previous next


The legal equipment of a soldier was as follows:--

A musket (firelock or matchlock), a pair of bandoleers, a powder-pouch, with bullets, a sword, a belt, a worm, a scourer, a rest, and a knapsack. His pay 18s. a month, and diet, and pillage; and his town to provide him with a month's provisions; viz., thirty pounds of biscuits, twelve of pork, twenty of beef, one half-bushel of pease or meal. The leader to receive 40s. per month. The towns to bear their share of the loss of arms. A list of the men and their arms to be handed in to the Court.

The men of Medford, Cambridge, and Charlestown formed one company. We can see exactly how one of our Medford soldiers looked in his military array in 1635. The bandoleer was a large leathern belt for supporting the gun. It passed over the right shoulder, and under the left arm. The two kinds of guns used by our fathers were called “firelock” and “matchlock.” The first kind had a flint, which struck fire into the pan; the second was without a flint, and therefore required a match to be applied to the powder.

It will give us some idea of the habits and customs of the people in Medford when we read the following law, passed July 26, 1631:--

Ordered that, every first Friday in every month, there shall be a general training of them that inhabit Charlestown, Mistick, and the Newtown, at a convenient place about the Indian wigwams; the training to begin at one of the clock in the afternoon.

March 22, 1631: General Court. Ordered that every town within this jurisdiction shall, before the 5th of April next, take especial care that every person within their town (except magistrates and ministers), as well servants as others, be furnished with good and sufficient arms.

Aug. 7, 1632: It is ordered that the captains shall be maintained (on parade-days) by their several companies.

March 4, 1635: It is ordered that, from this day forward, the captains shall receive maintenance out of the treasury, and not from their companies.

Nov. 20, 1637: It was ordered that training should be kept eight times in a year, at the discretion of the chief officers. Magistrates and teaching elders are allowed each of them a man free from trainings; and the deacons of the several churches are freed in like manner.

The first rule was this: “Their meetings shall begin with prayer.”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: