The Camp-maister or Colonell, his Election and Office.
THe next officer, in superiour degree, is the Camp-maister or Colo∣nell. The election of this officer is made by the Prince, with the aduise of his Councell of state and warre. His office is, to be Com∣maunder and Chiefteine ouer the Captaines, and all the other of∣ficers of his Tertio or Regiment:* hauing iurisdiction & dominion ouer them all. Whereby may be inferred and gathered the partes and qualities which ought to be in him, and the great skill and experience in warre; as one who ought to exceede them all, for to know how to commaunde, rule, and gouerne them, with authoritie, prudence and valour. And for as much as in many occur∣rants and occasions, growing and presented in warres, he ought to know how to performe the parts and office of a Lord high Generall,* being alone with the com∣panies of his owne Regiment, as when his Generall commaundeth him to the batterie, or siege of any fort or Citie, or to defend any towne or fortresse, or to warre in open Campania, to giue battell to the enemie, to make incursions, to re∣tire and withdraw skirmishers, to frame bridges ouer riuers, to fortifie himselfe in campe, to conduct artillerie, and many other peeces of seruice to be performed with a band of three or foure thousand men: whereof there are many rare exam∣ples, extant of many braue Colonels, who haue shewed themselues singular here∣in, both English,*French, and Spanish, in our late and moderne warres, brauely behauing themselues, as did Lucius Martius, a Romane Knight, when hee gathe∣red together the relictes of the defeated armies of the two Scipios, hauing had those their two Consuls slaine by Asdruball the Carthagian in a campall bat∣tell. Therefore, I say, for as much as by that which is already spoken, may be vn∣derstood, that he, which is a Campe-maister should be endued and graced with the like good partes and skill,* for to conduct, fight, and gouerne well, as a Cap∣taine Generall, I will leaue to recite now, vntill I come to declare the partes and qualities due to be found in a High Generall of an armie Royall; and from thence shall be considered what concerneth this officer, and so will I at this present, speake onely of such things as hee ought to prouide for the good conduction and gouernement of the companies of his Regiment.
In the time of the Emperour Charles the fift, Frauncis the French king, and Henrie the eight,* king of England, those were intituled Colonels, or, as some will, Coronels, which the Spaniardes do call Maesters de Campo: being yet called Colo∣nels, by the Italians, the French, the Germaines, and by vs Englishmen, so called: by the Spaniardes, Maestres de Campo, for hauing, quited and depriued them the preheminence which they had to elect Captaines and Sergeant Maiors, the Lord Page 117 high Generals reseruing the same vnto themselues, leauing vnto them no more but the commaunde, and authoritie in the administration of iustice, and in the effectes of warre. For commonly the Captainries are appointed by the Prince or Generall:* the Colonell electing vnto himselfe a most sufficient Lieutenant and Alferes, a Sergeant, and Caporals, all men of due sufficiencie, to the ende that his Captaines may imitate him therein; for that, that it importeth much to haue good and skilfull officers, sith from them doth grow the obseruing of good or∣ders, and vnto the armie the due vse and exercise of armes, with the perfection of discipline, and all good partes to the perfection of infanterie, with incourage∣ment to the souldiers, that with them the Colonell may attaine honor, glory, and fame by his actions, and militarie courses.
Thus it seemeth that this name of Camp-maister is but moderne.*
True; Neither the name of Colonell very auncient.
Then, how were those called before time, which had the gouernement of souldiers in armies?
They were called Duces (guides) of which amongst the Romanes there were three sortes,* or differences viz. Duces Militares, Duces Prouinciales, and Duces Limitanei; intituling those, Duces Militares, which went ordinarily with the armies: hauing each, vnder their charge and rule, one thousand men or more, as haue now our Cāp-maisters or Colonels, or rather our Generals. The other, in∣tituled Duces Prouinciales, were those which had all the souldiers of one Prouince, vnder their commaund and charge; as haue the Camp-maisters of the Tertios of Naples, Sicilia, & Lombardie. The third, called Duces Limitanei, were those which had vnder their charge and gouernement, all the men of warre on the frontiers to the enemies, as had our Lord Marchers in England.
Thus the titles of Dukes sprong first from the warres.
So did the titles of Earles,* Marquises and Knights. But now to returne to our matter. The Colonels companie or bande, doth preceede all the other companies of his Regiment, both in place and in all other occasions. And now for to know how to commaund and gouerne all the officers of his band, and of all the other cōpanies in his regiment, he ought most perfectly to vnderstand that which toucheth euery particular officer, euen from the Capo de squadra, vnto the Sergeant Maior: and it would bee a matter of great importance, to haue exerci∣sed, and to haue risen vp through all these offices, the better how to know, and perfectionate his owne: for by knowing this, the Captaine, the Sergeant Maior and all the rest, will walke more warily, and passe more punctually in the accom∣plishing of all their charges and duties, knowing that they haue a commaunder so skilfull, which quickly will perceiue, either their vertues or vices: perswading them to the one, & disswading thē from the other: the which in actions of warre do either greatly helpe,* or greatly hinder.
In the squadra which belongeth to himselfe, out of his owne companie there ought to bee souldiers of great experience and valour, which should be aduan∣taged in their payes, and whom he must esteeme and make great account of, con∣sulting often with them, & with his Captaines & officers of best cariage, & most experience in his companies: For many times a priuate souldier of experience and iudgement, will giue better reasons, counsell and aduise, then many other of Page 118 higher degree: which often hath bene proued, and examples extant.
*He ought to procure that all militarie discipline be duly obserued and that his Captaines, & the other officers vnder his charge, do obey, respect, & honor him, sith they are bound thereunto, as vnto the person of their proper Generall, in all things concerning the seruice of their Prince: and that the souldiers doe obey their Captaines & officers with great humilitie, & reknowledgement, and in like sort that the officers do commaund and gouerne them with cōuenient speeches, and good entertainement and curtesie. And it shall also much auaile him to know the names of his Captaines,* Lieutenants, Alferes, Sergeants & Caporals, and of all the particular souldiers, if it were possible; for in the pinches of warre, it is to great effect, to call a Captaine, officer, or souldier by his proper name.
The Sergeant Maior is obliged (as I haue before declared) to receiue his orders & directions from his Colonell, and with his opinion and appointment, to aug∣ment or diminish the guards. But this to be vnderstood, when there is no Camp-maister Generall in the armie,* whose proper office this is, whom he ought to re∣spect and obey, and to accomplish all orders by him appointed, touching his charge.
In the administratiō of iustice, he is to gouerne with great discretiō & wisdome, executing it with all equitie and right, that his souldiers thereby may both loue him & feare him; for it cōcerneth the Maister of the Campe, to apprehēde, to dis∣charge, & to punish, & also of life & death, in all delicts & cases deseruing such pu∣nishments; and in things and matters committed against the commaunds, lawes, and bandos of the high Generall of the infanterie; and in whose absence he may cōmaund orders & make lawes, and punish those that go against them, and obey them not; For, for the execution of iustice he hath his appointed officers, with their payes for the same; and also he doth iudge and determine their ciuill diffe∣rences & debates, which shall arise among the officers and souldiers of his regi∣ment. And if any do find themselues aggrieued with his sentences,* they may ap∣peale vnto the Lord high Generall or Camp-maister Generall, that being vniust, they may reuoke them; and if not, then commaund them to be executed. And in all these matters touching the administration of iustice, if the Colonell gene∣rall, or Lord high Marshall (being there any such) wil intermeddle therin, he may; and, as superior and preheminent in office, he may commaund, ordaine, do, and vndo; diminish or augment the authoritie and preheminence vnto the Colonell. It concerneth him also to haue regard to the place of victuals or market,* that there be no deceipt vsed against the souldiers; & he is to set the price, waight, & measure of all that is sold, & to put good guardes to see that the marchants & vi∣ctuallers may keepe their stuffe and wares in securitie and safe; and for the same, do the marchants and victuallers pay euery Saterday, for euery staule or booth, some six pence a peece or more; all this, being with his regiment alone, where there is no Camp-maister Generall; vnto whose office this doth properly apper∣taine. He is to be carefull and diligent with the Lord high Generall for his soul∣diers payes:* and see they be prouided of armour, necessaries and needfull muni∣tions, and the same to be distributed, as before I haue set downe: and this he is to do with such earnest diligence and affection, that he may oblige them all to ac∣knowledge and confesse him for their true father, and faithfull Commaunder.
Page 119Among the Spanish cōpanies in Italy,* it is accustomed that no Captaine do en∣tertaine any souldier into his band, but that the Maestre de Campo do first see and approue him, especially of a straunge nation, being not a particular and well knowne personage; for many inconueniences, that may follow thereon.
But I haue heard say,* that the Spaniard permitteth none of a strange na∣tion; though of neuer so good parts and seruice, to ascend vnto any degree of office among them: which is contrary to vs: for our Princes, in time past, haue re∣ceiued, esteemed, and aduaunced, many straungers, being personages of vertue, valour, and desert.
So did the Spaniardes in time past, in the times of their kings of Castillia and Aragon, in their sharpe warres amongst themselues, and against the Moores, wherein many of our nation did singular themselues, & from whom are descen∣ded many of the chiefe houses of Spaine.* But since their wonderfull discouerie of the Indias, by Columba an Italian; their maruellous conquestes therein; their in∣estimable treasures, long since brought home, and continually receiued from thēce; their long cōtinuance in warres, being nuzzelled therein by Charles the fift; the braue Prouinces of Italie and Flanders by him annexed vnto their crown;* with sundry such fauours of fortune, hath inflamed them with such imperious minds, & possest them with such proude and high conceipts, with such iealousie of their honours, as they terme it; and inuested them with such an habite of scorne and pride, that it is a wonder if they permit any honorable Gentleman of a straunge nation, though endued with neuer so many good parts, and serued them neuer so well; to ascend vnto any high degree of commaund amongst them, their enuie is such.* For let vs but throughly marke & consider the actions of the braue Prince of Parma, done in their seruice, yet by them enuied, obscured, and slaundered what they may, and you may easily perceiue the veritie hereof. But what will be the end of their ambition and pride I know not. It may be that God suffereth thē, for the sinnes of some nations, as by Flaunders and France may appeare, and also by their attempts against vs.* But who can tell, whether the Lord vsing them for a minister, as the louing father doth the rod, to correct his beloued children; who, after correction or amendement, casteth the rod into the fire. God graunt vs the spirite of true repentance, the which if we haue, we litle neede to feare the smart of this odious rod. Yet this much I say againe for the Spaniard, that any braue Gentleman, seruing valiantly amongst them, in place of a priuate souldier, shall be esteemed, beloued, and fauoured of them, so he aspire not to commaund: a great signe of ingratefull mindes:* for who knoweth not, that euery braue man of warre beareth a tatch of ambition, and of aspiring minde, deeming their vertue valour, and seruice to deserue degree of charge: a thing not to be misliked, in mine opinion, so it be procured by lawfull and honest meanes. But enuy & fearefull iea∣lousie, is now ouer rife in the world, raigning commonly amongst men, not of the best deserts, fearing a companion with them in office.
Me thinkes,* you haue shewed vs the proud Spaniardes Mappa Mundi; wherefore it were good for vs to crosselyne him what we may.
Proud Spaniard indeede, and ambitious also; his minde neuer resting like Siziphus rowling stone. But it was not so, two or three hundred yeares agone: for then were they poore, and contented to liue quietly with their neighbours, Page 120 and glad of their good wils,* for pouertie made them humble; their humilitie brought them fauour and credit, credite wrought their aduauncement; aduaun∣cement heapt by fortune, brought wealth; wealth bred their pride; their pride sprouted ambition; their ambition begat enuie; and their enuie engendred warres; warres may breed pouertie, and pouertie breedeth peace. Hereupon will I reporte you certaine speeches passed betwixt my selfe, and a young Biscain Spa∣niard, of whom I had the examinatiō, with others his companions, not long since, at Laugharns, a sea coast towne in Southwales. After hauing answered vnto such points and interrogatories, as were vnto him propounded in presence of the Lieutenant of that Shire and other Gentlemen, I demaunded of him againe tou∣ching his kings Armadas, and preparation for warres. Captaine (saith he) our king hath ships but vnwilling mariners, his preparation of the last Summer is now dissolued: his home bound Indies fleet being safely arriued; and his out bound sent away; After this safe arriuall of this his Indian fleet, bringing the sinew of his warres, what he will do, I know not, & euery spring there is speeches of warre; but I perceiue small performance and effecting; and but bad successe yet, especi∣ally against your nation. But how soeuer the game goeth, we, the poore do smart, and I wish the ill yeare to his Eggars and setters on; the Pope, his Clergie, and some his warre Commaunders; who, the warres being ended, should happely liue but hardly;* what nation is there, which our ambitiō hath not warred on? The Italian, the French, the Flemming, and you the English; of the poore Indians I speake nothing, which feedeth him with wealth, which were they cut from him, or should they rebell, or should his fleets fayle him but two or three yeares toge∣ther, he were in hazard to be a beggar. He aspireth all, and aymeth a conquest of his neighbour nations: but God knoweth which of them may arise in the end, and be our confusion: for my Genius suspecteth somewhat; and this was the effect of his speeches.
His speeches were to be mused at, if he spake bona fide.
Bona fide, or not: but such were his speeches. Well now it is time for me to returne to our Colonell, from whom I haue long bene absent, by reason of your demaund.
* He is greatly to respect and honour his Lord high Generall, obeying and per∣forming his commaunds and orders with great care and diligence, procuring to keepe himselfe alwayes in his grace and fauour, being a faithfull counsellour vn∣to him: and to execute his Commissions (hauing first throughly conceiued and vnderstood them) with great, valour, and readinesse. His arming is the proper ar∣ming of a Captaine, but to be alwayes, or most commonly on horsebacke, pro∣uiding and ordering all things most necessary and conuenient for the good go∣uernement of his companies. But if his Regiment should sallie out to battell, and all his Captaines placed in ranke,* hee shall then dismount, and shall guide his companies on foote, for the honour and estimation of the infanterie: as well was shewed at the great muster of all the Spanish armie before king Philip and his Queene at Vadaioz, at the conquest of Portugall: And for as much, as the other parts which may seeme to concerne a worthy Colonell, may be considered, when we come to speake of a Captaine Generall touching his office and charge, I will conclude, concerning this officer, with the wordes of Cicero in his Oration Pro Page 121 Lege Manilia:* declaring the partes of a great Commaunder in warre: which is, great experience in martiall actions; deepe knowledge in histories; a life not spot∣ted with notable crimes; to be magnanimous and valiant; and to be beloued, fea∣red, and followed of his souldiers: and finally to haue fortune to friend.