previous next
[401] retained until the Charter Government was abrogated in 1686, when he was seventy-four years of age.

Up to this time military service was required of all able-bodied men. Such service commenced at the age of sixteen years; but I have not found a limit prescribed for its close. Special exemption was granted to privates at various ages. April 1, 1656, ‘Edward Goffe of Cambridge, aged about 63 years, having long been serviceable both to town and country, and now disenabled as well by infirmities of body as age, is by this court released from all ordinary trainings. And he is to make such annual allowance to the military company as himself shall see meet.’1 Ordinarily, five shillings per annum was required to be paid in consideration of such exemption, as in the case of Gilbert Crackbone, April 6, 1658, and Robert Parker and William Mann, October, 1658,2 all Cambridge men. So also, June, 1659, ‘William Kerley,3 aged about 76 years, is released from all ordinary trainings, paying 5s. per annum to the use of the military company in the town where he dwelleth.’ In the Middlesex Court Files of 1659 is preserved a document without date, entitled, ‘Reasons, showing why old men of sixty years are not to train:’—

First. From the word of God, though not in express terms, yet by consequence, may be gathered, that if the Levites were to be dismissed at fifty years from their service at the tabernacle, then much more old men at sixty from training, which is the practice of our native country, to take in at sixteen years and dismiss at sixty, which is agreeable to our neighbor plantations to do the like.

2ly. The Scripture doth hold forth, by way of allusion, that it is an act of cruelty. Deut. VI. The words are these: if a bird's nest be upon a tree or upon the ground, be they young or eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young, but in any wise thou shalt let the dam go, and take the young to thee, that it may be well with thee. Doth God count it an act of cruelty to put no difference between old and young in an unreasonable creature, and shall not man shun cruelty towards the reasonable? If your children come in at sixteen years, well may their fathers be taken out at sixty.

‘3ly. Old men of sixty years have not the organs of nature to handle their arms, and are overborne with heat and cold, having ’

1 Middlesex Court Record.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid. Kerley resided in Lancaster.

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Middlesex Court (United Kingdom) (1)
Lancaster, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert Parker (1)
William Mann (1)
William Kerley (1)
Edward Goffe (1)
Gilbert Crackbone (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1686 AD (1)
June, 1659 AD (1)
1659 AD (1)
October, 1658 AD (1)
April 6th, 1658 AD (1)
April 1st, 1656 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: