William and Mary, 1688
An Act for punishing Officers or Soldiers who shall Mutiny or Desert Their Majestyes Service and for punishing False Musters. [Chapter IV. Rot. Parl. pt. 3. nu. 3.]

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

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1819

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146-148

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'William and Mary, 1688: An Act for punishing Officers or Soldiers who shall Mutiny or Desert Their Majestyes Service and for punishing False Musters. [Chapter IV. Rot. Parl. pt. 3. nu. 3.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 6: 1685-94 (1819), pp. 146-148. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46324 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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Raising or keeping a Standing Army in Peace, without Consent of Parliament, against Law.

Reasons for passing this Act; Officer or Soldier mutinying, or exciting Mutiny, or deserting; Punishment.

WHEREAS the raising or keeping a Standing Army within this Kingdome in time of Peace unlesse it be with Consent of Parlyament is against Law And whereas it is judged necessary by Their Majestyes and this present Parlyament That dureing this time of Warr severall of the Forces which are now on foote should be continued and others raised for the Safety of the Kingdome for the Common Defence of the Protestant Religion and for the Reduceing of Ireland And whereas noe man may be forejudged of Life or Limb or subjected to any kinde of Punishment by Martiall Law or in any other manner then by the Judgement of his Peeres and according to the knowne and established Lawes of this Realme Yet neverthelesse it being requisite for retaining such Forces as are or shall be Raised dureing this Exigence of Affaires in their Duty That an exact Discipline be observed and that Soldiers who shall Mutiny or Stirr up Sedition or shall Desert Their Majesties Service be brought to a more Exemplary and speedy Punishment then the usuall Formes of Law will allow Bee it therefore Enacted by the King and Queens most Excellent Majesties by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parlyament Assembled and by Authoritie of the same That from and after the Twentyeth day of December in the Yeare of Our Lord One thousand six hundred eighty nine every Person being in Their Majestyes Service in the Army and being Mustered and in Pay as an Officer or Soldier who shall at any time before the Twentyeth day of December in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and ninetie Excite Cause or Joyne in any Mutiny or Sedition in the Army or shall Desert Their Majestyes Service in the Army or being a Soldier actually Listed in any Regiment Troope or Company shall List himselfe into any other Regiment Troope or Company without a Discharge produced in Writeing from the Captaine of the Troope or Company wherein he is first Listed shall suffer Death or such other Punishment as by a Court Martiall shall be Inflicted

II. Power to assemble Courts Martial.

And it is hereby further Enacted and Declared That Their Majestyes or the Generall of Their Army for the time being may by Vertue of this Act have full Power and Authoritie to grant Commissions to any Lieftenants Generall or other Officers not under the Degree of a Field Officer or Com[m]ander in Chiefe of a Garrison from time to time to Call and Assemble Court Martialls for punishing such Offences as aforesaid

III. Number of Officers composing Courts Martial.

And it is hereby further Enacted and Declared That noe Court Martiall which shall have Power to Inflict any Punishment by Vertue of this Act for the Offences aforesaid shall consist of fewer then Thirteene whereof none to be under the Degree of a Com[m]ission Officer and the President of such Court Martiall not to be under the Degree of a Field Officer or the then Commander in Chiefe of the Garrison where the Offender shall be Tryed.

IV. Field Officers to be tried only by Field Officers.

Court may examine on Oath.

Provided alwayes That noe Field Officer be Tryed by other then Field Officers and that such Court Martiall shall have Power and Authoritie to Administer an Oath to any Witnesse in order to the Examination or Tryall of the Offences aforesaid.

V. Proviso for ordinary Process.

Provided alwayes That nothing in this Act contained shall extend or be construed to exempt any Officer or Soldier whatsoever from the ordinary Processe of Law

VI. Proviso for Militia.

Provided alwayes That this Act or any thing therein contained shall not extend or be any wayes construed to extend to concerne any the Militia Forces of this Kingdome.

VII. Continuance of Act.

Provided alsoe That this Act shall continue and be in Force until the said Twentyeth day of December in the said Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and ninety and noe longer.

VIII. On Trial of Offences punishable with Death,

Members to take an Oath.

Provided alwayes and bee it Enacted That in all Tryalls of Offenders by Courts Martiall to be held by vertue of this Act where the Offence may be punished by Death every Officer present at such Tryall before any Proceeding be had thereupon shall take an Oath upon the Evangelists before the Court and the next Justice of the Peace Judge Advocate or his Deputy or one of them are hereby respectively Authorized to Administer the same in these Words That is to say

Form; What Number of Members to be present when Sentence of Death pronounced; Hours of Proceedings in such Case.

You shall Well and Truely Try and Determine according to your Evidence the Matter now before you betweene our Soveraigne Lord and Lady the King and Queens Majestyes and the Prisoner to be Tryed Soe helpe you God. And no Sentence of Death shall be given against any Offender in such Case by any Court Martiall unlesse Nine of Thirteene Officers present shall concurr therein and if there be a greater number of Officers present then the Judgement shall passe by the Concurrence of the greater part of them soe Sworne which major part shall not be lesse then Nine and not otherwise and noe Proceedings Tryall or Sentence of Death shall be had or given against any Offender but betweene the houres of Eight in the Morning and One in the Afternoone

IX. Giving false Certificates for Absence of Soldiers.

Penalty £50 and Punishment.

And for the preventing of Fraud and Deceit in Mustering of Soldiers Bee it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any Person shall make or give or procure to be made or given any false or untrue Certificate whereby to Excuse any [Soldiers (fn. 1) ] for their Absence from any Muster or other Service which they ought to attend or performe upon a pretence of Sicknesse or other Cause That then every such Person soe makeing giveing or procureing such Certificate shall forfeite for every such Offence the Summe of Fifty Pounds and shall be forthwith Cashiered and Displaced from such his Office and shall be thereby utterly disabled to have or hold any Military Office or Imployment within this Kingdome or in Their Majestyes Service

X. Officer making false Muster, and Commissary allowing Muster Roll;

upon Proof on Oath before Court Martial; Punishment, and Penalty £50.

And bee it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That every Officer that shall make any false or untrue Muster of Man or Horse and every Commissary Muster Master and other Officer that shall wittingly or knowingly Allow or Signe the Muster Roll wherein such false Muster is contained or any Duplicate thereof upon Proofe thereof upon Oath made by two Witnesses before a Court Martiall to be thereupon called (which is hereby Authorized and Required to Administer such Oath) shall for such their Offence be forthwith Cashiered and Displaced from such their Office and shall be thereby utterly disabled to have or hold any Military Office or Imployment within this Kingdome or in Their Majestyes Service and shall likewise forfeit the Summe of Fifty pounds

XI. Commissary to give Notice before Muster to Mayor, &c. of Place where Soldiers quartered; and to assist in discovering false Musters.

Neglecting to give Notice, or refusing Aid of Mayor, &c; Penalty £50 and Punishment.

And bee it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That every Commissary or Muster Master upon any Muster to be made had or taken by him or them shall by a convenient time before such Muster made give notice to the Mayor or other Chiefe Magistrate or Officer of the Place where the Soldiers soe to be Mustered shall be Quartered who are hereby Required to be present at every such Muster and give his utmost Assistance for the discovering any false or untrue Muster there made or offered to be made And that every such Commissary or Muster master makeing or takeing such Muster that shall neglect to give such notice as aforesaid or shall refuse to take the Aid and Assistance of such Mayor Chiefe Magistrate or Officer where the Soldiers soe to be Mustered shall be Quartered shall forfeit the Summe of Fifty pounds and be Discharged from his Office

XII. Offering to be falsely mustered;

committed to House of Correction; Furnishing Horses to be mustered not belonging to the Troop; Penalty.

And alsoe be it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any Person shall be falsely Mustered or offer himselfe falsely and deceitfully to be Mustered every such Person if noe Soldier upon Proofe thereof made upon Oath by two Witnesses before the next Justice of Peace of the County where such Muster. shall be made and every such Person soe falsly Mustered or offering to be falsely Mustered upon Certificate thereof in Writeing under the Hand of the Officer Commanding in Chiefe at the Muster or of the Commissary of the Musters or any other Person made to such Justice of the Peace the said Justice is thereupon and is hereby Authorized and Required to Committ such Offender to the House of Correction there to remaine for the space of Three months and to be kept at hard Labour with convenient Correction And if any Person shall wittingly or willingly lend or furnish a Horse to be Mustered which shall not truely belong to the Trooper or Troope soe Mustered the said Horse soe falsely Mustered shall be forfeited to the Informer if the same doth belong to the Person lending or furnishing the said Horse or otherwise the Person lending or furnishing the said Horse shall forfeite the Summe of Twenty pounds upon Oath made by two Witnesses before the next Justice of the Peace or be Committed to the House of Correction for Six months unlesse he shall pay the same there to be kept at hard Labour

XIII. Penalties how paid and distributed.

Goods of Offender in what Case seized.

And bee it alsoe further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Forfeitures shall be to such Person or Persons that shall Informe immediately to be paid out of the Arreares of such Officers Pay as shall soe offend upon Conviction before the Court Martiall by Order of the said Court to the Paymaster if such Officer soe offending shall have an Arreare and if there shall be noe Arreare the Court Martiall shall immediately give Order to seize the Goods of such Officer soe offending and sell them for payment of such Forfeiture to the Informer rendering the overplus to the Owner And the said Court Martiall is hereby obliged to Discharge such Informer if a Soldier from any further Service if he shall demand the same

XIV. Paymaster, Agent, &c. of Regiment detaining Pay or Allowances;

Officer refusing to pay Soldier; Punishment and Penalty £100.

And bee it further enacted That if any Paymaster Agent or Clerke of any Regiment Troope or Company shall Detaine or Withhold by the space of One Month the Pay of any Officer or Soldier (Cloathes and all other just Allowances being Deducted) after such Pay shall be by him or them Received or if any Officer haveing Received their Soldiers Pay shall refuse to pay each respective Common Soldier their respective Pay when it shall become due that upon proofe thereof before a Court Martiall as aforesaid every such Paymaster Agent Clerke and Officer soe offending shall be discharged from his Imployment and shall forfeit to the Informer upon Conviction before the said Court Martiall One hundred pounds to be raised as aforesaid and the Informer if a Soldier if he Demands it shall be and is hereby Discharged of any further Service Any thing in this Act contained to the contrary notwithstanding

XV. Commanding Officer of Troop, &c. to bring at Muster Certificates of Abscutees.

Signing false Certificates; Punishment.

[And it is hereby Enacted and Declared That the Commanding Officer of every Troope or Company at the time of Muster shall bring in a Certificate Signed of the Names of such Persons as are Sicke or have leave to be Absent upon Furlows and of such Persons as are Dead or Deserted since the last Muster with the Dayes of their Deathes or Desertions and if such Certificate shall prove false upon Conviction thereof before a Court Martiall the Officer Signing such Certificate shall suffer such Penalties and in such manner as is Declared and Inflicted by this Act upon those that make False Musters

XVI. Officers mustering Servants, &c.

Punishment.

And it is hereby further Enacted That if any Officer shall Muster any Person that is a Servant or receives Wages from any Officer or that shall attend any Officer as a Servant in the absence of the said Officer from his Quarters or shall Muster any Person by a wrong Name knowingly upon Conviction thereof before a Court Martiall the said Officer or Commissary shall suffer such Penalties and in such manner as is Inflicted and Declared by this Act upon those that shall make false Musters.

XVII. Petition of Right, 3 Car. I. reciled. 31 Car. II. c. 1. recited.

Constables, &c. may billet Officers and Soldiers in Inns, &c; Billetting in private Houses without Consent of Owner; Remedy.

And whereas by the Petition of Right in the Third Yeare of King Charles the First It is Enacted and Declared That the People of this Land are not by the Lawes to be Burthened with the Sojourning of Soldiers against their Wills And by a Clause in one Act of Parlyament made in the One and thirtyeth Yeare of the Raigne of King Charles the Second For Granting a Supply to his Majestie of Two hundred and six thousand foure hundred and sixty two Pounds seventeene shillings and three pence for Paying and Disbanding the Forces It is Declared and Enacted That noe Officer Military or Civill nor any other Person whatsoever shall from thenceforth presume to Place Quarter or Billet any Soldier or Soldiers upon any Subject or Inhabitants of this Realme of any Degree Quality or Profession whatsoever without his Consent And that it shall and may be Lawfull for any such Subject and Inhabitant to refuse to Sojourne or Quarter any Soldier or Soldiers notwithstanding any Command, Order Warrant or Billeting whatsoever But forasmuch as at this present time there is a Rebellion in Ireland and a Warr against France whereby there is occasion for the Marching of many Regiments Troops and Companies in severall Parts of this Kingdome towards the Sea Coasts and otherwise Bee it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That for and dureing the Continuance of this Act and noe longer It shall and may be Lawfull for the Constables Tythingmen Headburroughs and other Chiefe Officers and Magistrates of Cities [Burroughes (fn. 2) ] Townes and Villages and other Places in the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales and Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede and for noe others to Quarter and Billet the Officers and Soldiers in Their Majesties Service in Inns Livery Stables Ale Houses Victualling Houses and all Houses selling Brandy Strong-Waters Syder or Metheglin by Retaile to be dranke in their Houses and noe other and in noe Private Houses whatsoever And if any Constable Tythingman or such like Officer or Magistrate as aforesaid shall presume to Quarter or Billet any such Officer or Soldier in any Private House without the Consent of the Owner or Occupier in such case such Owner or Occupier shall have his or their Remedy at Law against such Magistrate or Officer for the Damage that such Owner or Occupier shall sustaine thereby

XVIII. Officers and Soldiers billetted to pay reasonable Prices.

Prices of Provisions may be regulated at Quarter Sessions, for Officers and Soldiers on March; Such Prices to be within Compass of Subsistence Money; After first Night in Quarters, Owner of Inn, &c. to furnish Officers, &c. with Lodgings, &c.

Provided neverthelesse And it is hereby Enacted That the Officers and Soldiers soe Quartered and Billeted as aforesaid shall pay such reasonable Prices as shall be appointed from time to time by the Justices of the Peace in their Quarter Sessions of each County City ( (fn. 3) ) Division or Place within their respective Jurisdictions And the Justices of the Peace aforesaid are hereby Impowered and Required to Sett and Appoint in their Quarter Sessions aforesaid such reasonable Rates for all necessary Provisions for such Officers and Soldiers for One or more Nights in their Marching through their Cities Townes Villages and other Places and for the First Night onely in such Places as shall be appointed for their Residence or Quarters Provided That the said Price soe Sett by the said Justices be within the compasse of the Subsistence. Money paid to the Soldiers which Subsistence Money is hereby declared to be for each Trooper Two shillings per die[m] For each Dragoon One shilling and two pence per die[m] And for each Foot Soldier Sixpence per die[m] And after the said First Night in their Quarters the Owners and Occupiers of the Inns Alehouses and other Publique Houses [as (fn. 2) ] aforesaid are hereby Required to furnish such Officers and Soldiers soe Quartered and Billetted as aforesaid with dry Lodgeings Stable roome for Horses and with Fire and Water and necessary Utensills to Dresse their Meate and not otherwise without the said Officers or Soldiers shall make a Contract or Agrement for their Provisions with the said Owners or Occupiers

XIX. Officer, &c. taking Money for excusing Quartering; Punishment.

Provided alwayes and bee it Enacted That if any Officer or Soldier shall take any Money of any Person for Excuseing the Quartering of Officers or Soldiers or any of them in any House allowed by this Act every such Officer or Soldier shall be Cashiered and made incapeable of Serveing in any Military Imployment whatsoever

XX. Paymaster of the Army, Secreatary at War, &c. not to take Fees, or deduct from Pay.

Exception.

And bee it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That from and after the One and thirtyeth day of December next ensueing noe Paymaster of the Army Secretary of Warr Commissary or Muster Master or their under Officers shall receive any Fees or make any Deductions whatsoever out of the Pay of any Officer or Soldier in Their Majestyes Army or from their Agents which shall grow due from and after the said One and thirtyeth day of December other then the usuall Deductions for Cloathing and the Twelve pence in the Pound to be disposed of as Their Majestyes shall think fitt and the One Dayes Pay in the Yeare for the Use of the Royall Hospitall at Chelsey (fn. 4) ]

XXI. Act to be read at Muster.

And bee it further Enacted That this Act shall be Read at the Head of every respective Regiment Troope or Company at every respective Muster by the Commissary or Muster Master before such Muster shall be made that noe Soldier may pretend Ignorance.

Footnotes

1 Soldier O.
2 interlined on the Roll.
3 or O.
4 annexed to the Original Act in a separate Schedule.