At this early period, none were allowed to vote for military officers except freemen, and they “who have taken the oath of residents.” Freemen had a right to vote in these elections, although they were not enrolled as members of the trainband. Officers must be freemen, since none others were eligible to offices in the State. The captain was required to take oath. The fines gathered were to be expended in buying drum-heads for the company, and arms for poor men. Ship-carpenters, fishermen, and millers were excused from training. Millers were excused, because, in tending tide-mills, they were often obliged to be at work through the night. Certain persons were appointed in Medford as watchers of the Indians and wild beasts. March 9, 1637 :--
All watchers shall come to the public assemblies with their muskets fit for service.Same date:--
No person shall travel above one mile from his dwelling-house without some arms, upon pain of 12d. for every default.In 1637, two hundred men, as warriors, were to be raised in Massachusetts. The following towns furnished numbers in proportion to their population: Boston, 26; Salem, 18; Saugus, 16; Ipswich, 17; Newbury, 8; Roxbury, 10; Hingham, 6; Meadford, 3.
May 14: “Ordered that there shall be a watch of two a night kept in every plantation till the next General Court.” June 2, 1641: “Ordered that all the out-towns shall each of them have a barrel of gunpowder.”Sept. 15, 1641: On this day began a “muster,” which lasted two days: twelve hundred soldiers. And though there was “plenty of wine and strong beer,” yet “no man drunk, no oath sworn, no quarrel, no hurt done.” Can so much be said now? Sept. 7, 1643: The General Court thus say:--
It is agreed that the military commanders shall take order that the companies be trained, and some man, to be appointed by them, in each town, to exercise them.“Arms must be kept in every family.” These warlike preparations would lead us to infer that our Medford ancestors