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Articles of Warre 1644


For the present Expedition of the Army of the Kingdome of

By the Committee of Estates, and his Excellence, the Lord Generall of the Army.



That no man pretend ignorance, and that everie one may know the dutie of his place, that he may do it; The Articles and Ordinances following, are to be published at the generall Rendezvous in everie Regiment apart, by the Majors of the severall Regiments, and in the presence of all the Officers. The same shall afterward be openly read to every Company of Horse and Foot, and at such times as shall be thought most convenient by the Lord Generall : and in like manner shall be knowne to so many as joyne themselves to be professed Souldiers in the Army. For this end, everie Colonell and Captaine shall provide one of those Books, that hee may have it in readinesse at all occasions, and every Souldier shall solemnly sweare this following Oath:

The Souldiers Oath

I, N.N., promise and sweare to be true and faithfull in this Service, according to the heads sworn by me in the Solemne League and Covenant of the three Kingdomes : To honour and obey my Lord Generall, and all my superiour Officers and Commandrs, and by all meanes to hinder their dishonour and hurt : To observe carefully all the Articles of War and Camp-Discipline : never to leave the defence of this Cause, nor flee from my Colours so long as I can follow them : To be ready to watching, warding, and working, so farre as I have strength : To endure and suffer all distresses, and to fight manfully to the uttermost, as I shall answer to God, and as God shall help me.

Kirk Discipline

Kirk Discipline shall be excerised, and the sick cared for in every Regiment, by the particular Eldership, or Kirk-Session to be appointed, even as useth to be done in every Parish in the time of Peace : And that there may be an uniformitie thorowout the whole Army in all matters Ecclesiasticall, there shall be a generall Eldership, or common Ecclesiastick Judicatory, made up of all the Ministers of the Camp, and of one Elder direct from every particular Regiment, who shall also judge of Applications made unto them from the particular Sessions or Elderships.

Councels of War

For deciding of all questions, debates and quarrellings that shall arise betwixt Captains and their Souldiers, or any others of the Army, and for the better observing of Camp-Discipline, two Courts of justice, the one higher, and the other lower, are appoynted, wherein all Judges are sworne to do justice equally : The higher also to judge of Appellations to be made from the lower Court. And if any man shall by word or gesture shew his contempt or mis-regard, or shall fall out in boasting or braving, while Courts are sitting, hee shall be punished by death. And both these Judicatories, as well of the Kirk matters, as of War, shall be subject to the Generall Assembly, and Committee of Estates respective.

Duties to God

Whosoever shall wilfully or carelessly absent himselfe from morning and evening Prayers, or from preaching before and after-noon on the Lords Day, or other extra-ordinarie times appoynted for the worship of God, when the signe is given by sound of Trumpet or Drum, hee shall be censured and punished for his neglect or contempt, by penaltie, imprisonment, or other punishment, as his fault deserveth.
After the warning given, there shall be no Market, nor selling of Commodities whatsoever, till the Prayers or Preaching be ended, upon the paine of forfeiting the things so sold, and of the imprisoning of the offenders.


Common and ordinary swearing and cursing, open prophaning of the Lords Day, wronging of his Ministers, and other Acts of that kind, shall not only be punished with losse of pay and imprisonment, but the Transgressors shall make their publike repentence in the midst of the Congregation, and if they will not be reclaimed, they shall with disgrace be openly casseered and discharged, as unworthy of the meanest place in the Army.

Duties to the Kings, Countrey, Generall

If any shall speak irreverently against the Kings Majestie & his authoritie, or shall presume to offer violence to his Majesties Person, he shall be punished as a Traytor. Hee that shall speak evill of the Cause which wee defend; or of the Kingdomes, the Parliaments, Convention of Estates, or their Committees in the defence thereof, or shall use any words to the dishonour of the Lord Generall, he shall be punished with death.
No man shall at his own hand, without warrant of the Committee, or of my Lord Generall, have, or keep intelligence with the enemy, by speech, letters, signes, or any other way, under the pain to be punished as a Traytour. No man shall give over any Strength, Magazin, Victuall, &c. Or make any such motion, but upon extremitie, under the same paine. No man shall give supply, or furnish money, victuall, or any commodities to the enemy, upon pain of death.
Whoseover shall be found to do violence against the Lord Generall, his Safe-guard, or Safe-conduct, shall dye for it.
Whosoever shall be found guiltie of carelessnesse and negligence in his service, although he be free of treachery and double-dealing, shall beare his owne punishment.

Duties of Superiours

All Commanders and Officers shall be carefull, both by their authority and example, that all under their charge, live in godlinesse, sobernesse, and righteousnesse : And if they themselves shall be common swearers, cursers, drunkards, or any of them at any time shall come drunke to his Guard, or by quarrelling, or any other way shall commit any notable disorder in this quarter, losse of place shall be his punishment ; And further, according to the sentence of the Court of War.
The Captaines that shall be negligent in training their Companies, or that shall be found to withhold from their souldiers any part of their pay, shall be discharged of their place, and further censured by the Court of War.
No Commander or Officer shall conceale dangerous and discontented humours, inclined to mutinies, or grudging at the orders given them, but shall make them knowne to the prime Leaders of the Army, upon the paine to be accounted guilty of mutiny.
No Commander or Officer shall authorize, or wittingly permit any Souldier to goe forth to a singular combate, under paine of death : But on the contrary, all Officers shall be carefull by all meanes to part quarrellings amongst Souldiers, although they be of other Regments or Companies, and shall have power to command them to prison, which if the Souldiers shall disobey or resit by using any weapon, they shall die for it.
No Captaine shall presume at his owne hand, without warrant of the Lord Generall, to casseer or give a Passe to any enrolled Souldier or Officer, who hath appeared at the place of the generall Rendezvous, nor shall any Commander, Officer, or Souldier depart without a Passe, or staye behind the time appointed him in his Passe : and whosoever transgresseth the one way or the other, shall be punished at the discretion of the Court of War.

Duties of Souldiers

All Souldiers shall remember that it is their part to honour and obey their Commanders, and therefore shall receive their commands with reverence, and shall make no noise, but be silent, when the Officers are commanded, or giving their directions, that they may be heard by all, and the better obeyed : he that faileth against this, shall be imprisoned.
No Souldier shall leave his Captaine, nor servant forsake his Master, whether he abide in the Army or not, but upon licence granted, and in an orderly way.
Whosoever shall presume to discredit any of the great Officers of the Army, by Writ, Word, or any other way, and be not able to make it good ; & whosoever shall lift his weapon against any of them ; shall be punished by death ; and whosoever shall lift his hand against any of them, shall lose his hand.
No Souldier, nor inferiour Officer, shall quarrel with, or offer any injury to his superiour, nor refuse any duty commanded him, upon paine of casseering, and to be further censured by the Court of War. And if any shall presume to strike his Superiour, he shall be punished with death. But if it shall happen, that any Officer shall command any thing to the evident and knowne prejudice of the publicke, then shall he who is commanded, modestly refuse to obey, and presently give notice thereof to the Lord Generall.
If any man shall use any words or wayes, tending to mutiny or sedition, whether for demanding his pay, or upon any other cause ; or if any man shall be privy to such mutinous speeches or wayes, & shall conceal them, both shall be punished with death.
All must shew their valour against the Enemy, and not by revenging their private injuries, which upon their complaints to their superiour Officers, shall be repaired to the full. And if any man presume to take his owne satisfaction, or challenge a combate, he shall be imprisoned, and have his punishment decerned by the Marshall Court.
The Provost Marshall must not be resisted or hindered, in apprehending or putting Delinquents in prison, and all Officers must assist him to this end : and if any man shall resist or breake prison, he shall be censured by the Court of War.

Duties to others

Murther is no lesse unlawfull and intollerable in the time of War, than in the time of Peace, & is to be punished with death.
Whosoever shall be found to have forced any woman, whether he be Commander or Souldier, shall die for it without mercy. And whosoever shall be found guilty of adultery or fornication, shall be no lesse severely censured and punished than in the time of Peace.
If any common whores shall be found following the Army, if they be married women, and run away from their husbands, they shall be put to death without mercy ; and if they be unmarried, they shall be first married by the hangman, and thereafter by him scourged out of the Army.
Theeves and Robbers shall be punished with the like severity. If any shall spoile or take any part of their goods that die in the Army, or are killed in service, he shall restore the double, and be further punished at discretion. It is provided, that all their goods be forth-coming, and be disposed of according to their Testament and Will, declared by word or writ before witnesses ; or if they have made no Testament, to their Wives, Children, or nearest Kindred, according to the Lawes of the Kingdome.
All shall live together as friends and brethren, abstaining from words of disgrace, contempt, reproach, giving of lies, and all provocation by word or gesture : He that faileth, shall be imprisoned for the first fault ; and if he be incorigible, he shall be with shame punished, and put out of the Army.

Concerning Armes

All Souldiers shall come to their Colours, to watch, to be exercised, or to muster, with their owne Armes : And if any Souldier shall come with another mans Armes, he shall be punished with rigour, and the lender shall lose his Armes. All shall come also with compleate and tight Armes in a decent manner, otherwise to be severely punished.
If any man shall sell or give in pawne his horse, his Armes, or any part of the Ammunition committed to him : or any Instruments ; as Spades, Shovels, Pickes, used in the Field, he shall for the first and second time be beaten through the quarter, and for the third time be punished as for other theft : And he that buyeth them, or taketh them to pawne, be he Souldier or Victualler, shall pay the double of the Money, beside the want of the things bought or impawned, and be further punished at discretion.
Whosoever in a debawched and lewd manner by Cards or Dice, or by sloath and unexcusable neglect, shall lose his Horse and Armes, in whole, or in part, to the hinderance of the service ; And whosoever shall wifully spoile, or breake his Armes, or any Instrument of War committed to him, by cutting downe of Trees, or any other way, he shall serve as a Pioner, till the losse be made up, and he furnished upon his owne charges.

Concerning marching

No man on his march, or at his lodgings, within or without the Countrey upon whatsoever pretext, shall take by violence, either horse, cattell, goods, money, or any other thing lesse or more, but shall pay the usuall prices for his meat and drinke, or be furnished in an orderly way upon count, at the sight of the Commissar, according to the order given by the Committee upon paine of death, without mercy.
If any man shall presume to pull downe, or set on fire any dwelling house, though a Cottage, or hew downe any Fruit-trees ; or waste or deface any part of the beauty of the Countrey, he shall be punished most severely, according to the importance of the fault.
In marching, no man shall stay behinde without leave : No man shall straggle from his Troop or Company : No man shall march out of his ranke, and put others out of order, under all highest paine.

Of musters

If any Colonell of Horse or Foot shall keep backe his Souldiers from the appointed muster, or shall lend his Souldiers to make a false muster, upon triall in the Court Marshall, he shall be punished as a deceiver. And if any Muster-master shall use any false Rols, shall have any hand in false Musters, or by connivence, or any other way be tryed to be accessary to them, he shall suffer the like punishment.


No man shall presume to doe the smallest injury to any that bring necessaries to the Leager, whether by stealing from them, or deceiving them, or by violence in taking their Horse or goods, under the paine to be accounted and punished as enemies. No Victuallers shall sell rotten victuals, upon paine of imprisonment and confiscation, and further as they shall be judged to deserve.
No Souldier shall provide and sell Victuals, unlesse he be authorized, nor shall any that selleth Victuals, keep in his Tent or Hutte any Souldier at unseasonable houres, and forbidden times, under paine at discretion ; Like as all the prices thereof shall be set downe by the generall Commisser, and be given to the Quarter-Master of the severall Regiments.

Duties in the Camp

No man enrolled professing himselfe or pretending to be a Souldier, shall abide in the Army, unlesse hee enter in some Company, nor shall he that hath entred depart without licence, upon pain of death. No man having licence shall stay beyond the time appoynted him, upon paine of the losse of his pay during the time of his absence, and further punishment at discretion. If any man in a mutinous way, shew himselfe discontent with the quarter assigned him, hee shall be punished as a mutiner. And if any man shall stay out of his quarter, or go without shot of Cannon being intrenched, but one night, without leave of his superiour Officer, he shall be casseered.
All that shall be absent from the watch after the signe is given for the setting thereof, shall be severely punished. Hee that revealeth, or falsifieth the watch-word given by the Officer, within the Trenches, or before the Colours : He that is taken sleeping, or drunk upon his watch : Hee that commeth off the watch before the time, every one of these shall bee punished with death.
Whosoever shall assemble themselves together for taking mutinous counsell, upon whatsoever pretext ; they all, whether Officers or Souldiers, shall suffer death.

Duties in Battell

Every man when the Alarme is given, shall repaire speedly in his Colours ; no man shall forsake or flee from his Colours.
No man in the Countrey shall reset them that flee.
No man in the battell shall throw away his Musket, Pike, or Bandilier, all under the paine of death.
Whatsoever Regiment of Horse or Foot, having charged the enemy, shall draw back or flee before they come to stroke of sword, shall answer for it before a Councell of war ; and whosoever Officer or Souldier shall be found to bee in the default, they shall be punished by death or some shamefull punishment, as the Councell of war shall find their cowardise to deserve.

Duties after Battell

If it shall come to passe, that the enemy shall force us to battell, and the Lord shall give us victorie, none shall kill a yeelding enemy, nor save him that still purueth upon paine of death. Neither shall there be any ransoming of persones, spoyling, pillaging, parting of the prey, or wasting and burning by fire, or disbanding from their charges, or Officers, but as the Lord Generall shall give order upon the same paine of death.

Rewards for the well-deserving

Every mans carriage shall be diligently observed, and he according to his merit rewarded or punished : And whatsoever Officer or Souldier shall take Commanders, or the Colours of the enemy, or in the siege of Townes shall first enter a breach, or scale the wals, and shall carry himself dutifully in his station, and doth his part valiantly, in skirmish or battell, shall after the laudable example of the wisest, and worthiest Kingdomes and Estates, have his honour and reward according to his worth and deserving, whether hereafter we have peace or war.

Matters that are cleare by the light and law of nature are presupposed: Things unnecessary, are past over in silence: and other things may be judged by the common customes and constitutions of war, or may upon new emergents, be expressed afterwards.

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