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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada




JULY, 1971

(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report H A 13)



de Briquet

Code Militaire, Vol. 1 - 279-294 (Paris 1728)


Concerning Military Crimes and Offenses

1st of July 1727


HIS MAJESTY, having examined Article 30 of the Regulation given at Poitiers by the deceased King, his grandfather, on the 4th of November, 1651, by which it was ordered that ail preceding Military Regulations and Ordinances be assiduously followed in all things concerning the discipline and policing of soldiers which the aforementioned provided for; And, having been informed of the difficulties encurred daily in War Councils when prosecution of crimes, offences or other cases against discipline and subordination arise, so much because, most Officers who appeal to it have no knowledge of the Ordinances of François I of the 24th of July 1534, of Henry II of the 20th of March 1550, 23rd of December 1553, and 22nd of March 1557 which established  the procedure to be followed in these matters, as because a few of the said cases are not dealt with in a precise enough manner as to avoid all confusion. It is then necessary to provide, by assembling and explaining the provisions of the said preceding Ordinances as well as those of the deceased King, His Majesty's great grandfather, pertaining to this matter, a General Law making clear to Soldiers, Cavalryman and Dragoons the extent of their duty, and to their Officers the sentence to be pronounced against those neglecting this duty. His Majesty, having examined the said Ordinances of Francis I and of Henry II of the 24th of July 1534, 20th of March 1550, 23rd of December 1553, and 22nd of March 1557, and others pertaining to these, has ordered and orders the following.


ALL Soldiers, Cavalrymen and Dragoons, are bound, under pain of death, to obey the Officers of their Regiment or Company in all that they will order for the service of His Majesty, whether it be in the Armies, on the Road, in the Quarters or in the Garrisons.


HIS MAJESTY also wishes that they be bound, under the same pain of death, to obey Officers of the other Companies or Regiments finding themselves in their Quarters or Garrison; the intention of His Majesty is that, twenty-four hours after the arrival of an Officer in the said Quarters or Garrison, he be known to the Soldiers, Cavalrymen and Dragoons present.


HIS MAJESTY orders the said Officers to ensure that the Soldiers, Cavalrymen, and Dragoons obey the Sergeant-Majors and Sergeants of their Companies or Regiments with which they are in garrison; His Majesty wishing that, all who disobey them in matters pertaining to His service, suffer corporal punishment or death, according to the nature or circumstance of their disobedience.


ANY Cavalryman, Dragoon or Soldier drawing his sword against an Officer, either of his own Regiment or of the other Troops of his Quarter or Garrison; hitting in any manner, or threatening, either by (laying a hand on their sword hilt) or by moving to aim their gun, even had they been hit or mistreated by the said Officers, will have their fist cut off and will then be hung and strangulated.


THE Cavalryman, Dragoon or Soldier hitting a Sergeant-Major or Sergeant, either from his own Regiment or from other Troops of the Quarters or Garrison, on duty or in actual service with him, will be punished with death: Outside the case of being in actual service, the one who hits a Sergeant or a Sergeant-Major from his own Regiment or of the same Garrison, or who draws a sword, will be condemned to the galleys for life.


THE ONE hitting a Caporal (Corporal - unmounted troops) or a Brigadier (Corporal - mounted troops) with whom he is on Duty, on Draft or other actual service, whether the said Brigadier or Caporal be of the same Regiment or of another Troop of the Quarters or Garrison, will, in like manner, be condemned to the galleys for life.


ANY Soldier who, either during night or day, after having been posted as sentry, leaves his post without having been relieved by a Sergeant, Caporal or Lancepesado, will be punished with death.


THE Cavalrymen or Dragoons leaving the site where they were posted on vedette duty, orderly duty or other duty, without having been relieved by their Officers will be condemned to the same penalty.


ANY Soldier being on sentry or other duty found sleeping during the night, will be equally punished with death.


WHEN the night watch has been posted in a fortified place, the one shooting firearms, making noise or any other thing capable of creating alarm in a fortified place, will be placed on the wooden horse, everyday for a month at the time of sentry posting.


WILL be condemned to the same penalty the one who gets drunk the day he is to be on sentry duty.


ANYONE, giving or making known an order to the enemy or to anyone other than those to whom it must be given, will be hung and strangulated.


ANY Soldier, Cavalryman or Dragoon drawing his sword in a camp or in a fortified place, and being the agressor, will be condemned to the galleys for life: His Majesty, wishing that, in the case where two Soldiers, Cavalrymen or Dragoons drew swords against one another voluntarily and without one or the other having been forced to do so to defend his life, they undergo the same penalty, sent to the galleys for life.


ANY Cavalryman, Dragoon or Soldier offended by another, by either word or action, will speak to the commanding Officer of the fortified place or Quarters which, in turn, having heard the accounts of both parties will see to it that the offended receives proper satisfaction and apply a punishment he deems appropriate to the offender.


WHEN Soldiers, Cavalrymen or Dragoons will have sword in hand to fight each other, and that one of their Officers or other from the Garrison will order them to separate, they are bound to obey him on the spot without striking once, will be brought before a firing squad.


ANYONE insulting or attacking a Soldier, Cavalryman or Dragoon on sentry duty, orderly duty or other, either with sword in hand, by aiming a gun or striking with a stick or stone, will be brought before a firing squad.


ANY Cavalryman, Dragoon or Soldier stirring up sedition, revolt or mutiny, or holding illicit meetings, for whatever cause or pretext possible, will be hung and strangulated.


WILL suffer likewise penalty those finding themselves in the said meetings, or those having called, incited or urged someone to attend.


WILL also suffer corporal punishment or pain of death, according to the requirements of the case, those having uttered a few words conducive to sedition, mutiny or rebellion, or those having heard these words without immediately informing their Captains or superior Officers.


ANYONE engaged in a quarrel, fight or other encounter> who calls upon the Nation, his Regiment or his Company for help, or forms an unlawful assembly, Will be brought before a firing squad.


THOSE having ventured or conspired against the service of the King and the security of Towns, Fortifications or Countries under his domination, against the Governors and Commanders of the said fortifications, or against their Officers; as well as those having consented to or those having knowledge of the said offence without informing their Captains or Camp Masters, shall be broken alive (on the wheel).


HIS MAJESTY forbids, under pain of death, to all Soldiers, Cavalrymen and Dragoons, to steal or sack Canteen-keepers, or merchants coming into the towns or in the camps, and to take by force and without payment, either bread, wine, meat, beer, brandy or other products and merchandise, whether it be in Town Markets or in the shops, in the camps or on the road.


HIS MAJESTY also forbids, under pain of having to run the gauntlet, to go out of the Camp or the Garrison to meet the ones bringing supplies, to buy some, even if it be with their consent and without violence.


HIS MAJESTY also forbids, under pain of death, to steal furniture or other articles from houses where they are lodged, either on the road or in Garrison.


ANY Soldier, Cavalryman or Dragoon who, deliberately, maliciously and with advantage wounds or kills another one, will be hung and strangulated.


ANYONE having sacked, stolen or robbed, in time of peace, or during a war, within the Realms, or in enemy country, chalices, ciboriums or other church property will be hung and strangulated; and if, in the circumstances of the theft, profanation of sacred things occurred, he will be condemned to burn at the stake.


THE ONE robbing his companion or any other soldier of his arms, in whichever place it be, win be hung and strangulated: And the one stealing from the barracks rooms their linen, clothes or equipment, as well as the ration (prêt] or bread of their roommates, will be condemned to death or to the galleys for life, depending upon the circumstances of the case.


THE 0NE selling his powder or lead, will be put on the wooden horse for fifteen days, at the time of the watch, if he is in Garrison; if he is in Camp he will be put to The stake for the same length of time.


NO ONE of any condition, rank or title whatsoever will have, under pain of death, any correspondence with the enemy in time of war, by any means whatsoever without permission from the General, if it be at the Armies; or the Commander of the Province or fortified place, if it be in Quarters, or in the Garrisons.


HIS MAJESTY forbids to any person whatsoever, under pain of corporal punishment, or of death, depending on the case, to attempt or endeavour anything against Persons, Towns, Boroughs, Villages, Castles, Hamlets, or other goods or localities having received His Majesty's safeguard.


ANYONE going out of a fortified place or fort without permission from his Commander, or anyone wandering beyond the limits of a Camp, under any pretext whatsoever, will be hung and strangulated.


ANY Soldier, Cavalryman or Dragoon going out of an entrenched camp, warring town or fort, or entering one of these by a detour, by climbing or by any other way than by ordinary roads and gates, will be hung and strangulated.


THE Cavalryman, Soldier or Dragoon who, while in Camp or Garrison, does not follow his Flag or Colours in an alert, on the battlefield or other matter, will be, as a deserter, brought before a firing squad.


EVERYONE sham help and defend the Flags or Colours of his Regiment be it day or night; he must go to them at the first command and not leave them until they are carried to safety, under pain of corporal punishment, or death, according to the circumstances of the case.


ALL Cavalrymen, Dragoons or Soldiers on duty, as well as the Brigadiers commanding the keeping of the Colours, who let prisoners under their guard escape, will be condemned to serve as galley slaves for 3 years; His Majesty calls upon the Officers on duty, to watch and see to it that the present article be applied, under pain of seeing the responsibility for an act come under their own name.


HIS MAJESTY, in conformity with the Ordinance of the 20th of May 1686, forbids all Cavalrymen, Dragoons and Soldiers, to swear and blaspheme the Holy Name of God, the Holy Virgin or the Saints, under pain of having their tongue pierced with a hot iron; His Majesty wishes that the Officers of the Troop to which they belong, hand them over to the Provost or the Regiment Major so that the above sentence may be carried out.


ANY Officer insulting a War Commissary during the exercise of his duties, will be sent to prison on the spot by the Commander of the Corps to which the Officer belongs, or by order of the Commander of the installation where the offence occurred; the said Commanders will immediately inform the State Secretary for War who will, in turn, make the matter known to His Majesty that he may decide on a punishment appropriate to the case.


AS for Cavalrymen, Dragoons or Soldiers foolhardy enough to attempt anything against the said Commissaries, either by hitting or attempting to hit, His Majesty wishes that he pass before the War Council for judgement and be condemned to hanging and strangulation.


HIS MAJESTY expressly forbids the said Cavalrymen, Dragoons and Soldiers to hit or insult the Mayors, Aldermen, Consuls, Judges and other magistrates of the localities within which they are in garrison, or through which they pass; His Majesty wishes that upon request from the said magistrates, the accused be imprisoned, to be judged by the Provost Marshalls, or by the Judges of the locality, according to the nature and circumstances of the offense.


IN the case where the said magistrates or municipal officials have been hit or insulted by Officers of His Majesty's Troops, they should forward their complaints to the Secretary of State for War who will, in turn, make the matter known to His Majesty that he may decide on a punishment appropriate to the case.


WHEN Provosts, Archers, or other appointees of ordinary Judges, arrest Soldiers or other accused, no Cavalryman, Dragoon or Soldier shall oppose them, remove the prisoners by force or attempt to under pain of death.


HIS MAJESTY forbids all Soldiers, Cavalrymen and Dragoons to go or to send anyone to cut, fell or degrade any wood in His Forests, Woods, Bushes and Domains nor in those of private owners; to hunt or fish on land owned by Lords; nor to shoot pigeons, hens, chickens, rabbits or other domestic animals; not to damage the mills, fish ponds and ponds; under pain of corporal punishment.


ANY Soldier, Cavalryman or Dragoon, who cheats or tricks at a game, shall suffer corporal punishment. His Majesty wishes that, if in Camps or fortified places, games of chance are established capable of creating strife, the Commanders or Governors have the tables, machines and instruments broken that are used in the said games; and that they imprison those holding the said games.


HIS MAJESTY forbids all Officers, Cavalrymen, Dragoons and Soldiers to maintain debauched women under pain of degradation for the said Officers and three months in prison for the said Soldiers, Cavalrymen and Dragoons, and for the said girls to be whipped and chased from the Armies or fortified places.


HIS MAJESTY also wishes that the Ordinances rendered by his great grandfather, the deceased King, against deserters, suborners and seducers, false-musters, faux-saunters, smugglers, against those having sold or bought tools, clothing, arms and horses from His Majesty's Troops, or metals, powder, artillery pieces and ammunition, and generally all other Ordinances from which the present one does not derogate, be executed according to their form and tenor.

HIS MAJESTY advises and orders the Governors and their Lieutenant Generals in his Provinces and armies, Governors and Commanders of his towns and fortifications, chiefs and officers of his troops, Intendants and Commissioners in his Provinces, War Commissioners appointed to police the said troops, Provost-Marshalls, and his other Officers, that it is their duty to see to the execution of this Ordinance in all that is their concern; His Majesty wishes this Ordinance to be read and published for the said troops and posted in the main guardhouse of fortified places and other necessary places so that none may claim ignorance.






And below Le Blanc.

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