Mutiny Act 1873

Mutiny Act 1873

The Mutiny Act 1873 (36 & 37 Vict. c. 10) was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It was signed into law on 24 April 1873.

The preamble to the Act stated that it was necessary to provide "a more speedy punishment than the usual forms often allow" to soldiers who mutinied or stirred up sedition, who deserted, or who were "guilty of crimes and offences to the prejudice of good order and military discipline". It extended to the Channel Islands[1], and encompassed colonial and foreign troops in British service[2], though the militia, volunteer and reserve forces were exempt except under special circumstances.[3]

The Act provided for the forms and functions of courts martial[4], and defined which crimes were punishable by death, penal servitude[5], or corporal punishment[6]. Those acquitted by a civil court were not to be tried again for the same offence by a court martial.[7]

It provided full regulations for military prisons and the custody of prisoners.[8]

Rules were provided for the apprehension of deserters within the UK[9], and for their temporary custody in gaols.[10] Recruits who deserted before joining their regiment forfeited their bounty, and could be transferred to the nearest regiment, corps or depot.[11]



  1. ^ s. 3
  2. ^ s. 4
  3. ^ s. 5
  4. ^ s. 6—14
  5. ^ s. 15—18
  6. ^ s. 22—24
  7. ^ s. 39
  8. ^ s. 29—33
  9. ^ s. 34
  10. ^ s. 35. The gaoler was to be allowed one shilling as payment for thos duty
  11. ^ s. 36


  • The companion to the British almanac, for the year 1874, p. 224-5. London, 1875.
  • Chronological table of the statutes; HMSO, London. 1993. ISBN 0-11-840331-1

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