November 1766 - - 7th GEORGE III CHAP. XXXI. An act to continue and amend the act for better regulating and disciplining the militia.

November 1766 - - 7th GEORGE III

CHAP. XXXI.

 

An act to continue and amend the act for better regulating and disciplining the militia.

 

I. WHEREAS the act of assembly made in the thirteenth year of his late majesty king George  the second, intituled, An act for the better regulating and disciplining  the militia, which was continued by two other acts made in the thirty-second year of his said majesty’s reign, and in the third year of his present majesty’s reign, will expire on the eighth day of June next, and it is expedient that the same should be further continued with amendments; Be if therefore enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor, 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 they 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 office 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 do now or hereafter shall bear any commission as officers of the militia in their respective counties) all persons bred to, and actually practising physic or surgery, all the people called Quakers, and all inspectors at the public warehouses, appointed for the inspection of tobacco; and they shall not be subject or liable So any fine, forfeiture or penalty, for absenting themselves from the private or general musters of their respective counties.

 

II. Provided always, That the persons so exempted (not being Quakers) shall provide compleat 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 impowered and required to levy the value of such arms on each of them respectively.

 

III. Provided also, That nothing herein contained 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, wheren they reside, according to the directions of the

said act.

 

IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the lieutenant or chief commanding officer of the militia in every county shall list all male persons of the people called Quakers, above the age of eighteen years and under the age of sixty years, within his county, under the command of such captain as he shall think fit; and if upon any invasion or insurrection the militia of the counties to which such Quakers belong, shall be drawn out into actual service, and any Quaker so inlisted shall refuse to serve or provide an able and sufficient substitute as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten pounds; to be recovered by any justice of the peace of the county, upon the complaint of such lieutenant or chief officer, and to be levied by distress and sale of the estate of the Quaker so refusing, which sum shall be applied by the said lieutenant or chief commanding officer towards a substitute in the room of the Quaker upon whom the same shall be levied as aforesaid.

 

V. Provided always, That the number of Quakers required by the lieutenant or chief officer of any county to serve or find substitutes as aforesaid, shall not exceed the proportion the whole number of Quakers bear to the whole number of the other militia, upon the muster rolls of the said county.

 

VI. Provided also, and be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That no Quaker shall be exempted from appearing at musters as aforesaid, until he shall produce, to the lieutenant or chief officer of the militia of his county, a testimonial or certificate from the monthly meeting to which he belongs, that he is really and bona fide one of the people called Quakers, and is acknowledged and received by them as a member of their society; and if at any time any person calling himself a Quaker shall be excommunicated or excluded from the said society, the monthly meeting to which such excluded person did belong, shall within three months after such exclusion, cause the same to be certified to the lieutenant or chief officer of the militia of the county, and thereupon, the person so excluded shall be deprived of the exemption from appearing at musters as aforesaid, and shall be subject to fines and penalties inflicted by the recited act for not appearing at musters.

 

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every person so exempted (not being a Quaker) 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, he 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-appearing or misbehaviour, as the other militia of this colony are subject to.

 

VIII. 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 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 be 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.

 

IX. And, whereas it hath been doubted whether the sheriffs of York and James City are by law obliged to obey the orders of the court-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 and after the passing of this act, it shall and may be lawful to and for the court-martial, to be held in pursuance of the said act, to order and direct either the sergeant of the said city, or the sheriff's 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 sergeant or sheriff, respectively, shall proceed in the same manner to collect such fines, and shall be accountable for them to the court-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 in this colony,

 

X. 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 passing of this act, for and during the term of four years, and from thence to the end of the next session of assembly.

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