« PreviousContinue »
the latter to fall into disuse." Blackstone does not seem to be aware of the rather considerable mention of Lieutenants in the Act of Edward the Sixth, just quoted, nor of a subsequent mention of them in a statute of Queen Mary (1 Mar., st. 2, c. 12), passed in 1553, and earlier, of course, than the Statute he quotes. Section 12 of the Statute of Mary enacts that “if the Queen's Highness shall by Her letters patent make any Lieutenant in any county or counties of this realm for the suppressing of any commotion, rebellion, or unlawful assembly," then all justices, sheriffs, mayors, etc., shall be bound to give attendance to the Lieutenant to suppress the commotion, etc. Section 20 of the same Statute decrees that no Lieutenant shall constitute under him or in his place any deputy. This Act was passed only for the then present Parliament, but was continued throughout their reign by Philip and Mary ; it was re-enacted, by reference, by Queen Elizabeth, and finally repealed in 1863, after having been obsolete for many years. The Statute 4 & 5 Ph. and M. c. 3, referred to by Blackstone, makes mention of the “Lord Lieutenant" once, but by no means clearly states his duties. This, however, is the first time that the expression Lord Lieutenant occurs in the Statute-book.
Holinshed,* who wrote about 1580, says, in speaking of the English counties, “over each of these shires in time of necessity is a several Lieutenant chosen under the Prince; who being a nobleman of calling hath almost regal authority over the same shire for the time being in many cases which do concern his office ; otherwise it is governed by a Sheriff.”
During the Wars of the Roses and the reigns of the Tudors, troops were raised in the most irregular manner, constitutional rights were ignored and forgotten, the abovenamed commissions of Array were issued, and the practice of impressing men to act as soldiers was enforced under those commissions. In fact, it began to be assumed that the
* Chronicles, i. 155.
Crown had a right to impress men for the army in the same way as it (really) had of impressing mariners for the navy. It is clear from the Acts of Parliament of the reign of Queen Elizabeth * that impressment was then commonly considered to be one of the prerogatives of the Crown.
Shakespeare makes Falstaff say (“ Hen. IV.," part i., act iv., sc. 2): "I have misused the king's press damnably. I have got in exchange of 150 soldiers 300 and odd pounds. I press me none but good householders, yeomen's sons : inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked twice on the bans; such a commodity of warm slaves as had as lief hear the devil as a drum ; such as fear the report of a culverin worse than a struck deer, or a hurt wild fowl ... and they have bought out their services; and now my whole charge consists of . . . such as indeed were never soldiers, but discarded unjust serving men, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fallen ; the cankers of a calm world and long peace ; ten times more dishonourably ragged than an old-faced ancient; and such have I to fill up the rooms of them that have bought out their services; that you would think I had 150 tattered prodigals lately come from swine-keeping. ... Nay, and the villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had gyves on; for indeed, I had the most of them out of prison.”
The old Acts of Henry the Eighth (33 Hen. VIII. c. 5) concerning the keeping of war-horses, and of Philip and Mary (4 & 5 Phil. and Mar. c. 2) concerning the keeping of horses, armour, and weapons, were repealed in the reign of James the First, in the years 1604 and 1623, but commissions were issued to register and muster all persons able to provide horses, arms, or soldiers, and to select a convenient number of such persons to serve for the defence of the Crown. These commissions assumed, by the end of the sixteenth century, a quasi-permanent form under the Lieutenants of the counties,
35 Eliz, c. 4 ; 39 Eliz, C. 21; 43 Eliz. c. 9.
to whom by degrees they were directed ; and the persons serving under them were known as Train-bands, and were mustered annually.
During the reign of Charles the First the commissions of muster, the exactions enforced by the Lieutenants of counties, and illegal impressment, were felt to be grievances, and were complained of by Parliament. The Parliament, moreover, was extremely unwilling to leave the command of the Militia under the control of the Crown, a power exercised by means of the Lieutenants of counties. This question was one of the principal matters in dispute at the time of the rupture between Charles the First and Parliament.
The Commons, in 1642, passed several votes derogatory to the Royal prerogative ; having ordered the whole kingdom to be placed in a posture of defence, they proceeded to order all Lords-Lieutenant of counties, constituted by the King's commission, to bring in their commissions to be cancelled, as illegal. They declared that whosoever should execute any power over the Militia by virtue of a commission from the King without the consent of Parliament was to be deemed “a disturber of the peace of the kingdom.” They wanted to have the Militia absolutely in their power, that they might be able to seize the King's person in any part of the kingdom.
After the Restoration considerable changes took place in the military system of the country. Impressment for the army had been abolished by the Parliament of Charles the First, but the new Parliament of Charles the Second passed a very important Act in 1662 (13 & 14 Car. II. c. 3), declaring that the whole right in, and power over, the Militia was solely in the King, and that neither of the Houses of Parliament could or ought to pretend to any right in, or power over, the same. Further, that the King might from time to time, as occasion should require, issue forth several commissions of Lieutenancy to such persons as he should
think fit to be his Majesty's Lieutenants for the respective counties, cities, and places of England, Wales, and Berwickupon-Tweed; that such Lieutenants should have full power and authority to call together all such persons as by the said Act directed, and to arm and array them, also to form them into companies, troops, and regiments, and, in case of insurrection, rebellion, or invasion, to lead them, both within the several counties, cities, and places for which they should be respectively commissioned, as also into any other counties, cities, and places, as they might be directed by the King, for suppressing all insurrections, rebellions, and invasions. The same Act gave them power to appoint fit persons to be colonels, majors, captains, and commissioned officers for the Militia, and to present to the King the names of such persons as they should think fit to be Deputy-Lieutenants, and with his Majesty's approbation to give them their deputations accordingly; further, that the said DeputyLieutenants, or any two or more of them, should have power from time to time to train and lead the persons armed and arrayed as before mentioned.
All this, it should be observed, refers to the Militia only, and has no concern whatever with the question of a Standing Army, forbidden by the Declaration of the Bill of Rights. The rebellion of 1745 brought into notice the general inefficiency of the Militia ; and in 1757 an Act * was passed by which the force was reorganized on nearly the same basis as that on which the balloted Militia now rests. Other Acts were subsequently passed, making more or less modifications in the status of the Militia, until 1871, when it was determined to combine the regular and auxiliary forces in one organization in connection with different territorial districts. In furtherance of this scheme, an Act (34 & 35 Vict. c. 86) was passed, by which the command of auxiliary forces, with all the
30 Geo. II. c. 25, amended by 31 Geo. II. c. 26, 32 Geo. II. c. 20, and 33 Geo. II. cc. 22, 24.
powers of the Lieutenants of counties, and those of the LordLieutenant in Ireland in relation to any of such forces (except those relating to the raising of the Militia by ballot), were revested in the Crown, and declared to be exercisable through a Secretary of State, or any officers to whom her Majesty, with the advice of a Secretary of State, might delegate such command and powers. This Act may be looked upon as a formidable blow to the military power of Lords-Lieutenant.
By 45 & 46 Vict. c. 49 (the Militia Act of 1882), the LordLieutenant may create persons to be his Deputy-Lieutenants with the approval of her Majesty. The commission of a Deputy-Lieutenant is not vacated by the Lord-Lieutenant ceasing to be such. The Lord-Lieutenant with the approval of her Majesty may appoint any Deputy-Lieutenant to act for him as Vice-Lieutenant during his absence from the county, sickness, or other inability to act.
Her Majesty may appoint any fit person to be a Lord-Lieutenant ; * but in the case of a Deputy-Lieutenant the following qualifications are requisite :
(a) He shall be a peer of the realm or the heir apparent of such a peer, and have a place of residence within the county for which he is appointed ; or
(6) He shall be in possession for his own benefit of an * The unisorm worn by the Lord-Lieutenant is a tunic of scarlet cloth with silver-plated buttons having a sword and baton crossed on them, emblematical of the military and civil capacities; blue cloth trousers with silver lace stripe, cocked hat with white plume and red feathers, sword and sash, also gilt spurs. For English and Welsh counties embroidery of oak-leaf and acorn ; for Scotch, the thistle ; for Irish, the shamrock.
The uniform of Deputy-Lieutenants is a tunic of scarlet cloth with silver-plated buttons having the crown and wreath ; blue cloth trousers with silver lace stripe ; cocked hat with white plume; sword, and waist plate of silver with badge. For English counties, oak-leaf wreath and rose in the centre; for Welsh counties, oak. leaf wreath and Prince of Wales's plume in the centre ; for Scotch counties, thistle wreath and gilt metal thistle in the centre ; for Irish counties, shamrock wreath, and shamrock leaf in the centre, with a spray of shamrock on each petal. The embroidery is the same as for the Lord-Lieutenant according to the county. Moreover, the devices or badges peculiar to counties are often worn on the collar of the tunic.