An act for amending and further continuing the act for the better regulating and disciplining; the Militia.
I. WHEREAS the act of assembly made in the thirtieth year of the reign of his late majesty king George the second, entitled. An act for the better regulating and discipling the militia, which was continued by another act made for that purpose in the thirty-second year of this said late majesty’s reign, will expire on the eighth day of June next, and it is necessary that the said act should be further continued, with some amendments:
II. Be it therefore enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governour, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this act the several persons herein after-mentioned shall be, and are hereby declared, to be free and exempt from appearing or mustering either at the private or general musters of their respective counties, that is to say: All his majesty’s justices of the peace within this colony, who have qualified themselves for their offices by taking the oaths by law appointed to be taken by justices of the peace, and who are really and bona fide acting justices of their respective counties (except such as now do, or hereafter shall, bear any commission as officers of the militia in their respective counties) all persons bred to and actually practising physick or surgery, and all inspectors at the publick warehouses appointed for the inspection of tobacco; and they shall not be subject or liable to any fine, forfeiture or penalty, for absenting themselves from the same.
III. Provided always. That the persons so exempted from mustering shall provide complete sets of arms, as are by the said act required for soldiers, for the use of the county, city or borough, wherein they shall respectively reside; and if they shall fail or refuse so to do, within one year after the passing of this act, then it shall and may be lawful for the courts of the several counties, city or borough, wherein the persons before-mentioned shall reside, and they are hereby empowered and required, to levy the value of such arms on each of them respectively.
IV. Provided also, That nothing herein contained I shall be construed to oblige any of the persons exempted from mustering as aforesaid, who have already provided arms for the use of the county, city or borough, wherein they reside, according to the directions of the said act.
V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid. That every person so exempted shall always keep in his house or place of abode such arms, accoutrements, and ammunition, as are by the said act required to be kept by the militia of this colony; and if he shall fail or refuse so to do lie shall forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds, to be levied and assessed on him in the same manner as the several fines and forfeitures inflicted by the said act are directed to be levied and assessed: And such exempts shall also, in case of any invasion or insurrection, appear with their arms and ammunition at such place as shall be appointed by the commanding officer of the militia of their respective counties, cities or boroughs, and shall then be incorporated with, and be subject to the same discipline, rules and orders, and also the same fines, forfeitures and penalties, for non-appearance or misbehaviour, as the other militia of this colony are subject to.
VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid. That from and after the passing of this act the lieutenant, or chief commanding officer, of the militia of the several counties of this colony, and also of the city of Williamsburg and borough of Norfolk, shall cause a general muster of the several companies of their militia once only in every year, to be in the months of March or April; and that a general court-martial shall be held in the manner by the said act prescribed, on the day next following the said general muster, if fair (if not the next fair day) and if any soldier shall at any general or private, muster refuse to perform the command of his officer, or behave himself refractorily or mutinously, or misbehave himself at such court-martial, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of forty shillings current money, to he applied to the same uses as the other fines and forfeitures inflicted by the said act; or it shall and may be lawful to and for the chief commanding officer then present to cause such offender to be tied, neck and heels, for any time not exceeding five minutes, and shall not inflict any other corporal punishment.
VII. And whereas it hath been doubted whether the sheriffs of York and James City are by law obliged to obey the orders of the courts-martial of the said city of Williamsburg, in receiving or collecting the fines to which the inhabitants of the said city may be subject, by virtue of the said act: Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid , that from & after the passing of this act it shall and may be lawful to and for the courts-martial to be held in pursuance of the said act to order and direct either the sergeant of the said city, or the sheriffs of the said counties of York and James City, to receive and collect all such fines as shall be inflicted and ordered to be levied by them on such of the inhabitants of the said city as shall reside in their respective precincts; and thereupon the said serjeant or sheriff, respectively, shall proceed in the same manner to collect such fines, and shall be accountable for them to the courts-martial of the said city, and shall be subject and liable to the same prosecution, in case of their failing, neglecting or refusing, to collect the said fines, as are prescribed, directed and appointed, in the like cases, for the counties of this colony.
IX. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid. That this act, together with the said recited act, except so much thereof as comes within the purview of this act, shall continue and be in force from and after the said eighth day of June next, for and during the term of four years, and from thence to the end of the next session of assembly