Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/460

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A HISTORY OF SURREY were under the command, at this time, of the lieutenant in each county. The common administration of Surrey and Sussex under one sheriff was continued under one lieutenant ; and the commander of the forces of the two counties during the warlike part of Elizabeth's reign was Lord Howard of Effingham, the Lord Admiral, acting as such in 1581 on- wards, and appointed by letters patent in 1585. He was practically the head of the War Department for the country. He was appointed lieutenant-general of the forces by land and sea in December, 1587. The immediate command therefore of local levies fell of necessity into the hands of his deputies, generally Sir William and Sir George More and Sir Thomas Browne. 1 Besides calling out the general levy, the Government had or exercised the power of impressing men for foreign service. The process was to issue a commission to the local authorities to raise so many men, the means being left to them to determine. We have a probably not much over-coloured picture of the process, as it went on everywhere, in the scene where Robert Shallow, Esq., justice of the peace, and the royal officer, Sir John Falstaff, pass in review Mouldy, Bullcalf and Feeble. The vagrant population of the Weald and of the heaths offered a tempting field for impressment. Orders were sent on September 8, 1585, to seize the idle and masterless men. a On July 1 8, 1597, fifty men were to be taken from this class in Surrey, and, as a preliminary to service, clapt up in Bridewell, whence they were to be drafted to Picardy to help Henri IV. against the Spaniards. 3 It is no great wonder if military service was not popular with respectable people. Now and again some great man, the Earl of Derby or Lord Montague for instance, writes to the deputy lieutenants to beg off some servant or their humble suitor from service to which he has been con- strained. None of the militia, nor the pressed men, were trained soldiers in any real sense. The obligation to provide arms, and occasional musters to inspect them, were not equivalent to drill. The practice of archery was decaying, if we may trust the complaints of the Statutes, of Latimer, of Roger Ascham and of Sir John Smythe, and the Government was not eager to encourage the use of other weapons. Possibilities of turbulence, or even of insurrection, had to be considered. The use of guns was discouraged. Gunnery interfered with archery, and archery was still a care to the Government. A proclamation of Elizabeth's, to which the attention of the Surrey justices was drawn on February 28, 1560, forbade people to carry daggers and hand-guns on their journeys. 4 Yet the roads were not altogether safe from highway robbery, and to ride armed might be advisable where the 'masterless men' abounded. But firearms were considered too dangerous. Even in Scotland guns and pistols were forbidden on the highway, and of course used. Sir Thomas 1 In 1579 and later the Earl of Lincoln, Edward Clinton, was First Commissioner for levies in Surrey and several other counties. This was during Charles Lord Howard's lieutenancy (ERz. St. P. Dom, cxxxiii. 14 ; and compare Loseley MSS. December 10, 1583, viii. 71). In 1588 Lord Buck- hurst was appointed joint lieutenant for Sussex with Lord Howard.

  • Loseley MSS. date cited, xii. 61 (see above). * Ibid, date cited, vi. 114.

4 Ibid, date cited, xii. 22, 388