The Election, office, charge and dutie of the High treasurer of an Armie.
THe High Treasurer of the Armie,* is commonly chosen and appoin∣ted by the Prince; and is in the number of the principall officers that are in the campe, and alwayes one of the Councell of warre, by rea∣son of the great affaires committed to his charge & handling,* which is, the kings monyes and Treasure, being the sinewes of the warre: and without the same it were impossible for an Army long to hold and continue,* hauing to deale with a strong and obstinate enemy. This high Treasurer hath the bestowing of the kings money, in diuerse and sundry vses; and all to conduct the warre to a good end. Moreouer, he is to receiue the tributes, taxes, and tailliages of the Cities, Townes, or Countries, where the conquest is made (if there be any such) and also doth receiue the money which the Collegates do contribute, being any such ligue, and if they contribute money, and not people of warre.
He hath in like sort the superintendencie of the victualling of the campe: and is to haue a great care to giue content (to the vttermost of his power) as well to the small, as to the great, & to see that as well the poore Pioner, as the commaun∣ding Colonell be satisfied and payed their payes & duties, at due & conuenient termes, if he will that his Prince bee well serued, and the souldiers to obey their Commanders and Captaines: and to liue in honest and commendable sort, as dis∣ciplined people of warre ought to doe:* otherwise, if the pay be wanting and not performed, I cannot see how a campe can long stand on firme foote; or the soul∣dier passe and liue without robbing, rifling, and spoyling, and to commit a thou∣sand excesses: neither can I perceiue how any good order may be obserued, if ne∣cessitie constraine men to commit these faultes. Yet I will not hereby inferre, but that in times of these wantes and necessities,* men ought, with all possibilitie, to haue patience, for it is a wonderfull vertue in a souldier, at such an instant pinch: and to absteine from committing these excesses, although their pay be long on comming. For I know very well, that monyes cannot alwayes be prouided, and come at the due time appointed, by reason of sundry impediments that may hin∣der the same:* & then ought the honest souldier to haue patiēce. But if the pay stay ouer long, there is nothing more vniust then to make mē to liue by windy words & ayre: therfore in such meane while they ought, either to distribute lēdings or a certaine quantitie of victuals dayly, & also something to cloath men, & other ne∣cessaries, Page 166 expecting vntill the pay do come: or else they must be suffered to liue at their owne discretion; that is, to take where and what they may finde: which is a thing not to be permitted, but in cases of great extremitie, and in cases, where all other remedies be past:* for this dangerous libertie is occasion that souldiers will fall into such an insolencie, that it would be almost impossible to reduce them againe into their first esse, or being, the which is of lesser losse and daunger then to suffer them to dye with famine, or to see the campe dissolued: one of the which would of necessitie ensue, were there not present remedie imployed: and then the fault is not to bee imputed to the Commaunders and Captaines.* Some man happely will say that the Chieftaines may with sweet wordes and perswasions entertaine, and qualifie the souldiers. I confesse the same: but that is but for a small time: and that too, no longer then that the souldiers do giue credit vnto their per∣swasions: But when that they shall once perceiue that they are led forth with wordes,* and fed with wind from day to day, then is there no remedie to deteine them long, but that they will murmur and grudge in diuerse and sundry sortes; and happely runne into riot, seeing themselues deceiued by their Commanders, vnto whom, from thence euer after they will giue but slender credite and beliefe: and may happely be an occasion, that they will another time distrust them, yea, although that they tell them the truth; or at such time of importance as should be greatly needfull to performe any honorable action: therefore, one of the prin∣cipallest things that a Commaunder ought to haue in recommendation,* is not to vse false speeches to his souldiers, if the falsitie may afterwardes be discoue∣red. And although that herein there ought to be had great consideration and re∣gard, yet now a dayes, some will (forsooth) that fables do passe for currant payes; and Captaines wordes,* to serue souldiers foode; whereby the credite of Com∣maunders is greatly diminished amongst men of warre: and in conclusion, this is a willing to couer officers faultes, who happely haue spent and employed the money in some their other priuate commoditie.
*Doubtlesse there be many amisses that do passe in the world: for we haue of late sent soldiers ouer into Ireland at sundry times, and as often as we send, we finde others to returne againe from thence as fast, being able, sound and suffici∣ent men, yea more likely men then those that we sent thither: and in conference with them, we heare but hard speeches, and truly were they true, a thing to be pittied,* and to be more narrowly looked vnto, by such as haue authoritie for the same: we are dayly at charge, and often sending forth aydes, the which doubt∣lesse, I thinke to be most necessarie, yea were it much more, then it is, considering the great occasions and dayly occurrants: but yet me thinkes it very strange, that strong and sufficient men shold so flocke from thence, ere the action were perfor∣med, and new Bisognios sent in their roomes; which seemeth that there is some misterie therein.
No doubt, but there be some faults in all parts of the world, and happe∣ly among officers, who, although they see, yet will they winke, and beare one with another: but greatly to be wished, where amisses be, reformation to be had.
*Truely I haue heard some learned men, and good Lawyers say: that the most of you Captaines are but hungry fellowes, which breedeth many inconue∣niences: and therefore (say they) it were farre more necessary that the Gentlemen Page 167 of euery countrey or shire should haue the conduction and leading of their owne countreymen and neighbours, where by great amitie and good orders would grow, and more willingly fighting vnder their such countrey Captaines, then vn∣der a straunger whom they know not.
Those speeches and wished order in some respectes were very good:* but where haue we in euery shire such Gētlemen of experience & skill, fit to cōduct & lead men, especially against a braue & politicke enemy: for few we haue that haue seene seruice, especially Countrey gentlemen which neuer went frō home: & how dangerous it is for an ignorant man to performe the parts of a perfect Captaine, I haue at large in our first booke discoursed. Indeed were it in a royall campe, well furnished with a number of good and braue Commanders, and skilfull officers, such countrey Captaines were more tollerable: but in other peeces of seruice, where many times, a priuate Captaine with a band or two of men, must per∣forme the good parts of a Colonell, or other great Commander, then I say, such your named Captaines were daungerous. Reasons I might shew sufficient, but we should then prolong time ouer much.
But they say,* that many of your Captaines, are as skillesse as a raw coun∣trey Gentleman: and therefore of the two euills it were better to chuse the least.
This point hath already bin discoursed vpō in our first booke,* & in mine opinion, the causes thereof shewen: But let me tell your greedy maister Lawyers one thing, in fauour of poore souldiers: that it is not so light a matter to skirmish among the musket bullet, as it is to brawle at Westminster barre: nor so easie to come to the push of the pike, as to pen out a Lawing plea: nor so pleasant to passe amid the hizzing bullets as to walke in Westminster Hall with hands full of gold: nor so iocande to heare the bouncing of the Cannon; as to hearken to the cry of the crowching Clyents: nor so delicate to lye in open Campania; as to wallow at home in a bed of downe: neither yet were the glittering of armour so gladsome an obiect to their eyes, as the gobbes of gold by heapes in their studies; with ma∣ny other points of warre not so toothsome as they suppose: I doe not hereby in∣ferre against Law, nor Lawyers, for I wot well, a common wealth cannot stand without order and iustice: but giuing such to vnderstand, as hold to hard a con∣ceit of souldiers, that the conductiō of warre is not of so small waight, as they sup∣pose: and happely should they euer come into any hot peece of seruice, at their re∣turne home they would sing another song.
But let vs returne to the particular parts of our Treasurer of warre.* I say, that this officer is of great reputation; and the payment of Colonels, Captaines and other officers of warre, are committed to his charge. First he ought at the begin∣ning of the actions to receiue from the Lord Generall the true number both of horsemen and footemen conteined within the Armie: and to haue a booke made by perfect computation, how much is due euery month to euery Colonell, Cap∣taine and all other officers, as well for them, as for their Companies.
His proportion of pay he ought to make it well knowen to the Generall: wher∣by the Generall might, in due time, procure prouision of money frō the Prince, both for the souldiers payes, and other necessaries.
He must conferre also with the Maister of the victuals to know how the store is furnished, that conuenient prouision may be made in time. The like care must Page 168 he haue with the Maister of the Ordinance for the supplying his store of muni∣tion, as occasions and seruices of importance shall require.
He must know also of the Muster-maister, how the bands be furnished; what souldiers be dead or slaine; when, and how many; and how, and when supplied: deliuering pay to euery Colonell and Captaine accordingly, keeping the war∣rants or notes of their hands for his discharge, and to aduise well the Muster-mai∣ster to haue a good regard to the false Musters that many times be made, to the hinderance of the action, and abusing of the Prince: a fault ouer much vsed, and litle regarded.
He is moreouer to conferre with the Captaine Generall of the Artillerie, which is our Maister of the Ordinance, to know whether hee hath any billes from the Colonels and Captaines for powder and other munition receiued; that the same may be deducted at the day of pay.
What officers do assist or belong vnto him?
There be sundry other officers, which are as it were appendent vnto him; as the Purueyor Generall, the Maister of the victuall, and the Pay-maister, with their Clarkes and Officers; of whom I leaue to discourse, for that their of∣fices are well knowen and more desired:* for that in our dayes they are very bad cookes that know not how to lick their owne fingers, and once an officer, and by consequence, a rich man. To conclude, not onely vnto this officer, but vnto all o∣thers almost, is Arithmetike a great ease and helpe, not onely to digest their ac∣counts in good order, but also a ready performance of the same.