50. The Militia Ordinance.
[March 5, 1641/2. Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 587. See Hist.
of Engl. x. 167, 171.]
An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, for the safety
and defence of the kingdom of England and dominion of Wales.
Whereas there hath been of late a most dangerous and desperate design
upon the House of Commons, which we have just cause to believe to be an effect
of the bloody counsels of Papists and other ill-affected persons, who have
already raised a rebellion in the kingdom of Ireland; and by reason of many
discoveries we cannot but fear they will proceed not only to stir up the like
rebellion and insurrections in this kingdom of England, but also to back them
with forces from abroad.
For the safety therefore of His Majesty's person, the Parliament and
kingdom in this time of imminent danger:
It is ordained by the Lords and Commons now in Parliament
assembled, that Henry Earl of Holland shall be Lieutenant of the County of
Berks, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke shall be Lieutenant of the County of Bedford,
And shall severally and respectively have power to assemble and call
together all and singular His Majesty's subjects, within the said several and
respective counties and places, as well within liberties as without, that are
meet and fit for the wars, and them to train and exercise and put in readiness,
and them after their abilities and faculties well and sufficiently from time to
time to cause to be arrayed and weaponed, and to take the muster of them in
places most fit for that purpose; and the aforesaid Henry Earl of
Holland, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke, &c., shall severally and respectively
have power within the several and respective counties and places aforesaid, to
nominate and appoint such persons of quality as to them shall seem meet to be
their Deputy Lieutenants, to be approved of by both Houses of Parliament:
And that any one or more of the said deputies so assigned and approved
of in the absence or by the command of the said Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver
Earl of Bolingbroke, &c., shall have power and authority to do and execute
within the said several and respective counties and places to them assigned as
aforesaid, all such powers and authorities before in this present Ordinance
contained; and the aforesaid Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of Bolingbroke,
&c., shall have power to make colonels, captains and other officers, and to
remove out of their places, and make others from time to time, as they shall
think fit for that purpose; and the said Henry Earl of Holland, Oliver Earl of
Bolingbroke, &c., their deputy or deputies in their absence or by their
command, shall have power to lead, conduct and employ the persons aforesaid
arrayed and weaponed, for the suppression of all rebellions, insurrections and
invasions that may happen within the several and respective counties and
places; and shall have power and authority to lead, conduct and employ the
persons aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, as well within their said several and
respective counties and places, as within any other part of this realm of
England or dominion of Wales, for the suppression of all rebellions,
insurrections and invasions that may happen, according as they from time to
time shall receive directions from the Lords and Commons
assembled in Parliament.
And be it further ordained, that Sir John Gayre, Sir Jacob Garret,
Knights, &c., citizens of London, or any six or more of them, shall have
such power and authority within the City of London as any of the Lieutenants
before named are authorised to have by this Ordinance, within the said several
and respective counties (the nomination and appointment of Deputy Lieutenants
only excepted). And it is further ordained, that such persons as shall not obey
in any of the premises, shall answer their neglect and contempt to the Lords
and Commons in a Parliamentary way, and not otherwise nor elsewhere, and that
every the powers granted as aforesaid shall continue until it shall be
otherwise ordered or declared by both Houses of Parliament and no longer.
 A very similar Ordinance was sent up to the Lords on Feb.
15 and accepted by them on the 16th (Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 587).
It was sent to the King, and his answer having been voted to be a denial, the
Lords returned the Ordinance to the Commons in a slightly altered form. It was
finally adopted by both Houses on March 5.
 'by the King's Most Excellent Majesty,' is here inserted
in the Ordinance of February 16.
 'most ' is omitted in the Ordinance of February 16.
 'by His Majesty's authority, signified unto them by '
stands in the Ordinance of February 16 in the place of ' from.'
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