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Part VII.-Class II.
10 Geo. IV.c. 6.- An Act for punishing Mutiny and Desertion;
and for the better Payment of the Army and their Quarters.
-(23d March 1829. 10 Geo. IV. WHEREAS the raising or keeping a standing army within the United
Kingdom of Great Brituin and Ireland, in time of peace, unless it be with the consent of Parliament, is against law: And whereas it is adjudged necessary by his Majesty, and this present Parliament, that a body of forces should be continued, for the safety of the United Kingrlom, the defence of the possessions of his Majesty's crown, and the preservation of the
balance of power in Europe, and that the whole number of such forces Numbers, should consist of eighty-nine thousand seven hundred and twenty-three
men, exclusive of the officers and men belonging to the regimenis eniployed in the territorial possessions of the East India Company, but including the officers and men of the troops and companies recruiting for those regiments : And whereas no man can be forejudged of life or limb, or subjected in time of peace to any kind of punishment within this realm, by martial law, or in any other manner than by the judgment of his peers, and according to the known and established laws of this realm ; yet nevertheless, it being requisite, for the retaining all the before-mentioned forces in their duty, that an exact discipline be observed, and that soldiers who shall mutiny or stir up sedition, or shall desert his Majesty's service, be brought to a more exemplary and speedy punishment than the usual forms of the law will allow; be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament asCrimes sembled, and by the authority of the same, That if any person who is or punishable by shall be commissioned or in pay as an officer, or who is or shall be listed Death. or in pay as a non-commissioned officer or soldier, shall, at any time
during the continuance of this Act, begin, excite, cause, or join in any mutiny or sedition in bis Majesty's land or marine forces, or shall not use his utmost endeavours to suppress the saine, or coming to the knowledge of any mutiny or intended mutiny. shall not, without delay, give information thereof to his commanding otsicer; or shall misbehave himself before the enemy; or shall shamefully abandon or deliver up any garrison, fortress, post, or guard committed to his charge, or which he shall be commanded to defend ; or shall compel the governor or comnianding officer of any garrison, fortress, or post, to deliver up to the enemy or to abandon the same; or shall speak words or use any other mcans to induce such governor or commanding officer, or others, to misbehave before the enerny, or shamefully to abandon or deliver up any garrison, fortress, post, or guard committed to their respective charge, or which he or they shall be commanded to defend; or shall leave his post before relieved, or shall be found sleeping on his post; or shall hold correspondence with or give advice or intelligence to any rebel or enemy of his Majesty, either by letters, messages, signs, or tokens, in any manner or way whatsoever; or shall treat or enter into any terms with such rebel or enemy, without his Majesty's licence, or licence of the general or
chief commander; or shall strike or use any violence against his superior 10 Geo. IV. officer, being in the execution of his office, or shall disobey any lawful command of his superior officer; or shall desert bis Majesty's service; all and every person and persons so offending in any of the matters before mentioned, whether such offence shall be committed within this realm, or in any other of his Majesty's dominions, or in foreign parts, upon land or upon the sea, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as by a courtmartial shall be awarded.
II. And be it enacted, That nothing in this Act contained shall be The ordinary construed to exempt any officer or soldier from being proceeded against by Course of Law the ordinary course of law; and any commanding officer who shall neglect not to be in,
terfered with. or refuse, when application is made to him for that purpose, to deliver over to the civil magistrate any officer or soldier accused of any capital crime, or of any violence or offence against the person, estate, or property of any of his Majesty's subjects, which is punishable by the known laws of the land, or shall wilfully neglect or refuse to assist the officers of justice in apprehending such oftender, sball, upon conviction thereof in any prosecution in any of his Majesty's courts at Westminster, Dublin, or Edinburgh, be deemed to be ipso facto cashiered, and shall be utterly disabled to have or hold any civil or military office or employment within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or in his Majesty's service, and a certificate thereof shall be transmitted to the judge advocate in London ; provided that no person, being acquitted or convicied of any capital criine, violence, or offence, by the civil magistrate, or by the verdict of a jury, shall be liable to be punished by a court-martial for the same otherwise than by cashiering.
III. And be it enacted, That no person whatever (except an apprentice) Soldiers not to enlisted into his Majesty's service as a soldier shall be liable to be arrested be taken away, or taken therefrom by reason of the warrant of any justice, on account of from the Serany breach of contract or engagement to serve or work for any employer; vice for Debts and no person enlisted as a soldier shall be liable to be taken out of his under 201. Majesty's service by any process or execution whatsoever, other than for some criminal matter, unless an affidavit shall be made by the plaintiff, or sonie one on bis behalf, for which no fee shall be taken, before some judge of the court out of which such process or execution shall issue, or before some person authorized to take affidavits in such couris, of which affidavit a memorandum shall, without fee, be indorsed upon the back of such process, that the original debt for which the action has been brought or execution sued out anounts to the value of twenty pounds at least, over and above all costs of suit in the action or actions on which the same shall be grounded; and any judge of such court may examine into any coniplaints made by a soldier, or by his superior officer, and by warrant under his hand discharge such soldier without fee, he being shown to be duly enlisted, and to have been arrested contrary to the intent of this Act, and shall award reasonable costs to such complainant, who shall have for the recovery thereof the like remedy as would have been applicable to the recovery of any custs which might have been awarded against the complainant in any judgment or execution as aforesaid ; provided that any plaintiff, upou notice of the cause of action first given in writing to any soldier, or left at his last place of residence before such listing, inay file a common appearance in any action to be brought for or upon account of any debt whatsoever, and proceed therein to judgment and outlawry, and have execution other than and against the body.
IV. And be it enacied, That it shall be lawful for his Majesty to make The King may articles of war for the better government of his Majesty's forces, which make Articles articles shall be judicially taken notice of by all judges, and in all courts of War in whatsoever; and copies of the same, printed by the king's printer, shall, conformity as soon as conveniently may be after the same shall have been made and with this Act. established by his Majesty, be transmitted by his Majesty's secretary at war, signed with his own hand and name, to the judges of his Majesty's superior courts at Westminster, Dublin, and Edinburgh respectively, and also to the governors of bis Majesty's dominions abroad ; provided that no person withiu the United Kingdom of Greut Britain and Ireland, or VoL, VIII.
10 Geo. IV. the British isles, shall be subject by such articles of war to any punishment c. 6.
extending to life or limb for any crime which is not expressed to be so punishable by this Act, nor in any manner or under any regulations which
shall not accord with the provisions of this Act. Constitution V. And be it enacted, That his Majesty may from time to time grant or Courts
à commission, under the royal sign manual, for the holding of general martial.
courts-martial within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in like manner as has been heretofore used; and that for bringing offenders against the articles of war to justice, it shall be lawful for his Majesty tu erect and constitute courts-martial within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as well as to grant his royal commissions or warrants to the chief governor or governors of Ireland, the commander of the forces, or the person or persons commanding in chief, or commanding for the time being, any body of his Majesty's forces, as well within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and British isles, as in any of his Majesty's garrisons and dominions or elsewhere beyond the seas, for convening, as well as for authorizing any officer under their respective command, not below the degree of a field officer, to convene courts-martial, as occasion may require, for the trial of offences committed by any of their forces under their several command, whether the same shall have been committed before or after such officer shall have taken upon himself such command ; and any person subject to this Act, who shall in any of his Majesty's dominions beyond the sea or elsewhere commit any of the offences for which he may be liable to be tried by courts-martial by virtue of this Act, may be tried and punished for the same in any other part of his Majesty's dominions where he may have come after the commission of the offence, as if the offence had been committed where such trial shall
take place. Composition VI. And be it enacted, That a general court-martial convened in any of General
part of the King's dominions, (Bermuda, Africa, and New South Wales Courts-martial,
excepted,) or in the settlements of the East India company, shall, in order to have power to try a commissioned officer, or to pass sentence of death or transportation on any offender, consist of not less than thirteen commissioned officers, in which sentence of death nine at the least of the officers of any court consisting of thirteen shall concur; and if to try any person not of the rank of a commissioned officer, shall consist of not less than nine; and such general courts-martial convened in Bermuda, or out of the King's dominions, excepting Africa and New Sonth Wales, shall have not less than seven, and in Africa and New South Wales not less than five commissioned officers; and in all cases where such general courtsmartial as aforesaid shall consist of more or fewer officers than thirteen, no judgment of death shall pass without the concurrence of two-thirds at least of the officers present; and the president shall in no case be the offi. cer commanding in chief or governor of the garrison where the offender shall be tried, nor under the degree of a field officer, unless where a field officer cannot be had, nor in any case whatsoever under the degree of a
captain. Powers of VII. And be it enacted, That a general court-martial may sentence any General
soldier to imprisonment, solitary or otherwise, and with or without hard Courts-mar
labour, in any public prison or other place which such court may appoint, tial.
to corporal punishment, not extending to life and limb, and to forfeiture of all advantage as to additional pay or pension on discharge, for iinmorality, misbehaviour, or neglect of dnty; and whensoever any general court-martial by which a deserter shall have been tried and convicted shall not think ihe offence deserving of capital punishment, such courtmartial may, instead of awarding a corporal punishment, adjudge the offender, according to the nature of the offence, to be transported as a felon for life or for a certain term of years, or may sentence him to general service as a soldier in any corps and in any country or place which his Majesty shall thereupon direct, or may, if such offender shall have en. listed for a limited term of years, sentence him to serve for life as a soldier in any corps which his Majesty shall please to direct; and the court may, in addition to any other punishment, sentence such offender to forfeit all
advantage as to increase of pay, or as to pension on discharge, which 10 Geo, IV• inight otherwise have accrued to such offender; provided that in all cases
c. 6. where a capital punishment shall have been awarded by a general courtmartial, it shall be lawful for his Majesty, instead of causing such sentence to be carried into execution, to order the offender to be transported as a felon, either for life or for a certain term of years, as to his Majesty shall seem meet; and if any person transported as a felon, whether in pursuance of the original sentence of the court-martial, or in pursuance of such order from his Majesty, shall afterwards return or be found at large, without leave from his Majesty or other lawful authority, within any part of his Majesty's dominions abroad or at home, other than the place to which he shall have been transported, before the expiration of the term limited by such sentence or order, and shall be duly convicted thereof, shall suffer death as a felon.
„VIII. And be it enacted, That every paymaster or other commissioned Trial by Geofficer of his Majesty's forces, or any person employed in the ordnance or ueral Courtcommissariat departinent, or in any manner
in the care or distribution of martial for
Embezzle. any money, provisions, forage, or stores, who shall embezzle or fraudulently misapply, or be concerned in or connive at the embezzlement, fraudulent misapplication, or damage of any money, provisions, forage, arms, clothing, ammunition, or other military stores belonging to his Majesty's forces or for his use, may be tried for the same by a general court-martial, which may adjudge any such offender to be transported as a felon for life or for any certain term of years, or to suffer such punishment of fine, imprisonment, disinissal from his Majesty's service, and incapacity of serving his Majesty in any office, civil or military, as such court shall think fit, according to the nature and degree of the offence, and every such offender shall, in addition to any other punishment, make good at his own expence the loss and damage sustained, which shall have been ascertained by such court-martial; and the loss and damage so ascertained as aforesaid shall be a debt to his Majesty, and may be recovered in any of his Majesty's courts at Westminster or in Dublin, or the Court of Exchequer in Scoiland, or in any court in his Majesty's colonies where the person sentenced by such court-martial shall be resident, after the said judgment shall be confirmed and made known.
IX. And be it enacted, That a district or garrison court-martial shall Powers of Disa consist of not less than nine coinmissioned officers, and may in like man- trict Courtsner try offences, and sentence any non-commissioned officer or soldier to martial. imprisonment, solitary or otherwise, and with or without hard labour, in any public prison or other place which such court may appoint, and also to corporal punishment (not extending to life or limb), and to forfeiture of all advantage as to additional pay, or to pension on discharge, in addition to any other punishment, for desertion, for purloining or selling government stores, for stealing from a comrade or from a military officer, for producing false or fraudulent accounts or returns whereby increased expence has been or would be brought upon the public for embezzlement or misapplication of money entrusted to him, for which offences such soldier may further be put under stoppages till the same be made good; or for such disgraceful conduct as shall induce the said court-martial to recommend such offender to be discharged as unfit for the service, from vice or misconduct, he having been once previously convicted of disgracer ful conduct by a court-martial; and any district or garrison court-martial may deprive a soldier of the allowance in lieu of beer, or of additional pay, for any period not exceeding two years, for habitual drunkenness; provided that in all the foregoing cases the sentences shall be confirmed by the general officer, governor, or senior officer in command of the district, garrison, island, or colony, except in cases of mutiny, when the sentence may be confirmed and carried into execution on the spot by the officer in the immediate command of the troops; and the president of every court-martial, other than a general court-martial, not being under the rank of captain, shall be appointed by the officer coprening such courtmartial; provided that sucli court-martial shall not have power to pass any sentence of death of transportation.
10 Geo, IV.
Powers of a
X. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for any court-martial em. powered to try the crime of desertion, in addition to any other punishinent, to direct that the ofiender be marked on the left side, two inches below the arm-pit, with the letter (D.), such letter not to be less than half an inch long, and to be marked upon the skin with some ink or gunpowder, or other preparation, so as to be visible and conspicuous, and net liable to be obliterated.
XI. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for any officer command. ing any distinct detachment or portion of his Majesty's troops which may at any time be serving out of his Majesty's dominions, upon complaint made to him of any offence committed against the property or person of any inhabitant of or resident in any such countries, by any person serving with or belonging to his Majesty's armies, being under the immediate command of any such officer, to summon and cause to assemble a courtmartial, which shall consist of not less than three officers, for the purpose of trying any such person, notwithstanding any such officer shall not have received any warrant empowering him to assemble courts-martial; and every such couri-martial shall have the same powers in regard to summoning and examining witnesses, trial of and sentence upon offenders, as are granted by this Act to general courts-martial; provided that no sentence of any such court-martial shall be executed until the general commanding in chief the army of which the division, brigade, detachment, or party to which any person so tried, convicted, and adjudged to suffer punishment shall belong, shall have approved and confirmed the
XII. And be it enacted, That in certain cases, where it may be necessary or expedient, officers of his Majesty's marine forces inay sit upon courts-martial in conjunction with officers of his Majesty's land forces, and such courts-martial shall be regulated, to all intents and purposes, in like manner as if they were composed of officers of the land forces only, whether the commanding officer by whose orders such court-martial is assembled belongs to the land or to the marine forces; and officers of his Majesty's land forces, and officers in the service of the East India company, when serving together, may be associated in courts-martial, which shall, to all intents and purposes, be regulated in like manner as if consisting wholly of officers of his Majesty's land forces, or wholly of otticers in the service of the East India company; save and except
that on the trial of any person in his Majesty's service, the provisions of this Act, and the oaths thereby prescribed, shall be applicable; and on the trial of any officer or soldier in the service of the East India company, the provisions of an Act passed in the fourth year of the reign of his Majesty, to amend the laws for punishing mutiny and desertion of officers and soldiers in the service of the East India company, and the oaths thereby prescribed, shall be applicable, notwithstanding any officer in the actual service of the said company may have a commission from his Majesty.
XIII. And be it enacted, That all general and other courts-martial shall have power and authority and are hereby required to administer an oath to every witness or other person who shall be examined before such court, in any matter relating to any proceedings before the same.
XIV. And be it enacted, That in all trials by courts-martial to be held by virtue of this Act every member assisting at such trial, before any proceedings be had thereupon, shall take the oath in the schedule to this Act annexed, before the judge advocate or his deputy, or person officiating as such, or, if a regimental court-martial, before the president of such court, who are hereby respectively authorized to administer the same, and in regimental courts-martial any sworn member shall administer the oath to the president; and as soon as the said oaths shall have been administered to the respective members, the president of the court is hereby authorized and required to administer to the judge advocate, or the person officiating as mach, the oath in the schedule to this Act annexed; and no proceeding or trial shall be had upon any offence but between the hours of eight of the clock in the morning and four in the afternoon, except in cases which require an immediate example, and except in the East Indies, where such
Power to administer Oaths.
Proceedings of Courtsmartial.