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This is therefore, Sir, a power, company such ferjeant or corporal which may be of the most dangerous is wanted ; and a man's knowledge consequence to every officer in our of the exercise, his diligence in perarmy, below the rank of a colonel ; forming his duty, and his bravery, and if we add to this, the power are the qualifications that usually reassumed by the commander in chief, commend a common soldier to be a to inflict severe punishments by his A corporal, or a corporal a serjeant. fole authority, we must admit, that But there are likewise other qualiall the staff-officers and soldiers of our fications necessary, and qualifications army are in a more slavish subjection that cannot be known till a man comes than this house ought to endure any to be tried ; therefore both the coinnocent British subject to be in. lonel and captain are often mistaken For this reason, Sir, I have prepared in their man; and when they find a clause to be added by way of rider B themselves so mistaken, it is abso. to the bill now before you, for pro. lutely neceffary for the good of the viding, that no non-commiffion of- service, that the colonel should have ficer Thall be calhiered or reduced an unlimited power to reduce him to a private centinel ; and that no again to a private centinel. Nay, officer or soldier shall be punished, a captain may find that he has got a but by the sentence of a court-martial; very incapable or troublesome serjeant

с therefore I shall conclude with mov- or corporal into his compary, and ing for leave to bring it up.

yet it may be impossible for him

to make his incapacity or trouble. This Motion being seconded, and the someness appear by proper proofs, Clause brought up and read, Q.

to the satisfaction of a court-martial. Confidius, food up and spoke in

I must likewise observe, Sir, that Substance as follows: :

as bravery, activity and diligence

D are necessary for recommending a Mr. President,

foldier to the rank of a corporal or

serjeant, so it is necessary, that after HOPE, I have as great a regard he is advanced to that rank, he

to the liberties and properties of should continue to be as brave, active, The subject as any gentleman in this and diligent as ever he was before; house ; but I think, that the liber- and yet, when he is advanced to the ties and properties, and even the re. E rank of a serjeant, which is, perhaps, ligion of the people of this kingdom the summit of his desires, or at least depend upon our preserving a ftrict of his hopes, he may very naturally discipline in our army; and therefore grow lazy and indolent, or perhaps I shall always be extremely cauti. in the day of battle take more care ous of introducing any new regula- of his life than is consistent with tion, or abolishing any old custom his duty. For which reason I think relating to our army.' The power Fit is necessary for the service, that which the colonel has over the fer- such officers should always remain jeants and corporals of his regiment, under the apprehenfion of being re1 mean the power of creating and duced by their colonel, if they are reducing them whenever he picales, guilty of the least cowardice, neg. is a power coeval with our army ; ligence or misbehaviour. and while we have an army, I think, Whatever notions some gentlemen it is necessary that it Thould fubfift

. G may have of absolute power, Sir, In advancing a common soldier to it has been thought necessary in all be a corporal, or a corporal to be a countries for preserving subordination lerjeant, the colonel generally takes and discipline in an army. In the the advice of the captain, in whose Roman commonwealth, from its Mr. HCL-y.

very

SIR,

I

63

:

1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c.
very first original, the generals of impartial a judge as any regimental
their armies had a most absolute and courtmartial can be supposed to be.
unlimited power over every officer

As this has always been the pracand soldier in the army. They could tice in our army, Sir, I must prenot only prefer and reduce, but pu- fume, that the hopes of an halbert nish even with death itself, by their will be as great an incitement for sole authority, and without the sen. A common soldiers to behave well, as tence of any court-martial. The it could be, were the clause now offtory of Manlius, who put his own fered made part of this bill ; for son to death for fighting the enemy when once they have got an halbert, against his orders, is so well known, they are now sure of keeping it as that I need not put gentlemen in long as they perform their duty, and mind of it. Not only particular men, surely, no gentleman will defire that but whole armies were among the Bthey lould hold it any longer. But Romans subject to be punished by

if this clause should be passed into a the sole and absolute power of their law, I am afraid it would have one general ; for we read that Appius, of these two bad effects : The staffin the very infancy of that common- officers would trust so much to this wealth, caused every tenth man in security, that they would behave his army to be whipped, for flying negligentiy, and if courts-martial from the enemy ; besides punishing C acted with rigour, more of them some of the officers with death. And, would be cashiered or reduced, than I believe, there is now no country in ever were so by our colonels : On the world, where their armies enjoy the other hand, if courts-martial did fo much freedom, or so much se

not act with rigour, and never pucurity against being oppressed by nished one, unless he was guilty of their commanders, as both the of- some heinous crime or egregious ficers and soldiers of our British army D neglect, the posts of serjeant or corenjoy.

poral would become a sort of civil But in this, Sir, as in most other employment, and would, I fear, be things, there is an extreme, there is too often sold to the highest bidder ; a ne plus ultra; for if you extend which would in a short time render this freedom and security too far, our army little better than a com. you will destroy all discipline and mon militia. subordination in your army ; and I E As to the danger which officers am afraid, that what is now pro. under the rank of a colonel may be posed will be running into that ex. exposed to, by staff-officers bearing treme, without so much as a pre- false witness against them, at the tended necessity; for tho' this power instigation of their colonel, it ap. of reducing staff officers to private pears to me to be altogether imacentinels has been enjoyed by every ginary; for the danger of suborning colonel in our army time out of F witnesses to give falle evidence is so mind, yet there has never been fo great, that no colonel, nor any ons much as one complaint of its having for him, would ever attempt it ; been made a bad use of, or applied and should he attempt it, and luc to any wicked purpose ; and indeed, ceed so far as to find two or three if it is ever exercised, it is always at men abandoned enough to undertake the desire of the captain of the com- it, by being examined apart, and pany to which the serjeant or cor-G artfully cross-questioned, the falihood poral belongs, and after an examina

of their evidence would probably be tion into the complaints again{t him; detected, and they punished for their so that the colonel really acts as judge perjury, which could hardly fail of in the affair, and is as good and as bringing on a discovery, or at lealt

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a strong suspicion of the suborna-
tion ; and no colonel under such a As a Pamphlet has been lately pub-
suspicion could expect to hold a com-

lished, intitled, An Enquiry into million in the army, as it is, and I

the Causes of the late Increase of hope, will always be in the king's Robbers, &c. with some Proposals power to dismiss such a colonel from for remedying this growing Evil, the service ; for the officers of the A &c. By Henry Fielding, Esq; oir army, as Cæfar faid of his wife, Readers may be curious to see some should be not only innocent, but free Extracts from it, which we shall from fufpicion.

give them as follows: Then, Sir, as to what the Hon. HE author, in his preface, gentleman observed about the end Thews the difference between of punishment, he should consider, the circumstances in which our comthat reducing a serjeant or corporal B monalty of old were, and those they to a private centinel is not properly are now in; and that by this means a punishment, but the removing a

the constitution of our government man from a poft which experience is altered from its antient state. has fewn him not to be fit for ; As to the book itself, he divides it and that experience must be known into cleven sections: In the first he to the whole regiment, as well as to considers the too frequent and expen. the colonel of the regiment, or the Cfive diversions among the lower kind captain of the company he belongs of people ; and he hews, that while to. Should a serjeant or corporal those diversions are confined to perbe guilty of any crime, or of any sons of superior rank, they can do no criminal neglect of duty, the colonel great mischief; but that it is the buwould not certainly content himself liness of the politician to prevent the with removing him, but would or- contagion from spreading to the useder him to be tried by a regimental D ful part of mankind; and that this is court-martial, in which case the of. likewise the business even of persons fence would be proved, and the pu. of fashion and fortune, that the labour nishment would be an example ; but and industry of the rest may adminiwhen no such criminal matter is al- fter to their pleasures, and furnish Jedged against him, when nothing is them with the means of luxury. alledged but only a natural stupidity, In the ad section he confiders or a natural want of understanding, E drunkenness, and the several laws we which renders him unfit for any have fos preventing it ; and he obthing in the army above that of a serves, that the executing of those common soldier, there is no occasion laws, has been so long neglected, shat for any proof, or for any punishment it is not poslible for the magiftrate to by way of example.

revive them, without a new law, To conclude, Sir, the power which is the more necessary because which the colonel has over the staf- F a new lort of drunkenness has lately officers, has subfifted for above 60 {prung up amonglt'us ; which will years, without any complaint of a. infallibly destroy a great part of the buse ; and as no one can know what inferior people, meaning that poison may be the effect of abolishing it, I called gin. Therefore he advises hope the Hon. gentleman will excuse fome new and more effectual law a. me, for denying my approbation of gainst drunkenness, “ For, says he, the claule he has been pleased to tho' the increase of thieves, and the offer,

destruction of morality; though the G

loss of our labourers, our failors, and [This JOURNAL O be continued in our soldiers, should not be sufficient sur next.)

reasons, there is one which seems to

be

65

tin poet.

1751. Two shocking Instances of VAGABONDS. be unanswerable, and that is the loss our antient Saxon regulations with of our gin drinkers: Since, mould regard to tithings or decennaries. the drinking this poison be continued Then he gives an abstract of the ma. in its present height during the next ny laws we have against vagabonds, 20 years, there will, by chat time, observes their several defects, and be very few of the common people gives us the two following remarkaleft to drink it.

A ble anecdotes; the first of which he In the 3d he considers gaming a. had from Mr. Welch, high conftable mong the vulgar, and the laws we of Holbourn, and the other, as aphave against this destructive vice, and

pears, he was an eye witness to, viz. thews, that even our noblemen who “That in the parish of St. Giles's, are guilty of it, can never come there are great numbers of houses set within the description of a vir bonus, a part for the reception of idle per

or good man, as given us by the La- B fons and vagabonds, who have their

lodgings there for two-pence a night: In the 4th he confiders the laws That in the above parish, and in St. that relate to the provision for the George's, Bloomsbury, one woman poor, Mews where they are defective, alone occupies seven of these houses, and hints at some methods for reme- all properly accommodated with midying those defects, and for enforcing serable beds from the cellar to the the execution of our laws for the C garret, for such two.penny lodgers : employment of the poor, and punish- That in these beds, several of which ment of the idle.

are in the same room, men and woIn the 5th he confiders the punish- men, often ftrangers, to each other, ment of receivers of stolen goods, and lie promiscuously, the price of a begins with thewing the pernicious double bed being no more than consequence of advertisements to three-pence, as an encouragement bring the goods fo lost to fome certain D to them to lie together : That as place, ubere the person who brings them these places are thus adapted to is to receive a reward and no questions whoredom, so are they no less proafred; which sort of advertisements vided for drunkenness, gin being fold ought, he says, to be prevented by in them all at a penny a quartern ; an effectual law. He then points fo that the smallett sum of money out the defects of our laws for the serves for intoxication : That in the punishment of receivers, particularly E execution of search warrants, Mt. that of its being necesiary to convict Welch rarely finds less than twenty the thief before we can convict the of these houses open for the receipt receiver, which of course prevents of all comers at the latest hours : the former from ever being a witness That in one of these houses, and against the latter; and therefore he that not a large one, he hath numalks, why may not the receiving sto- bered 58 persons of both sexes, the len goods, knowing them to be to- F stench of whom was so intolerable, len, be made an original offence; and that it compelled him in a very pawnbrokers, &c. reputed to be fuch short time to quit the place.” offenders, if they buy or take fuch After this account from Mr goods to pawn, unless they can prove Welch, he says, “ Nay, I can by a credible witness to the transac- add, what I myself once law in the tion, that they had good cause to re- parish of Shoreditch, where two gard the seller or pawner as the real G little houses were emptied of near

70 men and women ; amongft In the 6th he confiders the laws whom was one of the prettiest girls I relating to vagabonds, upon which had ever seen, who had been carried subject he gives a succina account of off by an Irishman, to confummate February, 1751.

I

her

owner.

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her marriage on her wedding-night, prosecution ; or too avaritious to unin a room where several others dergo the expence ; or too tenderwere in bed at the same time.” And hearted to take away the life of a a little further he adds, such was the man ; or lastly, too necesitous to poverty of these wretches, that, up. afford the colt and loss of time. on searching all the above number, Upon every one of these heads, he the money found upon all of them A gives very good advice ; and he (except the bride, who, as I after- concludes with proposing, that the wards heard, had robbed her mis- publick should bear the whole charge tress) did not amount to one fhil. of all such prosecutions, and al. ling."

low witnelles against criminals their Among other mischiefs attending charges. this wretched nuisance, the great in. In the gth he treats of the trial crease of thieves muit, he says, ne- B and conviction of felons, when after cessarily be one. Where then is shewing how difficult it is to convict the redress, says he ? Is it not to a criminal, he proposes, that the binder the poor from wandering, and single evidence of an accomplice this by compelling the parish and jould be made sufficient for putting peace officers to apprehend such the prisoner upon his defence, and wanderers or vagabonds, and by obliging him to controvert the fact empowering the magistrate effectual

. C by proving an alibi, or to produce ly to punish and send them to their some reputable person to his chahabitations ? meaning, we suppose, racter; and that the utmoft care and the place of their birth, or where strictress Mould be used in examinthey had their last legal settlement. ing the prisoner's witnesses, as per

In che 7th he treats of apprehend. jury is a common act of Newgate ing ebe persons of felons, and explains friendship. the several laws and customs we D In the roth he considers the esshave for this purpose, with their se- couragement given to robbers by fre; veral defects. After which he en- quent pardons, and concludes with a deavours to give us a high opinion quotation from Machiavel, that ex: of thief-catchers, whom he com- amples of justice are more merciful pares to Pompey, Hercules, These- than the unbounded exercise of pity. us, and other the heroes of old ; And lastly, in the 11th section, and we thould join with him, if our E our author confiders the manner of modern thief-catchers undertook the execution, whereupon he shews, that business, merely for the sake of the our executions, in the manner they publick, and not for the sake of lu- are performed, are rather objects of cre. Let gentlemen of fortune ge- pity, and approbation of the behanerously undertake the business, and viour of the criminal, than of terror give the reward to the poor of the to the spectators; therefore he says, parish ; and we warrant, they will F and gives good reasons for saying, be as highly honoured by the peo- that the execution should be as soon ple, as the heroes of old ; at leaft as possible after the commission and io far as our religion permits. conviction of the crime ; and that

In the 8th he treats of the diff. it should be in some degree private, culties which attend profecutions, and and in the highest degree folemn. imputes the remissness of prosecu- For these reasons he proposes, that tors to their being so fearful as to G the court at the Old-Bailey should, be intimidated by the threats of the at the end of the trials, be adjourned gang; or too delicate to appear in a during four days; that against the publick court ; or too indolent to

adjournment day, a gallows hould give themselves the trouble of a be erected in the area before the .

2

court;

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