Green’s Dictionary of Slang

faggot n.2

[SE faggot, a bundle (usu. of sticks) bound together]

a man mustered for duty in the army (and thus ‘bound’ to service) but not yet formally enlisted.

[UK]J. Addison quoted in Imperial Dict. n.p.: There were several counterfeit books which were carved in wood, and served only to fill up the number like fagots in the muster of a regiment [F&H].
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Faggots Men Muster’d for Souldiers, not yet Listed.
[UK]T. Brown Comical View of London and Westminster in Works (1760) I 154: Faggots summon’d in from all parts of Westminster, whores and bailiffs busy to pick up the military sparks as soon as the show is over.
[UK]T. Lucas Lives of the Gamesters (1930) 182: He (being then [i.e. 1710] a Faggot in Colonel Charter’s Company, in the Foot-Guards).
[UK]C. Walker Authentick Memoirs of Sally Salisbury 61: The Father [...] being, as you have rightly observ’d, a Military Faggot.
[UK]Hist. of Col. Francis Charteris 15: He had not above One third part effective Men in his Company, the rest being what the military Gentlemen term Faggots.
[UK]‘Downfall of Mother Gin’ in Gent’s Mag. 6 311: [note] Faggots are Fellows, for whom pay is received by the Captains, and who appear only occasionally at muster.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Faggot, a man hired at a muster, to appear as a soldier; to faggot, in the canting sense, means to bind, an allusion to the faggots made up by the woodmen, which are all bound; faggot the culls, bind the men.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.