The theorike and practike of moderne vvarres discoursed in dialogue vvise. VVherein is declared the neglect of martiall discipline: the inconuenience thereof: the imperfections of manie training captaines: a redresse by due regard had: the fittest weapons for our moderne vvarre: the vse of the same: the parts of a perfect souldier in generall and in particular: the officers in degrees, with their seuerall duties: the imbattailing of men in formes now most in vse: with figures and tables to the same: with sundrie other martiall points. VVritten by Robert Barret. Comprehended in sixe bookes.
Barret, Robert, fl. 1600.

VVherein is set foorth the parts to be expected in a Lord high Marshall: his autho∣ritie in an Army, and in the administration of iustice, both ciuill, and criminall: what officers attend vpon him: with certaine Martiall orders, and lawes, &c.


THe office of the Campe-maister Generall, or Lord high Marshall, the Prince with great consideration and aduise,* doth encharge vp∣on a personage of great prudence and industrie, and of great expe∣rience and skill in martiall causes; for that the administration of iu∣stice, both ciuill and criminall, belongeth vnto his charge: and also the encamping of the Army, and the fortifying the same with trenches, Corps de guards, Sentinels, & other military appertinances; and doth assure with good guards and scoutes all such as bring any maner of victuals vnto the campe, set∣ting a rate and price vpon all such vendible victuall. And in the day of battell he doth preceede,* and principally assist with all the Sergeant Maiors of the Army, to the disposing, ordering, & framing of all the battels, squadrons, & troupes, both of horse and foote appointed to fight, ordaining and commanding what therein is to be done and executed: vnto whom they and all the Colonels ought to be o∣bedient and to follow.


It seemeth to me by that which you haue said, that in the Lord high Mar∣shall consisteth the most importancy of all the directions, and gouernement of the campe.


So doth it indeede: and therefore it much behoueth, that he which is to performe this functiō,* be a persō singularly wel skilled in all offices of war, & one who hath passed them through euery office himselfe by degrees, (if such a one might be found) the better to know what toucheth euery one in particular.


What authority and power hath he in the administration of iustice?


Such (as I told you before) as haue the Colonels: to command, to appre∣hend, to discharge, and to punish both corporally, and with paine of death, all de∣lictes and cases,* as shall deserue such semblable punishment; and on those that shall commit any thing against the bandos, orders, and commands of the Lord high Generall, and other superiour officers: and hath the chiefe hearing and determining of all ciuill causes and questions arising among the people of warre; and of the appellations which are interposed from of the Sentences that were pronounced by the Colonels, as high and supreame Iusticer of all the Army.


What officers hath the Campe-maister General, or Lord high Marshal for the execution of iustice?*


Among the Spaniardes, he hath an Auditor, with his two Clarkes, his Page  146Alguazils, his iaylor, & executioner, & his Prouost Marshal ouer the whole cāpe; with 20 or 30 Gentlemen to accompany him, and a Beadle to punish Infraganti the offences committed against the Bandos, lawes, and orders of the Campe.


What orders and lawes are these?


*The orders are many, and of diuerse nations vsed diuersly, made by the high Generall and his Counsell of warre: but I take for military lawes all those which doe charge, binde, and commaunde the souldier vpon paine of life, to liue honestly, to annoy no person without the leaue of his Generall or superiour Commander; that he obserue fidelity vnto his Prince, that he vse his armes in their due nature and kind; and in summe, that he obey his superiour officers, vnder whose charge hee sweareth to serue faithfully, and vnto whom hee is souldi∣er. The which points and articles are so generall, and do comprehend so many within them, that it were needefull to recite some part of them particularly; and chiefly such as condemne vnto death: whereof such as I can remember & ga∣ther together, I will declare vnto you.

*1 First, whosoeuer committeth or conspireth any treason against his Prince or Generall, in what sort soeuer.

2 And he that giueth any counsell, succour or ayde vnto his Princes enemies.

3 Item, whosoeuer vseth any conference with the enemy without expresse li∣cence from his Generall, or from one of the other two high Commanders.

4 Item, whosoeuer reuealeth their counsell and secrets vnto the enemy; yea, or vnto any other of their own, chiefly if by the discouering thereof, any mischiefe might ensue.

5 Item, who so sendeth vnto the enemy either letter or message, without licence of the Generall, or his Lieutenant.

6 Item, whosoeuer giueth not present aduertisement vnto his superiour, of what soeuer he shall vnderstand and know, concerning the honour and benefit of his Prince, or his Princes hinderance.

7 Item, whosoeuer runneth from his owne campe, or retireth to the enemy, or is receiued vnder their defence and guard.

8 Item, whosoeuer being taken by the enemy, and escapeth not, if conueniently he might, except he hath giuen his faith to be true prisoner, the which he ought to obserue and hold.

9 Item, whosoeuer rendreth vp vnto the enemy any towne, fort, or fortresse committed to his custody, except he be more then constrained thereunto: and ha∣uing not performed therein the part of a good souldier, and an honest man.

10 Item, whosoeuer lifteth vp his hand against the person of his superiour, or against a Colonell, or other officer, with intent to offend him.

11 Item, whosoeuer putteth his hand vpon any head member or officer of any regiment, or band whatsoeuer, especially when the said Commanders, or other of∣ficer be in the execution of their office, except that the abouesayd do wonderfully outrage and abuse him, and strike, and beate him without good cause, and that to defend his life, being thereby in manifest perill.

12 Item whosoeuer shall kill his souldier vpon his owne fantasie, without iust cause, or kill any other of the Campe, otherwise then in his owne defence.

13 Item, who soeuer shall raise any mutinie, or disobey the sounds of trumpet Page  147 or Drum in time of seruice, especially when they are made vpon paine of death.

14 Item, who soeuer shall breake truce, or peace, not hauing commission so to do, from him that hath authoritie for the same.

15 Item, who soeuer shall wilfully set fire in any house, or in any Church, or in any other thing, without commaundement of his Colonell.

16 Item, who soeuer shall rauish any woman or maide perforce.

17 Item, who soeuer shall spoile anie Church without his Generals licence.

18 Item, who soeuer shall enroll himselfe in two bands at once, or passe twise in one Muster, or passe from Band to Band without licence of his chiefe Officers; for the Captaine hath no such authoritie.

19 Item, what Captaine soeuer shall entertaine any soldier departing from a∣nie other Band without leaue, or shall entice or procure any souldier so to do.

20 Item, who soeuer shall not follow his Ensigne wheresoeuer it passeth; or any other guide being commaunded thereunto.

21 Item, whosoeuer shall abandon his Ensigne, or forsake the place he is to keepe, being in battell, without commaundement so to do.

22 Item, whosoeuer shall not be found in the place where he was appointed and set, but shall abandon the same.

23 Item, whosoeuer shall reueale the Watch-word vnto the enemy, or vnto any other, whereby any daunger might ensue vnto the campe.

24 Item, whosoeuer shall be found seeping at his post or Sentinell.

25 Item, whosoeuer shall abandon the place where he shall be set by his Ser∣geant or other officer, whether it be in watch, ward, Sentinell, or scoute, or in any other part, except he be remoued by him which there placed him, or other that he knoweth hath the charge and authoritie thereof.

26 Item, whosoeuer being at Scoute or Sentinell, within or without the cāpe, and not found in his post, in case the enemy should assaile the Campe, and notice not giuen thereof through his default and negligence.

27 Itē, whosoeuer is appointed to defend a breach, battery, trench, or straight, and doth quite abandon the same, although constrained by the enemie.

28 Item, whosoeuer, at the entrie of any Citie, Town or Fort, taken by force of armes, shall fall to the sacke and spoile, and shall not follow his Colours, whither soeuer it bendeth, without forsaking it at any time, vntill the victorie be fully at∣chieued, and the Generall commaundeth vnto the sacke by sound of Drumme or Trumpet; the which being not proclaimed and licenced, euery one ought to withhold their hands, and refraine from falling to the spoile and pillage: vpon the like paine.

29 Item, whosoeuer shall not do his endeuour and best to regaine and recouer his Colours, if by hap it fall into the enemies hands; and when it cannot be reco∣uered, it is needfull to vse some rigor vpon such souldiers, as cowardly suffered the same to be so lost.

30 Item, whosoeuer shall flie from the Battell, being there ranked and placed, or march slow or fearefully, being vpon point to fight; or shew any other base cowardise in what bad sort soeuer.

31 Item, whosoeuer shall faine himself sicke vpon the point of fight, or slippe a side when any action is to be performed.

Page  14832 Item, whosoeuer shall see his Commander or Superiour officer in danger of the enemy, and shall not presently assist & succour him to the best of his power.

33 Item, whosoeuer shall rifle or dispoile any victualler (except of the enemy) or any which bringeth any munitions or prouisions for the campe.

34 Item, whosoeuer shall disualedge or spoile any of the Princes friends, or rob, or steale any thing, especially armes and horses.

35 Item, whosoeuer shall ransacke, rifle, or ill entreat the people of the coun∣trey where the warre is made, either in goods or person, except it be proclamed rebell to the Prince.

36 Item, whosoeuer is found disgarnished of his Armes, wherewithall he first entred into the roll, chiefly if he hath lost the same in gaming or by cowardly fly∣ing away, and abandoning his weapon: or by any other such base default of his: and the same law is to be vnderstood of any horseman that shall play away his horse or furniture; or loose the same through vilty or negligence, to be constrained to re∣store the like, or the value, as is accustomed.

37 Item, whosoeuer shal stragle, wāder, or range frō the circuit of his quarter, or regiment aboue a 100 pases, without licence of one of his Superiour officers.

38 Item, whosoeuer shall receiue any stranger or any other suspected person into his lodging or quarter, without hauing first presented him before his General or Superiour, and shall haue licence of his Superiour so to do.

39 Item, whosoeuer shall raise any question, brable, or braule in the watch, or Ambuscado, or in scoute, or Sentinel, or in any other effect, where silence, secrecy, and couert is to be required.

40 Item, whosoeuer shall be found first to iniury any other either in word or deede, for that quarrels do spring from iniuries, and from quarrels and braules, great disorders in a campe.

41 Item, whosoeuer shall run to any braule or fray, furnished with any other armes, more then his sword and dagger, except he be a Captaine, or any other of∣ficer in the campe.

42 Item, whosoeuer shall offer himselfe to reuenge any iniury, either present∣ly offred, or of long time before, rather by any other way, then by course of order and reason: yet is it not hereby forbidden, but that the Combat may be demanded, of body to body, if the difference may not otherwise be accommodated: which is a point reserued only to the Generall.

43 Item, whosoeuer shall offer any thrust, or blow, or push against his aduer∣sary, with whom he hath debate, either in iest or earnest, or in any other sort, if an other cry Hola, or hold, with intent to depart them, except it be in Combat, where no man shall be so hardy as so to cry or say, were it not the Generall himselfe.

44 Item, whosoeuer shall take away the mony that another hath rightly won in game, or put his hand thereupon without leaue of him, who so hath gained it. But it seemeth good vnto me, to the end to do well, and to auoide, and withstand many inconueniences growing by game, vtterly to forbid the same.

45 Item whosoeuer shall vse any shifting, or cosenage, or packing, or any ma∣ner of false play, or any maner of false dice, whereby any may be defrauded.

46 Item, whosoeuer shall put himself to passe on before the battell, whether it be to arriue first at his lodging, or to any other such effect, or shall disband and range from one place to another, whilest the battell or army doth march.

Page  14947 Item, whosoeuer shall set a tallage, rate, or ransome vpon his host where he doth lodge, or other, being no prisoner in due course of warre: and being taken prisoner by iust course of warre, that then such ransome shall not exceed the Ca∣pitulation made and agreed vpon by the Commanders of the two Armies, if any such be made: and if not, that then it be done with as much fauour as may be.

48 Item, whosoeuer shall enter into any Campe, Castell, or Fort of warre, o∣therwise then by the ordinary ports and issues, or shall passe out, either ouer, or vnder the wals, it is a capitall offence.

49 Item, whosoeuer shall prolong the retrait after that the drumme or trum∣pet hath sounded the same: whether it be at any sallies made out of any city or fortresse, or in skirmish, or in any other encounter.

50 Item, whosoeuer speaketh lowd, or maketh any noise, or rumour, whilest he is in skirmish, battell, or otherwise, where silence is to be vsed, except they be Cō∣manders and Officers.

51 Itē, whosoeuer shal passe one whole day, without carying or vsing his assigned weapō, some part therof; except he be otherwise imployed in the Princes seruice.

52 Item, whosoeuer shall do any thing whatsoeuer, or in whatsoeuer maner, that might preiudice his Princes seruice, or be hurtfull to his fellowes.

53 Item, whosoeuer shall blaspheme the name of the eternall God, by vile othes, or otherwise.

Finally many other lawes and articles are to be inserted,* as the Generall and Commanders shall deuise and appoint, according to the causes and occurrants: both the which, and all these, I would wish to be written in some faire table, and fixed fast at the entrance of euery Coronels pauillion, for euery mā to view, reade, and vnderstand,* besides the open proclaming of the same. All the which, and ma∣ny others, are to be commanded to be obserued and kept, to the end that good or∣der and reformation be had in the Camp; the which without the same, wold soone grow to confusion.


Doubtlesse (Captaine) he which is chosen to be Maester del Campo Ge∣nerall, or Lord high Marshall of the field, ought to be a man of great wit, experi∣ence, grauity, and knowledge, sith so many things do concerne him to direct, go∣uerne, and administer: and principally the allodgeing or encamping of the Ar∣my; the which seemeth to be a matter of great importance and skill.


No greater matter of charge that I know of, in the warre; for besides that it requireth great practise and experience to discerne what part is fittest for the Cauallerie,* and what place for the Infanterie, and in what quarters the Artil∣lery ought to be planted, & in what parts the Corps de guard, scouts, & Sentinels: yet without comparison, it behoueth him much more to haue the reason, iudge∣mēt, & skill to discerne whether the situatiō hath the parts and cōmodities to be required;* & whether it be pitcht in a place fit & conuenient to defend thē frō the attempts of the enemy: & that the prouisions & victuals may safely passe & come vnto the campe, with a number of such other points; to effect the which it is very important and necessary, that he be wel skilled and practised in the country where he warreth,* & that he be very wel seene & skilfull in the Geography thereof, ha∣uing the same perfectly drawne in plats and Mappes, with their Cities, Townes, villages, forts, fortresses, farmes, and Countrie houses, and the distance frō one to 〈2 pages missing〉Page  152 our instructions: for God knoweth what world may fall out yet ere we dye.


Well (Gentlemen) sith you do still egge and draw me on, with your cu∣rious demaundes, I will shew you (the best I can) the orders obserued by the best Italian and Spanish Encampers.

*You know that I haue shewed you before, of the generall and particular parts of a souldier, their seuerall offices, euen frō the Caporall vnto his Camp-maister generall: the number of a band, their due sortment & difference of weapons, and their seuerall vses: the orders of training, marching, and embattailling in sundry manners now most in vse; the seuerall parts and dutie of euery officer in degree, with a number of other points which now I remember not. Now lastly to your demaund touching the marching and allodgement of a campe, I say: That when an Armie marcheth neare vnto the enemies Army, it is needfull that there be had many and great considerations:* as first when the one Armie is not of equall force vnto the other, or when one is not disposed to come to the fact of battell, for not to put, by one onely battell into the hands of fortune all a mans habilitie & whole rest in fine, as many misaduised men haue done; therefore to prolong time, and to shunne the doubtfull fact of armes, it were needfull to make choise to march (if possible you may) through mountaine groundes and hillie, and with such ad∣uantage of seate and ground, that the enemy may not with any reason of aduan∣tage, assault you: But when this may not be yet eschued, at the least it is to bee procured to be done to the best aduantages, and (as it were) with a certaine hope of victory; the which may partly bee performed when you know how to profit your selfe with the aduantage that the situation will affoord. And in your mar∣ching, I would wish you to send some part of your light horse so neare vnto the enemy, as continually you haue notice of all their orders and courses. True it is, that when you are in a countrey, where this aduantage of hils is not to be found, and must of necessitie march through plaines and champaine fields, and haue the enemy neare at hand, it were then very hard to shunne and auoide battell, the which I would rather wish to be done, then otherwise, especially if your Army do surmount your enemy in Cauallerie, for in such cases the battell is not to be refu∣sed, your strength consisting most in horse, the which by good conduction, giueth a great part to the victory.

*This manner of marching vpon grounds of aduantage, we reade antiquitie to haue vsed; as did Fabius Maximus, when he encamped a long time with the Ro∣mane Armie, against the conquerour Hanniball: & in our time, as did Charles the fift in Germanie, against the Protestants Army: both the which, by reason of the situations and seates, did many times encampe and lodge with their armies, not distant one from the other, aboue a Culuerine shot: the which might possible be, by reason of the hilles and mountaine seates abounding in them places. But this is seldome seene in the plaines,* and champain grounds; in the which it is need∣full for him that shunneth the battell, to march and passe, at the least, eight or ten myles distant from the enemy: and must thinke to fortifie at euery allodgement, in such sort and manner, that neither horse nor foote, in any array of battell, may not, but with great difficultie, charge or enter vpon you; the which is suffi∣cient with a campall fortification, or running campe, as some terme it; and chief∣ly because it ought to be done with great speede and diligence, the which encam∣ping, Page  153 when it shall seeme you good to continue, may bee reduced into such strength, as might seeme sufficient.

And in the marching which the armie shall make through plaines and cham∣pain fieldes,* when it commeth to passe to haue either any litle riuer, wood, or groue to couer one flanke of the campe, all diligence is to bee vsed to gaine such sayd aduantage: for it will be a matter of great importance. Alwayes hauing a re∣gard, that the artillerie, munition, and other impediments doe alwayes passe on the contrary side from the enemy: and also that the squadrons of men at armes,* & Lanciers do flanke the arrayes and battallions next toward the enemy, in sort and maner conuenient. And moreouer a laudable custome it is, to deuide the campe into three squadrons or battels;* that is, in vantguard, battell and rereward, and euery day to change the point, making the vantguard, battell; and the battell rere∣ward; and the rereward, vantguard: and that euery one of these partes may haue their due proportions and numbers of Cauallerie and shot, distinguished in their conuenient places; aduertising with great diligence and care, that there bee not mingled any vnprofitable people among the Ordinances and squadrons of the Infanterie;* and that euery battell be placed in their due appointed places and di∣stances, vnder their Ensignes and colours; in such sort that all the troupes of Ca∣uallerie be quite cleared of vnprofitable horses, and other impediments, wherein the Germaines horsemen do keepe great order,* care, and diligence; very necessa∣rie to be imitated. It is a very good custome besides, that part of the light horse be continually abroad at discouery & scout; and to watch after euery action that the enemies Armie doth, that you may bee alwayes aduertised thereof: so that, if occasion bee, you may haue time, space, and commoditie to prepare to the encounter and battell. Touching the order of marching the campe, there can bee no particular rules set downe,* more then I haue before spoken of in the third and fourth booke (where I haue entreated of the framing of squadrons, marching an Armie, and of deuiding the same into Maniples, comming vnto any straight passage or narrow wayes) because it must be accommodated according to the situation and qualitie of the countrey wherein you march.

Let vs now therefore passe on to speake of the allodgement of a campe;* and of the seates, and the forme, and of the greatnesse, and of the commodities, and of the fortifying the same; and of the orders to be therein obserued. And first tou∣ching the situation, I say; that being in a plaine or champain field, farre distant from mounts and hilles, it is then necessary to haue either riuers, or such quātitie of waters, as may commodiously serue the whole campe, both horse & foote: with aduisement that there may be had, from the next adioyning woods, timber of all sortes, for the vse and needes of the campe: the like consideration is also to bee had for forrage for the horses, as things not to be carried alwayes after a campe: and to do it (when these commodities may bee had) with such sure fortifications, that the enemy may not annoy you.

The circuite & greatnesse of the campe,* ought not to be such, that might hin∣der, in any occasion offered, to succour, keepe and defend the same, as is conue∣nient and needfull; neither yet that it be of such straightnesse, and narrownesse, that the Armie cannot haue all his commodities, eases, and places necessarie to frame their squadrons, and set themselues in battell ray: and common places for Page  154 victuallers, pioners, and others following the campe.

*And touching the forme, it shall be such and in such order, as shall appeare by the plats and draughtes; accommodating the same vnto the situations and groundes: as moreouer shall be seene euery quarter with their places and streets to issue forth, and with the place of the Generals lodging. And all these things shall be set downe in the most plainest and best order that we can.

*And when in like sort it shall happen and occurre to encampe vpon any moun∣taine situation or hill: or may be variably set, as in a valley, neare broken rockes, riuers, woodes, or hollow wayes, and such like, if the Camp-maister Generall be a skilfull man of warre (as he ought to be) and perfect in encamping an Army, he may aduantage himselfe greatly therewith: and shall with litle arte, most strongly fortifie his campe or allodgement.* But aboue all he must be well adui∣sed that hee encampe not in any place subiect vnto any hill or mount, or any al∣ture that may ouerlooke the campe, and so from thence batter the Curtines of the rampiers; for being so occupied by the enemy, the Generall should bee forced to dislodge, and happely constrained to fight to his great disaduantage: as it was like to fall out vnto Frauncis the French king,* when hee was encamped at Cam∣bresie, vpon the borders of Picardie, for leauing a litle hill vnpossest, vpon the one side of his encampement, the which discouered ouer all his campe, and lay right ouer against the Curtines thereof:* and the Emperour Charles, comming thither with his Armie, the sayd place being espied and reknowledged by his Captaines, was by them encouraged, that, although the houre were late, and his people much wearied with long marching, yet were it not good to lose, and let slippe the occasion to gaine so aduantagious a seate: But this profitable & prudent aduise, was, by some others of great authoritie, contradicted, saying; that the morning ensuing, the same might bee better performed. The which fell not so out; for the king being aduised of this errour, sent that night his Italian Infanterie to take and fortifie the same hill: which did frustrate the Emperours desseignes.

There are many and sundry aduertisements to be yet giuen, touching the marching, and encamping of an Armie, but, for not to be tedious, I passe them ouer;* onely aduertising that the Cauallerie, in their quarters and allodgement, would be defended and shadowed by the Infanterie, as much as reasonably might be; for that, vpon any sudden alarme giuen, the horse are farre more vnready then the foote, and do require a longer time in arming, and ordering; and of the footemen, the shot to be sooner ready then the pikes, and therefore in the en∣camping, the due consideration of each of these is to be had: as I haue in my plat of encamping, in fol. 157. set downe.