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insurrection. Secondly, the severe sacrifices which service in the ranks of the militia imposed upon the lower orders, in their separation from their homes and families, their neces sary total abandonment of all civil occupations and habits, their deprivation of civil rights and subjection to military law. Thirdly, that neither the Constitution, nor the Act of Edward the Third, which first gave organization to the militia, conferred upon the sovereign any power to call for the personal services of the subject, excepting in the cases of actual invasion of the realm, or of rebellion; and that the Act of 42nd of George the 3rd, chapter 90, (quoted in the terms of his motion) recognized the royal authority to that extent only, and expressly under the specified limitations. Finally, he appealed to ali precedent to justify the proposition he had made.

The answer to him from the ministerial side of the House comprehended the following observations :

First, that the war with America was not entirely at an end; and that even if it were, the state of Europe was not yet so settled down as to warrant a diminution of the military force of Great Britain; especially considering that a portion of her regular army has, according to the arrangements between the allied powers, to remain for a time in France as an army of occupation. Secondly, that the Acts referred to, while providing specially for the levying of the militia force, were silent as to the manner and time of its disembodiment; and that a discretion on those points was therefore to be inferred as being left to the government of the day. Thirdly, that there were precedents, as in 1760 and 1761, when the militia were retained in arms although all danger of invasion had ceased; in 1805 when the situation of affairs that had required their being called out no longer existed, and in 1813 when the French army was totally ruined in the Russian campaign, and therefore the danger of invasion could no longer be said to exist.

The best comment upon this debate, is by simply calling attention to the fact before alluded to, that in less than six weeks after it the country was again plunged into the vortex of war. It is true the latter was brief; but only by reason of the promptitude with which England was enabled to bear her part by the dispatch of troops to Belgium. Had the inilitia been disbanded, it would have been utterly impossible

for her to have dispensed with the presence of her regular army-the battle of Waterloo would not have occurredthe Prussians would have been beaten in detail-the junction of the Russians and Austrians prevented, and the whole face and destinies of Europe would have been changed, and certainly to the disadvantage and heavy detriment of Great Britain.

No warning however, was taken from this narrow escape, as we have already remarked, and shall presently have to shew more in detail. Meantime it cannot be out of place here to give a brief summary of the history of the militia force of these countries, in illustration of the statements and arguments to which we have been alluding, and several of which are beginning to re-appear, in the reports and speeches, and in the leading article columns of newspapers, in our own day.

We are not about to waste time with a dissertation on the early military systems established in England by the Danes, Saxons, and Normans. It is sufficient to say, that most authorities are now agreed, in considering the ancient "Fyrd" of the Saxons as the first foundation of our army. According to Sir Francis Palgrave, in his Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth, this "Fyrd" seems to have been a general levy in arms, of all classes of subjects, in the field, under penalties proportioned to the rank and fortune of each. This system was modified and regulated in some of its parts by Alfred the Great, and King Edward the Confessor. The Norman conquest superadded the institution of a feudal army, furnished by the tenants of Knights' fees: which really had some of the features of the modern system of a standing army, inasmuch as many of those composing the array remained for long periods together in arms, and received a money remuneration, or regular pay. But the old Saxon "Fyrd" was not the less carefully kept up with its limited and periodical terms of service, and its annual "exhibitions of arms" of the nature of the "wappenschaw," so graphically described by Sir Walter Scott, in his admirable Old Mortality.

Attempts, happily unsuccessful, were made from time to time in the long interval of centuries from the Norman Conquest down to the Revolution of 1688, to destroy the separated and independent character of this "Fyrd" or "militia" force, and blend it with the regularly hired and paid forces of the crown. But the stubborn constitutional spirit

of England steadily resisted and repelled these attempts, and carefully embodied provisions against them in various acts of Parliament. Thus we have the statute 1st Edward 3, c. 5, which declares that "The King wills, that no man shall henceforth be charged to arm himself otherwise than was wont in the times of his progenitors, Kings of England; and that no man be compelled to go out of his shire but where necessity requireth and sudden coming of strange enemies into the realm; and that it shall be done as hath been used in times past, for the defence of the realm."

In the same year of Edward the Third, the second statute of that year, chapter 15, was avowedly passed for the relief of individuals who, "at the suggestion of false and evil counsellors and by duress," had been prevailed on to come under burdensome obligations to perform military duties.

Several years later, in 1351, the fifth statute of the 25th of Edward the Third, chapter eight, enacted "that no man shall be constrained to find men of arms, hobelers, nor archers other than those who hold by such services, if it be not by common assent and grant made in Parliament."

In the 5th year of Henry the Fourth a statute, limited, by defining more clearly than before was the case, the powers assumed by the "Commissioners of Array," whom the Crown had from time to time appointed with a view of enlarging its military authority by gradual encroachments on the old militia system. This statute assumed, as a necessary preliminary, a foreign invasion, and then went on to authorize the Commissioners of Array under such circumstances, to array and train all men at arms;-to cause all able-bodied men to arm themselves according to their substance-to amerce those unable to bear arms in what might be judged a money-equivalent for armed service, and finally to require persons so armed to attend on the sea-shore, or elsewhere, in the case of danger.

The long contest between prerogative and constitutional law in these matters, came to a head in the reign of Charles the First. His father, James the First, had by statutes of the 1st and 21st years of his reign repealed the old acts, commonly called the Statutes of Armour, namely, the 27 Henry the Second and the 13 Edward the First, chapter six, modified and confirmed by the 4th and 5th Philip and Mary, chapter two, which obliged every mar to keep a certain supply of the arms in use at the periods respectively of the

enactments in question. But through some inadvertence the repeal of these acts also included the repeal of the power which they declared to be in the monarch of these realms to command the military array of the country. And on some of those powers being used by Charles the First in the issue of commissions of lieutenancy and otherwise, the Long Parliament eagerly raised and maintained the argument, that those powers. had ceased to exist, and that the command of the militia could only be rightfully assumed and exercised by the King, with the consent and permission of Parliament. On this among other weighty constitutional points, the bloody issue of the Civil War was joined.

Serjeant Stephen, in his New Commentaries on the Laws of England, 3d Edition, 1853, p. 570, thus epitomizes the resumption by the Crown of the position from which it was forced in the wild tempest that overwhelmed its holder in 1649, and flung the crown itself down in the dust for years, under the feet of an ambitious and successful soldier.

"Soon after the restoration of Charles the Second, when the military tenures were abolished, it was thought proper to ascertain the power of the militia, to recognize the sole right of the Crown to govern and command them, and to put the whole into a more regular method of military subordination ; and the order in which the militia now stands by law is principally built upon the statutes which were then enacted. It is true the two last of them are repeated; (13 and 14 Car. 2, c. 3, and 15 Car. 2, c. 4) but many of their provisions are re-enacted with the addition of some new regulations by the present militia laws; the general scheme of which is to discipline at stated periods for the internal defence of the country, a certain number of the inhabitants of every county, chosen either by voluntary enlistment or by lot for five years, and officered by the Lord Lieutenant, the deputy lieutenants and other persons with a certain qualification in point of property, under a commission from the Crown."

The words of the statutes of Charles the Second were"That the sole supreme government, command and disposition of the militia, and of all forces by sea and land, and of all forts and places of strength is, and by the laws of England ever was, the undoubted right of His Majesty and his Royal Predecessors."

These Acts then went on to provide for the levying of the

militia by the Lieutenants and Deputies of Counties, and the system they established, or re-established and defined, forms the main groundwork of the Militia System of the present day. In its details, however, it has been considerably modified, altered and amended by nearly fifty subsequent acts, of which about twenty date from the reign of our present gracious Sovereign.

Not to weary the reader with details, technical or otherwise, it is sufficent, as regards the existing position of the law, to state what follows.

By the Act 15th and 16th Victoria, chapter 50, section 8, Her Majesty is empowered, by advice of her Privy Council, to raise and keep up in England and Wales a force of eighty thousand privates of militia; which in the event of invasion, or imminent danger thereof, she may increase to the number of 120,000-the enrolment to be voluntary: but reserving the power of resorting to the Ballot

By the 17th Victoria, chap. 13, she has been empowered to call out and embody the militia of the three countries, whenever a state of war exists, without reference to the old conditions of the danger of foreign invasion or domestic rebellion.

By the 17th Victoria, chapter 16, she received powers to cause to be raised and embodied 10,000 privates in Scotland, to serve as the militia of that kingdom.

By the 17th Victoria, chapter 107, a similar power is given to raise 30,000 privates to serve as a similar force for Ireland. And the four Acts we have mentioned provide for the enrolment of these forces by voluntary enlistment, leaving untouched, however, the power of resorting to the old plan of the ballot, in case of necessity.

In the short Session of December last, another Act was passed, enabling Her Majesty to accept the services of Militia Regiments volunteering to serve out of the country, in any of her Majesty's Colonial Possessions and Dependencies abroad.

Under these Acts the following Regiments are on the Militia List, according to the latest returns that are accessible to us.

1st Regiment of Militia, designated the 3rd West York (Light Infantry).

2nd. Huntingdonshire Rifles.

3rd. The 1st and 2nd Durham Infantry, and the Durham Artillery.

4th. Rutlandshire Rifles (not embodied).

5th. The Regiment designated as the 1st
West York Regiment.

6th. The 1st and 2nd Royal Cheshire.
7th. The Royal Berkshire.

8th. The Royal North Lincoln Regiment.
9th. The Royal Cumberland.

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