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The Grayson word armsman was a term with a number of meanings. Specifically it was a junior enlisted rank, generically it was used as a description and title for most police personnel and had a very special meaning where the personal retainers of a steadholder were concerned. (HH7)
Armsman was the most junior enlisted rank in a number of law enforcement and security services including the Harrington Steadholder's Guard.
Steadholder's Guard Edit
All members of the Steadholder’s Guard, the larger organization encompassing the Steadholder's Own plus every other uniformed member of the Steading's police force, were called armsmen regardless of their duties. The Steadholder's Guard assisted the Steadholder's Own Guard with the steadholders security as required and normally provided new recruits for the Steadholder's Own. (HH7)
Every armsman in the service of a Steading answered to their steadholder in one way or another, but most did so only indirectly, through the administrative machinery of the steading's police forces. (HH9)
Steadholder's Own Guard Edit
Members of the Steadholder’s Own Guard, the steadholder’s personal armsmen, provided the steadholder, the steadholder’s heir and steadholder’s immediate family with security detachments. (HH7, HH9, HH11) Replacements for the Steadholder's Own Guard were normally selected from the rest of the Steadholder’s Guard although other qualified candidates could be selected. (HH7, SI1) All of the steadholders personal armsmen held simultaneous commissions in the Steadholder’s Guard and the Steadholder’s Own Guard. (HH7)
Laws Regarding Armsmen Edit
- Grayson law limited a steadholder to a maximum of fifty personal armsmen, sworn to the steadholder’s service, and not the steading's. (HH7, HH9)
- Grayson law required a steadholder to be accompanied by personal armsmen at all times. (HH4, HH5, HH9)
- Grayson law required a steadholder be accompanied by an absolute minimum of two personal armsmen. (HH9, HH10)
- Grayson law prohibited a steadholder from ordering a personal armsman to leave the steadholder if the personal armsman believed the steadholder’s life was in danger. If a steadholder attempted to do so, it was the personal armsman’s right and responsibility to refuse to obey. (HH7)
- Grayson law recognized that any order given by a steadholder to a personal armsman had the force of law as long as the order did not violate the Constitution. A personal armsman, obeying an order from a steadholder, was protected from any consequences for having obeyed even if the order did violate the Constitution. A steadholder who gave such an illegal order could be held responsible for it, but the personal armsman who obeyed it could not. (HH9)
Armsmen and the Grayson Army Edit
During the Grayson Civil War the armies of both sides were formed with cadres of trained troops from the steadholders' large numbers of personal retainers. Following the war, the Constitution established a planetary army answering to the Protector and restricted each steadholder to a maximum of fifty personal armsmen. As an additional step toward preventing further civil war, Benjamin the Great granted every personal armsman an officer's commission in the Grayson Army.
The Protector intended that future confrontations with steadholders could be resolved by activating the Army commissions of the steadholders personal armsmen and depriving the steadholder of the fifty personal armsmen permitted under the Constitution. A secondary benefit was that if an emergency occurred, the potential supply of officers would be of the highest quality because a steadholder limited to fifty personal armsmen would naturally select the best available.
The High Court of a later Protector ruled that the first responsibility of personal armsman, based on their sworn oaths of loyalty, was to their steadholder. This meant that activating their Army commissions could only be done with their steadholder's permission. (HH7)
By tradition, armsmen who were killed in action were buried in the place where they fell; if they died on a starship, they were buried in space. (HH11)