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The British army originated in the feudal system, by which the great barons were bound to furnish a contingent to the army of the State; and their vassals were bound to attend them in person, and to furnish each the contributions in men, horses, arms, and other materials of war, for which he was liable by the tenure on which he held his lands. When regal power absorbed the privileges of the great feudatories, the people were expected to provide themselves with arms, and, in case of invasion, to respond to the summons issued through officers commissioned by the sovereign to array the fittest men for service in each county. In the time of Henry VIII, lord-lieutenants and deputy-lieutenants of counties were first ap. pointed as standing officers for assembling and mustering the military forces. For a time, contracts were made with “captains," who undertook to provide, clothe, and feed a certain number of fighting men for a given money allowance. In the reign of Charles I, the important question arose, whether the King of England did or did not possess the right to maintain a military force without the express consent of Parliament. Charles II, was compelled to abandon all control of the army, except a body guard of 5,000 men, sanctioned by Parliament. These regiments still exist, and are proud of their genealogy. They are the First Foot Guards, Coldstream Guards, Life Guard, Oxford Blues, the Royal Scots, and the Second Queen's Royals."* The Declaration of Rights, in the time of William and Mary, settled in positive terms that the raising and keeping of a standing army in time of peace, without consent of Parliament, is contrary to law." The first Mustering Act was passed in 1689, to last for six months; but it has been annually renewed ever since, except in three particular years; and it constitutes the only warrant on which the whole military system of England is exercised by the sovereign with the consent of Parliament,

For 172 years, with only three interruptions, the ministers of the crown have annually applied to Parliament for permission to raise a military force and for money to defray expenses. The sovereign can make war and bestow military employment and honors; but the House of Commons can refuse supplies.

* Two regimeuts created in the reigns of Richard IJI, and of Henry VIII, the first styled Gentlemen Pensioners, or Gentlemen ut Arms, consisting originally exclusively of noblemer, and the latter, Yeomen of the Guard, still exist. The latter is the only body that has the prir. ilege os iraversiog London with flags flying, drums beating, and fixed bayonets.

Military service in England is voluntary, except in rare cases, and then only in the militia. As the chances of promotion from the ranks are small, the recruits are drawn from the most necessitous classes of the community, or the least fitted for industrial pursuits. The system of recruiting, with the bounty and machinery of deception is the most characteristic feature of the British army as compared with those of Europe, and makes the distinction between officers and men more broad than in any other service.

The British army, in its completeness, is theoretically commanded by the sovereign, assisted by the secretary of state for war in some matters, and by the commander-in-chief in others. The component parts are the household troops, the infantry of the line, the ordnance corps, comprising artillery and engineers, and the marines. There are also certain corps, raised and belonging to the principal colonies; the troops in India; the yeomanry cavalry; the dockyard battalions; the volunteer artillery and rifles; the enrolled pensioners, etc. In 1814, the regular army reached 200,000, and at the close of the war, 10,000 officers were retained on half pay. In 1860–61, in the army estimates, provision was made for the following force, viz. : Home and Colonies. India.


Infantry. . 103, 169. 66,345.


Engineers. 4,730.

4,730 Staff & Depot... 1,121.. .13,420.

14,541 Total. ...143,362


235,852 Under the column “ India” are included only troops sent to India, and paid for out of the Indian revenues. Of the total 235,852 forces, 10,459 are officers, 17,670 non-commissioned officers, and 207,723 rank and file. For the use of this army, 24,342 horses are provided. The total expenditure sanctioned by Parliament in 1860 was £14,800,000, viz. :

Military Pay and Allowances, £5,500,000; Civil Salaries and Wages, £1,800, 000; Stores and Works of every kind, £ 5,400,000; Pensions, Retired Pay, &c. £2,100,000.

The military force of various kinds within the United Kingdom, excluding the troops in East India, on the 1st of June, 1860, wa 323,259, viz. :

Regulars (service companies,) 68,778; Regulars (depot companies) 33,302, Embodied Militia, 15,911; Disembodied Militia—Effectives, 52,899; Yeomanry Cavalry—Effectives, 15,002; Enrolled Pensioners—Effectives, 15,000; Volun teer Rifles and Artillery, 122,867.

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The total force of the United Kingdom in 1870-71, was as follows:

Oficers on the General and Departmental Staff,


Officers. Non-com., &c. Rank and file.
Royal Horse Artillery,.


138 1,834 2,050 Life-Guards and Horse-Guards, 81

192 1,029 1,302 Cavalry of the Line,


969 7,733 9,267 Royal Artillery,...

661 1,550 12,866 15,087
Riding Establishment,


205 225
Royal Engineers,..


564 3,879 4,836 Army Service Corps,.


386 1,801 2,195 Foot-Guards, ...

237 453 5,220 5,910 Infantry of the Line,

2,934 6,468 51,990 61,392
Army hospital corps,


694 860
West India Regiments, .


150 1,680 1,834 Colonial corps,..


149 1,632 1,839

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17 407 The total force of officers and men was 115,037, viz. General and Department Staff,..

1,239 Regiments,...

108,066 Depots of Indian Regiments, .

6,394 Recruiting and Teaching Establishments,..

170 Training Schools and Factories.

407 The British forces in India, exclusive of depots at home, comprised the following troops, in 1870-71:

Officers. Non-Com. Men. Total.
Royal Horse Artillery,

200 253 2,680 3,133
Cavalry of the Line,

225 424 3,672 4,321 Royal Artillery and Engineers,. 1,016 795 7,936 9,747 Infantry of the Line,..

1,500 3,262 41,000 45,762

Total, ...

2,941 4,734 55,288 63,963 In addition to the troops above mentioned the army estimates include appropriations for four classes of reserved or auxiliary forces, viz.:

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1. Disembodied Militia,

128,971 officers and men. 2. Yeomanry Cavalry,.

15,435 3. Volunteers,..

25,688 4. Enrolled pensioners, .

31,102 Total enrolled number,..... 201,196 In England and Wales the Militia Establishment comprises 42 regiments, with 5,066 officers; in Scotland, 16 regiments and 670 officers; in Ireland, 48 regiments, with 3,463 officers.

By Act of 1870, in case of invasion, rebellion, or insurrection, or of imminent danger thereof, the Militia, in pursuance of an order of Her Majesty in council, can be called out the whole or any part) and embodied for actual service; but when so całłed out, her procJamation must be communicated to Parliament within ten days. By recent Royal Warrant, a lieutenant of the Militia is made eligible to appointment of sub-lieutenant in the Regular Army, and in the Jocalization of the military force of the United Kingdom, the Militia, Yeomanry and Volunteers, are to be brought into closer connection with the Regular Army.

The total cost of the British army, voted by Parliament in 1870–71, was £13,093,500, besides a supplementary vote of £2,000,000 towards defraying the expenses of the military and naval services of the kingdom. Of the regular expenses, it appears from official statements that £893,200 were for the Militia and Inspection service; £81,900 for the Yeomanry; £112,400 for volunteers; and £76,000 for enrolled pensioners and army reserve force.


The sum of £140,700 was devoted to military education, in the estimates for 1871, when the educational establishments provided for the army were as follows:

Royal Military College at Sandhurst, preparatory for Infantry and

Cavalry Officers.
Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, for service in the Artillery

and Engineers.
Royal School of Military Engineering at Chatham.
Staff College at Woolwich.
Advanced Class of Artillery Officers at Woolwich.
School of Gunnery at Shoeburyness.
Survey Classes at Aldershot.
School of Musketry at Hythe.
Army Medical School at Netley.
Royal Hibernian Military School at Dublin.
Regimental Schools for Children of Soldiers.
Garrison Schools and Libraries for Adults.
Schools and Asylums for Orphan Children of Soldiers at Dublin and

Training School for Army Schoolmasters in Chelsea Military Asylum.
Military School of Music at Kneller Hall.

II. ROYAL NAVY. The administration of the Navy of the United Kingdom is vested in the Board of Admiralty, composed of five members, who are styled “Lord Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral,” which was formerly charged with all naval matters. The First Lord Commissioner is a member of the Cabinet, and dispenser of patronage, and, with his associates, goes out with the Premier. The effective strength of the Navy in February 1, 1869, was: Classes of Ships.

Steam. Sailing. Total

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Total iron-clads,


1 Ships of the line (screw),


2 47 Frigates (screw),..


29 Frigates (paddleh.


1 Block ships (screw),


2 Corvettes (screw),

24 Sloops (screw),...


1 34 (paddle),..


1 Small vessels (paddle),

8 Dispatch vessels (paddle)

4 Gun vessels (screw and double screw),.

51 Gun-boats (screw),


68 Tenders tuga, &c., (screw),

14 (paddle),

38 Mortar ships (screw), . Troop and store ships (screw),..

11 (paddle),

1 Transports for India reliefs (screw),

5 Yachts (paddle), . .


5 Total screw,..

310 14

324 paddle, .


66 Grand total,..

375 15


408 Not included in the above list are several ships for the defense of the colonies. The total naval force, August 30, 1870, was:

In Commission-238 ships, of 57,205 horse-power, 1,984 guns and 314,449 tonnage. In Reserve, &c., 318 ships, 64,286 horsepower, 3,610 guns, and 318,845 tonnage. The total number of officers, seamen, boys and marines, in 1870–71, was 55,430, besides 4,300 in the coast-guard and 1,270 in the Indian service. Among the officers were 143 flag officers; 29 superintending dockyards, and 3,193 other commissioned officers on service.


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