The souldiers accidence. Or an introduction into military discipline containing the first principles and necessary knowledge meete for captaines, muster-masters, and all young souldiers of the infantrie, or foote bandes. Also, the cavallarie or formes of trayning of horse-troopes, as it hath beene received from the latest and best experiences armies. A worke fit for all noble, generous, and good spirits, that loue honor, or honorable action. G.M.
Markham, Gervase, 1568?-1637.
Page  1


THe Captaines of the men to be Trained for the Warres (whether they be Muster-Masters, or o∣ther private Comman∣ders) haue two things to be referred vnto them, that is, sorting of Armes, and the Formes or true Manners of Trayning.

For the Sorting of Armes, it is a good preporti∣on to haue a Companie equally compounded of Armed men and Shot, the Armed men to be all Pikes (except the Officers.) The Shot to be at least halfe Musquets, the other halfe Harquebushes, but if the Shot could be two parts Musquets, it were better, but if all Musquets, then best of all.

Page  2Also care is to be had what men are put to every finde of Armes, the strong, tall; and best persons to be Pkes, the squarest and broadest will be fit to carry Musquets, and the least and nimblest may (if necessitie compell) be turned to the Harquebush; But aboue all other respects, it is to be considered to what Armes every man doth best frame him∣selfe, for which cause it is not amisse, that the Cap∣taine see the same men to vse severall Armes be∣fore he doe appoint them certainly to carry any one.

Next he shall see that every man be well and suf∣ficiently Armed with good and allowable Armes; That is to say, all his Pikemen shall haue good Spa∣nish Morians, or els Steele Caps for their heads, well lined with quilted Caps, Curaces for their bodies of nimble and good ould, being (at the least) high pike prooe large and well ompat Gord∣gets for their Neckes; Fayre and close ioyned. Ta∣ces, to arme to the mid-thigh, as for the Pouldron, or the Vant••••e, they may be spared, because they are but 〈…〉. All this Armour is to be ra∣ther of Russet, Sangine or Blacke colour then White, or Milld, for it will keepe the longer from rust.

They shall haue strong straight, yet nimble Pikes of Ash-wood, well headed with Steele, and armed with plates downward from the head at least foure foote, and the full size or length of every Pike shall be fifte one foote, beside the head.

These Pikemen shall also haue good, sharpe, and broad Swords (of which the Turkie or Bilboe are Page  3 best) strong Scabards, chapt with Iron, Girdle, Hangers, or Bautricke of strong Leather; and last∣ly, if to the Pikemans Headpeece be fastned a small ring of Iron, and to the right side of his Backpeece (below his Girdle) an Iron hooke, to hang his Steele-cap vpon, it will be a great ease to the Soul∣dier, and a nimble carriage in the time of long Marches.

All his Musquetiers shall be armed in good Spa∣nish Marians vpon their Heads. About their bodies Bautrickwise from the left shoulder vnder the right arme, they shall carry Bandiliers of broad Leather, hauing made fast vnto them at least twelue or thir∣teene charges of wood or horne, well covered with Leather, and hanging by large long strings, that with ease they may be brought to the mouth of the Peece. And these Charges must containe Powder according to the bore and bignesse of the Piece by due measure.

They shall also haue Swords, Girdles, Hangers, or Bautrickes, and Bullet bags, in which they shall carrie their Moulds, Bullets, Wormes, Screwes, Rammer, and Pryming Iron.

Also they shall haue good and sufficient Mus∣quets, of true size and bore, with cleane Barrels, and straight scowring stickes, headed at the one end with Rammers of horne, sutable to the bore of the Piece, and at the other, with boxes of iron in which to screw their Wormes, iron Rammers, and the like. The Cockes and Trickers of the Piece (for Seares are not good) shall be nimble to goe and come, and the Stocks shall be straight, & of very sound wood.

Page  4Lastly, for their right hands they shall haue Rests of Ash wood, or other tough wood, with iron Pikes in the neather end, and halfe hoopes of Iron aboue to rest the Musquet on, and double strong stringes fastned neare therevnto, to hang about the arme of the Souldier when at any time he shall haue occa∣sion to traile the same; And the length of these Rests shall be sutable to the stature of the man, bea∣ring his Piece so, as he may discharge it without stooping.

The Harquebushes shall be armed like the Mus∣quets; The Rest onely excepted, and the quantitie of the Piece, and the Charges duely considered.

Your Halberdier shall be armed in all points like your Pike, onely in stead of the Pike he shall carry a faire Halberd, that is strong, sharpe, and well armed with plates of iron, from the Blade at least two foot downward vpon the Staffe, and fringed or adorned according to pleasure; And these Halberds doe properly belong vnto the Serieants of Compa∣nies, who by reason of their much imployment are excused from Armes; Otherwise in the day of Bat∣taile, or in the Battaile they are for guard of the En∣signe, or matter of execution, and then to be armed as is aforesaid.

The Ensigne, or Bearer of the Captaines colours, shall be armed at all pieces to the mid thigh, as as Head-peece, Gorget, Curaces, Pouldrons, Vant∣branes, and Taces, with a faire Sword by his side, and his Captaines Colours or Ensigne in his hand. The Lieutenants of Companies shall be armed like the Ensigne-bearer, and his weapon shall be a faire guilt Partizan.

Page  5The Captaines shall be armed as the Lieutenants, onely as much richer as they please, and their wea∣pons to lead with, shall be Feather staues; But their weapons to serue or encounter the enemy with, shall be faire Partizans of strong and short blades, well guilt and adorned, according to their owne pleasures.

For the Formes or manner of Trayning; That forme is onely to be followed, which shall be soo∣nest and easiest learned, and of most vse for all kind of service whatsoever, and which I take to be this Forme following.

First you shall draw your Company into two Battalions, or square Bodies (the Pikes by them∣selues, and the Shot by themselues) which Bodies shall consist of Ranks and Files, and you shall draw them forth by Files or tens, man after man, or if they be much disorderly and vncapable, then draw them forth by halfe Files or fiues, and when they are so placed, by doubling those halfe Files, you may bring them to whole Files; which done, then placing the Pikes in the midst, wing them on either hand with your Shot, wherein if you haue Ha∣quebushes (which are now out of vse with vs) you shall then giue to your Musquetiers the prioritie of place, that is, they shall make the outmost Files both of the right and the left hand.

Now for a Ranke, you shall vnderstand it is a Row of men placed Pouldron to Pouldron, or Shoulder to Shoulder, their faces being directed all one way; And a File is a Sequence of men stand∣ing one behind another, Backe to Belly, extending Page  6 from the first to the last man; And it is taken from the French word la Fila signifying a Thridd, be∣cause men stand long wise and straight like a thrid, and the Files consist of single men downeward, as the Ranks consist of single men ouerthwart.

Now these Files in some discipline are called Flankes, because they doe flanker, or wall in the Battalia, and the Rankes are called Fronts, be∣cause they stand formost and doe as it were affront the Battailes, and looke vpon the Enemie, but in truth none can properly be called the Front but the Ranke which standeth formost, nor any File be called a lanke, but those which stand outmost, yet all are Ranks, and all are Files, and therefore those two names are without contradiction. Now lastly you shall vnderstand, that a Ranke may con∣sist of as many men as you please (according to the number of your Company) But a File (howe∣uer the Spaniards and Italians vse it in vncertaine depth) ought neuer to be aboue ten persons deepe (except it be in marching or in most especiall ser∣uice, where advantage of ground requireth the contrary) The reason thereof, being that the first man hauing done his dutie in discharging his piece, may in the space that nine other men shall do their duties, and discharge their pieces distinct∣ly one after another, be againe in readines & make his first place good, there to discharge his piece a∣againe. Besides it is the readiest and best way for the drawing of Grosses and great numbers, into a∣ny forme that you please, because according to this discipline, euery hundred men make a full Page  7 Square, that is to say, iustren euery way.

This done you shall deuide one hundred men into foure Corporall shipps or Squadrons, and eue∣ry Squadron, into as many Files as the number wil beare, and euery File into Fellowships or Camera-does, Th Corporall of euery Squadron, shall be the leader of the chiefest file of the Squadron, and the Lanspresado: (who in the Corporalls absence, as vpon a guard or otherwise, doth all the Corpo∣ralls duties) shall lead another file, and the most sufficient Gentlemen of euery Squadron shal be the leaders of the rost.

Now for the especiall duties of these two Offi∣cers (which is the Corporall, and the Lanspresadoe) you shall vnderstand that the Corporalls chiefest du∣tie is vpon guards at night, after the Watch is set, and the Sentinells placed where so soone as the Sentinell shall call vpon any approach, lie shall im∣mediately goe with his Sword drawne, or in espe∣ciall cases (where the Enemy lodgeth neare) with a guard of two at least (being a Pike and a Shot) vnto the Sentinell, and making his Guard stand vp∣on their guard he shall place the point of his sword to the breast of him that is to giue the Word, whe∣ther he be Rounder, or other private passenger, and so with his eare to his mouth very closely re∣ceiuethWord, which if it be right he shall giue the partie passe; if otherwise he shall take him priso∣ner, and disarme him, and either keepe him vpon his guard, or els deliver him to his superior Offi∣cer: But if any resistance shall be offered then it shall be lawfull for him to kill him.

Page  8Also the Corporall shall in the time of service fee that every Souldier in his Squadron haue his Armes neate, cleane, and handsome; that they be not vnfurnished of Powder, Match, and Bullet; and the Lanspresadoe (as was before said) shall in the absence of the Corporall doe all the Corporals duties, and in the time of rest he shall call vpon his Squadron, and see them dresse, trimme, and scoure their Armes and Weapons, and teach them how best to doe the same. And also he shall see them cast their Bullets, if need require, and to such as are ig∣norant, teach them how to doe the same, and shew them how to scoure their Pieces, and oyle them, and in time of necessitie, or vpon Cloying, how to vnbreetch them.

The Companie being thus devided, In the Trayning foure principall things are to be taught.

  • 1. First, the carriage and vse of Armes, conteined in divers Postures or Stations, expressing the formes of men in Armes.
  • 2. Secondly, Distance or proportion of place in Files and Rankes.
  • 3. Thirdly, March and Malion, contained in words of most especiall directions.
  • 4. And fourthly, all the sounds or beatings of the Drumme, and ordinarie words of direction (which are our Vocabula artis) and how by the Drumme, or the voice of a Commander, to moue and obey the direction.

1. The carriage of Armes must be comely and rea∣diest for vse.

Page  9The vse of Pikes is either in receiving or giuing a Charge;* By being tught the first the Souldier learnes to withstand Horse; By the second, to en∣counter with the enemies Pikes, in which the vse of Armes is most in knowing when and how every man, and so every Ranke should giue his push.

In teaching the vse of Shot the Souldier must first learne how to carry his Piece,* then how to present it, and to take his levell, and how and when to giue his volley with those in his Ranke. All which shall be more plainly described when wee come to speake of Postures And this part of Instru∣ction is the proper office of the Serieants of Com∣panies, for they should both teach the Shot the vse of their Armes, and be their Leaders in Service, if by an especiall commandement, a superior Offi∣cer be not appointed.

In teaching to giue volleys,* the ancient and vul∣gar manner of discipline (which is that the whole volley shall be given of all the Shot in one Battalia, or Troop, at one instant, as well of them behind as before) is vtterly to be condemned; For either the hind most must venture to shoot their fellowes be∣fore through the heads, or els will overshoot, and so spend their Shot vnprofitably. Besides, the volley being once given, the Enemy comes on without impeachment or annoyance But in stead of this kind of volley at once (which onely serues to make a great crack) let the first Ranke onely giue their volley,* and if the Batali mach, then that Ranke which hath giuen their volley to stand, and the se∣cond to passe through it, and so giue their volley, Page  10 and then to stand, and the third to come vp, and so consequently all the Rankes.

*But if the Battalia stand, then the first Ranke ha∣ving given their volley, shall fall back to the Reare, either in Wheele, or in Counter-march (according to the number of persons in the Ranke.) And the second Ranke come into their places, and so the third, and fourth, till the first Ranke be come to their places againe, and so to continue to the end of commandement.

*But if the Battalia shall fall backe or retire, and loose ground; then shall all the Shot stand still, and no man advance a foote of ground; But the first Ranke in its due place shall giue their volley, and then fall backe behind the last Ranke, and then the second Ranke shall giue their volley in their due place, and so fall behind the first, and in the same manner all the rest, till they haue lost so much ground as to the Commander shall seeme conve∣nient: And so the volley shall be still continued, whether in Marching, Standing, or Retyring, and the enemy never free from annoyance; All which is easily performed, if before the Motion you doe make all your Shot open their Files well, either to one or the other hand.

There are two other wayes of giuing fire, the one vpon advancement, the other, vpon a swift and speedie retrayt:* That vpon advancement towards an enemy when your men skirmish loose and dis∣banded, must be done by Rankes in this manner; Two Rankes must alwayes make ready together, and advance tenne paces forwardes before the bo∣die, Page  11 at which distance a Sergeant (or when the bo∣dy is great) some other officer must stand, to whom the Musquetiers are to come vp before they pre∣sent and giue fire; first, the first Ranke, and whilest the first giues fire, the second Ranke keepe their Musquets close to their Rests, and their pans guar∣ded; and as soone as the first are falne away, the second presently present and giue fire, and fall af∣ter them: Now as soone as the two first Rankes doe moue from their places in the Front, the two Rankes next it must vnshoulder their Musquets, and make readie, so as they may advance forwards tenne paces, as before; as soone as the two first Rankes are fallen away, and are to doe in all points as the former; so all the other Rankes through the whole devision must doe the same by twoes one after another.

The manner of giving fire in a swift retrayt is as the devision marcheth away,* the hinder most 〈◊〉 of all (keeping still with the devision) maketh readie, and being readie, the Souldiers in that ranke turne altogether to the right hand, and giue fire, Marching presently away a good round pace to the Front, and there place themselues in Ranke to∣gether, iust before the Front; As soone as the first Ranke turnes to giue fire, the Ranke next it makes readie, and doth as the former, and so the rest.

Next to the Carriage of Armes, you shall teach the knowledg of Distance or Seperation of places,2 being accounted a certaine orderly space betweene File and File, Ranke and Ranke, in such order and Page  12 measure as the Gaptaine shall be disposed to nomi∣nae, which not being obeyed, the whole body of the Battalia is put out of order, and neither carrying proportion nor true shape, are as men in rout or disorder Therefore it ought carefully (of all things) to be observed and vsed according to the limitation or fitnesse of every Motion; For the Sta∣tions of all Military persons, and the Motions in Armes, are not alwayes certaine, or in one steadie role but do continually interchange and alter agree ay one with another; And the vse of this Distance is both in Rankes and Files, in Marches, and in Motions; In Files, as when they stand or march at the first Distance, which is called Closest, that is to say, Pouldron to Pouldron, or Shoulder to Shoulder, or when they stand or march at the second Distance, which is called Close, and is a foot and a halfe distance man from man; or when they stand or march at the third distance, which is called Order, which is three foote man from man; or when they stand or march at the fourth and last Di∣stance, which is called Open Order, and is sixe foote betweene person and person.

So likewise in Rankes to stand or march Closest, is to be at the Swords poynt, to stand or march Close; is three foote, to stand or march at Order, is sixe foote, and to stand or march at Open Order, is ever twelue foote.

Now there be some Commanders which vary in the nomination of these termes, though not in Quantitie or Distance, for they will haue Close in Files to be Pouldron to Pouldron; Order, a foote Page  13 and an halfe; Open-Order three foote, and Double-distance sixe foote and so omit the word Closest.

And so like wise in Rankes, Close they will haue to the Swords poynt, Order three foote, Open Or∣der sixe foote, and Double-distance twelue foote, and so not the word Closest at all.

Others vary it another way, and will haue but three Distances, that is to say; Open Order, which they will haue to be six foote both betweene ranke and fyle, Order three foote betweene Ranke and Fyle, and Close-order a foote and an halfe betweene Fyle and Fyle, and three foote betweene Ranke and Ranke, and when they come to open Rankes, then they command Double-distance also, which they make twelue foote, and so by steps come to the fourth Distance also, but I preferre the first disci∣pline, and hold the words fully as significant and most in vse, which aboue all things are to be estee∣med and imitated.

Now to take the true measure of these Distances,* because the eye is but an vncertaine Iudge, you shall take the distance of sixe foote betweene fyle and fyle, by commanding the Souldiers (as they stand) to stretch forth their arme, and stand so re∣moued one from another, that their handes may meete. To take the distance of three foot betweene fyle and fyle, you shall make the Souldiers set their armes a kenbowe, and put themselues so close that their elbowes may meete, and to take the distance of a foote and an halfe, euery other Souldier in the Ranke shall set one arme a kenbowe, and his fellow shall neare touch it; And thus likewise in Rankes Page  14 wee take the distance of sixe foote, when the but ends of the Pikes do almost reach their heeles that march before. Three foote in Ranke is when they come almost to the Swords poynt; and twelue foote is the length of a Pike charged ever.

3Next vnto distance of place, is to be taught Mar∣ches and Motions, and in teaching of Marches, af∣ter euery man knowes his place, and is willed to obserue his fyle and ranke; In a plaine March, there is no hardnesse, nor yet in a Counter-march, if the Leaders of the fyles be well chosen, and that every man obserue well him that goes next before him. Besides, if there be any little disorder, the Officers keeping a good eye, and being every one of them in their due place, will easily reforme it.

Now for the places of the Officers, they are these:

*The head of the Troope or Band is for the Cap∣taine, and the Reare for the Lieutenant, except it be in a Retrayt, and then the Captaine should be in the Reare, and the Lieutenant at the Head. The Ensigne (in an ordinary Battalia) vpon the head behinde the Captaine, or within a Ranke thereof. But marching in an extended Battayle, then in the heart or midst of the Pikes. The Drummes are in a square Battalia to beate before the right and left wings. But in an extended Battayle, the eldest Drumme shall beate before the third and fourth ranke of Shot, which followeth next after the Cap∣taine. The second Drumme shall attend the En∣signe; and the third (if there be so many in one Page  15 Companie) shall beate betweene the third and fourth Ranke of Shot, which marcheth in the Reare next before the Lieutenant. The Phiphes (if there be more then one) the eldest shall march with the eldest Drumme; and the second shall attend on the Ensigne. The Sergeants are extravagantly to march on each side the Company, and to see the Souldiers keepe their Rankes and Fyles, according to the Captaines appoyntment; as also to listen and performe any direction that shall come from the Captaine, or other Officer in chiefe: as also (vpon any occasion) to leade loose and disbanded fyles of Shot in Skirmish, or els devisions of Pykes or Shot in ordinary Marches, where superior Officers are absent.

Now to these Marches,* are added the teaching of Motions, because there are many such that are not Marches at all: As some without changing of place, in onely turning of their faces to the right hand, or the left, or about (that is to say) the meere con∣trary way, to that they were at the Command gi∣uen; which is necessarie if the enemy should charge of either side or behinde.

Some motions there are which change place; But yet no more then a remouing from one Ranke to another, or from one File to another, when as (commonly) though some doe remoue, yet others stand still; and these kinde of Motions are dou∣bling of Rankes or Fyles, whereby the Battalia is made broader or longer, as the Enemy or the ground you haue, causeth you to make your Flankes, Fronts, Rankes, or Files greater or lesser. Page  16 And here is to be noted in this doubling of Rankes or Fyles, that Rankes when they double to the right hand, must ever turne to the left hand to come to their former places againe, and if they be doubled to the left hand, they must turne on the right hand to come to their first places againe; And Fyles when they are doubled to any hand, by the doubling of Rankes to the contrary hand, they are brought to their first places againe. And so having doubled your Rankes to any hand, by the doubling of Fyles to the contrary hand, you also bring them to their first places againe.

There is also to be taught another Motion, in which all doe moue, and yet none doe march, which is the Opening and Closing either of Rankes or Fyles, and is of vs not onely when you would haue one Ranke passe through another, or the whole Body of the Battalia make a counter-march, but when we would draw the Battayle quickly, and in order, more of one hand or other.

In teaching the Souldier how to know the sounds or Beatings of the Drumme,4 you must make them obserue not onely what the Drum doth beat, as whether it be a Call, a March, a Troope, a Battalia, a Charge, a Retrait, a Batterie, a Reliefe, and so forth, but also what time he keepes, for euer according to the measure of time, the Souldier is to march slow∣er or faster, to charge with greater violence, or to come off with greater speede, also he shall know when by the Drum to attend his Captaines direc∣tions, when to repayre to his Colour, and when Page  17 to doe other duties. And many other beatings as occasion shall administer, and as by the sound of the Drum, you doe teach your Souldiers to march, so by the voice (at their first instruction) you shall teach them all other motions.

To make them therefore perfect in these and all other Motions,* it is good to vse them to some cer∣taine words, which being once learned will serue for direction, and they must bee the wordes now most in vse in our English Armies.

The words which are now in vse, both here and in the Netherlands, are these and such like 〈◊〉 fol∣lowing.

First for all Motions in generall, they must eyther be in Distance, or in Forme.

If in Distance, it must eyther be in File, or Rank, or in both together.

If the motion be in distance o Files, it must ey∣ther be in closing or in opening; If in closing, then your words of proper directions are thse.

First hauing drawne your Ba••aile in order you shall say —

Leaders stand forward with your Files.*


  • Close your Files.
  • Close your Files to the right hand.
  • Close your Files to the left.

And all these three motions you shal doe eyther closest, close, to Order, or to open Order.

  • Open your Files.
  • Open to the right hand.
  • Open to the left.
Page  18 Or to any order as aforesayd.

If in distance of Rankes, then also in closing or opening, if in closing— then

  • Close your Rankes.
  • Close your Rankes, from the front to the reare.
  • Close your Rankes, from the reare to the front.

And any of thse to any order as aforesayd, and if in opening— then

  • Open your Rankes.
  • Open your Rankes, from the front reareward.
  • Open your Rankes from the reare forward.

And any of thse to any order aforesayd,

And heerein is to bee noted that Rankes when they open, ought (for the most part) to open downeward, turning to the Reare, and if they close, it mst euer be vpward to the Front.

Lastly if motion in distance, be both of Rankes and File at one instant, then you shall say —

  • Files and Rankes close.
  • Files and Rankes open.

And both these to any order aforesayd.

Now if it be motion in forme, it is also in files, in rankes, and in files and rankes both together.

If it be motion in forme of files, the words of direction are —

  • Double your Files to the right hand.
  • Double your Files to the left.
  • Advance 〈◊〉 Files to the right hand.
  • Advance your Files to the left.
  • Advance by devision to the right hand.
  • Advance by devision to the left.
  • Page  19Files ranke by conversion to the right hand.
  • Files ranke by conversion to the left.
  • Files ranke 3.5.7. &c.
  • Shorten your Files to 5.8. &c.
  • Lengthen your Files to 10.12.16. &c.
  • Files counter-march to the right hand.
  • Files counter-march to the left.
  • Files counter-march to both by devision.

And this counter-march may bee done divers wayes and manners, as after the manner of the Ma∣cedonians, the Lacedemonians, the Persians, or out late and more moderne vse and fashion, & all these motions must be done to some one or other order as aforesayd.

If it be motion in forme of rankes, then the words are—

  • Double your rankes to the right hand.
  • Double your rankes to the left.
  • Rankes file by conversion to the right hand.
  • Rankes file by conversion to the left.
  • Rankes ranke. 5.7. &c.
  • Midlemen double the front to the right hand.
  • Midlemen double the front to the left.
  • Midlemen double to both by devision, to the right en∣tire, and to the left entire.
  • Rankes counter-march from the right hand to the left.
  • Rankes counter-march from the left hand to the right.

In the manner as formerly in fyles, according to severall Nations, & when you will Counter-march to the right hand, the first ranke of Leaders onely must advance one stepp forward with the right leg, Page  20 and then turne, and all the other ranks must march first vp to the place from whence the first ranke did counter-march before they turne; So likewise, if you will counter-march to the left hand, the first rankes must stepp forward, one stepp with the left legge, and then turne, and all the other rankes be∣hind, must come vp to that place before they turne as before; The same order is to be obserued, when you will counter-march your Files; Also in coun∣ter-marching, though both are here set downe for distinction sake, you are to name neither Rankes nor Files, but are onely to say—

To the right hand counter-march, or To the left hand counter-march.

Now if it be Motion in forme, both in Files and Rankes iointly together, then the words of directi∣on are

  • Faces to the right hand.
  • Faces to the left.
  • Faces to both by devision.
  • Faces about, or all one.
  • Faces to the Reare. all one.
  • Wheele by conversion to the right hand.
  • Wheele by conversion to the left.
  • Wheele to both by devision.
  • Charge to the right hand.
  • Charge to the left.
  • Charge to both by devision.
  • Charge to the Front.
  • Charge to the Reare.
  • Charge to both front and reare by devision.

Page  21Now to reduce any of these words of direction to the same order or station in which the Souldier stood before they were spoken, you shall say— As you were.

Now in these words of generall directions,* this is principally to be regarded, that in charging with Pikes, halfe the Rankes are but to charge their Pikes, and the other halfe to carrie them advan∣ced, or ported, so neare the heads of the formost as they may doe them no annoyance, either in Charging or Retyring; and they must also obserue when they doe Charge standing, to fall backe with the right foote, and Marching to step forward with the left.

There is also another motion in forme,* which is the giuing of fire by the Flanke, or by whole Fyles one after another, which are strange to the Dutch, or Spanish, yet exceeding frequent with the Irish, and therefore necessary for our English vse. And that is for the beating or Clayring of Paces (which are narrow strait wayes through Woods and Bogs) and the words for direction are—

  • Cast of your fyles to the right hand.
  • Cast of your fyles to the left.
  • Cast of your fyles to both by devision.

Now for the most of these words there can be hardly better chosen.* But it is not so materiall what words you first choose to trayne by; as it is to vse some words constantly: and yet the same words should be vsed generally through the Troopes of an Armie, or els it will breed confusion. And if it Page  22 were also generally in the discipline of one King∣dome, it were better and more absolute.* And thus much touching March and Motion; which is no∣thing els but an actuall working of the bodie, con∣tained in foure severall circumstances: The first be∣ing a marching forward (as charging to the Front) the second backward (as by retrayt) the third side∣wayes (as by closing, opening or doubling of fyles to either hand): and the last Wheeling (as by con∣version or turning to either hand) all which must be performed as occasion shall be offered to the vn∣derstanding of the Commander, observing every motion in true order, place, distance, and posture. All other motions in the mayne body of a Battalia being nothing but the parents of disorder and con∣fesion; 〈…〉 Art, by the opinions of the Auncients is o••ly the true Science of Warlike Motion, of the Emperiall Art of comely and well ordering of Battayle, Armes, Gestures, and Moti∣ons, any of which will not indure monstrou shape〈…〉.

*Next vnto these words of generall Motions, wee will place the words of particular Motions, which onely concerne the manage, vse, and carriage of weapons. And these kinde of Motions are called in one present discipline Postures,* that is, The true 〈◊〉 of men in Armes, carrying all manner of mar••all weapons (in every Motion whatsoever) in the comeliest, ••ad i〈◊〉, and easiest way both to 〈…〉, and not onely making everything 〈…〉 very delighfull to the eye, but also tak∣ing Page  23 away all dangers and disorders which might o∣therwise happen, either through ignoane or rudenesse.

To speake then first of those Postures which be∣long vnto the Pike,* and are published by the most excellent Prince, the Count Marice of 〈◊〉, Prince of Orange; they are in number ••••one; That is to say, three which are exprest standingixe maching, and seaven charging.

The three which are exprest standing, are—

  • Lay downe your Pike.
  • Take vp your Pike.
  • Order your Pike.

The sixe which are to be done marching are—

  • Advance your Pike.
  • Shoulde•• your Pike.
  • Levell your Pike.
  • Sloape your Pike.
  • Cheeke your Pike.
  • Trayle your Pike.

The seauen which are done charging, are—

  • Port over hand.
  • Port vnder-hand.
  • Charge over-hand.
  • Charge vnder-hand.
  • Couch over-hand.
  • Couch vnder-hand.
  • Charge against the right foote, and t••aw yo••••ord over-arme.

As touching the Postures which belong to the Musquet,* they are fortie in nmber, and are to be Page  24 done; Fiue standing; three marching; eight-teene charging; and fourteene discharging: And are onely for Military Instruction in the time of Tray∣ning, and to make the Souldier most exquisite and perfect. But in the time of present Service before the face of the enemy, or in fight, then all this great number of Postures, the Captaine shall reduce into three onely and no more.

The three Postures or words of Command, which are vsed for the Musquet in the face of the enemie, in Fight, or in Skirmish, are these—

  • *1. Make readie.
  • 2. Present.
  • 3. Giue fire.

*The Postures or words of Command which are vsed in ordinary Trayning, or daily exercising of the Souldiers, are these following—

First there are fiue to be performed standing.— That is to say—

  • Put on your Armes.
  • Prepare your Skirmish.
  • Rest your Musquet.
  • Your Sentinell Posture.
  • Your Saluting Posture.

The Postures which are to be performed in Mar∣ching are these—

  • Shoulder your Musquet, and carry your Rest in the right hand.
  • Levell your Musquet.
  • Sloape your Musquet.

Page  25The Postures which are to be performed in Char∣ging, are these—

  • Cleare your Pann.
  • Prime your Pann.
  • Shut your Pann.
  • Cast off your loose Cornes.
  • Blow your Pann.
  • Cast about your Musquet, with both your hands, and trayle your Rest.
  • Open your Charges.
  • Charge your Musquet with Powder.
  • Draw out your Scowring sticke.
  • Shorten your sticke.
  • Ramme in your powder.
  • Draw out your sticke.
  • Charge with Bullet.
  • Ramme in your Bullet.
  • Draw out your sticke.
  • Shorten your sticke and put it vp.
  • Bring your Musquet forward with your left hand.
  • Hold it vp with your right hand, and recover your Rest.

The Postures which are to be performed in Dis∣charging, are these—

  • Carrie your Rest in your left hand, preparing to giue fire.
  • Sloape your Musquet, and let the Rest sinke.
  • In the right hand poyze your Musquet.
  • In the left hand carrie the Musquet, with the Rest.
  • In the right hand take your Match betweene the se∣cond finger and the thumbe.
  • Hold the Match fast and blow it.
  • Page  26Cocke your Match.
  • Trie your Match.
  • Guard the Pann and blow your Mach.
  • Open your Pann.
  • Present your Musquet.
  • Giue fire.
  • Dismount your Musquet and carrie it with the Rest.
  • Vncocke your Match and put it vp betweene your fingers.

*Now touching the Postures of the Hargobus, I hold it needlesse here to insist or stand vpon them, since they are all one with the Musquet, (the Rest onely excepted) and whosoeuer is a good Mus∣quetier cannot chuse but be a good Hargeletier. And therefore I referre it to mos particular prac∣tise. And to make a Connexion of all that is before sayd,* I would wish euery industrious Teacher, first to respect his men; then their Armes, and to sort and place each man according to his worth and cunning, not his wealth or birth; Then for his les∣sons, first to bring him to an exquisite readinesse in the Postures, and true manage of weapons; Next to make him know all the Sounds or Beatings of the Drmme. Thirdly, the rue distance of places and orderly proportions: Fourthly, the execution thereof in all manner of Marches and Motions. And lastly, a generall performance of all that hath beene spoken in the practise of Skirmishes and alte∣ration of Battalions. So shall men become readie and not confused, as many are by silken and simple Tutors, who striue to teach many things together, but nothing in order.

Page  27Now for as much as dignitie of places is a most needfull Knowledge for every Commander,* both for the adornment of the Band, and the incourage∣ment of the well deserving Souldier, I will shew you here a Table, containing the honor and digni∣tie of places as they haue beene observed by the most auncient Masters of Martiall discipline.


The Vse.

NOw for the Vse of this Table,* you shall vnder∣stand, that the figure 1. which standeth on the Page  28 right hand, is the Leader of the right hand Fyle, and so the first and chiefest man in the Battalia, and that whole Ranke in which it standeth is the Front, so called, because the faces of the whole Companie are directed one way, and also every man in that Ranke is called the Leader or Captaine of the Fyle he leadeth. The figure 2. which leadeth the left hand Fyle is the second man. And the figure 3. (which is in the Reare) because there the backes are turned, is the third man, and the whole Ranke in which it standeth is called the Reare, or the Bringers vp. Then the figure 4. is the fourth man, & so forth according to the number of the figures, are the dignities of the places.

*Now here is also to be noted in this Table, that the figure 17. standing in the Front, is the Leader of the middle fyle to the left Flanke; and the figure 18. Leader of the middle fyle to the right Flanke; and so are called Leaders of the mayne devision.

*The fifth Ranke from the Front downeward to∣wards the Reare, are called Middlemen to the reare, and the sixt Rank are called Middlemen to the front, or the Leaders of halfe fyles.

*Lastly, whensoever this Bodie, or any other what∣soever (which containeth but ten persons in fyle) shall be devided in the midst betweene the Middle∣men, then the last fiue Rankes to the Reareward are called by the name of Subdevision. And whensoe∣ver the Reare shall double the Front, then are the Reare called Bringers vp, because they bring vp their halfe Fyles by Sequence.

These Rules knit vnto memorie, and practised Page  29 with care and diligence, will make any Souldier perfect in the first sixe parts of Martiall discipline;* as Election of men; Sorting of Armes; March or Motion; Distance; Posture; and lastly, the beatings of the Drumme.

Now to these I will adde a little touch or Essay,* touching the Carriage, Election, and Composition of Captaines colours, or Ensignes, which is the ho¦norable Badge or Marke of every Captaine, and in which both of late here at home, and also for∣merly in forraine Nations. I haue seene as grosse absurdities, as any malice would wish to see in the folly of his Enemy, which doubtlesse must proceed from ignorance, since no Master of Reason would be guiltie of his owne iniurie.

You shall therefore vnderstand,* that all Colours belonging vnto private Captaines, ought to be mixt equally of two severall Colours, that is to say, (according to the rule in Herauldry) of Colour and Mettall, and not Colour on Colour, as Greene and Red, or Blew and Blacke, or such like, nor yet Mettall on Mettall, as White and Yellow, or Orreng∣tawnie and White, for Colours so borne shew Bastar∣die, Pesantrie, or dishonor. Now in the Corner which is next to the vpper poynt of the staffe, he shall carie in a faire large square, or Canton, con∣taining a sixt part of the Colours, a plaine red Crosse in a white Field (which is the Ensigne of our Kingdome of England.) If the Colours doe be∣long to a Colonell,* they shall then be all of one en∣tire Colour, or one Mettall, onely the red Crosse, or Ensigne of the Kingdome shall be in his due Page  30 place,* as aforesaid. If they belong to a Colonell gene∣rall, to the Lord Marshall of the Field, or any such Superior Officer, then they shall be all of one en∣tire Colour, or Mettall, and the red Crosse or En∣signe of the Kingdome, shall be in a verie little square or Canton, as in a twelft part of the Field, or lesse if it please them. But if they belong to the Generall of the Field, then they shall be of one en∣tire Colour or Mettall, without any red Crosse at all, as was before sayd.

Thus much touching the generall Compositi∣on and Carriage of Colours.

*Now for a more particular election and vse ther∣of, you shall vnderstand, that every Gentleman of Coate-Armour (being a private Captaine) ought to carry for his Colours, those two principall Co∣lours which are contained in his Coate-Armour, being the Field and the chiefe charge thereof; which that no Ignorance may be busie to find out, they are evermore contained in the Bandrole, vpon which his Crest standeth: Being indeed a true type or figure of his Colours wreathed together, as the Support of his honor.

Now in as much as Captaines are not all Gentle∣men of Coare-Armour, and so take vnto them∣selues (in these dayes) a more particular freedome, affirming that honor is not Buckled to them, but to their vertues. And that vertue consists not in the same of Auncestors, but in their owne Actions, and defences of their Countries, Mistresses, Widdowes, and the Oppressed: And so may suite or elect their Colours, according to their hopes or imaginations. Page  31 Taking (as it were) their honor from the parties they most reverence (which is a Paradoxe easily confuted.) I will here first shew you the nature and signification of Colours. And then some particu∣lar offences, in which an indifferent mixture being made, the Composition must needs be noble and wholesome.

You shall first then vnderstand, that there be in Military honor nine severall faces, or Complexi∣ons, that is to say, two which be called Mettals, as Yellow and White, figuring Gold and Silver, and ea∣ven, which are called proper Colours, as Blacke, Blew, Red, Greene, Purple, Tunnis, and Ermine; figu∣ring seaven precious stones, of whose natures here to speake were tedious and needlesse, and of these, as before I said, mettall may not be carried on met∣tall, nor Colour vpon Colour.

Now for the significations of these mettalls and Colours, you shall vnderstand, that Yellow betok∣neth Honor, or height of spirit, which being never seperate from vertue, of all things is most iealous of of disgrace, and may not indure the least shadow of Imputation.

White signifieth Innocence or puritie of Consci∣ence, Truth, and an vpright integritie without blemish.

Blacke signifieth Wisedome and Sobrietie, toge∣ther with a severe correction of too much Ambiti∣on, being mixt with yellow, or too much Beliefe aud Leitie, being joyned with White.

Blew signifieth Faith, Constancie, or truth in Affection.

Page  32Red signifieth Iustice, or noble and worthy An∣ger, in defence of Religion, or the Oppressed.

Greene signifieth good Hope, or the accomplish∣ment of holy and honorable Actions.

Purple signifieth Fortitude with discretion, or a most true discharge of any Trust reposed.

Tunnis, or Tawnie, signifieth Merit, or desert, and a foe to Ingratitude.

Ermine (which is onely a rich Furre with curi∣ous spots) signifieth Religion, or holinesse, and that all aymes are not devine obiects.

Now from these Colours, and their mixtures, are derived many bastard and dishonorable Colors, as Carnation, Orengtawnie, Popeniay, and such like, all which haue bastardly significations, as Craft, pride, wantonnesse, and such like; of which who so is desirous to vnderstand, let him looke into Du Tillet, and other French Authors, and he shall gaine satisfaction. For mine owne part, since they apper∣taine not vnto honor, I will here omit them, and to those free spirits that haue gaind these noble pla∣ces; from these considerations leaue them to their owne Elections, and Compositions, with these few advertisements following.

First, He that in his Colours shall carry full Coate-Armour, doth indiscreetly; for he puts that honor to hazzard, which he may with more honor keepe in safetie, and inticeth his enemie by such o∣stentation to darre beyond his owne nature.

He that in his Colours beareth any one blacke spot and no more; if it be round, square, or of any equall proportion, it shewes some blemish in the Page  33 owner, and that his life is not voyde of some noto∣rious scandall.

If the spot be of vnequall proportion, that is, longer or broader one way then another, it signifi∣eth Funerall, or deadly Revenge; for such a spot is called an Hearse.

He that carryeth a Word in his Colours without a devise, carrieth a Soule without a Bodie.

He that carrieth a devise without a Word, carri∣eth a Bodie without a Soule.

He that carrieth both Word and devise, carrieth both Soule and Bodie, yet if the devise carrie any humane shape, it is a grosse Bodie, and if the Word containe aboue three or foure words at the most (except it be the latter end, or beginning of some Verse) it is an imperfect Soule: But if both Word and devise be compleate; That is, Empresa and not Embleme, yea they are much fitter for Maskes, Tri∣umphes, or Pageants, then the Field, or reall Acti∣on; for the true mixture of Colours is devise e∣nough for every Foote Souldier.

He that carrieth more Colours then two, except it be some small dash for an especiall note, or the Ensigne of severall Kingdomes, carrieth a sur∣charge, and it is esteemed the Ensigne of Folly.

Now to conclude and knit vp this sleight Dis∣course, with the true Cement which bindeth all the former duties faithfully together, every Souldier must especially regard obedience, a worke which is contained in three Circumstances, and every Cir∣cumstance adorned with an especiall vertue. The first is Reverence from the Inferior to the Superior, Page  34 in which is expressed Loue. The second, a Readi∣nesse to take directions, and a willingnesse to be commanded, which is a performance of dutie: and the last, in the allowing of his Captaines Opi∣nion, and approving his Iudgement; which is a certaine Character of modestie, wisedome, and dis∣cretion. For that Captaine cannot be sayd to be perfect, that wants vertue worthie of Reverence; Authoritie fit for commandment, or Experience a∣ble to direct and censure his Actions. And he that hath these, hath that Sufficiencie, that to disobay, is to die, as witnesseth all the best of the Romanes, who never spared any in that capitall and grosse trespasse of absurd disobedience. And to this I must also adde, that the tyrannie of Captaines in commanding with too great rigor, is as offensiue as the former disobedience: For as Montaigne saith; The Authoritie of them which teach, of∣ten hinders those that would learne. And therefore nothing like manly Courtesie doth become a Commander.