the Government being oftentimesnecefitated to borrow Money for the publick Service, and it may expedite the raising of Money forthat Service, if the Lenders were excused from the aforesaid Duties:

    Wherefore,Be it enacted by the Governour, Council and House of Representatives, That every

    Person who shall at any one Time lend the Sum of One Thousand Poundsor upwards, tothe Province Treasurer for the Use of this Government, shall be and hereby is exemptedfrom all Trainings, Military-Watches and Wardings, and from all Impresses during theContinuance of this Act.

    And to the End it may be ascertained who the Lender is, and that he may have Evidence of hishaving lent the Sum aforesaid for the Use of this Government:

    Be it enacted, That the Person whose Name shall be expressed in the Receipt orObligation given by the Treasurer for the Sum lent (and not any other Person to whomsuch Receipt or Obligation may be made over or endorsed,) shall be deemed the Lender;and upon Application made to him, the Treasurer shall give a Certificate to such Lender,of his having lent the Sum aforesaid for the Use of the Government: Which Certificateshall be a sufficient Evidence of such Lenders being intitled to the Exemption aforesaid.

    This Act to continue and be in Force for the Space of five Years from the sixteenthDay ofAprilOne Thousand seven Hundred and fifty-six

    [ PublishedApril 16th1756 ]

    Preamble.

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    An Act,Passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of His Majestys Province of the

    Massachusetts-Bay in New-England: Begun and Held at Boston in New-England, uponWednesday the twenty-fifth Day of May, Anno Domini, 1757, and continued bysundry Prorogations to Wednesday the thirtieth-third Day of Novemberfollowing, andthen met.

    C H A P I.An Act in Addition to the several Acts of this Provincefor Regulating the Militia.

    WHEREAS it is found necessary that further Provision be made for Arming andDisciplining the Militia:

    Be it enacted by the Governour, Council and House of Representatives, That theCaptain or chief Officer of each Military Foot Company, shall instruct and employ hisCompany in Military Exercises six Days in a Year for two Years, from the first Day ofMarchnext, vizon the second and third Mondays inApril, the first Monday in May, thefirst Tuesday in June, the last Monday in October, and the Tuesday following the sameMonday; and on each of said Days he shall make a strict Enquiry into the State of theArms and Ammunition of his Company, on Penalty of Five Poundsfor each Day he shallbe negligent in his Duty: That every Person from the Age of Sixteen to Sixty, notexempted by Law, shall appear with Arms and Ammunition according to Lae, and attendhis Duty each of the aforesaid Days, on Penalty of nine Shillings for not appearing andattending his Duty; and for not appearing with Arms and Ammunition shall be subject tothe same Penalties as by Law already provided for not being furnished with Arms andAmmunition: And that the Captain of chief Officer of each Troop or military Company ofHorse shall exercise his Company four Days in a Year; viz. The second and thirdMondays inApril, the last Monday in October, and the Tuesday next following the sameMonday; and on each of said Days shall make strict Inquiry into the State of his

    Company, how each Man is Armed, equipped and provided with Ammunition, on Penaltyof Five Poundsfor each Day such Captain or chief Officer shall be guilty of Neglect in hisDuty in this Respect: And every Trooper or Person belonging to the Troop of Guards,or to any Troop or Company of Horse, shall upon each of the same Days appear compleatin Arms and Ammunition, and equipped according to Law, and attend his Duty; and fornot appearing armed, equipped and furnished according to Law, shall be subject to thesame Penalties as by Law is already provided for not being duly armed, equipped andfurnished as the Law directs. That the Clerk of each military Company on Oath on eachtraining Day, unless unavoidably provented, shall take a List of the Troop and Company,and against each Mans Name note his Appearance on Non-Appearance, and how he isprovided with Arms and Ammunition, and shall in two Days deliver the same to the chief

    Officer of the Troop or Company on Penalty of Five Pounds:That the Captain or chiefOfficer before he excuses any Person for any Neglect of Duty, shall be under Oath not toexcuse any, not excused by Law, either through Favour, Affection, Reward received, orHope of Reward: That the Captain or Chief Officer shall enter on the said List thePersons Names by him excused, and the Reasons for which they are excused, and in sixDays return the same List to the Clerk; on Penalty of Five Pounds:That the Clerk onOath in thirty Days shall prosecute each Delinquent Non-Commission Officer andSoldier who shall not have been so excused by the Captain or chief Officer, on thePenalty of twenty Shillingsfor each Neglect.

    Preamble.

    Each FootCompany wheno be exercised.

    Arms &c. to beenquird into.Penalty for

    Neglect.Persons liableobe exercisd.

    Penalty for Nonappearance.Each Troopwhen to beexercisd.Troopers Arms&c. to beenquired into.Penalty forNeglect.Penalty for

    Troopers Nonappearance.Penalty for notbeing armed&c.Clerks to takea List &c.Time to deliverList to theCaptain orChief Officer onPenaltyCaptain to beunder Oath forexcusingPersons.

    The Clerk onOath toprosecuteDelinquents.Penalty forNeglect

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    Be it further enacted, That all Offences committed against any Clause of this Act byany Officer or Officers where a Forfeiture is given, shall be enquired into, tryed anddetermined by the chief Officers of the Regiment, and levied by Warrant under the Handof the chief Officer, in the Way and Manner as is provided by the Act of King WilliamandQueenMary, for regulating the Militia; and the Colonel or chief Officer of any Regimentshall, as soon as may be, after Knowledge of such Offences, call a Meeting of the chiefOfficers of the Regiment, and issue his Process against any such Offender, which shall beserved fourteen Days before the Meeting of the Officers for the Trial: And the Clerk ofeach Troop or military Foot Company, or Prosecutor, is required and enjoined to giveInformation of all such Offences committed by any Officers to the Colonel or chief Officerof his Regiment.

    And be it further enacted, That every Person (except Troopers) who is by Lawobliged to be furnished with Arms and Ammunition, shall be provided with a PowderHorn or Horns with one Pound of Powder in the same, on Penalty of two Shillings, andwith forty Bullets fit for his Gun, on the like Penalty for each Neglect: That any Soldierborn on the training Lists in the several Regiments, shall be excluded from any Penaltyfor not being furnished with Swords, in Case they provide themselves and appear with

    good Hatchets.And be it further enacted, That every Person borne on the Alarm List, and not on

    the Train Band, shall on the first Monday in May, and the last training Day in the Yearannually between three and five of the Clock in the Afternoon, and while the trainedBands shall be under Arms, carry or send his Arms and Ammunition into the Field to beviewed; and in Case any Person shall neglect or refuse to carry or send his Arms andAmmunition into the Field as aforesaid, unless unavoidably prevented, he shall be liableto the same Penalty for each Days Neglect, as if he had not such Arms and Ammunition.

    And be it further enacted, That every Person that shall neglect or refuse to attend aReview, or Regimental Muster, shall pay the Sum of fifteen Shillings; and that everyPerson in the Frontiers of this Province liable to bear Arms, when ordered by chief

    Officer of the Regiment, shall carry his Arms and Ammunition with him to the Place ofpublick Worship, and to his Labour in the Field, on Pain of forfeiting six Shillingsfor eachNeglect.

    Be it further enacted, That one half of the Non-Commission Officers and privateSoldiers, liable to train, shall be furnished with a good Bayonet with a Steel Blade, notless than fifteen Inches long, fitted to his Gun, with a Scabbard for the same, for whichBayonet and Scabbard there shall be paid out of the publick Treasury not exceeding sevenShillings; and that the Captain or chief Officer of each Foot Company, shall take effectualCare that they be so provided; and an Account thereof shall be presented by said Officerto the Governour and Council for Allowance and Payment; for which Bayonet andScabbard each Non-Commission Officer and Soldier so provided, shall be accountable tothis Government, unless under the Age of twenty-one Years; and for such as are Minorstheir Parents, Guardians or Masters respectively shall be so accountable: and each NonCommission Officer and Soldier (Drummers excepted) shall upon every training Day-Muster, Review or Alarm (after they are provided with Bayonets as aforesaid) appearwith the same, on Penalty of two Shillingsfor each Neglect.

    And be it further enacted, That the Captain or chief Officer of each Foot Company,as soon as may be after the Commencement of this Act, and before the tenth Day ofMarch next, is hereby enjoined to call his Company together under Arms, and afterenquiring into the State of them, is hereby impowered and directed to choose from among

    Offencecommitted byOfficers to bedetermined, asprovided bythe Act of K.

    Wm. & Q Mary&c.

    Persons,exceptTroopers, howto be furnishdwith Arms &c.

    Persons on theAlarm List tohave theirArms &c.viewd.

    Penalty forneglect or re-fusingRegimentalMusters.

    Persons in theFronteirs tocarry Arms &c.

    Non-CommissionOfficers &Soldiers to beprovided withBayonets andin whatManner &c.

    Penalty for not

    appearing withBayonets &c.

    Every FootCompany to beunder Arms&c. before the10th Day ofMarch&c.

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    said Arms, such as he shall judge most suitable to be provided with Bayonets, to theAmount of one half the whole Number: And the respective Soldier or Soldiers to whomsuch selected Arms belong, shall observe and obey such Directions and Orders respectingtheir being provided with Bayonets, as he or they shall receive from the Captain or chiefOfficer of the Company, on Penalty of twenty Shillings for Non-observance of, orDisobedience to such Directions and Orders as he or they shall receive for the Purposesaforesaid.

    And be it further enacted, That the Penalty for any Person not appearing andattending Orders upon an Alarm, unless unavoidably prevented, shall be the Sum of TenPounds, or six Months Imprisonment: And if any Person shall be guilty of Mutiny orDesertion, and be thereof convicted, he shall either be punished with Death withoutBenefit of Clergy, or suffer some other grievous Punishment as shall be adjudgednecessary by the Court before whom he shall be tried, according to the Nature andAggravation of his Offence.

    And whereas by an Act of this Province, made in the twelfth Year of the Reign of his lateMajesty King William the Third Intitled An Act for putting the Militia of this Provinceinto a Readiness for a Defense of the same; It is enacted, That all Persons, commissioned by

    the Captain General or Commander in Chief of this Province for the time being, to bear Office inany Military Company or Troop within the same, be and hereby are impowered and authorizedby Virtue of such Commission, when and as Occasion shall require, in the Cases, and to the Intentsand Purposes abovesaid, to arm, aray, and weapon the Company or Troop respectively under theirCommand, or Part of them, and by Force of Arms to encounter, repel, pursue, kill, and destroy anythat shall appear in Hostile Manner to attempt or enterprise the Destruction, Invasion, Detrimentor Annoyance of any of His Majestys Subjects, Forts, Garrisons, Towns, or Plantations withinthis Province. And that such Officer or Officers so taking to Arms, shall forthwith dispatch Noticeto his or their Superior Officer of his or their Motion, and the Occasion thereof, and observe suchCommands and Orders, as he or they shall receive from him.

    And also, That the Colonel of Chief Officer of each Regiment be, and hereby is impowered

    and authorized, as Occasion shall require, in any of the Cases, and to the Intents before mentioned,from time to time, to assemble in Marital Aray, and put into War-like Posture, the whole Militiaof the Regiment under his Command, or such Part of them, as he shall think needful, upon anyAlarm, Invasion, or Notice of the Appearance of an Enemy by Sea or Land; and the Regiment,Companies or Troops so armed, arrayed, and put into War-like Posture, or Part of them, to lead,conduct, and employ, or to appoint some other fit Person, by Writing under his Hand, to lead,conduct, and employ them, as well within the Regiment and County whereto they belong, as intoany other adjacent County or Place within this Province, for the Assisting, Succouring, andRelieving any of His Majestys Subjects, Forts, Garrisons, Towns, or Places, that shall beassaulted by an Enemy, or in Danger thereof; and with such Party, Companies or Troops, byForce of Arms, to encounter, repel, pursue, kill, and destroy such Enemy, or any of them, by all

    fitting Ways, Enterprizes and Means whatsoever. And the Colonel or Chief Officer of suchRegiment so taking to Arms, or sending forth any Party of Men, shall forthwith post away theIntelligence and Occasion thereof unto the Captain General, or the Commander in Chief, for thetime being; and shall attend and observe such Directions and Orders, as he shall receive from him.And in case it happen the Colonel or Chief Officer of any Regiment be out of the Limits orPrecincts of the Regiment, for which he is or shall be commissioned, at the time of any Invasion,Attack, or Appearance of an Enemy, or Alarm given from any of the neighbouring Towns orRegiments; the next Commission Officer then within the Regiment, shall have, use, and exercise

    Penalty forNon-observance ofthe Orders ofthe Captain &c.

    Penalty forNon-appearance onAlarm.

    Penalty forMutiny orDesertion.

    Renewal of anAct made inthe 12th Year

    of K. Wm.The3dfor puttingthe Militia ofthe Provincento a

    Readiness for aDefense of thesame.

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    the same Powers and Authorities herein before granted, until the Return of the Colonel, or otherSuperior Officer. And such Officer so acting shall post away the Intelligence thereof, with theOccasion for the same, as aforesaid, unto the Captain General, or the Commander in Chief, for thetime being; and shall attend and observe such Directions and Orders, as he shall receive from theCaptain General or Commander in Chief therein: But no Penalty is therein provided to oblige

    Officers and private Men to obey such Orders as shall be given pursuant to the true Intent of thesame Act:Be it therefore enacted, That if any Officer or private Man in the Militia, shall refuse

    or wilfully neglect to obey such Order of his superior Officer as shall be given, pursuantto the true Intent of the same Act, he shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Ten Pounds, or inDefault thereof suffer six Months Imprisonment.

    And be it further enacted, That all Forfeitures arising by Virtue of this Act, or anyBreach thereof, shall be recovered in the Way and Manner as is provided by the Act forregulating the Militia of this Province, made and passed in the fourth and fifth Year ofKing Williamand Queen Mary, where in this Act it is not otherwise specially provided,and shall be disposed of one quarter Part thereof to the Prosecutor, and the Remained byhim to be paid into the Town, District, Precinct or Parish Treasury, where the said

    Company, or the major Part thereof, or Captain of the Troop belongs, to be drawn outagain by the Captain or chief Officer of the Troop or Company whence such Forfeiturearose, so far as shall be necessary for procuring or repairing Drums, Trumpets, Coloursand Halberts, paying Drummers, Trumpeters, and for procuring Soldiers for HisMajestys Service, and improvedfor the Benefit of such Troop or Company respectively,when and so often as any Man or Men shall be demanded of said Troop or Company forsaid Service, and for no other Uses or Purposes whatsoever. And the Clerks of theMilitary Companies are hereby required to pay over all such Forfeitures as they shallreceive to the Treasures as before mentioned respectively, at or before the first Day ofMarchAnnually, and such Treasurers are hereby impowered and required to demand, suefor, recover and receive the same.

    And be it further enacted, That this Act shall be Read at the Anniversary Meeting ofthe Inhabitant of each Town and District through the Province in the Month of MarchAnnually; and also that the chief Officer of each Company cause the same to be readbefore his Company on the second Monday in April each Year, during the Continuancethereof.

    And be it further enacted, That the Captain of the Troop of Guards and of everyIndependant Company, shall upon their Oath, on or before the first Monday of Aprilnext,and Annually, transmit into the Secretarys Office a List of every Person borne on theirrespective Rolls, and who by them are excused from Mustering on Days of Muster, andthe Reasons of their Excuse, on Penalty of forfeiting and paying for each Neglect FivePounds.

    And every Captain or chief Officer in this Act mentioned, on or before the firstMonday of April next, is hereby enjoined to make solemn Oath that he will faithfullydischarge the Trust by this Act reposed in him, and the Duties hereby enjoined him,according to the best of his Skill and Understanding, on Penalty of forfeiting and payingFive Pounds.

    This Act to be and continue in Force for the Space of two Years from the first Day ofMarchnext, and no longer.

    Published January 26. 1758.

    Penalty for anyOfficer orprivate Manrefusing orneglecting toobey theOrders of hissuperiorOfficer

    Forfeituresarising by thisAct, to be re-covered agre-

    able to the Actfor Regulatingthe Militia 4th& 5th of K.Wm. & Q Mary,un-lessspeciallyprovided for&c.Clerks to payForfeitures toTown Treasu-rers &c.

    This Act to beread at theAnniversaryMeeting ofeach Town &c.

    Captain of theTroop Guards&c. to transmitLists of theirCompanies toSecretarysOffice.

    Each Capt. &c.to make Oath.

    Limitation.

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    In Provincial Congress,

    Cambridge, October 26, 1774.

    Whereas in Consequence of the present unhappy Disputesbetween Great-Britain and the Colonies, a formidable Body of Troops with warlike Preparations ofevery Sort are already arrived at, and others destined for the Metropolis of this Province, and theexpressed Design of their being sent is to execute Acts of the British Parliament, utterly subversive of theConstitution of the Province:And whereas his Excellency General Gage has attempted by his Troops todisperse the Inhabitants of Salem, whist assembled to consult Measures for preserving their Freedom; andto subjugate the Province to arbitrary Government;And proceeding to fill more unjustifiable andalarming Lengths has Fortified against the Country the Capital of the Province, and thus greatlyendangered the Lives, Liberties and Properties of its oppressed Citizens;invaded private Property byunlawfully seizing and retaining large Quantities of Ammunition in the Arsenal at Boston and sundryPieces of Ordnance and Warlike Stores of all Sort, provided at the Public Expense for the Use of theProvince, and by all possible Means endeavoured to place the Province entirely in a defenceless Stateatthe same Time having neglected and altogether disregarded Assurances from this Congress, of the pacificDispositions of the Inhabitants of the Province, and Intreaties that he would cease from Measures whichtended to prevent a Restoration of Harmony between Great-Britain and the Colonies:

    Wherefore it is the Opinion of this CongressThat notwithstanding nothing but Slaveryought more to be deprecated than Hostilities with Great-Britainnotwithstanding the Provincehas not the most distant Design of attacking, annoying or molesting his Majestys Troops aforesaid, but on the other Hand will consider and treat every Attempt of the Kind as well as allMeasures tending to prevent a Reconciliation between Britain and the Colonies as the highestDegree of Enmity to the ProvinceNevertheless there is great Reason from the Consideration

    aforesaid, to be apprehensive of the most fatal Consequences; and that the Province may be insome Degree provided against the same, and under full Persuation that the Measures expressedin the following Resolves are perfectly consistent with such Resolves of the ContinentalCongress as have been communicated to us,

    It is Resolved, and hereby Recommended to the several Companies of Militia in this Province,who have not already chosen and appointed Officers, that they meet forthwith, and electOfficers to Command their respective Companies; and that the Officers so chosen assemble assoon as may be; and where the said Officers shall judge the Limits of the present Regiments tooextensive, that they divide them, and settle and determine their Limits, and proceed to electField Officer to Command the respective Regiments so formed; and that the Field Officers soelected, forthwith endeavour to enlist one Quarter at the least of the Number of the respective

    Companies, and form them into Companies of fifty Privates at the least, who shall equip andhold themselves in Readiness to march at the shortest Notice; and that each and everyCompany so formed, choose a Captain and two Lieutenants to command them on any necessaryand emergent Service: And that the said Captain and Subaltern so elected, form the saidCompanies into Battalions, to consist of nine Companies each; and that the Captains andSubalterns of each Battalion so formed proceed to elect Field Officers to command the same.And this Congress doth most earnestly recommend that all the aforesaid Elections beproceeded in and made with due Deliberation and generous Regard to the Public Service.

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    Also Resolved, That as the Security of the Lives, Liberties and Properties of the Inhabitantsof this Province depends under Providence on their Knowledge and Skill in the Art Military,and in their being properly and effectually armed and equipt, if any of said Inhabitants are notprovided with Arms and Ammunition according to Law, they immediately provide themselvestherewith; and that they use their utmost Diligence to perfect themselves in Military Skill; andthat if any Town or District within the Province is nor provided with the full Town Stock ofArms and Ammunition according to Law, the Selectmen of such Town or District take effectualCare without Delay to provide the same.

    A true Extract from the Minutes.BENJAMINLINCOLN, Secry

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    In Provincial Congress,

    Cambridge, December 10, 1774.

    To the FREEHOLDERSand other INHABITANTSof the Towns and Districts of MASSACHUSETTS-BAYFRIENDS ANDBRETHREN,AT a Time when the good People of this Colony were deprived of their Laws, and the

    Administration of Justice, civil and criminal; when the cruel Oppressions brought on theirCapital had stagnated almost all their Commerce; when a standing Army was illegally postedamong us for the express Purpose of enforcing Submission to a System of Tyranny; and whenthe General Court was with the same Design prohibited to sit; we were chosen and empoweredby you to assemble and consult upon Measures necessary for our common Safety and Defence.

    With much Anxiety for the common Welfare, we have attended this Service; and upon thecoolest Deliberation have adopted the Measures recommended to you.

    We have still Confidence in the Wisdom, Justice and Goodness of our Sovereign, as well as

    the Integrity, Humanity and good Sense of the Nation: And if we had a reasonable Expectationthat the Truth of Facts would be made known in England, we should entertain the mostpleasing Hopes that the Measures concerted by the Colonies, jointly and severally, wouldprocure a full Redress of our Grievances: But we are constrained in Justice to You, to Ourselvesand Posterity, to say, that the incessant and unrelenting Malice of our Enemies, has been sosuccessful as to fill the Court and Kingdom of Great-Britain with Falshoods and Calumniesconcerning us, and to excite the most bitter and groundless Prejudices against us; that thesudden Dissolution of Parliament, and the hasty Summons for a new Election, gives us Reasonto apprehend that a Majority of the House of Commons will be again Elected under theInfluence of an arbitrary Ministry; and that the general Tenor of our Intelligence from Great-Britain, with the frequent Reinforcements of the Army and Navy at Boston, excites thestrongest Jealousy that the System of Colony Administration, so unfriendly to the ProtestantReligion, and destructive of American Liberty, is still to be pursued, and attempted with Forceto be carried into Execution.

    You are placed by Providence in the Post of Honor, because it is a Post of DangerAndwhile struggling for the noblest Objects, The Liberties of your Country, the Happiness of Posterity,and Rights of Human Nature, the Eyes not only of North-America and the whole British Empire,but of all Europe, are upon youLet us be therefore altogether solicitous, that no disorderlyBehavior, nothing unbecoming our Characters as Americans, as Citizens, and Christians, bejustly chargeable to us.

    Whoever with a small Degree of Attention, contemplates the Commerce between Great-Britain and America, will be convinced that a total Stoppage thereof will soon produce inGreat-Britain such dangerous Effects, as cannot fail to convince the Ministry, Parliament and

    People, that t is their Interest and Duty to grant us Relief. Whoever considers the Number ofbrave Men inhabiting North-America will know, that a general Attention to MilitaryDiscipline, must so establish their Rights and Liberties, as, under God, to render it impossiblefor an arbitrary Ministry of Britain to destroy them. These are Facts which our Enemies areapprised of, and if they will not be influenced by Principles of Justice, to alter their cruelMeasures towards America,, these out to lead them thereto. They however hope to effect bystratagem what they may not obtain by Power, and are using Arts, by Assistance of baseScriblers, who undoubtedly receive their Bribes, and by many other Means, to raise Doubts and

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    Divisions throout the Colonies. To defeat their iniquitous Designs, we think it necessary foreach Town to be particularly careful strictly to execute the Plans of the Continental andProvincial Congresses; and while it censures it own Individuals, counteracting those Plans, thatit be not deceived or diverted from its Duty by Rumours, should any take Place to the Prejudiceof other Communities. Your Provincial Congress we have Reason to hope will HOLD UP theTowns, if any should be so lost as not to act their Parts, and none can doubt that theContinental Congresses will rectify Errors should any take Place in any Colony through theSubtilry of our EnemiesSurely no Arguments can be necessary to excite you to the most strictAdherance to the American Association, since the minutest Deviation in one Colony, especiallyin this, will probably be misrepresented in the others, to discourage their general Zeal andPerseverance, which however we assure ourselves cannot be effected.

    Whilst the British Ministry are suffered with so high a hand to tyrannize over America, noPart of it we presume can be negligent in guarding against the Ravages threatened by theStanding Army now in Boston; these Troops will undoubtedly be employed in Attempts todefeat the Association, which our Enemies cannot but fear will eventually defeat them; and sosanguinary are those our Enemies, as we have Reason to think, so thirsty for the Blood of thisinnocent People, who are only contending for their Rights, that we should be guilty of the most

    unpardonable Neglect, should we not apprize you of your Danger, which appears to usimminently great, and ought attentively to be guarded against. The Improvement of the Militiain general in the Art Military has been therefore thought necessary and strongly recommendedby this Congress. We now think that particular Care should be taken by the Towns andDistricts in this Colony, that each of the Minute Men not already provided therewith, should beimmediately equipped with an effective Fire Arm, Bayonet, Pouch, Knapsack, Thirty Rounds ofCartridges and Ball, and that they be disciplined three Times a Week, and oftner asOpportunity may offerTo encourage these our worthy Countrymen to obtain the Skill ofcompleat Soldiers, We recommend it to the Towns and Districts forthwith to pay their ownMinute Men a reasonable Consideration for their ServicesAnd in Case of a general Muster,their farther Services must be recompenced by the ProvinceAn Attention to discipline the

    Militia in general is however by no Means to be neglected.With the utmost Chearfulness we assure you of our Determination to stand or fall with theLiberties of America; and while we humbly implore the Sovereign Disposer of all Things, towhose divine Providence the Rights of his Creatures cannot be indifferent, to correct theErrors, and alter the Measures of an infatuated Ministry, We cannot doubt of his Support evenin the extream Difficulties which we all may have to encounter. May all Means devised for ourSafety by the general Congresses of America, and Assemblies or Conventions of the Colonies beresolutely executed, and happily succeeded; and may this injured People be reinstated in the fullExercise of their Rights without the Evils and Devastations of a civil War.

    Signd by Order of the Provincial Congress,

    JOHNHANCOCK, President.

    A true Extract from the Minutes, BENJAMIN LINCOLN, Secretary.

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    In Provincial Congress,

    Cambridge, February 14, 1775.

    WHEREAS it appears necessary for the Defense of the Lives, Liberties, and Properties of theInhabitants of this Province, that this Congress on the first Day of their next Session, should be made

    fully acquainted with the Number and Military Equipments of the Militia, and Minute Men in thisProvince; and also the Town Stock of Ammunition in each Town and District:

    It is therefore RESOLVED, That it be and it is hereby recommended, to the commandingOfficers of each Regiment of Minute Men, that now is or shall be formed in this Province, thatthey review the several Companies in their respective Regiment, or cause them to be reviewed,and take and exact State of their Numbers, and Equipment,and where there is any Companythat is not incorporated into a Regiment, that commanding Officer thereof shall review theseveral Companies, or cause them to be reviewed, and take a like State of their Numbers andEquipmentAnd it is also recommended to the Colonels or commanding Officers of eachRegiment of Militia in this Province, that they review the several Companies in their respectiveRegiments, or cause them to be reviewed, and take a State of their Numbers andAccoutrements; which said State of the Minute Men and Militia, shall be by said Officersreturned in Writing to this Congress, on the first Day of their Session after the Adjournment.

    And it is further RESOLVED, That it be recommended to the Select-Men of each Town andDistrict in the Province, that on the same Day they make return in Writing of the State of theTown and District Stock of Ammunition, and War-like Stores to this Congress.

    Signed by Order of the Provincial Congress,

    JOHN HANCOCK, President

    A true Extract from the Minutes,

    BENJAMIN LINCOLN, Secretary.

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    The following orders (or recommendations), established the official arms drills practiced by themilitia of Massachusetts-Bay in the years prior to the American Revolution.

    1743I Do direct and order the following Exercise to be observed and used by the Officers of all the

    Regiments of Foot within this Province, in their training of the Soldiers under their respectiveCommands.W. ShirleyBoston,August22, 17433

    1758IT IS MY ORDER, That every Colonel or Commander of a Company in the Foot do use andtrain their Men in the following EXERCISE: And that the Pains and Penalties prescribed by theseveral Militia Laws of this Province for Disobedience, or Neglect to learn, &c. be levied fortheir Disobedience or Neglect to learn, practice and perform this, and no other.4

    1771Province of Massachusetts-BayBy the CAPTAIN-GENERAL.THE following Exercise, originally designed for the NORFOLKMilitia, having been found to bemore concise and easy, and thereby better adapted to Militia than any other, and having beenused in this Province for several Years past: I do hereby direct and order that it be continued bythe Officers of all the Regiments of Foot, in training the Soldiers under their severalCommands.T. Hutchinson.BOSTON, April 20. 1771.5

    1774In PROVINCIAL CONGRESS,

    AtCAMBRIDGE, October29, 1774.RESOLVED, that it be recommended to the Inhabitants of this Province, that in Order to theirperfecting themselves in the Military Art, they proceed in the Method ordered by His Majestyin the Year 1764; it being in the Opinion of this Congress, the best calculated for Appearanceand Defence.

    A true Extract from the Minutes,BENJAMIN LINCOLN, Secry.6

    3Taken fromAn Abstract of Military Discipline; More particularly with Regard to the Manual Exercise, Evolutions, andFiring of the Foot, from Col. Bland, (Boston: Printed by Fowle in Ann-Street, for D. Henchman in Cornhill, 1755).4Taken from The Exercise for the Militia of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay, by Order of His Excellency, (Boston:Printed and Sold by John Draper, Printer to his Excellency the Captain-General, &c., 1758), 7.5Taken from A Plan of Exercise, for the Militia of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay, Extracted from the Plan ofDiscipline, for the Norfolk Militia, (Boston, New-England: Printed by Richard Draper, Printer to His Excellency theGovernor and the Honorable His Majestys Council, 1772).6Taken from The Manual Exercise as Ordered by His Majesty in 1764, Togeather with Plans and Explanations of theMethod generally practiced at Reviews and Field-Days, (Boston: Printed and sold by Isaiah Thomas, at his Printing-Office, near the Mill-Bridge, 1774).