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Marines

soldiers, sea, shore, naval, regiments and corps

MARINES, men embodied to serve as soldiers on board of ships of war in naval engagements; and on shore, in the event of a descent being made upon an enemy's coast. In the British service they also assist occasionally in performing some of the operations connected with the work ing of the ship; they cannot however be be sent aloft at the command of a naval officer.

Originally in this cduntry, as well as in France, the national fleets were com posed of merchants' ships, which were armed on occasion for war; and then there were no soldiers particularly de stined for the naval service. The first troops of this kind in France were men skilled in the practice of the useful trades, who, when unemployed by the govern ment, lived on shore on half-pay ; re ceiving only the full pay when called upon to serve at sea. This regulation did not, however, long subsist ; and, subse quent to the administration of Cardinal Richelieu, companies of marine soldiers have been constantly retained on full pay.

It is not precisely known at what period distinct corps were appointed, in Britain, to this branch of the public see vice. In 1684 mention is made of the Duke of York's maritime regiment of foot; and in the reign of William III. several regiments were placed on the es tablishment of the navy, but these were subsequently disbanded. At that time the marine soldiers seem to have been retained as persons in training to become good seamen; and in Burchet's ' Naval History,' quoted by Grose (' Mil. Anti.,' vol. i.), it is said that they were dis charged from the regiments and entered on the ship's books as foremast-men as soon as they became qualified to serve as such.

In the beginning of Queen Anne's reign (1702), six regiments of maritime soldiers were raised ; and among the re gulations concerning their service it is stated that they were to be quartered, when on shore, near the principal sea ports. Whether at sea or on shore, they were to be paid at the same rate as the land forces, and the same deductions were to be made for clothing. At sea they

were to be allowed provisions equal in every respect to the shares of the seamen, without suffering any diminution of pay on that account.

In 1749, the then existing regiments of marine +soldiers, ten in number, were dis banded; and six years afterwards, on the recommendation of Lord Anson, there were raised 130 companies, consisting in all of above 5000 men, who were put under the immediate command of the 1. •ds of the Admiralty, and whose head quarters were appointed to be at Ply mouth. Portsmouth, and Chatham. The corps of marines, as it was then called, has subsequently been considerably in creased ; in 1759 it numbered 18,000 men ; and during the late war its strength amounted to about 20,000 men. An ad ditional division was, by an order of council in 1805, established at Woolwich ; and there are two companies of marine artillery, whose head-quarters are at Portsmouth.

The marines are now clothed and armed In the same manner as the infantry of the line, and, like all the other royal regi ments, their scarlet uniform has blue fac ings. In an engagement at sea, they annoy the enemy by a fire of musketry from the tops and deck ; and they repel with the bayonet any attempt to board the ship. The gallant jollies. as the marines are familiarly called, have often distin guished themselves when acting on shore ; and their meritorious services at the tak ing of Belleisle (1761), in the battle of Bunker's Hill (1775), in the defence of Acre (1709), and in 1837, under Lord John Hay, on the coast of Spain, have earned for themselves a lasting reputation.

The royal corps is commanded by a lieutenant and a major-general, who are naval officers holding, in addition to their rank as such, those military titles. There are also four colonels-commandant of divisions, besides four colonels and second commandants. No commissions in the corps are obtained by purchase ; and the officers of marines rise in it by seniority, as high only however as the rank of colo nels-commandant.