The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2

Allen, Thomas
1828

Though the origin of the military government of London cannot be ascertained, it nevertheless must be of great antiquity; for in the year 896, the London auxiliaries, having joined Alfred, marched to dislodge the Danes from a place in Hertfordshire, supposed to have been the town of Hertford. Therefore it is highly probable, that if a military government was not at first settled in this city by that great prince, yet that the same was established by him after the reduction thereof from the Danes, in the year 883, we think, may reasonably be presumed; since which time, by the many gallant actions performed by the citizens, in the most dangerous enterprizes, we may reasonably conclude, that they have always had the greatest regard to the support of the military art, seeing their lives and fortunes so often depended thereon.

In the reign of Ethelred, the Londoners bravely resisted three attacks by the Danes; and thrice also was Canute repulsed when he laid siege to the city, nor did he ultimately gain possession of it, until, by a compromise with his rival, a division of territory was agreed upon. With equal spirit did the citizens refuse to admit William the Conqueror, when his arms had been victorious over Harold's army, until the clergy and the men of rank set the example of submission. It is true that Domesday-book, the oldest record of military service extant, does not mention the Londoners, but the reason of this is to be found in the peculiar nature of their civic privileges. The citizens did not, like other persons under the feudal system, hold their possessions by the tenure of military service; London was the king's own chamber, where all were free, and all service was spontaneous. But though not bound to furnish any particular quota of fighting men, the Londoners always mustered in great force, when an enemy was in the field; indeed it would seem from their numerous arrays, and the indiscriminate manner in which they turned out at every call to arms, that in early times every citizen was a soldier. It appears that playing at bucklers, and practising feats of arms, was one of the most ancient and favorite amusements of the London apprentices.

Every Sunday in Lent, says Fitzstephen, immediately after dinner, it was customary for great crowds of young Londoners mounted on war horses, well trained, to perform the requisite turnings and evolutions, to ride into the fields in distinct bands, armed with shields and headless lances, where they exhibited the representation of battles, and went through a variety of warlike exercises. He adds, that young noblemen from the king's court, and from the houses of the barons, often joined the citizens in the trial of their skill in arms. Numerous exploits are recorded, which attest the spirit and promptness with which the skill thus acquired, was, in maturer life, exerted in the defence of the city and kingdom. During what are called the barons' wars, in the reigns of Stephen, John, and Henry III., Fitzstephen says, that there went out of the city to a general muster no less than 20,000 horsemen and 60,000 foot; and though unquestionably there must have been included in these numbers many vassals of the noblemen, who had then castles and inns within the city, and of others who had sought the protection of its walls, yet it is clear, from the preponderance which the Londoners invariably gave to the party, whose cause they espoused at this period, that they must have constituted a very considerable portion of the force.

Often did the citizens contend in arms against the power that sought to oppress them in the reign of Henry III., and on one occasion, Stowe relates, they fortified the city with iron chains, drawne overthwarte their streets, munited the citie, and did marvellous things.

The manufacture of armour must, at this period, have been very considerable, for when Louis the Dauphin contended for the crown of England against Henry III, in the year 1216, the city of London sent him six hundred knights and 60,000 coats of mail. In the time of Edward II. the queen having been refused admittance into Leeds castle, in Kent, the king called to him the commons of Essex and London, by whose assistance it was speedily reduced; but that this demand on the Londoners for military service might not be construed into an admission of their ordinary liability to such requisitions, the king, by his letters patent, declared that the circumstance should not be prejudicial to them, nor drawn into precedent for time to come.

In 1326, when the queen had taken part with the barons, the king demanded from the citizens a supply of men and money. The answer they made was, that they would not go out of their city to fight, except they might, according to their liberties, return home again the same day before the sunset.

During the French wars in the reign of Edward III., the quota of troops contributed by London was comparatively small. In 1346, they furnished only 100 men at arms, and 500 foot soldiers, and in 1355, 25 men at arms and 500 archers. Probably more were not required, for these wars were popular; and on the triumphal entry of the Black Prince into London with the king of France, we are told that the citizens displayed with peculiar exultation from their windows and balconies, the implements and ornaments of war.

During the contest between the rival houses of York and Lancaster, the military defence of the capital became an object of great importance, and appears to have been duly appreciated. When the leaders of each party met in London in 1458, attended by a great number of their followers, in order to attempt a reconciliation, sir Godfrey Boleyn, the lord mayor, kept watch daily with a guard of 5,000 citizens completely armed; while three aldermen, with another body of 2,000, continued the watch during the night.

Henry VII. having been very partial to archery in his youth, gave it every encouragement when he ascended the throne, in preference to the cross bow, although he sometimes amused himself with it, as we find by the following memoranda, in an account of his expenditure preserved in the remembrancer's office. Lost to my lord Morging, at the buttes, six shillings and eightpence, and paid to sir Edward Boroughe, thirteen shillings and fourpence, which the kynge lost at buttes with his cross bow. From these entries it would appear that the king was not so skilful a bowman as his sons, particularly the eldest, prince Arthur, who frequently exercised with the society of London bowmen at Mile End, and was so expert, that the captain, and every expert shooter, was called by his name.

The military art still continued to be cultivated. At a general muster of the most able men between the ages of sixteen and sixty, which took place twice by order of Henry VIII. in 1532, and again on the 8th of May, 1539, when there appeared no less than 15,000, all in bright harness; Most of the citizens of any quality or office, Strype says, were clad in white satin or white silk coats, with chains of gold, and some had rich jewels. The king expressed himself highly pleased with their martial appearance.

From this period, archery fell into disuse, principally, no doubt, from the introduction of muskets. Hollinshed bewails, that in his time, we had given over that kind of artillery, the long bow, in which in times past, the chief force of England consisted; and bishop Latimer equally laments the change that had taken place. In his sixth sermon, he says, The art of shutynge hath been in times past much esteemed in this realme, it is a gyft of God, and he hath given us to excell all other nations wythall. It hath bene Godde's instrumente whereby he hath gyven us manye victories agaynste our enemyes. He then points out the necessity of calling upon the justices, and charging them upon their allegiance, that thys singular benefit of God may be practised. That it had been practised, and that successfully, we learn by a fact recorded in the journal of Edward VI., which shows the force with which arrows were discharged. A hundred archers belonging to the guard of this king shot at an inch board, singly, two arrows each, when some of the arrows pierced through the board, and entered another placed behind it, although the wood was extremely hard. At what distance the arrows were discharged, does not appear, but Pere Daniel says, an ancient bow could carry four hundred yards, or nearly a quarter of a mile.

A strong instance of the military character of the British in this reign is furnished by Etienne de Perlin, who, in a narrative of his tour through England in the year 1558, speaking of the quarter sessions, says, The servants carry pointed bucklers, even those of bishops and prelates, and the men commonly exercise them with the bow. The husbandmen, when they till the ground, leave their bucklers and swords, or sometimes their bow, in the corner of the field, so that in this land every body bears arms.

In the second year of Elizabeth's reign, there was a muster of the citizens before her majesty, and the French and imperial ambassadors in Greenwich park; but it seems from the comparatively small number assembled, to have consisted of some select companies only. There were 1,400 men, whereof 800 were pikemen, all in fine corselets, 400 harquebuts in shirts of mail with merins, and 200 halberdiers in almayne rivets; they had to every hundred, two whifflers richly apparelled, and twelve wardens of the best companies, riding in coats of black velvet, to conduct them, with drums and fifes, and six ensigns, all in jerkins of white Bruges satin, cut and lined with black sarsnet, with caps, hozen, and scarfs according. The six ensigns' here mentioned, seem to denote that the city had thus early made that sextuple division of its forces into the regiments of the blue, green, yellow, orange, white, and red, which subsisted till the recent introduction of the militia system.Percy Histories-London, vol. ii. p. 189.

When in the year 1572, Elizabeth began to be disturbed in her government by machinations, foreign and domestic, she sent an order to the lord mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, recommending to them renewed diligence in training up the young citizens to the use of arms for the defence of the capital; and particularly to the use of musketry, which was now beginning to supersede the bow and arrow. The order was obeyed with so much alacrity, that, within two months after, a choice body of 8,000 pikemen and gunners, completely armed and disciplined, mustered before the queen in Greenwich park; and these were independently of the city archers who were estimated to amount to 4,000 more.

The preparation in the ports of Spain of the boasted Armada, which was to effect the conquest of England and the re-establishment of the catholic religion called for still greater exertions on the part of the loyal citizens of London. From a report of the arrangements made for the defence of the kingdom on that occasion, recently compiled from the records in the Tower, it appears, that London then contained 20,696 able householders within the wards, besides 933 strangers fit for service; and that of this number, no less than 10,000 were actually embodied.

In the year 1585, the storm which had so long threatened the entire destruction of this kingdom assumed a formidable aspect; divers citizens of London, of great experience in military affairs, were by order of the government taken out of the artillery company, and, to their great honour, were appointed officers in several parts of the kingdom; by whose care and indefatigable application, the militia in most parts were put into a good state of defence.

The citizens of London the more effectually to prevent all sudden attempts that might be made by the enemies of government in favour of the Spaniards, in the year 1586, drew up the following regulations, intituled,

The Manner of ordering the Citizens of London, to the Safekeeping and defence of her Majesty's City, against the traiterous and sudden Attempts of all Conspirators and Traitors whatsoever. 1. That every alderman of his warde, assisted with the gravest inhabitants there, do gather and register the names of all such householders, their children, and servants, as dwell in the same warde, who openlye professe and shewe themselves to love the gospel, and hate poperie, being of sufficient wealthe to maynteyne their own state, and able to beare armes. 2. That of the most apte of those cittizens, there be chosen out for special leaders (every of them to lead five and twenty of his neighbours dwelling next him), and that there be so manye of those leaders, as after that rate shall be sufficient to lead four or five thousand men, or more, or less, as shall be thought meete; and that the said nomber of men be chosen out of those, to be registred as aforesayd. 3. That of the most valiant, grave, and wise amonge the sayd registred cittizens, there be chosen captaynes of bandes, every of them under severall ensignes, to receive terms of the said speciall leaders, with every of them, his five and twenty men, so shall there be two hundred and fifty men under an ensign, and that they have these severall ensignes accordingly. 4. That of the sayd cittizens then be chosen to serve under everie such of their captaynes, their severall lyvetenantes, ensignteanens, and sergeants, with a fit drumster. And that there be a place certain to every captayne, whereunto he shall resorte upon any sudden alarme. And that he know all the officers and those fitting, especialie appointed to bring his men thither to him, and likewise that these officers and leaders know the same place and their captaynes. 5. That after such election and appointment as aforesayd, everie one apply himself to learn and know how to exercise their several offices and roomes as appertaineth, and that everie householder have readie in house, all weapons and furniture for himself and those of house, to be appointed for his service. 6. That the watches for the nighte be kept according to the former order, but the same to be of more sufficient reasons, and that especialie there be at every gate a watche, from nine of the clock at nighte, till six in the morning, for the wynter, and from ten to five in the summer, and that the portcullisis at everie gate be surveyed and made ready to use at any suddeyn, yf any nede be. 7. That inasmuch as that syde of the cytie next the river lyeth open; that therefore from the Tower to Brydewell, they do appoint all alongest a sufficient number of watche-howses; and therein nightlie to be good watches, to come and continue as at the gate. And that all pryvate kayes, alleys, and wharfes, during the howers aforesayd, be close shut upp. 8. That at thendes of streets be prepared chaynes, as shall be thought needfull, for interrupting thentrie and passage of any adversarie. 9. For quenching of sudden fliers, yt will be necessarie to have a thowsand trustie persons to carry leather bucketts and ladders; and that to them of the graver cittyzens, there be appoynted leaders, to lead them as nede may be, by hundred and fifties, for to be ready to releve anye fiered place. And that likewise under like leading, there be appointed five hundred pyoners, with mattockes and shovels, ready to make trenches and rampyers at all occasions. 10. That the whole ordering and disposing of the premises be at the direction of the lord maior, sheriffs, and aldermen, and such grave persons as they shall take and chuse of the sayd cytte to assiste them: and so from tyme to tyme, and not otherwise. 11. That upon any alarme to be geven, everye captayne forthwith to repayre to his appointed place, and all his officers and the several leaders, with them five and twenty men apeece forthwith to resort to that place, to their special appointed captayne. And two of those captaynes being placed next to the lord maior's howse for the tyme being, with both their bandes, to repayre ymmediately to his lordship. And to either of the sheriffs in like sorte, to repayre one several captayne, with his several bande; and all other captaynes and their companies to remain at their appointed places, till they receave order from the maior. And that in such case one general watch-word be geven to every soldyer; and that they have some special token, whereby everye of them may be known one to another. 12. That upon any shewe, or suspicion of any dangerous attempt descry'd or perceyved by any of the watches; that then forthwith they shall geve knowledge thereof to the lord maior and sheriffs, and to everye alderman, or his deputie, in the several wardes, that they may call so many to armes, as in case by them shall be thought convenient and sufficient. 13. That upon any alarme, or warning geven, everie inhabitant prepare and have readie in his howse a lanthorne with lighte ready to hang oute, when by authority it shall be so commanded. 14. That straighte order be taken, that yf any alarme be proclaymed, that no masters of howses goe noe further than the streete dores of their howses; and that no servante, or other (upon grevous payne) do then issue into the streetes, except the lord maior, aldermen, sheriffs, captaynes, leaders, officers, and soldiers aforesayd, and their buketiers and pyoners, and their leaders; and suche others as shall be especiallie called or comanded by the lord mayor or sheriffes. 15. That one of the watche howses at the water syde be nere the engine there that serveth the cyttie with water; for that above all other is most present, and aboundant to that purpose, and most ready for quenching fyer, and therefore is specially to be guarded. 16. That such recusants as have greate houses and lodgings within the liberties of the cittie; and likewise all dangerous and suspicious persons to the state, may by her majestie's authority be removed from lodging within the walles of the cittie (or suburbs yf that may be), for those houses are like to harbour and cover dangerous persons, to be nearer and readyer to make suddeyn invasion upon the cittie. 17. That some special consideration may be had of all strangers, having howses in the city, and which are not of the French or Dutche churche ; and that some order may be set down, especiallie concerning them, as in this tyme and state shall be found requisite.

The lords of the council ordered Edmund York, a brave officer who had served in the Low Countries, to point out the best means of putting the city in a good state of defence; he recommended that it should be divided into sections, containing 1500 men, all inhabitants, which shall be either the householder, his sonne, or continued servant. Every night, at six o'clock, five companies of different regiments were to assemble in the Exchange, and there stand in battell a quarter of an hour. After the countersign was given to every officer, says York, a prayer for her majesty's estate and kingdome, and the Lord's prayer, shall be said. Five billets were next to be put into a hat, which the captains were to draw, to determine their respective stations for the night.

The queen placed so much reliance on the courage and attachment of the citizens, that she selected 9000 of them to be her body guard. The remaining 1,000 were sent to the grand camp at Tilbury Fort.

The usual place of training the city bands at this period, was the old Artillery garden or ground, the site of which is commemorated by the names of several streets and lanes on the east side of Bishopsgate-street, as Artillery-street, Artillery-lane, Fort-street, &c. Five hundred of the most expert, who had experience both abroad and at home, were selected to drill the rest, and we are told, that very sufficient and skilful they were to train and teach common soldiers the managing of their muskets, pikes, and halberds, march, counter-march, and ring. These masters of the art military formed a company by themselves, of which every man by turn bore orderly office, from the corporal to the captain. Some of these were sent to the camp at Tilbury, to assist in drilling the new levies, and were then known by the name of the captains of the Artillery garden.

The military ardour which the Spanish Armada called forth, was succeeded by a long period of inglorious ease. The whole of the city corps were disembodied, and the exercises in the Artillery garden entirely discontinued; so that, when the queen wanted an aid of men from the city, to send to the relief of Calais in 1596, she was obliged to resort to the mode of impressment, and that in a way not attempted perhaps either before or since. On the forenoon of Easter Monday, the lord mayor and aldermen received orders to provide instantly, for the queen's service, a thousand able bodied men. The day and hour were conveniently chosen; the churches, as is usual on this festival, were filled ; and thither the magistrates immediately repaired with their proper officers, made fast all the doors, and in a few minutes executed the required levy on the assembled congregations. The men were forthwith furnished with armour, weapons, and all things necessary, and marched off to Dover before night. This system of pressing, though not in the same indecorous manner, was afterwards repeatedly resorted to during the reign of Elizabeth.

A material change in the military exercises of the London citizens took place at the close of Elizabeth's reign, with which the use of the sword and buckler seems to have ended. Stowe relates that in his time, the art of defence and use of weapons was taught by professed masters, and that the young Londoners, after the evening prayer on holidays, were permitted to exercise themselves with their wafters and bucklers before their masters' doors. The wafters here mentioned, were swords with the flat part placed in the direction of the edge. Shakspeare and all the writers of his time mention schools for teaching the use of weapons as common in London; but when the alarm of outward danger had been dissipated, and the pusillanimous reign of James had commenced, military exercises were naturally discountenanced by a king, who had an instinctive horror at the sight of a naked sword; and who praised armour, rather because, as he said, it prevented the wearer from hurting others, than for the protection it gave him.

The danger which might arise from such an habitual neglect of military exercises, at length roused some patriotic individuals to exert themselves, to revive the ancient trainings in the Artillery garden. In 1610, Philip Hudson, lieutenant of the artillery company, and divers other gentlemen and citizens of London, considering the inconveniences which had been suffered by many late populous and flourishing neighbour cities, principally by reason of their neglect of that most noble exercise of arms and martiall discipline in times of wealth and peace; they, like loving sons to so glorious a city, undertook, at their own private or particular charge, a weekly exercise of arms and military discipline after the modern and best fashion, and construction then in use ; and for their better ease and more convenience, they erected a strong and well furnished armory in the said ground, in which are arms of several sorts; and of such extraordinary fashion and goodness for service, as are hard to be matched elsewhere.

Four years after, James I. commanded a general muster of all the horse and foot soldiers throughout England; and such was the progress which the citizens of London had by that time made in their military re-organization, that no less than 6000 of them assembled on the occasion. They were commanded by twenty captains selected of the most active and forward citizens, and unto every one of them were allotted 300 shot and pikes, being, for the most part, all householders bravely furnished; and such of them as were not formerly of the Martial society, and practice of the Artillery garden, became then admitted of that warlike company.

During the disputes between the king and the parliament, in the time of Charles I. the regular forces of the city, which were, at that period, distinguished by the appellation of the Trained Bands, were first embodied, or, as the phrase was, drawn forth in arms on the side of the monarch; yet in the subsequent war, the citizens supported the popular cause, and it was principally by their aid that the house of commons obtained its decided preponderancy. So early as November, 1642, within three months after Charles had erected his standard at Nottingham, the trained bands were marched out to join the earl of Essex, on the heath near Brentford, where, says Clarendon, they had indeed a full army of horse and foot, fit to have decided the title of a crown with an equal adversary. Hist. of the Reb. Vol. ii. p, 75. In the further progress of the war, several auxiliary regiments, both of foot and horse, were raised by the city; and, to a part of these forces, joined to two regiments of the trained bands, of whose inexperience of danger, remarks the historian just quoted, or any kind of service beyond the easy practice of their postures in the Artillery garden, men had till then too cheap an estimation; the parliament army was indebted for its preservation in the first battle of Newbury, for they stood as a bulwark and rampire to defend the rest; and when their wings of horse were scattered and dispersed, kept their ground so steadily, that prince Rupert himself, who charged them at the head of the choice royal horse, could make no impression upon their stand of pikes, but was forced to wheel about. Ibid. p. 347. The same noble historian designates London, as the devoted city of the commons, and their inexhaustible magazine of men. Ibid. p. 348.

In the subsequent affair at Cheriton Downs, the citizens acquired fresh laurels. Two of their strongest auxiliary regiments fought under sir William Waller, on that occasion, and, as Whitelock tells us, did very brave service; they drove the enemy from the hedges, which they had lined with musketeers, and gained the passage to a wood, which stood the parliamentary forces in great stead, and shortly after put the enemy to a rout; which was so total, that scarcely ten of them were left together.

The city shortly after increased the number of troops they had in the field against the king to 8,400; four regiments were under the earl of Essex, and three under sir William Waller.

The Londoners continued foremost in the struggle between the crown and the people, till the success of the latter was complete; but when the parliament and the army quarrelled, and Cromwell rose on the bucklers of the latter to supreme power, they fell into the back ground, and suffered but too many affronts and hardships at the hands of those, whom they had been the principal means of placing in the seat of royalty. The works about the city were ordered to be demolished ; the trained bands were discharged; the treasuries of different city companies were robbed, in order to pay arrears due to Cromwell's soldiers; particularly that of the Weaver's company, from which 20,00l. were carried off; and when these were found insufficient for the purpose, bands of these satellites were quartered on the city, not only in the inns, but in private houses, till the deficiency was made up.

During the quarrel between the army and the parliament, the services of the London trained bands were frequently called on to suppress those tumults which are common to a state of anarchy; nor were those of a political nature the most dangerous to the existing government. In April, 1648, a riot was begun in Moorfields, on account of the infraction of the parliamentary ordinance against tippling and gaming on the Sabbath, which required all the energy of Fairfax to suppress. The first party of the trained bands sent to quell the tumult were overpowered by the rioters, who seized their arms, drums, and colours, and daringly beat up for recruits. The prisons of Newgate and Ludgate were surprised during the night; and next day they attempted to seize Whitehall, but were repelled by the soldiers. They, however, were more successful in the city, where they attacked the Mansion-house, and carried off a piece of artillery, called a drake. Ammunition was obtained from the magazine, in Leadenhall-street, where they made a stand against the only two regiments then in London, nor did they give way until several of them were wounded, and others taken prisoners.Percy Histories-London, ii. p. 199.

In April, 1660, about six weeks before the restoration of Charles the Second, and when the artful management of general Monk had disposed the citizens to countenance the measures he was pursuing in favour of royalty, a muster of the city forces was held in Hyde Park, and the number of men then assembled amounted to about 18,600; viz. six regiments of trained bands, six auxiliary regiments, and one regiment of horse: the foot regiments were composed of eighty companies of two hundred and fifty men each, and the regiments of cavalry of six troops, each of one hundred men. The assembling of this force was judged to have been highly instrumental to the success of the plan for restoring the monarchy.

Within a few months afterwards, the king granted a commission of lieutenancy for the city of London, which invested the commissioners with similar powers to those possessed by the lords lieutenants of counties; and by them the trained bands were new-modelled, and increased to 20,000 men; the cavalry was also increased to 800, and divided into two regiments of five troops, with eighty men in each. The whole of this force was, in the same year, reviewed by the king in Hyde Park.Strype's Stow, ii. p. 572.

After the state of public affairs had become more composed, and the better stability of the government ensured, the six auxiliary regiments, and the regiments of horse, were reduced, and the permanent military force of the city was settled in the six trained bands. These regiments consisted of citizens and freemen, and each was composed of eight companies: their entire effective strength, in 1728, as given by Maitland from the muster rolls, was as follows : Number of men in the Blue Regiment1411 in the Green1566 in the Yellow1526 in the Orange1740 in the White2088 in the Red1630 Officers and Drums337 Total10,298

By adding this number to the trained bands of the Tower Hamlets, of Westminster, and of Middlesex within the bills of mortality, as they stood in 1729, together with the artillery company, &c. we shall find that the entire force of the metropolis, about that time, was as follows:-- Trained Bands of the City10,298 Ditto of the Tower Hamlets First Reg.2300 Second do.1898 Ditto of Westminster4182 Ditto of Middlesex2597 Westminster Cavalry, about300 Middlesex ditto300 Artillery Company400 Total22,275

The trained bands of Southwark, including officers and drums, in 1712, when the last return, prior to 1729, was made, amounted to 2291.

The rebellion of 1745 again roused the military spirit of the metropolis: the trained bands were kept in readiness, and the militia embodied; two regiments were raised at the expence of the merchants, and corps of volunteers incorporated. The lawyers exchanged their briefs for muskets, and the judges their wigs for helmets; the weavers of Spitalfields laid aside their shuttle and distaff for the pike and the bayonet; and even the managers of the theatres offered to form a corps of his majesty's servants, ready to quit the mimic combats of the stage for the tented field. Large subscriptions were raised for supplying the troops with the necessary clothing and the munitions of war, towards which the corporation of the city gave 1,000l. and several of the city companies contributed liberally. Even the Quakers so far overcame their religious scruples, as to raise a considerable sum for the purchase of woollen waistcoats for the soldiers; and had the danger been more imminent, it is probable they might have been induced to go farther, and, like the Quakers of America at the commencement of the revolution, have subscribed for gunpowder, under the equivocal denomination of grain, or for muskets, under the name of fire irons.Percy Histories-London, vol. ii. p. 202.

The approach of the rebels to Derby increased preparations in the metropolis: the city gates were guarded; and a large train of artillery was sent from the Tower to a camp formed on Finchley-common. This circumstance gave rise to Hogarth's admirable picture, The March to Finchley, for which he sought the royal patronage; but the king, who saw nothing in the picture but that his soldiers were ridiculed, expressed great displeasure; and the print was dedicated to the king of Prussia.

The continued tranquillity of the capital in the times subsequent to the above period, having rendered any call on the military power of the city unnecessary, excepting for mere holiday purposes, the trained bands were gradually disorganized, though they were still nominally kept up, and the commissions filled by the chief citizens; each regiment having an alderman for its colonel, who also was usually a knight. After the breaking out of the revolution in France, however, and the strong demonstrations made by that country to invade England, the extreme insufficiency of such a force for any adequate resistance became so apparent, that a new system was resorted to, and in the year 1794, an act of parliament was passed for raising two regiments of militia for the defence of the city, to be trained and exercised under the superintendance of the commissioners of lieutenancy. By that act the men were proposed to be raised by ballot, in the following manner: that every person or corporation within the city, possessed of a tenement of the annual value of 15l. and less than 100l. and under 200l. to find two men as substitutes; and if it exceeded the latter sum to supply three substitutes.

This mode of raising the men by ballot having been found on trial to be attended with many inconveniences, another act was passed in May, 1796, by which it was enacted that 1200 men (exclusive of officers) should be raised within the city and its liberties, to be formed into two regiments, each consisting of eight companies, besides a grenadier and a light infantry company; the expences to be defrayed by an equal assessment upon the different wards.

Under the above act, the numbers raised and maintained by the respective wards are as follow: for the East regiment, Algate ward, 60; Bassishaw, 12; Billingsgate, 41; Bishopsgate-within, 44; Bishopsgate-without, 50; Bridge, 26; Broad-street, 60; Candlewick, 20; Coleman-street, 36; Cornhill, 36; Dowgate, 27; Langbourn, 67; Lime-street, 20; Portsoken, 45; Tower, 66; total 600. For the West regiment, Aldersgate-within, and St. Martin's-le-grand, 18; Aldersgate-without, 21 Bread-street, 24; Castle Baynard, 44; Cheap, 44; Cordwainer, 22; Cripplegate-within, 44; Cripplegate-without, 36; Farringdon-within, 84; Farringdon-without, 192; Queenhithe, 21; Vintry, 23; Walbrook, 27; total 600. Each regiment is commanded by a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, a major, ten captains, ten lieutenants, ten ensigns, &c. all of whom are appointed by the commissioners of lieutenancy, who are, the lord mayor, aldermen, and their deputies, the recorder, chamberlain, and common serjeant for the time being, and one hundred and fifty-five of the principal citizens appointed by his majesty. Two courts of lieutenancy are required to be held every year; namely, on the third Wednesdays in January and June; but the commissioners are also empowered to hold a court as often as may be requisite: their usual place of meeting is at Barber's hall. All the officers above the rank of lieutenants must be freemen; but the sons of freemen are eligible to the offices of lieutenant and ensign. When embodied for service, his majesty is authorized to put one regiment under the command of such general officer as he may appoint, and to direct it to march to any place not exceeding twelve miles from the city, or to the nearest encampment beyond that distance; but the other is to remain within the city or its liberties, to defend the same. By an express enactment it is also declared, the said militia shall possess and enjoy all and singular the rights and privileges which were possessed and enjoyed by the ancient trained bands of the city of London. Brayley's Hist. of London, ii. 178.

The volunteer regiments had their origin during the late destructive war; and were chiefly formed in the year 1798 and 1803, when the repeated threats of invasion from France, conjoined with other circumstances, rendered it expedient to increase the military force in every part of the kingdom. The primary associations consisted of inhabitant householders of each ward, acting under the general superintendence of local committees, and eventually liable to be united into one body, and placed under the direction of the lord mayor and court of aldermen. In the subsequent arrangements made in 1803, other persons, not citizens, nor inhabitants, but residing contiguous to the city, were permitted to associate; and the whole of the infantry was then distributed into eleven regiments, having authority to elect their own officers, and generally speaking, defraying all the expences of arms, accoutrements, &c. out of their own subscriptions, aided by some inconsiderable funds collected in the different wards. The city volunteer cavalry, which never exceeded one hundred and sixty, was formed into one regiment.

Whilst the alarm of invasion continued to exist, the volunteers exhibited a most commendable activity in assembling at their respective quarters, and they very quickly attained an advanced degree of discipline; but when the course of continental affairs had assumed another direction, the attendance of individuals was gradually lessened, and, with little exception, the city volunteers are at present in a dormant state, so far as regards military concerns. The returns of late, have not been regular; yet should the presumed necessity again arrive, there cannot be a doubt but that these regiments will attain as great a degree of effective strength as at any former period. In the returns laid before the house of commons in March, 1806, after the general inspection of the volunteer force of Great Britain made in the preceding month, the numbers of each regiment are stated thus: Present under arms.Absent.Establishment. First reg. of loyal London volunteers84448762 Second ditto300500800 Third ditto84516600 Fourth ditto381430811 Fifth ditto253291544 Sixth ditto104454715 Seventh ditto243231474 Eighth ditto415385800 Ninth ditto161296592 Tenth ditto124312557 Eleventh ditto100185352 Loyal London volunteer cavalry12234200 Total237140827207 Honourable artillery company184494678 Grand total255545767885

In addition to the above forces, there were several other volunteer regiments of infantry, raised for the purpose of protecting the immense property of different corporate bodies within the city; as well under circumstances of internal commotion, as in case of invasion.

Though the origin of the military government of London cannot be ascertained, it nevertheless must be of great antiquity; for in the year , the London auxiliaries, having joined Alfred, marched to dislodge the Danes from a place in Hertfordshire, supposed to have been the town of Hertford. Therefore it is highly probable, that if a military government was not at settled in this city by that great prince, yet that the same was established by him after the reduction thereof from the Danes, in the year , we think, may reasonably be presumed; since which time, by the many gallant actions performed by the citizens, in the most dangerous enterprizes, we may reasonably conclude, that they have always had the greatest regard to the support of the military art, seeing their lives and fortunes so often depended thereon.

In the reign of Ethelred, the Londoners bravely resisted attacks by the Danes; and thrice also was Canute repulsed when he laid siege to the city, nor did he ultimately gain possession of it, until, by a compromise with his rival, a division of territory was agreed upon. With equal spirit did the citizens refuse to admit William the Conqueror, when his arms had been victorious over Harold's army, until the clergy and the men of rank set the example of submission. It is true that Domesday-book, the oldest record of military service extant, does not mention the Londoners, but the reason of this is to be found in the peculiar nature of their civic privileges. The citizens did not, like other persons under the feudal system, hold their possessions by the tenure of military service; London was the

king's own chamber,

where all were free, and all service was spontaneous. But though not bound to furnish any particular quota of fighting men, the Londoners always mustered in great force, when an enemy was in the field; indeed it would seem from their numerous arrays, and the indiscriminate manner in which they turned out at every call to arms, that in early times every citizen was a soldier. It appears that playing at bucklers, and practising feats of arms, was of the most ancient and favorite amusements of the London apprentices.

Every Sunday in Lent,

says Fitzstephen,

immediately after dinner, it was customary for great crowds of young Londoners mounted on war horses, well trained, to perform the requisite turnings and evolutions, to ride into the fields in distinct bands, armed with shields and headless lances, where they exhibited the representation of battles, and went through a variety of warlike exercises.

He adds, that young noblemen from the king's court, and from the houses of the barons, often joined the citizens in the trial

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of their skill in arms. Numerous exploits are recorded, which attest the spirit and promptness with which the skill thus acquired, was, in maturer life, exerted in the defence of the city and kingdom. During what are called the barons' wars, in the reigns of Stephen, John, and Henry III., Fitzstephen says, that there went out of the city to a general muster no less than horsemen and foot; and though unquestionably there must have been included in these numbers many vassals of the noblemen, who had then castles and inns within the city, and of others who had sought the protection of its walls, yet it is clear, from the preponderance which the Londoners invariably gave to the party, whose cause they espoused at this period, that they must have constituted a very considerable portion of the force.

Often did the citizens contend in arms against the power that sought to oppress them in the reign of Henry III., and on occasion, Stowe relates, they

fortified the city with iron chains, drawne overthwarte their streets, munited the citie, and did marvellous things.

The manufacture of armour must, at this period, have been very considerable, for when Louis the Dauphin contended for the crown of England against Henry III, in the year , the city of London sent him knights and coats of mail. In the time of Edward II. the queen having been refused admittance into Leeds castle, in Kent, the king called to him

the commons of Essex and London,

by whose assistance it was speedily reduced; but that this demand on the Londoners for military service might not be construed into an admission of their ordinary liability to such requisitions, the king, by his letters patent, declared

that the circumstance should not be prejudicial to them, nor drawn into precedent for time to come.

In , when the queen had taken part with the barons, the king demanded from the citizens a supply of men and money. The answer they made was, that

they would not go out of their city to fight, except they might, according to their liberties, return home again the same day before the sunset.

During the French wars in the reign of Edward III., the quota of troops contributed by London was comparatively small. In , they furnished only men at arms, and foot soldiers, and in , men at arms and archers. Probably more were not required, for these wars were popular; and on the triumphal entry of the Black Prince into London with the king of France, we are told that the citizens displayed with peculiar exultation from their windows and balconies, the implements and ornaments of war.

During the contest between the rival houses of York and Lancaster, the military defence of the capital became an object of great importance, and appears to have been duly appreciated. When the leaders of each party met in London in , attended by a

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great number of their followers, in order to attempt a reconciliation, sir Godfrey Boleyn, the lord mayor, kept watch daily with a guard of citizens completely armed; while aldermen, with another body of , continued the watch during the night.

Henry VII. having been very partial to archery in his youth, gave it every encouragement when he ascended the throne, in preference to the cross bow, although he sometimes amused himself with it, as we find by the following memoranda, in an account of his expenditure preserved in the remembrancer's office.

Lost to my lord Morging, at the buttes,

six shillings

and eightpence,

and

paid to sir Edward Boroughe,

thirteen shillings

and fourpence, which the kynge lost at buttes with his cross bow.

From these entries it would appear that the king was not so skilful a bowman as his sons, particularly the eldest, prince Arthur, who frequently exercised with the society of London bowmen at Mile End, and was so expert, that the captain, and every expert shooter, was called by his name.

The military art still continued to be cultivated. At a general muster of

the most able men between the ages of

sixteen

and

sixty

,

which took place twice by order of Henry VIII. in , and again on the , when there appeared no less than ,

all in bright harness;

Most of the citizens of any quality or office,

Strype says,

were clad in white satin or white silk coats, with chains of gold, and some had rich jewels.

The king expressed himself highly pleased with their martial appearance.

From this period, archery fell into disuse, principally, no doubt, from the introduction of muskets. Hollinshed bewails, that in his time, we had

given over that kind of artillery,

the long bow, in which in times past, the chief force of England consisted; and bishop Latimer equally laments the change that had taken place. In his sermon, he says,

The art of shutynge hath been in times past much esteemed in this realme, it is a gyft of God, and he hath given us to excell all other nations wythall. It hath bene Godde's instrumente whereby he hath gyven us manye victories agaynste our enemyes.

He then points out the necessity of calling upon the justices, and charging them

upon their allegiance, that thys singular benefit of God may be practised.

That it had been practised, and that successfully, we learn by a fact recorded in the journal of Edward VI., which shows the force with which arrows were discharged. A archers belonging to the guard of this king shot at an inch board, singly, arrows each, when some of the arrows pierced through the board, and entered another placed behind it, although the wood was extremely hard. At what distance the arrows were discharged, does not appear, but Pere Daniel says, an ancient bow could carry yards, or nearly a quarter of a mile.

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A strong instance of the military character of the British in this reign is furnished by Etienne de Perlin, who, in a narrative of his tour through England in the year , speaking of the quarter sessions, says,

The servants carry pointed bucklers, even those of bishops and prelates, and the men commonly exercise them with the bow. The husbandmen, when they till the ground, leave their bucklers and swords, or sometimes their bow, in the corner of the field, so that in this land every body bears arms.

In the year of Elizabeth's reign, there was a muster of the citizens before her majesty, and the French and imperial ambassadors in Greenwich park; but it seems from the comparatively small number assembled, to have consisted of some select companies only. There were men, whereof were pikemen, all in fine corselets, harquebuts in shirts of mail with merins, and halberdiers in almayne rivets; they had to every , whifflers

richly apparelled, and

twelve

wardens of the best companies, riding in coats of black velvet, to conduct them, with drums and fifes, and

six

ensigns, all in jerkins of white Bruges satin, cut and lined with black sarsnet, with caps, hozen, and scarfs according. The

ensigns' here mentioned, seem to denote that the city had thus early made that sextuple division of its forces into the regiments of the blue, green, yellow, orange, white, and red, which subsisted till the recent introduction of the militia system.

When in the year , Elizabeth began to be disturbed in her government by machinations, foreign and domestic, she sent an order to the lord mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, recommending to them renewed diligence in training up the young citizens to the use of arms for the defence of the capital; and particularly to the use of musketry, which was now beginning to supersede the bow and arrow. The order was obeyed with so much alacrity, that, within months after, a choice body of pikemen and gunners, completely armed and disciplined, mustered before the queen in Greenwich park; and these were independently of the city archers who were estimated to amount to more.

The preparation in the ports of Spain of the boasted Armada, which was to effect the conquest of England and the re-establishment of the catholic religion called for still greater exertions on the part of the loyal citizens of London. From a report of the arrangements made for the defence of the kingdom on that occasion, recently compiled from the records in the Tower, it appears, that London then contained able householders within the wards, besides strangers fit for service; and that of this number, no less than were actually embodied.

In the year , the storm which had so long threatened the entire destruction of this kingdom assumed a formidable aspect;

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divers citizens of London, of great experience in military affairs, were by order of the government taken out of the artillery company, and, to their great honour, were appointed officers in several parts of the kingdom; by whose care and indefatigable application, the militia in most parts were put into a good state of defence.

The citizens of London the more effectually to prevent all sudden attempts that might be made by the enemies of government in favour of the Spaniards, in the year , drew up the following regulations, intituled,

The lords of the council ordered Edmund York, a brave officer who had served in the Low Countries, to point out the best means of putting the city in a good state of defence; he recommended that it should be divided into sections, containing men,

all inhabitants, which shall be either the householder, his sonne, or continued servant.

Every night, at o'clock, companies of different regiments were to assemble in the Exchange,

and there stand in battell a quarter of an hour.

After the countersign was given to every officer, says York,

a prayer for her majesty's estate and kingdome, and the Lord's prayer, shall be said.

billets were next to be put into a hat, which the captains were to draw, to determine their respective stations for the night.

The queen placed so much reliance on the courage and attachment of the citizens, that she selected of them to be her body guard. The remaining were sent to the grand camp at Tilbury Fort.

The usual place of training the city bands at this period, was the old Artillery garden or ground, the site of which is commemorated by the names of several streets and lanes on the east side of , as , , , &c. of the most expert, who had

experience both abroad and at home,

were selected to drill the rest, and we are told, that

very sufficient and skilful they were to train and teach common soldiers the managing of their muskets, pikes, and halberds, march, counter-march, and ring.

These masters of the art

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military formed a company by themselves, of which

every man by turn bore orderly office, from the corporal to the captain.

Some of these were sent to the camp at Tilbury, to assist in drilling the new levies, and were then known by the name of the captains of the Artillery garden.

The military ardour which the Spanish Armada called forth, was succeeded by a long period of inglorious ease. The whole of the city corps were disembodied, and the exercises in the Artillery garden entirely discontinued; so that, when the queen wanted an aid of men from the city, to send to the relief of Calais in , she was obliged to resort to the mode of impressment, and that in a way not attempted perhaps either before or since. On the forenoon of Easter Monday, the lord mayor and aldermen received orders to provide instantly, for the queen's service, a able bodied men. The day and hour were conveniently chosen; the churches, as is usual on this festival, were filled ; and thither the magistrates immediately repaired with their proper officers, made fast all the doors, and in a few minutes executed the required levy on the assembled congregations.

The men were forthwith furnished with armour, weapons, and all things necessary,

and marched off to Dover before night. This system of pressing, though not in the same indecorous manner, was afterwards repeatedly resorted to during the reign of Elizabeth.

A material change in the military exercises of the London citizens took place at the close of Elizabeth's reign, with which the use of the sword and buckler seems to have ended. Stowe relates that in his time,

the art of defence and use of weapons was taught by professed masters,

and that the young Londoners, after the evening prayer on holidays, were permitted to exercise themselves with their wafters and bucklers before their masters' doors. The wafters here mentioned, were swords with the flat part placed in the direction of the edge. Shakspeare and all the writers of his time mention schools for teaching the use of weapons as common in London; but when the alarm of outward danger had been dissipated, and the pusillanimous reign of James had commenced, military exercises were naturally discountenanced by a king, who had an instinctive horror at the sight of a naked sword; and who praised armour, rather because, as he said, it prevented the wearer from hurting others, than for the protection it gave him.

The danger which might arise from such an habitual neglect of military exercises, at length roused some patriotic individuals to exert themselves, to revive the ancient trainings in the Artillery garden. In , Philip Hudson, lieutenant of the artillery company, and divers other gentlemen and citizens of London, considering the inconveniences which had been suffered by many

late populous and flourishing neighbour cities, principally by reason of their neglect of that most noble exercise of arms and martiall discipline

in times of wealth and peace; they, like loving sons to so glorious a city,

undertook,

at their own private or particular charge, a weekly exercise of arms and military discipline after the modern and best fashion, and construction then in use ;

and for their better ease and more convenience,

they erected a strong and well furnished armory in the said ground, in which are arms of several sorts; and of such extraordinary fashion and goodness for service, as are hard to be matched elsewhere.

years after, James I. commanded a general muster of all the horse and foot soldiers throughout England; and such was the progress which the citizens of London had by that time made in their military re-organization, that no less than of them assembled on the occasion. They were commanded by captains selected of the most active and forward citizens, and unto every of them were allotted shot and pikes, being, for the most part, all householders bravely furnished; and such of them as were not formerly of the Martial society, and practice of the Artillery garden, became then admitted of that warlike company.

During the disputes between the king and the parliament, in the time of Charles I. the regular forces of the city, which were, at that period, distinguished by the appellation of the Trained Bands, were embodied, or, as the phrase was,

drawn forth in arms

on the side of the monarch; yet in the subsequent war, the citizens supported the popular cause, and it was principally by their aid that the house of commons obtained its decided preponderancy. So early as , within months after Charles had erected his standard at Nottingham, the trained bands were marched out to join the earl of Essex, on

the heath near Brentford,

where,

says Clarendon,

they had indeed a full army of horse and foot, fit to have decided the title of a crown with an equal adversary.

In the further progress of the war, several auxiliary regiments, both of foot and horse, were raised by the city; and, to a part of these forces, joined to regiments of the trained bands,

of whose inexperience of danger,

remarks the historian just quoted,

or any kind of service beyond the easy practice of their postures in the Artillery garden, men had till then too cheap an estimation;

the parliament army was indebted for its preservation in the battle of Newbury,

for they stood as a bulwark and rampire to defend the rest; and when their wings of horse were scattered and dispersed, kept their ground so steadily,

that prince Rupert himself, who charged them at the head of the choice royal horse,

could make no impression upon their stand of pikes, but was forced to wheel about.

The same noble historian designates London, as

the devoted city

of the commons, and their

inexhaustible magazine of men.

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In the subsequent affair at Cheriton Downs, the citizens acquired fresh laurels. of their strongest auxiliary regiments fought under sir William Waller, on that occasion, and, as Whitelock tells us,

did very brave service; they drove the enemy from the hedges, which they had lined with musketeers, and gained the passage to a wood, which stood the parliamentary forces in great stead, and shortly after put the enemy to a rout; which was so total, that scarcely

ten

of them were left together.

The city shortly after increased the number of troops they had in the field against the king to ; regiments were under the earl of Essex, and under sir William Waller.

The Londoners continued foremost in the struggle between the crown and the people, till the success of the latter was complete; but when the parliament and the army quarrelled, and Cromwell rose on the bucklers of the latter to supreme power, they fell into the back ground, and suffered but too many affronts and hardships at the hands of those, whom they had been the principal means of placing in the seat of royalty. The works about the city were ordered to be demolished ; the trained bands were discharged; the treasuries of different city companies were robbed, in order to pay arrears due to Cromwell's soldiers; particularly that of the Weaver's company, from which were carried off; and when these were found insufficient for the purpose, bands of these satellites were quartered on the city, not only in the inns, but in private houses, till the deficiency was made up.

During the quarrel between the army and the parliament, the services of the London trained bands were frequently called on to suppress those tumults which are common to a state of anarchy; nor were those of a political nature the most dangerous to the existing government. In , a riot was begun in , on account of the infraction of the parliamentary ordinance against tippling and gaming on the Sabbath, which required all the energy of Fairfax to suppress. The party of the trained bands sent to quell the tumult were overpowered by the rioters, who seized their arms, drums, and colours, and daringly beat up for recruits. The prisons of Newgate and Ludgate were surprised during the night; and next day they attempted to seize , but were repelled by the soldiers. They, however, were more successful in the city, where they attacked the Mansion-house, and carried off a piece of artillery, called a drake. Ammunition was obtained from the magazine, in , where they made a stand against the only regiments then in London, nor did they give way until several of them were wounded, and others taken prisoners.

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In , about weeks before the restoration of Charles the , and when the artful management of general Monk had disposed the citizens to countenance the measures he was pursuing in favour of royalty, a muster of the city forces was held in , and the number of men then assembled amounted to about ; viz. regiments of trained bands, auxiliary regiments, and regiment of horse: the foot regiments were composed of companies of men each, and the regiments of cavalry of troops, each of men. The assembling of this force was judged to have been highly instrumental to the success of the plan for restoring the monarchy.

Within a few months afterwards, the king granted a commission of lieutenancy for the city of London, which invested the commissioners with similar powers to those possessed by the lords lieutenants of counties; and by them the trained bands were new-modelled, and increased to men; the cavalry was also increased to , and divided into regiments of troops, with men in each. The whole of this force was, in the same year, reviewed by the king in .

After the state of public affairs had become more composed, and the better stability of the government ensured, the auxiliary regiments, and the regiments of horse, were reduced, and the permanent military force of the city was settled in the trained bands. These regiments consisted of citizens and freemen, and each was composed of companies: their entire effective strength, in , as given by Maitland from the muster rolls, was as follows :

Number of men in the Blue Regiment1411
in the Green1566
in the Yellow1526
in the Orange1740
in the White2088
in the Red1630
Officers and Drums337
Total10,298

By adding this number to the trained bands of the Tower Hamlets, of , and of Middlesex within the bills of mortality, as they stood in , together with the artillery company, &c. we shall find that the entire force of the metropolis, about that time, was as follows:--

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Trained Bands of the City10,298
Ditto of the Tower Hamlets First Reg.2300
Second do.1898
Ditto of Westminster4182
Ditto of Middlesex2597
Westminster Cavalry, about300
Middlesex ditto300
Artillery Company400
Total22,275

The trained bands of , including officers and drums, in , when the last return, prior to , was made, amounted to .

The rebellion of again roused the military spirit of the metropolis: the trained bands were kept in readiness, and the militia embodied; regiments were raised at the expence of the merchants, and corps of volunteers incorporated. The lawyers exchanged their briefs for muskets, and the judges their wigs for helmets; the weavers of Spitalfields laid aside their shuttle and distaff for the pike and the bayonet; and even the managers of the theatres offered to form a corps of

his majesty's servants,

ready to quit the mimic combats of the stage for the tented field. Large subscriptions were raised for supplying the troops with the necessary clothing and the munitions of war, towards which the corporation of the city gave and several of the city companies contributed liberally. Even the Quakers so far overcame their religious scruples, as to raise a considerable sum for the purchase of woollen waistcoats for the soldiers; and had the danger been more imminent, it is probable they might have been induced to go farther, and, like the Quakers of America at the commencement of the revolution, have subscribed for gunpowder, under the equivocal denomination of grain, or for muskets, under the name of fire irons.

of the rebels to Derby increased preparations in the metropolis: the city gates were guarded; and a large train of artillery was sent from the Tower to a camp formed on Finchley-common.

The continued tranquillity of the capital in the times subsequent to the above period, having rendered any call on the military power of the city unnecessary, excepting for mere holiday

330

purposes, the trained bands were gradually disorganized, though they were still nominally kept up, and the commissions filled by the chief citizens; each regiment having an alderman for its colonel, who also was usually a knight. After the breaking out of the revolution in France, however, and the strong demonstrations made by that country to invade England, the extreme insufficiency of such a force for any adequate resistance became so apparent, that a new system was resorted to, and in the year , an act of parliament was passed for raising regiments of militia for the defence of the city, to be trained and exercised under the superintendance of the commissioners of lieutenancy. By that act the men were proposed to be raised by ballot, in the following manner: that every person or corporation within the city, possessed of a tenement of the annual value of and less than and under to find men as substitutes; and if it exceeded the latter sum to supply substitutes.

This mode of raising the men by ballot having been found on trial to be attended with many inconveniences, another act was passed in , by which it was enacted that men (exclusive of officers) should be raised within the city and its liberties, to be formed into regiments, each consisting of companies, besides a grenadier and a light infantry company; the expences to be defrayed by an equal assessment upon the different wards.

Under the above act, the numbers raised and maintained by the respective wards are as follow: for the East regiment, Algate ward, ; Bassishaw, ; , ; Bishopsgate-within, ; Bishopsgate-without, ; Bridge, ; , ; Candlewick, ; , ; , ; Dowgate, ; Langbourn, ; , ; Portsoken, ; Tower, ; total . For the West regiment, Aldersgate-within, and , ; Aldersgate-without, , ; Castle Baynard, ; Cheap, ; Cordwainer, ; Cripplegate-within, ; Cripplegate-without, ; Farringdon-within, ; Farringdon-without, ; , ; Vintry, ; , ; total . Each regiment is commanded by a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, a major, captains, lieutenants, ensigns, &c. all of whom are appointed by the commissioners of lieutenancy, who are, the lord mayor, aldermen, and their deputies, the recorder, chamberlain, and common serjeant for the time being, and of the principal citizens appointed by his majesty. courts of lieutenancy are required to be held every year; namely, on the Wednesdays in January and June; but the commissioners are also empowered to hold a court as often as may be requisite: their usual place of meeting is at Barber's hall. All

331

the officers above the rank of lieutenants must be freemen; but the sons of freemen are eligible to the offices of lieutenant and ensign. When embodied for service, his majesty is authorized to put regiment under the command of such general officer as he may appoint, and to direct it to march to any place not exceeding miles from the city, or to the nearest encampment beyond that distance; but the other is to remain within the city or its liberties, to defend the same. By an express enactment it is also declared,

the said militia shall possess and enjoy all and singular the rights and privileges which were possessed and enjoyed by the ancient trained bands of the city of London.

The volunteer regiments had their origin during the late destructive war; and were chiefly formed in the year and , when the repeated threats of invasion from France, conjoined with other circumstances, rendered it expedient to increase the military force in every part of the kingdom. The primary associations consisted of inhabitant householders of each ward, acting under the general superintendence of local committees, and eventually liable to be united into body, and placed under the direction of the lord mayor and court of aldermen. In the subsequent arrangements made in , other persons, not citizens, nor inhabitants, but residing contiguous to the city, were permitted to associate; and the whole of the infantry was then distributed into regiments, having authority to elect their own officers, and generally speaking, defraying all the expences of arms, accoutrements, &c. out of their own subscriptions, aided by some inconsiderable funds collected in the different wards. The city volunteer cavalry, which never exceeded , was formed into regiment.

Whilst the alarm of invasion continued to exist, the volunteers exhibited a most commendable activity in assembling at their respective quarters, and they very quickly attained an advanced degree of discipline; but when the course of continental affairs had assumed another direction, the attendance of individuals was gradually lessened, and, with little exception, the city volunteers are at present in a dormant state, so far as regards military concerns. The returns of late, have not been regular; yet should the presumed necessity again arrive, there cannot be a doubt but that these regiments will attain as great a degree of effective strength as at any former period. In the returns laid before the house of commons in , after the general inspection of the volunteer force of Great Britain made in the preceding month, the numbers of each regiment are stated thus:

332

Present under arms.Absent.Establishment.
First reg. of loyal London volunteers84448762
Second ditto300500800
Third ditto84516600
Fourth ditto381430811
Fifth ditto253291544
Sixth ditto104454715
Seventh ditto243231474
Eighth ditto415385800
Ninth ditto161296592
Tenth ditto124312557
Eleventh ditto100185352
Loyal London volunteer cavalry12234200
Total237140827207
Honourable artillery company184494678
Grand total255545767885

In addition to the above forces, there were several other volunteer regiments of infantry, raised for the purpose of protecting the immense property of different corporate bodies within the city; as well under circumstances of internal commotion, as in case of invasion.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Percy Histories-London, vol. ii. p. 189.

[] Hist. of the Reb. Vol. ii. p, 75.

[] Ibid. p. 347.

[] Ibid. p. 348.

[] Percy Histories-London, ii. p. 199.

[] Strype's Stow, ii. p. 572.

[] Percy Histories-London, vol. ii. p. 202.

[] This circumstance gave rise to Hogarth's admirable picture, The March to Finchley, for which he sought the royal patronage; but the king, who saw nothing in the picture but that his soldiers were ridiculed, expressed great displeasure; and the print was dedicated to the king of Prussia.

[] Brayley's Hist. of London, ii. 178.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: History of London, from the Accession of William and Mary, to the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER II: History of London during the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER III: History of London from the Accession of George the Third, to the year 1780
 CHAPTER IV: History of London continued to the Union
 CHAPTER V: History of London from the Union to the Jubilee, 1809
 CHAPTER VI: History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814
 CHAPTER VII: History of London continued to the accession of George the Fourth
 CHAPTER VIII: Account of the Civil Government of the City by Portreves, Bailiffs, and Mayors, with a list of the latter...
 CHAPTER IX: An account of the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with a list of the latter
collapseCHAPTER X: Lists and brief Accounts of the various Officers and Courts within the City
collapseCHAPTER XI: Some account of the Ecclesiastical Government of the city of London, with a List and Biographical Notices of the Bishops of the see
collapseCHAPTER XII: Some Account of the Military Government of London, and the Artillery Company
collapseCHAPTER XIII: An Account of the twelve principal Companies of the City of London
collapseCHAPTER XIV: An Account of the Companies of the City of London, alphabetically arranged
 CHAPTER XV: An Account of the River Thames
collapseCHAPTER XVI: Historical and topographical account of London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and the Thames Tunnel
collapseCHAPTER XVII: Topographical and Historical Account of the Tower of London
This object is in collection:
Edwin C. Bolles papers
Subjects
London (England)--History
Antiquities
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/44305
ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00067
To Cite: DCA Citation Guide
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