Certen Discourses concerning the formes and effects of diuers sorts of weapons; and other very important matters Militarie, greatlie mistaken by diuers of our men of warre in these daies; and chieflie of the Mosquet, the Caliuer, and the Long-bowe, as also of the great sufficiencie, excel∣lencie, and wonderfull effects of Archers, with manie notable ex∣amples, and other particularities. Composed by Sir Iohn Smythe, Knight. 1589. And printed 1590.
THe straunge opinions, so won∣derfullie mistaken in these our daies in al matters Militarie, by diuers of our chiefe men of charge and warre, (as they are accompted) that haue learned their greatest skill in matters of Armes, seruing vnder the States, in the tumultuarie, licentious, and staruing warres of the Low Countries, or peraduenture some little in the ciuil warres of France, haue moued me to take in hand this discourse, to discouer their straunge and erronious opinions Militarie, by them published to our Nobilitie and chiefe Magistrates, as also to all the better sort of our people and Nation; which vp∣pon anie important warre, either offensiue or defen∣siue, may greatlie redound to the losse and daunger of our Prince, Countrie and Nation. In the which dis∣course, Page [unnumbered] my meaning is not to touch the reputation of diuers of our auncient braue Captaines and Soldiers, who were men of good skill and sufficiencie before they entred into those warres, nor yet the reputation and honor of diuers Noble men,* as also Gentlemen, of noble or worshipfull houses, that of very late yeres haue entred into those seruices, rather to win reputa∣tion, knowledge and honor, than for anie hope of gaine, or spoyle; of the which there be diuers that by the testimonie of their honorable actions, and go∣uernment of themselues, and the charges vnto them committed, haue deserued great praise and honour; but onelie to touch with blame and discommenda∣tion, such, as attaining (I wot not how) to the highest places of office & charge to commaund our English Nation in those parts, haue through their couetous∣nes, and lacke of loue towards the soldiers of their Nation, so corrupted, or rather (as much as in them hath lien) subuerted all discipline Militarie, to the great losse and dishonor of our Countrie and Nation, that neither they themselues, nor anie of their imita∣tors, are worthie to bee accompted in the number of men of warre, and much lesse to be esteemed by men of experience and iudgement in actions Militarie, to bee anie waies worthie to commaund and gouerne soldiers. In this discourse (also) I meane not at this time to meddle with the infinite nūbers of disorders Militarie by them committed in the Lowe Countrie warres, where they made a farre greater warre vpon our people & Nation, than vpon the Enemies of our Countrie; but to handle diuers abuses of theirs, and chieflie, the abuses that they haue sought to bring our Page 2 Nation into by mistaking of fortification, and of the effects of diuers weapons out of their due times and places, attributing to some weapons such effects as are not to bee performed with them, and detracting (most ignorantlie) the excellent effects of our peculiar and singular weapon the Long Bowe, seeking by ex∣tolling the effects by them misreported and mistaken of the Mosquet and Caliuer, to make our Nation be∣leeue that our Long Bowes haue vtterlie lost their auncient effects, and therefore no more to be vsed, but to be vtterly suppressed and extinguished, with diuers other grose errors, contrarie to all reason and expe∣rience Militarie of all auncient and moderne warlike Nations. The most of the which that shall fall into my memorie, I will (with the help of almightie God) answere in such sort, as all men of experience and iudgement in matters of Armes, that haue serued in Armies and Campes formed, either of Emperours, Kings, or Common wealths, shal easilie discouer their lacke of experience and knowledge in matters Mili∣tarie. And therefore I will begin with one of their toyes, and so proceed to greater matters.
These our such men of warre before mentioned, in a manner, vtterlie ignorant of all our auncient dis∣cipline and proceedings in actions of Armes, haue so affected the Wallons, Flemings, and base Almanes disci∣pline, (as some of them terme it) that they haue pro∣cured to innouate, or rather to subuert all our ancient proceedings in matters Militarie, and therefore haue left nothing in a manner vntouched, without seeking to alter and chaunge the same: as for example; They will not vouchsafe in their speaches or writings to Page [unnumbered] vse our ancient termes belonging to matters of warre,* but doo call a Campe by the Dutch name of Legar; nor will not afoord to say, that such a Towne, or such a Fort is besieged, but that it is belegard: Their En∣signes also they will not call by that name, but by the name of Colours, which terme is by them so fondly & ignorantly giuen, as if they should be apposed as yong scholers in their accidens, and should (in stead of En∣signes) be asked how manie Colours of footmē there were in the Armie by Remenen vnder the Count Boissu against Don Iuan d' Austria, they must then either an∣swere, a hundred, or more or fewer, as white, black, blewe, greene, yellowe, russet, &c. or els forsake their newe terme of Colours, and say so manie Ensignes, Bands, or Companies, which in troth is no direct an∣swere to the question. The bodie of the watch also or standing watch (as we were wont to terme it) they now call after the French, or Wallons, Corps du gard, with manie other such Wallon and Dutch termes, as though our English Nation, which hath been so famous in all actions Militarie manie hundred yeres, were now but newlie crept into the world, or as though our language were so barren, that it were not able of it selfe, or by deriuation to affoord conuenient words to vtter our minds in matters of that qualitie.
*But that which is more strange, these our such new fantasied men of warre doo despise and scorne our auncient arming of our selues both on horseback and on foote, saying that wee armed our selues in times past with too much armour, or peeces of yron (as they terme it). And therefore their footmen piquers, they doo allowe for verie well armed when they weare Page 3 their burgonets, their collars, their cuirasses, and their backs, without either pouldrons, vambraces, gaunt∣lets, or tasses.
Their Horsemen also, and themselues seruing on horsebacke with Launces, or any other weapon, they thinke verie well armed with some kind of head∣peece, a collar, a deformed high & long bellied breast, and a backe at the proofe; but as for pouldrons, vam∣braces, gauntlets, tasses, cuisses, and greues, they hold all for superfluous. The imitating of which their vn∣soldierlike and fond arming, cost that noble & wor∣thie Gentleman Sir Philip Sidney his life, by not wea∣ring his cuisses, who in the opinion of diuers Gentle∣men that sawe him hurt with a Mosquet shot, if he had that day worne his cuisses, the bullet had not bro∣ken his thigh bone, by reason that the chiefe force of the bullet (before the blowe) was in a manner past. Besides that, it is a great encouragement to al forraine Nations their Enemies that are better armed, to en∣counter with them and their soldiers that they see so ill armed. And as their ill arming is an encouraging to the Enemie, so it is vnto them a discouragement, and a great disaduantage. For in case anie horseman or footman piquer so ill armed, should bee wounded on the thigh, or chieflie on the arme or hand, either with Launce, Pique, Sword, or any other weapon, his figh∣ting for that day were marred; besides that, by such wounds receiued, he is put in hazard either to bee slaine or taken. And to the same effect it hath been a maxime in all ages amongst all great Capraines, and skilfull soldiers, that the well arming of horsmen and footmen is a great encouragement vnto them to fight Page [unnumbered] valiantlie; whereas contrariwise being euill armed, it is a great discouragement vnto them encountring with well armed men, and most commonlie through wounds receiued, the verie occasion that doth make them to turne their backes.
And as they doo mistake the conuenient arming of horsemen and footmen, so they also mistake the weaponing of them: for whereas Swords of conue∣nient length, forme and substance, haue been in all a∣ges esteemed by all warlike Nations, of al other sorts of weapons the last weapon of refuge both for horse∣men, and footmen, by reason that when al their other weapons in fight haue failed them, either by brea∣king, losse, or otherwise, they then haue presentlie be∣taken themselues to their short arming Swords and Daggers, as to the last weapons, of great effect & exe∣cution for all Martiall actions: so our such men of warre (contrarie to the auncient order and vse Mili∣tarie) doo now a daies preferre and allowe that armed men Piquers,* should rather weare Rapiers of a yard and a quarter long the blades, or more, than strong short arming Swords; little considering (or not vnder∣standing) that a squadrō of armed men in the field be∣ing readie to encounter with another squadron, their Enemies, ought to streighten and close themselues by frunt and flanckes, and that after they haue giuen their first thrush with their Piques, and being come to ioyne with their enemies frunt to frunt, and face to face (and therefore the vse & execution of the piques of the formost rancks being past) they must present∣lie betake themselues to the vse of their Swords and Daggers; which they cannot with any celeritie draw, Page 4 if the blades of their Swords be so lōg: for (in troth) ar∣med men in such actiōs, being in their rancks so close one to another by flanckes, cannot draw their Swords if the blades of them be aboue the lēgth of three quar∣ters of a yard, or a little more: besies that, Swords be∣ing so long, doo worke in a manner no effect, neither with blowes nor thrusts where the is so great, as in such actions it is; as also, that Rapier blades being so narrow, and of so small substance, and made of a verie hard temper to fight in priuat fraies, in lighting with a∣ny blow vpon armour, do presently breake, and so be∣come vnprofitable. Horsemen also, & chieflie Lances, wearing their Swords by their sides (as Soldiors ought to doo) cannot readily drawe them without letting fall their bridles out of their left handes, if their Swords be aboue the length of three quarters of a yard, or a yard at the most, & yet that too lōg. All which cōsidered, their opinion of such long Swords, or Rapiers to be worne either by horsmen,* or footmen armed, is very ignorāt.
Long heauie Daggers also, with great brauling Ale∣house hilts, (which were neuer vsed but for priuate fraies and braules, and that within lesse than these for∣tie yeres; since which time through lōg peace, we haue forgotten all orders and discipline Militarie) they doo no waies disallow, nor find fault withall, but rather al∣lowe them for their Souldiors to weare, than short ar∣ming Daggers of conuenient forme & substance, with∣out hilts, or with little short crosses, of nine or ten in∣ches the blades, such as not onely our braue Ancestors, but al other warlike Nations, both in warre and peace, did weare, and vse. By the which they euidently shew that they do very litle consider how ouer-burdensome Page [unnumbered] and combersome, such Alehouse Daggers are for all sorts of Souldiors both horsemen and footmen, as also how vnfit they are to be vsed with the point and thrust by Soldiors, Piquers or Halbardiers against their ene∣mies in squadron. Where, by proofe, reason and ex∣perience, in al battailes and other encounters, the nere∣nesse and prease being so great, short, strong, and light arming daggers are more maniable, and of greater ex∣ecutiō amongst al sorts of armed men,* than such long deformed Daggers, as aforesaid.
*Piques also (which are the strength of the field, as well against horsemen as footemen) they doo allowe of diuers lengths, so that they seeme long, hauing no regarde to their vniformitie of length, nor whether they bee portable or maniable, thorough their too much wood, or no; whereby they shewe the little skil they haue in the vse of that weapon, considering that Piquers being reduced into squadron to fight, should haue all their piques of one equall and proportionate length, to the intent that all the ranckes being closed by frunt and flanckes, either to charge an other squa∣dron of Piquers their Enemies, or to receiue, and re∣pulse a charge of Launces, all the points of the Piques of euerie rancke carrying one equalitie, and so diuerse ranckes being incorporated by frunt and flancke, with their Piques bent against their Enemies, may altoge∣ther giue a greater blowe to the repulsing either of horsemen or footemen, than if they were of diuerse lengths like Organe pipes, and thereby become of lesse force and resistance. Besides that, it is a verie vn∣comelie sight to see a square of Piquers enlarged in their ranckes to march, that the but-endes of their Page 5 piques through their disequalitie of length, should disorderlie precede one another. All which being neglected and contemned by our such men of warre, is by the Almanes, Zwitzers, Spaniards, and other Na∣tions skilfull in the Arte Militarie, greatlie regarded.
Halbards of the Italian fashion,* with long poynts, short edges, and long staues, to bee placed within a squadron of piques, they doo better allow of, than of Halbards, or Battleaxes with short poynts, long edges, and short staues. In the which they shewe that they doo verie little consider or knowe, that when two squadrons doo encounter, and that the first thrush of piques being past, they doo presentlie come to ioyne with short weapons, as with Swords, Battleaxes, and daggers, and that then, weapons that are with long poynts, long staues, and short edges doo worke no ef∣fect, by reason that the rancks being so close, and nere by frunt and flankes in their distances, and the presse on both sides so great, as in such actions it is, they can haue no roume, to stand thrusting, and foyning with long Halbards, nor Piques, as our such men of warre doo imagine: but then is the time that the ranckes of short Halbards, or Battleaxes of fiue foote and a halfe long, with strong short poynts, short staues, and long edges in the hands of lustie soldiers that doo followe the first ranckes of Piquers at the heeles, both with blowe at the head, and thrust at the face, doo with pu∣issant and mightie hand, work wonderfull effect, and carrie all to the ground. And of the great and excel∣lent executions of such short Halbards and Battleaxes in battailes, our most worthie Auncestors, and diuers other warlike Nations had experience manie yeares Page [unnumbered] past, when they did vse to fight manie great battailes. Now peraduenture some not skilful in matters Mili∣tarie may happen to say, that such opinions in wea∣pons mistaken is no great matter: howbeit they are much deceiued; for in matters Militarie there is no mistaking so small, that in true vnderstanding is not great, and chiefly the mistaking of weapons, with the which al effects & executiōs of warre are performed.
*Caliuers also (as they terme them) being of a grea∣ter length and heighth of bullet, and more ranforced than Harquebuzes, and therefore a great deale hea∣uier, they doo better allow of, than they doo of light, well formed and ranforced Harquebuzes; alledging for their reasons, that Caliuers will carrie further poynt and blancke, and also giue a greater blowe than Harquebuzes. In the which they doo verie little con∣sider, that neither Caliuers, nor Harquebuzes (consi∣dering their vncertaintie) are to bee vsed by anie skil∣full soldiers with anie volees of shot against the Ene∣mie in the field, aboue three or foure scores at the far∣thest, and that Harquebuzes within that distance will wound and kill aswell as Caliuers; besides that, through the lightnes and shortnes of them they are so maniable, that the Harquebuziers may skirmish a great deale longer, and with more dexteritie and cer∣teintie, than the Caliuerers with their Caliuers, as al∣so that vpon a hastie retraite they may verie well saue and keepe their peeces being so light, to the intent to make head againe, whereas the Caliuerers in such ac∣tions, through the ouermuch heauines of their pee∣ces, doo most commonlie cast them away, and trust to their heeles: whereby with great reason it may be Page 6 concluded,* that light Harquebuzes well formed of conuenient length, and ranforced, such as the olde bands of Italians and Wallons doo vse, are a great deale more maniable, more fit, and therefore of greater ef∣fect for soldiers to vse in the field, than our ordinarie and heauie Caliuers that our such men of warre doo so much allowe of.
Now, some of our such men of warre that were of great offices and charge vnder the Earle of Leicester, that was Lieutenant Generall of the Queenes Armie at Tilburie this last sommer 1588. seeing the Essex re∣giment of 4000. footmen reduced into great bands of 400.500. and 600. to an Ensigne, vnder the charge and gouernment of Knights and Esquires of great worship, discretion, and desire to doo seruice to their Prince & Countrie, they perswaded him with great vehemencie, that it was verie meete and conuenient that all that whole regiment should bee reduced into bands of 150. soldiers to an Ensigne,* or into 200. at the most, and therewithall that all those small bands should bee committed to the charge of our trained Low Countrie Captaines (as they call them) of the which there were a great number attending, some of them more hungrie after charge, spoyle and gaine, than skilfull to do anie great seruice, or to win repu∣tation, or the loue of their soldiers. And the chiefest reasons that they did alleage for reducing them into such small bands, were, that the Enemie by seeing so great numbers of Ensignes in the field, would iudge the Armie to bee verie huge, and great in numbers of men, and therefore redoubt them the more; besides that, by the imployment of such a number of trained Page [unnumbered] Captaines, the regiment, and so consequentlie all the whole Armie assembled and reduced into such small bands, should bee the more full of men of seruice and skill: which their reasons may seeme pretie to such as knowe verie little of matters Militarie, and that do not fall into the reckoning of their second meanings, which I omit. Howbeit, how vnsoldierlike perswa∣sions and opinions these were, how vnprofitable for the Prince, and vnfit and vnreadie for seruices in the field, I will (by the helpe of almightie God) make eui∣dent.
When the great Princes of Germanie, vppon anie occasion or iniurie offered, are disposed to make warre one against another, or vpon an imperiall Ar∣mie assembled to inuade, or resist the Turke, being bound (as they are) by their tenures Militarie to the Empire, some to finde horsemen, and others to finde footmen at their owne charges, they then vpon such occasions haue alwaies vsed, and do still vse, to forme their regiments of footmen into great bands of 500. to an Ensigne, and that they vse especiallie for two causes, the one thereby in their regiments, and so con∣sequentlie in their whole Armies to saue the pay of a great sort of Captaines,* Lieutenants of bands, Ensign∣bearers, and other Officers, which would bee greatlie encreased, and so amount to a farre greater charge and pay, in case they should compose smaller bands of 300 to an Ensigne, or vnder that number: the other cause that doth mooue them to forme their bands so great, is, that their milicia consisting of Harquebuziers, Pi∣quers, and some Halbarders, with a fewe slath swords for the gard of their Ensignes, that those sorts of wea∣pons, Page 7 by reason of the greatnes of the bands being in great compertiments and diuisions, may be more rea∣dilie and easilie drawne out and separated, and with a great deale more celeritie incorporated with the o∣ther great compertiments of the like weapons of o∣ther great bands, to forme their squadrons with sleeues, wings, troupes, or forlorne hopes (according to the order and direction of the Coronells, and Ser∣geants Maiors) than if their bands were smaller either of 300. or vnder that number, whereby the comperti∣ments of weapons should be also the smaller, & there∣by in number the greater, and so consequently would require a longer time, not onlie to drawe out, but also to incorporate compertiments with compertiments for the forming of battailes with sleeues, wings, and forlorne hopes, as aforesaid. Besides that, such great bands, both by reason and experience are as readie, or rather more readie to bee employed either in whole companies vnder their Captaines and Lieutenants, or diuided into parts and Corporolates vnder their Cor∣porals and Sergeants for watches, bodies of watches, Centinells, and all other ordinarie, and extraordinarie employments & actions Militarie in Camp, Towne, or Field, than anie small bands are. Now, peraduen∣ture some such as doo not vnderstand this order Mili∣tarie of the Princes of Germanie aboue mentioned, will say, that all the Regiments of footmen Almanes, that either the King of Spaine, or the French King haue hired and imployed anie waies in their warres, haue been but of 300. to an Ensigne, which is verie true; howbeit the cause thereof hath been, that when such Princes haue occasion to employ anie Merci∣narie Page [unnumbered] regiments of Almanes,* they do send their Com∣missaries into Germanie, to hire so manie Coronells as they will haue Regiments, in case that they had none before in their ordinarie stipends and pay; and those Coronells doo make choise of Captaines for the leauie of their Regiments, at their owne pleasures, and therefore will accept of no Captaines, but of such as will compound with them and buy their Captain∣ship, so as the more bands the more Captaines, and the more Captaines the more compositions and profite; which peraduenture was the cause that moued some chiefe officer, or officers vnder the Earle (as imitators of the Almane Mercenaries) to perswade him to re∣duce all the great and honorable bands aforesaid, into little bands of 150. or 200. thereby to haue the more compositions and sommes of monie at our Lowe Countrie Captains hands, some of the which would not let to giue largelie to obtaine Companies, inten∣ding after by fleecing and ransoming of their soldiers being men of wealth, to pay themselues againe with great interest, which two or three daies before the breaking vp of the Campe, they verie pretilie did be∣gin. Howbeit, it seemeth that such great Officers and perswaders, had little regarde to the profite of the Prince, nor yet to the reducing of the Armie with ce∣leritie and dexteritie into squadrons and battailes, and other formes Militarie as aforesaid, considering that those small bands of 150. or 200. soldiers to an En∣signe, did consist of fiue different sorts of weapons, viz. Piques, Battleaxes, Mosquets, Harquebuzes, and Long Bowes, and that therefore euerie one of them was to bee reduced into fiue diuers diuisions, which Page 8 besides the vncomely sight to see so many small com∣pertiments in euerie such little band, it would haue re∣quired a farre longer time vpon the dailie & ordinarie dislodging of an Armie reduced into Vaward, Battle, and Rereward, to haue drawne out so great a number of compertiments out of such a number of little bands, than out of bands of 500. to haue drawne a few great compertiments, and to haue encorporated and reduced them into anie forme Militarie. Now, whereas our such men of warre perswaded with the Earle, that the Enemie would iudge the greatnes of the Armie by the greatnes of the number of Ensignes, and therfore redoubt the more, & that by the number of such little bands vnder so manie trained Captains, the Armie should be so much the more full of men of seruice, it argueth the insufficiencie and lack of iudg∣ment of such perswaders. For there is no Enemie skilfull in the Arte Militarie, that will iudge of the greatnes or smalnes of an Armie in the field, by the great or small number of Ensignes or peeces of Taffa∣ta, but by the frunts and flancks of the squadrons mar∣ching, and chieflie by good espialls, or by prisoners taken. And as for the dismissing and cassing of the Knights and Esquiers that were Captains of such ho∣norable Companies, that such Lowe Countrie Cap∣taines might haue supplied their places, vpon the di∣uiding of those great bands into hundreds and fifties, or into two hundreds, I thinke it had been a great deale more meete for the reasons before alledged, that all the whole Armie (if it had been farre greater than it was) for the defence of the realme, should haue been reduced into great bands of fiue hundreds, vnder the Page [unnumbered] charge of Knights and Esquiers, well chosen, and of great worship in their Countries, and that a great part of our such Lowe Countrie Captaines (〈◊〉 neuer knewe what discipline Militarie ment, nor yet what it is to command and gouerne, as it may well appeare by their infinite disorders in the Lowe Countries) should haue been distributed, and placed throughout those great bands as Sergeants, or Ensigne bearers vn∣der such discreet and worshipfull Gentlemen, to the intent that they might first learne to obey, before they should haue authoritie to commaund and gouerne the Yeomanrie of England.
Now, whereas I haue heard of some of our aun∣cient and most sufficient Captaines, that our English milicia of footmen manie yeares past, did consist of bands but of 100. to an Ensigne; and that I haue like∣wise heard by diuers old and notable Captaines Ita∣lians, that the Italian milicia also before the Emperour Charles, as also in the beginning of his time, did con∣sist of bands of footmen but of 100. to an Ensigne, and that those bands of hundreds did consist euerie one of them but of one sort of weapon, as amongst the Ita∣lians of a hundred Piques, (sauing that of that number there were a verie fewe partisans for the garding of their Ensignes) and of a hundred Harquebuziers: so our bands of hundreds did also consist of 100. Ar∣chers, & of 100. Battleaxes, without composing them of diuers sorts of weapons, according to the moderne vse, which certainlie (in mine opinion, sauing onelie for the encrease of the charges of the Prince) was a verie conuenient order, considering that euerie sort of weapon being reduced into bands by themselues, Page 9 without compertiments of diuers sorts of weapons in anie one band (vnles it had been of Battleaxes with Piques, because those two sorts of weapons are to en∣ter into the bodie of a squadrō) would haue wrought that the Sergeants Maiors, and other Officers of the field, might with great facilitie and celeritie haue re∣duced anie meane Armie into manie formes of bat∣tailes both to march and fight, as also that they might haue been lodged in their quarters with great order and readines in a Campe, or Campes formed.
Now, whereas our such men of warre did per∣swade with the Earle for the reducing of the great bands of footmen into small companies of one hun∣dred and fiftie (as is before declared:) so did they like∣wise perswade with him to reduce all those small bands into little Regiments of one thousand vnder e∣uerie Coronell;* by which their perswasions they did verie manifestlie shewe that they vnderstood verie little, for what causes and reasons Regiments were first instituted, and since amongst manie Nations con∣tinued: howbeit, I doo perswade my selfe by that which I haue heard, partlie from their own speaches, partlie also from others of verie great credite, that in all their proceedings in matters of warre, they do ra∣ther followe the newe fashions of the disordered warres of France, and the Lowe Countries vnder the States, than anie reason and experience Militarie. For in troth, bands of horsemen and footmen, of which Armies doo consist, were at the first reduced into Re∣giments for diuers causes, and chieflie for fiue.
The first, that they might be the better & the more orderlie gouerned, and the more readie vpon all oc∣casions Page [unnumbered] to be commaunded and imployed.
The second, that they might be the better, and the more conuenientlie lodged in their quarters.
The third, that they might bee the more orderlie and readilie placed in their watches, bodies of wat∣ches, and Centinells.
The fourth, that they might for the defence of their Camp be the more readilie reduced into diuers puis∣sant bodies of squadron by themselues, with sleeues and wings in the places of assemblie.
And the fift, that vpon the dislodging of an Armie reduced into Vaward, Battle, and Rereward, diuers Re∣giments might the more orderlie and readilie incor∣porate, and reduce themselues into three mightie bat∣tailes, or more, according to the order and direction of the Lieutenant generall, or high Marshall of the field, or els of the Sergeant Maior Maior, by some called the Sergeant Maior generall.
Now, the Launce-knights Almanes (which is the Nation of Christendome most skilfull of all others that euer I sawe, to performe these actions and effects before declared, with manie other matters Militarie both for the Campe & field) to the intent to performe al such actions with the more celeritie and dexteritie, haue vsed of great antiquitie to forme all their Regi∣ments of footmen of tenne Ensignes to euerie Regi∣ment, and so they did vse manie yeares past, when e∣uerie one of their Regiments did consist of fiue thou∣sand soldiers, at which time their bands did consist of fiue hundred to euerie Ensigne. And of later yeares they reduced their Regiments to bee of foure thou∣sand, and their bands to be of foure hundred to an En∣signe. Page 10 And last of all, their Regiments to bee of three thousand, and so their bands to bee of three hundred to euerie Companie, which doth at this present con∣tinue, vnles it bee in the publique seruices of the Em∣pire against the common Enemie the Turke, or in their owne priuate seruices, as is before declared.
Now, if our such perswaders before mentioned were of so great consideration and iudgement, as they would seeme to be, they would verie well know that great Regiments of fiue, foure, or three thousands that doo consist of great bands of fiue, foure, or three hun∣dreds, are a great deale more readie to be commaun∣ded and gouerned, and therewithall to performe all actions Militarie, with a great deale more celeritie and dexteritie, than if they were reduced into little Regiments of thousands, & small bands of hundreds and fifties. And that may be with great facilitie consi∣dered by the like comparisons and reasons, which I haue before alleaged, that great bands of fiue hun∣dreds, and so consequentlie by the like reasons of foure or three hundreds are more readie to bee redu∣ced into forme, and imployed in all important serui∣ces with more celeritie & dexteritie, than small bands of hundreds and fifties, or two hundreds are: Besides all which, by forming of such small Regiments of one thousand, the Prince doth consume a farre grea∣ter pay, than by forming of great Regiments of fiue, foure, or three thousand, by reason of the great num∣ber of officers, which are encreased by such great nū∣bers of little Regiments. And for further proofe and confirmation of euerie forementioned particularitie, I were able to alleadge manie more reasons, if it were Page [unnumbered] not to auoide prolixitie. Howbeit, peraduenture it may now be said vnto me, that the Tercios of the Spa∣niards that haue serued manie yeares in the Lowe Countries, doo consist some of them but of twelue hundred, and others of fifteene hundred, and some of more, and others of fewer, which I confesse to bee true, but that hath proceeded of this, that they are not entire Tercios, nor neuer were since they were drawne out of such principalities where they before were re∣sident, as for example: when the Duke of Alba was to come out of Italie with his Armie, to suppresse the intestine tumults of the Lowe Countries, the whole Tercios of Sicilie, Naples, Sarden•a, and Lumbardy were not drawne out of those gouernmēts, but certen great parts of them, which notwithstanding were called by the names of Tercios, with additions of the names of the gouernments & principalities from whence they came, as though they had bin entire, whereas in troth they were but certen great parts of those Tercios. For a Tercio is not to bee holden for compleate of anie smaller number than of 3000. soldiers, according to the ordinarie regiments of Italians, Wallons, and other Nations that are in these daies of the like number.
Caliuers and Mosquets for seruices in the field they extoll and magnifie,* and chieflie Mosquets, per∣swading as much as they can all Magistrates, and men of accompt, that battailes and victories in these our daies are to bee obtained chieflie by the force and ex∣cellencie of those weapons; and that the forraine E∣nemie seeking to inuade vs in anie Hauen with a Na∣uie and Armie royall, should with foure or fiue thou∣sand Mosquettiers and some Caliuerers, bee repulsed Page 11 and kept from landing. And that certen Sconces by them deuised without anie Bulwarks, Flanckers, Tra∣uesses, Mounts, Platformes, wet or drie Ditches in forme, with Counterscarps, or any other good forme of fortification, but onelie raised and formed with earth, turfe, trench, and certen poynts, angles, and in∣dents, should bee able to hold out the Enemie landed some three or foure daies, vntill the force of three or foure shires were assembled. They also doo further attribute such excellencie vnto Mosquets, that no squadrons of horsemen or footmen, what number soeuer they haue of Archers, are anie waies able to a∣bide the volees and terrour of that weapon, being in great numbers within 20. or 24. scores, but that they must of necessitie bee dismembred and broken. To the weapon of Caliuers before mentioned, they also giue exceeding commendation for skirmishes and encounters in the field, saying that they may skirmish with that weapon 10. or 12 scores of, to the great ter∣rour and hurt of the Enemie. Vpon which excellent effects by them attributed to the aforenamed wea∣pons of fire, they haue perswaded (as much as doth in them lie) that all our bands of late yeares erected for the defence of the Realme, should bee filled with ma∣nie Mosquettiers and Caliuerers, and fewe Piques, and for short weapons being Bils (which I call Battle∣axes) they make small accompt.
Now, for answere to some of these vnsoldierlike opinions, I say, that if anie such as doo hold that won∣derfull opinion of the effects of Mosquettiers (how good soldiers soeuer they thinke themselues) were at anie Hauen in England with fiue or sixe thousand of Page [unnumbered] the best Mosquettiers that they euer saw of our Eng∣lish nation, without 〈…〉 of horsemen and foot∣men of other weapons to backe them, I thinke they would worke verie small effect against the Enemie landing, although they had ensconsed themselues (as they terme it) in such Sconses as they and their Engi∣ners formed this last sommer 1588. vppon the Sea coasts of Suffolke, and in Essex and Kent, on both sides of the riuer of Thames. For if they should see a Nauie with an Armie of thirtie or fortie thousand men (be∣sides seamen, and such as should be left for the gard of the shipps) vnder some notable and sufficient General enter into anie capable Hauen of England, with wind and weather fit for their purpose, with intention to inuade (which God forbid) they should finde them∣selues in their opinions wonderfullie deceiued. For this they are to knowe, that such a Generall being with his whole Nauie entred into such a Hauen, doth take order before, that proclamatiō be made through∣out all his shipps and vessells, that no man vpon paine of death being landed, shall straggle or stray abroad, but all soldiers to reduce themselues with all celeritie vnder their Ensignes; which done, a Cannon is dis∣charged out of the Generalls ship, which is a warning for all Captaines, Officers and Soldiers to arme them∣selues and to take their weapons. And vppon the se∣cond Cannon discharged, the Captaines, and Ensign∣bearers with their Ensignes in their hands, with such cōuenient numbers of Mosquettiers, Harquebuziers, Piquers, and Halbarders, as the long boates, Shallops, Fregatts, Azabres, and other such vessells of oares ly∣ing readie at the shipps sides are capable of, doo enter Page 12 into them, euerie long boate hauing two Bases afore∣ship readie charged, and gunners readie to discharge them. Then vpon the third Cannon discharged, all the long boates and vessells of oares for the landing of men, do rowe with all furie towards the land with a wonderfull terrible noise of trompets & drommes. Now, if our such men of warre with their Mosquet∣tiers would giue their volees of Mosquet shot vppon these shipboates full of men, with intent to destroye great numbers of them being so thicke and so manie, they shall finde that discharging their Mosquet shot from higher grounds downwards into the sea, which by the Italians are called Botti di ficco, accompted of all other dischargings most vncertaine, as also by the o∣uermuch distance, and continuall motion of the ship∣boates rowing, and with the swelling of the salt wa∣ter (how calme soeuer it bee) made more vncertaine, they shall shoote verie vncertainlie, & therefore work verie little or no effect to the destroying of their ene∣mies, or anie waies to keepe thē from landing. Besides that, the Enemies out of such their shipps as are neerest vnto them, will discharge Cannon, Culuerin and Sa∣ker shot to the terrifying of them; so as their ship∣boates in despight of their Mosquets comming to land, and they presentlie sending certen troupes of Harquebuziers, with some Halbarders vnder their conductors, to skirmish and entertaine the Mosquet∣tiers, whilest the Piquers and other weapons doo re∣duce themselues into forme vnder their Ensignes, they shall finde in the space of three or foure houres aboue twelue or fifteene thousand men landed; who then taking some ground of aduantage to fortifie, and Page [unnumbered] to place their victuall, powder, and all sorts of muni∣tions, they with all speede possible do proceed to the landing of their Artillerie and Munitions, with all the rest of their Armie both of horsemen and footmen. Which being by them performed, they presentlie make their approach vpon their indented Sconce, not with anie crooked or crosse trenches, gabions, nor mounts, according to the order of approaching, and battering of places in forme fortified, but with other inuentions gardable against Mosquet shot (that perad∣uenture our such men of warre are ignorant of) as al∣so with Mosquet and Harquebuze shot, with piques, and halfe piques, swords and targets, and with ladders if it be needful, in such terrible sort, as that great num∣ber of our vnskilfull Mosquettiers and Caliuerers within their Sconce, would be found scarse able to a∣bide the first charge and assault, seeing so puissant an Enemie landed. And I doubt rather when they should see with what terrour the Enemies doo approach the land, and the small annoyance that they with their Mosquet shot should worke vppon them, that they would scarse abide the landing of the first boates full of soldiers, without abandoning both Sconce and shore to the Enemie.
And whereas our such men of warre the last som∣mer had manie deuises in their heads of ensconcing of Sconces for the defence of diuers Hauens;* if they were men of vnderstanding in fortification (as they would seeme to be) they might verie well know that there is a great difference betwixt the scituations and natures of the drie grounds of England, and those of Holland, Frizeland, and other such low and flat Coun∣tries Page 13 full of riuers, great ditches, marishes, and wet grounds, where they may ensconce themselues with small cost within little Ilands, or vpon poynts & mee∣tings of riuers▪ or elswhere, by the opening of sluces and dykes, or cutting of banckes and trenches, they may enuiron themselues with water on euerie side. The best sort of which Sconces being more strong by nature and scituation, than by anie arte or forme of fortification, may in those parts resist and hold out a weake or an vnskilfull Enemie some long while: but such their ensconcings in the drie grounds vpon the Hauens of England, are to small purpose to hold out a puissant Enemie, if he should land, or anie waies to keepe him from landing. And therfore I conclude, that such fortifications in England are verie skornes and mockeries, and would be rather profitable for the Enemie landed, than anie waies to annoy or to resist the Enemie. Besides all which before alleaged, it is further to bee noted, that a puissant and mightie Ene∣mie that in the time of sommer intendeth the inua∣sion of forraine dominions by sea, to the intent to giue battaile and subdue, doth not alwaies binde himselfe to land his Armie in a Hauen, but sometimes vpon an open coast and shoare, if the sea (without hidden rockes and flatts) be deepe, and the wind and weather faire, hauing commoditie by the depth of the sea to approach his Nauie, and to cast ancker in open roade, neere vnto a commodious shoare & countrie to land and march vpon. So as it behoueth all such Princes, as doubt the inuasion of their dominions by sea, not onlie to expect and prouide for the resisting of the E∣nemie in their Ports and Hauens, but also to haue as Page [unnumbered] great regard to some such open and commodious shoares, as are before mentioned. Which cannot be performed 〈◊〉 with ensconcing of Sconces, 〈…〉, but onelie with a great and extraordinarie wisedome, and with the valiant hands of a puissant Armie and Campe for∣med. Now, whereas they attribute such excellencie vnto Mosquettiers with their Mosquets, that being in great numbers, and backed with some squadrons of Piques,* they are able 20 or 24. scores off to break and dismember squadrons both of horsemen and foot∣men; True it is, that Mosquets being in the hands of skilful Mosquettiers, are of great effect for diuers pur∣poses; and that kinde of weapon of that length with restes, and so ranforced, was first vsed in Italie aboue 60. yeares past (as I haue diuers times heard auncient Captaines of the Italian and Spanish Nation say) and that at that time they were employed for the defence of places fortified, as also out of trenches against pla∣ces fortified being besieged, which were the verie na∣turall places and of greatest effect for that weapon; howbeit, since that time they haue been vsed in most Armies in the field both on horsebacke and on foote,* but chieflie on foote, but neuer in anie great number vntill the Duke of Alba came to gouerne the Lowe Countries; who greatlie encreased the nūber of that weapon for soldiers on foote. To the which encrease of Mosquettiers he long before had perswaded with the Emperour Charles, howbeit he could neuer bring it to passe, because there were diuers great & notable Captaines, such as the Marquesse of Guast, Don Fer∣nando Gonzaga, Iuan Baptista Castaldo, Antonio Dorea,Page 14 and the Marquesse of Marin•an, with diuers other principall men of his councell of warre, that did vt∣terlie mislike the encreasement of that weapon for the field, as too burdensome and heauie for soldiers to vse in battailes or great encounters; but for within townes besieged, or out of trenches against places for∣tified, they did greatlie allow of them: But the Duke at this time being Lieutenant generall and absolute Gouernour in the Lowe Countries (as aforesaid) see∣ing the numbers of Rutters in all Armies encreased, and that the most of those Rutters, as also that manie Captaines and Officers of footmen were armed at the proofe of the Harquebuze, he to the intent to fru∣strate the resistance of their armours, did encrease his numbers of Mosquettiers, the blowes of the bullets of which, no armours wearable can resist. And this I haue heard of diuers auncient Captaines both Ita∣lians and Spaniards, who did rather allowe of the opi∣nion of those great Captaines, than of the Duke of Albas so great encreasing of that weapō. Since whose time the Duke of Parma after the death of the Com∣mendador and Don Iuan d' Austria, being appoynted by the King of Spaine to bee Lieutenant generall and gouernour there, seeing the greatest part of the Lowe Countries reuolted, and lost through Don Iuan d' Au∣strias composition; & that he was therfore to recouer citie after citie, and towne after towne, because they were all fortified more or lesse, and that when he had won them, he must keepe & defend them with garri∣sons; for the which two effects of winning & defen∣ding of townes & places fortified, that kind of weapō being verie excellent, he encreased his Mosquettiers Page [unnumbered] to a farre greater number (as I haue heard) than the Duke of Alba euer had. Howbeit, I knowe that the Duke of Alba had more cause to vse Mosquettiers in seruices of the field vpon diuers occasions, than anie of his successors gouernours of those Prouinces euer had, by reason of the often inuasions of Counte Lodo∣wick, the Prince of Orange, and others; and therefore he being (as he was) a great Captaine, and of great ex∣perience and skill in all discipline and science Milita∣rie, did vse to conferre with his Coronells, and Mae∣stros de Campo, and Sergeants Maiors of the vse of all weapons in their due times and places, and of their distances in euerie sort, as of verie important matters belonging to the Arte Militarie; in such wise as there was not anie Captaine, Alferez, Sergeant of band, or Cabo de Esquadra, that did not knowe (both by instruc∣tion and practise) the particular operations and effects of all weapons, and chieflie of the Mosquet and Har∣quebuze, in which two weapons the Spaniards haue been accompted of manie yeares to bee most perfect and skilfull, in such sort as there were not anie Cap∣taines or Leaders in his Milicia so ignorāt, that would permit their Mosquettiers to giue anie volees from their restes, either at horsemen or footmen in march, or anie motion, aboue 8. or 10. scores at the farthest, because they knewe (both by instruction and expe∣rience) that with that weapon (being for diuers causes verie vncertaine) they should in discharging farther of, haue wrought verie small or none effect to the a∣noyance of their Enemies. For although the Mos∣quet ranforced and well charged with good powder, would carrie a full bullet poynt and blancke 24. or 30. Page 15 scores,* doth it therefore followe that they should giue volees of Mosquet shot 20. or 24. scores of? whereas in failing to take their iust sight at poynt and blancke no more but the length of a corne, their bullets doo worke as much effect against the Moone, as against the Enemie that they shoote at. Besides that, in so great a distance of ground, how truelie soeuer they take their sights at poynt and blancke, the ayre doth worke verie great effect with their bullets that are lower by a bore than the height of their peeces, to carrie them from the marke or markes that they are shot at. As also that by proofe they may finde, that in giuing their volees of Mosquet shot but onlie twelue scores, at either horsemen or footmen that are in mo∣tion, they shall worke no great annoyance, by reason that the bullets being so much lower than the heigth of their peeces (as is aforesaid) doo naturallie mount and flie vncertainlie. Besides that, no Mosquettiers in actions of the field can haue the time to charge their peeces and take their sights at poynt and blancke, as they may being within trenches, or from out of Bul∣warkes, Curtins, and Rampiers in places fortified; where, with great leisure they may charge their pee∣ces with full bullets and charges, and shoot from verie certeine rests, as it were de man puesto (as the Spaniards call it.) By which reasons and experiences of the vse of that weapon in the field, the lacke of experience and iudgement in our such men of warre, that talke of 24. or 20. scores like nouices and Vison̄os, may ve∣rie euidentlie appeare and giue occasion to anie such as haue seene the true effects thereof, to thinke that they neuer sawe anie important matter performed Page [unnumbered] with that kind of weapon in the field.
Now, whereas they giue so great commendation to the Caliuer, that with that kind of weapon soldiers may giue volees of shot in the plaine fields 10. or 12. scores off, to the great annoyance both of horsemen and footmen; To that I answere, that it is a verie vn∣soldierlike opinion, and contrarie to all experience and vse of old soldiers, and chieflie of the old bands of Italians, Spaniards, & Wallons, who by long experience do better knowe what effects both Harquebuzes and Mosquets of all heighthes doo work, than they doo. And because that by cōtinuall experience they know the wonderfull vncertaintie of those kinds of wea∣pons in the field, they will neuer skirmish, nor other∣wise giue anie volee aboue 10.20.30. or 40. paces off at the farthest, although it bee at a whole squadron or troupe of horsemen or footmen: sauing that true it is, that the old soldiers Harquebuziers Spaniards, seeing their enemies in the field some 8.9. or 10. scores off, by the commandement of their officers doo sometimes giue a verie fewe shot at their enemies, with no other intent but to abuse and procure them to giue their vo∣lees with all furie, that thereby they may spend their powder and bullets, heate their peeces, and worke no effect, whereby they still keeping the force of their shot, may after giue their whole volees at their ene∣mies, approaching within 10.15. or 20. paces; and for that effect the Spaniards doo vse this phrase;*disparese de lexos, para atraher, y engan̄ar bobos, which our such men of warre may truelie confesse, if euer they sawe, and encountred with anie puissant numbers of those Nations in the field.
Page 16Now, because they doo so much mistake the ef∣fects of those two weapons of fire, the Mosquet and Caliuer, attributing such excellencie vnto them for the field, as is not to be performed with them, thereby to bring our Magistrates, and the better sort of our people & Nation into misliking of our ancient wea∣pon the Long Bowe, wishing the vtter extinguishing of that kind of weapon as vnprofitable and of none effect for the warrs of these our daies, I will set down the perfections and imperfections both of the Mos∣quet, Caliuer and the Long Bowe, attributing vnto each one of them the true effects, that by commō ex∣perience and reason haue been, and may be wrought with euerie sort of them in the field, that by compa∣ring the perfections, imperfections, and effects of the soldiers, and their weapons of fire, with the perfecti∣ons, imperfections, and effects of the Archers & their Bowes, all men of consideration and iudgement (bee they soldiers or men of peace) may iudge which of those three sorts of weapons are of greatest effect for battailes and great encounters, and other actions in the field, and not in places fortified.
And therefore beginning with Harquebuzes, by many miscalled Caliuers: which Harquebuzes if they bee well ranforced, and the Cannons of them not a∣boue a yard in length, and the bore & bullets not too great, with stocks of good forme, I think them to be verie maniable weapons, for such soldiers as are well practised,* & do know how to vse them, & do worke most effect in woods, and whereas vines or shrubs do grow, & from behind old ruined walls, as also where∣as there be trenches, deepe waies, bancks, hills, rocks, Page [unnumbered] or hedges, or anie other couert, where they may lie close, and finde anie thing to serue them for rests to discharge their peeces from, and so vpon the sodaine giuing volee after volee are of great seruice, & chiefly for ambushes, being faire weather ouer head. And al∣so in the plaine fields two or three ranckes of them being placed almost close to the frunt of a squadron of piques, and likewise vpon the flanckes and backe of the same squadron, are of good effect to giue their volees at a squadron, or diuers squadrons of Launces charging the piques; and that they must performe al∣together vpon their right knees frō vnder the piques, which must garde them against the charge of the Launces. But they must take heede that they doo not giue their volee at the horsemen till they come with∣in eight, tenne, or twelue 〈◊〉 and not eight, tenne, or twelue scores, as our such men of warre do fondly talke and teach; and in that sort they may worke ve∣rie good effect, if their peeces bee charged as they ought to be. If two squadrons of Piquers also should come to ioyne and charge the one the other, certeine nūbers of Harquebuziers being reduced into sleeues. wings, and troupes, vpon the flanckes and corners of a squadron, are of good effect, giuing their volees not too farre off, so long as there are no horsemen in the field to breake them.
Harquebuziers also being reduced into wings, and little squares and troupes in the field, aduanced and re∣tired with some societies, or Cameradas of loose shot are of good effect for skirmishes against the like wea∣pons, and against Mosquettiers, so that they be backed with Piques, Halbards, or Battleaxes, and that in that Page 17 kind of action, they doo not discharge their peeces a∣boue thirtie, fortie, or fiftie yards, or three score at the most, and that with great order and discretion. And these are the chiefe effects of that kind of weapon.
Now, as for Mosquettiers with their long ranfor∣ced and heauie peeces of great munition and bullet, they doo worke verie good effect in the like places and seasons, sauing that they are not to be imployed as loose shot in skirmishes: howbeit, the verie proper and apt places for Mosquettiers in the field, is to be re∣duced into sleeues, wings, broad squares or troupes, to flancke a 〈…〉 of armed men, or to de∣fend a straight.* For those kind of soldiers hauing their Mosquets long, ranforced, and of great munition and bullet, clapping their peeces vppon their forkes, may shoote with some certaintie from of those rests, to the annoyance and mischiefe of well armed men, be they on horseback or on foote: howbeit, for the skirmish they worke little effect, by reason that the soldiers be∣ing in continuall motions, and troubled with heauie peeces of great length, as also with their forkes hang∣ing vppon their fingers, cannot vse their Mosquets with so much readines and dexteritie, as the Harque∣buziers their Harquebuzes; being a great deale more light and short, and without forkes. And to vse their peeces without restes (as some of our such men of warre doo permit them, when they come newe to the field lustie and strong) is contrarie to the vse of that weapon, because they performe no effect against the Enemie, by reason they are not able (how strong soe∣uer they bee) to beare their Mosquets with their left armes at anie point and blancke, being in continuall Page [unnumbered] motions; besides that, it is the next way to make them lame in their armes, shoulders, and backes. Two ranckes of Mosquettiers also beeing reduced before the frunt of a squadron of piques, kneeling vppon their knees, and encouered with piques, and vsing their Mosquets as skilfull soldiers should doo, maie worke the like effect, or better against a squadron of Launces charging, than three ranckes of Harquebu∣ziers can doo. But they must take heed that they giue not their volee of shot at the Launces anie greater di∣stance off, than fifteene or twentie yards, because they may shoote the more certeinlie, and not faile to light either vpon the horses or men. And now hauing de∣clared the chiefe effects of both those sorts of wea∣pons, I will proceed to the imperfections and com∣mon accidents of them both, as also of the better sort of such soldiers as do handle and vse those weapons, of what Nation soeuer they be.
All Harquebuziers in skirmishes, or great encoun∣ters, or being reduced into anie forme, doo common∣lie discharge their peeces without taking anie cer∣teine sight at poynt and blanck, and out of their poynt and blancke they doo neither kill nor hurt, 〈…〉 If Harquebuziers also or Mosquettiers in taking their sights, doo faile but the length of a wheate corne in the heighth of their point and blancke,* they worke no•• effect at the marks that they shoote at, although they bee verie great; and in case they doo take their sights at iust poynt & blanke, yet by reason that their bullets are lower by 〈◊〉 boares than the heighth of their peeces, the said bullets doo naturallie mount, and flie vncertainlie and wide from Page 18 the marke or markes that they are shot at, and the fur∣ther in distance the more they faile. The Harquebuze & Mosquet also being discharged but seuen or eight shootes in hast, doo growe hote, and then doo worke small effect, but daunger to the soldiers that doo oc∣cupie them.
If the powder also with the which they are char∣ged bee not well corned, and with sufficient quanti∣tie of saltpeter, and kept verie drie, it furreth the peeces, and carrieth the bullets poynt and blanke but a little way, and manie times goe not off at all. The match also if it bee not of verie good substance, well wrought, and verie well twisted, and kept verie drie, whereby the cole of the same may be hard and good, it giueth no fire to the touchpowder; besides that, if the touchpowder bee not drie it taketh no fire, how good soeuer the cole of the match be. The Harque∣buziers and Mosquettiers also, charging their peeces in anie actions of the field, if in mouing or trauersing their grounds, they do not looke well to the keeping vp of the mouthes of their peeces, but that by anie chaunce the ends of them doo goe anie thing down∣ward, the bullets that are smaller by 〈◊〉 boare than the heighth of the cannons of their peeces, doo fall to the ground; wherevpon it happeneth, that manie Har∣quebuziers and Mosquettiers thrusting nothing after their bullets to keep them close to the powder, doo in vaine discharge the powder without the bullets. Al∣so if harquebuziers or mosquettiers do not cōtinually keepe their peeces cleane without moysture or rust, and also take great heed that they do not ouercharge thē, they either put their peeces in hazard of breaking, Page [unnumbered] or els themselues to bee ouerthrowne with the recu∣ling of them. Or if Harquebuziers or Mosquettiers in charging their peeces, do not charge them with con∣uenient and full charges, and chieflie the Harquebu∣ziers, and that the powder bee verie good and drie, as also that they doo with their scouring stickes thrust either paper or felt, or something els betweene the powder and the bullets, or at the least after the bullets, whereby the whole charges of powder being restrai∣ned may take fire, and giue the more force to the bul∣lets likewise restrained, they performe but smal effect; for such Harquebuziers and Mosquettiers, as charg∣ing their peeces in actions of the field, doo not vse to put anie thing betweene the powder and the bullets, nor yet after the bullets to keepe the powder and bul∣lets firme and close together, doo discharge much of the powder whole out of the mouthes of their peeces vnfired, vnlesse the powder bee merueilous drie and good; for bullets for the field being smaller and lower (as is aforesaid) than the heighths of the peeces by 〈…〉 bore, the first powder within the Cannons next vnto the touch hole taking fire, doth driue out the bullets, with the powder next vnto the bullets vnfired, be∣cause that both the powder and bullets doo lie loose vnrestrained, by meanes whereof the bullets doo nei∣ther worke that effect in their distances of point and blancke, that otherwise they would doo, nor yet in the force of their blowes. Besides all which defaults & defects, neither the Harquebuze nor the Mosquet in wet weather in the field doo worke anie effect. All which so manie imperfections of Harquebuziers and Mosquettiers (as are before declared, with manie o∣thers Page 19 that I omit) are the causes that vpon manie great skirmishes and encounters that haue been verie hot, and continued manie houres, with newe supplies on euerie side, it hath often happened, that in discharging on both sides manie thousands of bullets within three, foure, or fiue scores, and neerer, there hath not been on both sides slaine and hurt with bullets thirtie men,* which greatlie argueth the insufficiēcie of those kinds of weapons for battailes and great encounters. So as it is to bee noted, that such of our men of warre as doo giue so singular commendations and praises to the effects of Harquebuziers and Mosquettiers, as al∣so to those weapons, and doo not knowe all their im∣perfections and failings before declared, with manie more, doo shewe that they haue had verie little expe∣rience of those weapons in the field, nor yet that they themselues doo knowe how to handle and vse them, and therefore doo talke like nouices they wot not what.* Moreouer, concerning the insufficiencie of those weapons of fire, it is farther to bee noted, that if there be anie number of horsemen either Launces or Stradiotts in the field, where Mosquettiers or Har∣quebuziers are in action, and that they haue no horse∣men on their side to answere them, that it doth then behoue the shot with al celeritie to reduce themselues vnder the gard of their squadrons of piques, or if the number of them bee so great that the squadrons of piques cannot encouer them, the ouerplus must retire themselues to some such grounds of aduantages, as the horsemen may not be able to come to charge thē: for in case they should abide in the plaine field, not en∣couered with piques, nor garded with anie ground Page [unnumbered] of aduauntage,* a thousand braue Launces or Stra∣diotts, were able to breake three thousand of the best Mosquettiers, or Harquebuziers of anie Na∣tion. And now to the perfections and imperfec∣tions of our auncient weapon the Long Bowe, comparing the different effectes and aduauntages of that weapon, with the aforenamed weapons of fire.
*The imperfections of the Long bowe, doo consist onlie in the breaking of the Bowe or bowstring, for the which in times past (when there was great ac∣compt made of Archerie) there was speciall care had, that all Liueray, or warre Bowes being of the wood of Yewgh, were longer than now they vse them, and so verie well backed and nocked, that they seldome or neuer brake: Besides that, the Archers did vse to temper with fire a conuenient quantitie of waxe, ro∣sen, and fine tallowe together, in such sort that rub∣bing their Bowes with a verie little thereof laid vpon a wollen cloath, it did conserue them in all perfection against all weather of heate, frost, and wet; and the strings beeing made of verie good hempe, with a kinde of waterglewe to resist wet and moysture; and the same strings beeing by the Archers them∣selues with fine threed well whipt, did also verie seldome breake; but if anie such strings in time of seruice did happen to breake, the soldiers Archers had alwaies in readines a couple of strings more rea∣die whipt, and fitted to their Bowes, to clappe on in an instant. And this I haue heard of diuers Yeo∣men, that haue serued as soldiers Archers in the field.
Page 20And now hauing before in this discourse declared all the greatest and most perfect effects of Harquebu∣ziers and Mosquettiers for seruices in the field, and but a part of the imperfections of them, and their weapons of fire; because there are many more, which for breuities sake I haue omitted, and that I haue last of all declared that the imperfections of the Bowe do consist onelie in the breaking of the Bowe and bow∣string; because that Archers, if they bee well chosen, and sound of limbes, their weapons doo not permit a∣nie such accidentall imperfections and failings in them, as the forenamed weapons of fire doo in the soldiers that doo handle and vse them; which hath alreadie appeared, and shall after in this discourse bee made more manifest. I will now therefore proceed to the consideration and examining of three most important things,* in the which al effects of Mosquet∣tiers, Harquebuziers and Archers, and their weapons do consist; and that is, whether Mosquettiers or Har∣quebuziers with their weapons of fire, or Archers with their Bowes and sheafes of arrowes, vpon all oc∣casions in the field, bee most readie with all dexte∣ritie and celeritie to execute the effects of their wea∣pons, by discharging and giuing volees at their E∣nemies. The second is, whether the Archers with their weapons, or the other soldiers with their wea∣pons of fire, doo faile least to shoote, discharge, and giue their volees. And the third is, whether by rea∣son and common experience the bullets of weapons of fire in the field, or the arrowes of Archers doo an∣noye the Enemies most, bee they horsemen or foot∣men.
Page [unnumbered]To the first I think, that there is no man of any ex∣perience in the aforenamed weapons, that will denie, but that Archers are able to discharge foure or fiue arrowes apeece, before the Harquebuziers shall bee readie to discharge one bullet; I meane the Harque∣buziers beginning to charge when the Archers doo begin to take their arrowes to shoote. The reason is this, because good Harquebuziers are first to charge their peeces with powder by one of three waies: the first (which is best) is out of the mouthes and charges of their flaskes: the second is by certeine charges fil∣led with powder, which Harquebuziers doo weare, or carrie diuers waies: and the third is by cartages, with the which they doo charge their peeces both with powder and bullet all at one time, and yet by which of all these waies soeuer, or anie other they do charge them, they must (if they bee good Harquebu∣ziers) vse with their scouring sticks to thrust a quan∣titie of paper or felt, or something els both before, but chieflie after their bullets, to keepe them close to the powder; to the intent that their bullets vpon no acci∣dents may fall out, or at least lie loose vnrestrained from the powder, as also that their peeces may carrie the further poynt and blancke, and their bullets giue the greater blowes; which done, they must presentlie put touchpowder into their pans, and their matches into their cocks or serpentines; al which to performe requireth a good time. Whereas the Archers in the field continuallie hauing their Bowes bent, haue no more to doo but to drawe their arrowes out of their cases and sheafes, to nocke them in their Bowes, to drawe them to the heads and shoote; all which is per∣formed Page 21 almost in an instant. Now to the second; Ar∣chers haue no accidents nor impediments to hinder them from the performance and execution of their dischargings and volees, whereby they should anie waies faile to discharge the same, vnles their Bowes or bowstrings should breake: whereas Harquebu∣ziers haue not onlie the same let, in case their peeces by ouercharging, or ouerheating, or crackes, or rifts, doo breake, but also if that through the negligence of the Harquebuziers, the powder with the which they charge their peeces, by anie accident haue receiued a∣nie wet, or moysture, or that through the lacke of the closenes of their flaskes, the ayre of some moyst wea∣ther hath penetrated and entered into the flaskes, and caused the powder to giue and danke, by meanes whereof the Harquebuziers giuing fire with their matches 〈◊〉 serpentines to the touchpowder, often∣times their peeces doo not discharge, or sometimes lieth sissing in the touchhole or peece, vntill the Har∣quebuziers haue lost their poynt and blanke, and then peraduenture in vaine doo goe off. The touchpowder in the touch-boxes also, if either by the negligence of the Harquebuziers (as aforesaid) or by the fault of the touch-boxes, through the moystnes of the weather, the powder hath giuen, and become dancke, then of∣tentimes the powder will take no fire; whereby the Harquebuziers doo not onlie faile of their discharge∣ings, but also become vnprofitable, till they haue dried or chaunged the same. Harquebuziers and Mosquet∣tiers also in powring touchpowder into their pannes, the winde (if it bee great) will blowe and disperse the same, in such sort, that they shall verie often faile to Page [unnumbered] discharge their peeces; and so likewise if Harquebu∣ziers in putting their matches into their serpentines do faile to set them of a conuenient length, that ther∣by they may strike iust in the powder and pannes, but that they doo set the same too long, whereby the matches, if they be anie thing too lythe, do hang downeward, and with the comming downe and stroke of the cockes they fall double and short of the pannes and powder; or if the same matches by anie accident haue receiued outwardlie anie wett or moi∣sture, then the coales doo burne inward, leauing a beard outward, so as thereby although the endes thereof doo light in the middest of the pannes and powder, yet the same doo giue no fire to the towch∣powder. By all which aforesaid meanes and acci∣dentes, with diuers others both Mosquettiers and Harquebuziers, do faile to discharge their peeces: of all which imperfections and other accidentes, Ar∣chers with their Bowes are voyde. So as by all rea∣son and experience, it is most manifest that Archers are foure tymes more readie to giue their volees of ar∣rowes, than Harquebuziers, or Mosquettiers their volees of bulletts. Besides all which vnreadynesses, and failings before mentioned, if in the tyme of anie battle, great encountre, or skirmish, the weather doth happen to raine, haile, or snow, the aforena∣med weapons of fire can worke no effect, because the same doth not onelie wett the powder in their pannes and touch holes, but also doth wet the match, put out, or at least dampe the fire, and doth marre the powder in their flaskes and towchboxes; vnlesse the souldiours haue very good prouision, and besides; Page 22 be wonderfull carefull with their saltenbergs or man∣dillions to encouer and preserue the same. Whereas contrariwise, neither haile, raine, nor snowe, can let or hinder the Archers from shooting, and working great effects with their arrowes. All which argueth & pro∣ueth a singular aduantage and excellencie of Archers and their weapons, aboue al Harquebuziers and Mos∣quettiers with their weapons of fire. Now, peraduen∣ture some not skilled in the perfections and imperfe∣ctions of Harquebuziers and Mosquettiers, will say that they haue seene the soldiers of those weapons of fire, charge and discharge with a great deale more ce∣leritie than I haue before mentioned; whereunto I answer, that although it be verie commendable for all Harquebuziers and Mosquettiers to knowe how to charge and discharge apace, with all other particulari∣ties belonging to weapons of fire, yet such Harquebu∣ziers or Mosquettiers as do vse to charge & discharge so fast, are the worst of all others. For by often expe∣rience, such soldiers for hast do cōmonly charge their peeces with vncertaine charges of powder, & do nei∣ther vse with their scouring sticks to thrust paper nor anie thing els betwixt their powder & bullets, nor yet after their bullets to restraine & keepe close the same, whereby their dischargings against the enemie might be the more effectuall: besides that, in their discharge∣ings, they take no kind of sight at poinct & blank, nor yet at the ends of their peeces, but doo discharge at a venture; wherby it commeth to passe, that such quick and hastie Harquebuziers, doo worke no other effect but spend powder, match & shot, and heate their pee∣ces oftentimes to their owne mischiefes; and there∣fore (in troth) are more meete to scarre Crowes in a Page [unnumbered] corne field (vnles they reforme themselues) than with anie weapons of fire to be employed against the Ene∣mie.
And now to the third, and last; which is, whether by reason and commō experience, the bullets of wea∣pons of fire in the field, or the arrowes of Archers doo annoye the Enemies most, be they horsemen or foot∣men. I thinke it superfluous againe to reiterate, and set downe the different aduauntages and chiefe effects of Harquebuziers, Mosquettiers, and Archers; because I haue alreadie made them so manifest, as also that the Reader hereafter shall see in manie parts of this dis∣course diuers reasons, & manie notable examples and experiences, that Archers in the field doo farre exceed and excell all Mosquettiers and Harquebuziers in ter∣rifying, wounding, and killing both horses and men. And therefore wil onlie in this place answere one ob∣iection, which I haue diuers times heard alleaged in commendation of the effects of weapons of fire, and the dishabling of the effects of Archers, and that is; there are manie that haue reported that the blowes of the bullets of Mosquets and Harquebuziers, are no lesse than death to such as they light vpon; whereas contrariwise the blowes of arrowes doo but onelie gall, or lightlie wound: which in troth is greatlie mi∣staken by all such as doo hold that opinion. For that by common experience it hath been seene in all skir∣mishes and great encounters, that for euerie one that hath been slaine dead in the field by the shot of Mos∣quer or Harquebuze, there haue been foure that haue not died by the hurts of such weapōs of fire, although some of them haue remained euer after maimed, and Page 23 some not. Whereas by true experience, Archers with their arrowes doo not onlie greatlie wound, but also sometimes kill both horses and men, in such sort as they neuer depart out of the field aliue, as it shall here∣after appeare by diuers auncient as also moderne ex∣amples. Besides that, I, and diuers other Gentlemen of our Nation yet liuing, that were in France in King Ed∣ward the sixts time, and also diuers times since, haue manie times heard French Captaines and Gentlemen, attribute al the former victories of the English against themselues & their ancestors the French, more to the effect of our Archers, than to anie extraordinarie va∣liancie of our Nation; and therewithall further report and say, that they did thinke that the English Archers did vse to poyson their arrowe heads;* because that of great numbers of the French Nation that many times had been wounded or hurt with arrowes, verie fewe had escaped with their liues; by reason that their wounds did so impostume, that they could not be cu∣red. In which their cōceipts they did greatlie erre; be∣cause in troth those impostumations proceeded of no∣thing els but of the verie rust of the arrowe heads that remained ranckling within their wounds; and there∣fore by the common experience of our auncient Ene∣mies, (that we haue so often vanquished) not onlie the great, but also the small wounds of our arrowes haue been alwaies found to bee more daungerous and hard to be cured, than the fire of anie shot vnpoysoned.
Besides all which, it is to bee noted, that horses in the field being wounded, or but lightlie hurt with arrowes, they through the great paine that vppon e∣uerie motion they doo feele in their flesh, vaines, Page [unnumbered] and sinewes by the shaking of the Arrowes with their barbed heads hanging in them, do presentlie fall a yerking, flinging and leaping as if they were mad, in such sort, as be it in squardron, or in troupe they do disorder one an other, and neuer leaue vntill they haue throwne, and cast their masters. Whereas contrariwise, horses that are in their vitall partes hurt with bulletts, or that the bones of their legges, shoul∣ders, or backs be broken, they do presently fall down, or otherwise, although they be strikē cleane through, or that the bulletts do still remaine in them, they after the first shrinck at the entring of the bullett doo passe their Carrire, as though they had verie litle or no hurt: And this of the hurting of horses with bulletts, both I my selfe, and all others do know, that haue seene any actions performed in the field. And the other of the great disordering of horses with the hurts of our Eng∣lish arrowes I haue read in diuers histories, and also heard reported by diuers Gentlemen of our nation that haue seene the same. But now because I haue di∣uers times heard manie vaine obiections obiected by some of our Captaines of the Low Countries against Archers, to the disgracing, and dishabling of them, and their weapons in comparison of Mosquettiers and Harquebuziers and their weapons of fire: I will (with the helpe of almightie God) answere as manie of them as shall fall into my memorie; and therefore will begin with one of their litle fancies that they doo alledge against the Longbow, and so proceed to their greater, and greatest obiections.
Among manie other their fancies they do alledge, that the Archers bowes, being by them vsed against Page 24 the Enemie in the heate of sommer,* will grow so weake, that thereby they will leese their force and ef∣fects. Whereunto I answere, that this obiection is a new fancie, and a verie dreame contrary to all ancient and moderne experience of English Archers, whose Bowes being made of that excellēt wood of Yewgh, doo neuer so decay in strength, neither by hotte nor wett weather, nor yet by often shooting in them, but that they will with arrowes wound, and sometymes kill both men & horses a greater distance off, then the shott and bullets of Harquebuziers and Caliuer〈…〉 employed and vsed in the open fields, by skilfull Conductours and Leaders; by reason of the wonder∣full failings and vncertainties of those and all other weapons of fire maniable: diuers of the particularities wherof: I haue before in this dicourse made manifest.
Also they do further alledge,* that vpon an inuasion of foraine dominions beyond the seas, the weapons, and furniture of Archers, as of Bowes, sheafes of ar∣rowes and bowstrings, can not be found and proui∣ded where Archerie is not vsed; whereas contrari∣wise, all kinds of munition belonging to the weapons of fire, are easie to be found and prouided in all foraine dominions. Which is as much, as if they should say, that if an Armie of fiue and twentie, or thirtie thou∣sand of our English nation vnder some sufficient Ge∣nerall were sent to inuade France, and disembarking in Normandie, and winning Newhauen and Roan, should straight march to Paris: (which is no more thā diuers Kings of England and their Generalls haue done) where after some encountres and skirmishes the Armie comming to lack powder and shott, they Page [unnumbered] should with facilitie for money prouide the same in the hart of the Enemies Countrie, where all the Townes in which that prouision is to bee had are fortified, which is a verie mockerie and dreame to bee thought on. But some of our such men of warre peraduenture will further alledge, that they might haue the same prouision by the way of conuoy, either from Newhauen or Roan, in case they were possessed of those Townes: whereunto it is to bee answered, that first the conuoy had need to bee verie strong; besides that, there is no man of anie consideration and iudge∣ment, but that doth verie well knowe, that Mosquets, Harquebuzes, powder, match and lead, are as heauie, and a great deale more heauie to bee carried, than Bowes, sheafes of arrowes and bowstrings are. Besides that, by such their ignorant obiections, they doo eui∣dentlie shew that they haue not read, nor heard, or els for lacke of reason not beleeued, the proceedings of the notable Kings of England in their inuasions of France, and other Dominions; for if they had, they would not then doubt, but that a King of England, or his Lieutenant generall inuading forraine dominions, would vpon such an enterprise carrie all sorts of mu∣nition, belonging to Archers, to serue them for many battailes and great encounters, as well as King Edward the third, and Henrie the fift, and their Lieutenants ge∣nerall did, whose Armies did sometimes consist of nine, or ten thousand al Archers, and not aboue foure or fiue thousand armed men on horsebacke and on foote; which Princes, and their Lieutenants did ne∣uer omit (according to their milicia) to carrie great plentie of sheafes of Arrowes, Bowes, and all other Page 25 things requisite aswell for their Archers, as for their armed men,* and all other effects. Besides that, by that their simple and fond obiection, they do discouer that they haue very seldome or neuer seene an Armie roy∣all march in the field; for if they had, they then would verie well know, that there is no puissant Armie for∣med either to inuade or defend, that doth consist of a well ordered milicia, that doth not in the publique carriages of the Camp, ordinarylie carrie all kindes of munitions of weapons and armours offensiue and de∣fensiue, with all other munitions and necessaries re∣quisite for all purposes, for the publique employments and vse of Camp, Towne, and field.
Now, whereas some of our aforesaid men of warre do further alledge, rather vpon fancie than vpon anie souldiourlyke reasons and experience, manie vaine and friuolous obiections, partlie against the Bowes (as aforesaid) but chieflie against the Archers that do vse them,* how good soeuer they be, saying that Ar∣chers when they haue lyen some long tyme in Camp in the field, will become so decayd in strength either by sicknes, or otherwise, that they will not be able to draw their Bowes, and worke that effect that Archers should do; whereas contrarywise, Mosquettiers and Harquebuziers will giue as great blowes with their bulletts out of their peeces being decayd in strength by long lying in Camp, or sickenes, as if they were whole. Thereunto I answere, that true it is, that the small loue that such men of warre as they are, haue borne to their souldiours in the Low Countries, al∣lowing them nothing but prouand, and lodging them in Churches, vpon the bare stones and pauements, as∣well Page [unnumbered] in winter as in sommer, with manie other their abuses and disorders, contrarie to all discipline milita∣rie, haue made most of their souldiours vnfit and vn∣able to vse any sort of weapons, as soldiers should do in the field: howbeit in fauour of Archers, to conuince their simple and ignorant opinions,* I say, that if Har∣quebuziers happen to be decayd in strength by sick∣nes, or that by long lying in Camp in the field, they shall happē to haue anie ache, or aches in their necks, shoulders, armes, backs, thighs, leggs, or feet, although that they be otherwise hart whole enough, shalbe as litle, or rather lesse able in seruices in the field to per∣forme the effect of Harquebuziers, than Archers the effect of Archers; for Harquebuziers in such seruices must be lythe in all their ioints and sinewes, that they may stoupe to their peeces, & trauerse their grounds, now retiring hauing discharged, giuing place to their fellowes, and then aduancing againe, giuing their fel∣lowes retiring tyme againe to charge, with such agili∣tie, and dexteritie, that they may be readie vpon euery opportunitie, to stoupe, and take euery litle aduantage of hillocks, bancks, vines, trenches, shrubbes, or anie such like; besides that, they must haue their armes and shoulders verie sound to carrie their peeces firme in their dischargings at the Enemie, as also to vse their scouring sticks, and charge againe; which effects they are no wayes able to performe if they be grown weak by lying in the field, or if they haue achs, or cricks in anie part of their limbes, as aforesaid.
Mosquettiers also, it doth behoue to be strong and puissant of body without sicknes, achs, or other impe∣diments, and euerie way sound of wind and limbe: for Page 26 if they be decayd in strength of body by lying in the field,* or that they haue anie impediments of cricks, or aches in their necks, shoulders, armes, backs, thighs, or leggs, it is not possible that they should be able to vse their Mosquets in the field to the annoyance of their Enemies, their peeces being so wonderfull heauie, and they troubled with the carrying and vse of their rests, and loden with their other ordinarie and heauie fur∣niture, if they be anie wayes decayd, as aforesaid, and therefore are become vnprofitable for seruices in the field: whereas Archers that are not troubled with so heauie weapons and furniture as the Mosquettiers, nor bound by the effects of their weapons to any such nimblenes,* stoupings and agilities, as Harquebuziers are, may very well draw their Bowes, if they be sound without aches frō the girdle vpward, what aches so∣euer they haue from that part downward, so long as they are able to march as fast as armed men Piquers, because that according to the ancient and true vse of that weapon, they are to be vsed rather for battles and great encountres, than for light skirmishes.
Armed men also Piquers and Halbarders,* will bee verie vnable to march in the field armed, & with their weapons, if they bee decaied in strength of bodie by long lying in the Campe, or by sicknes, or that they haue any aches, or cricks in their limmes, besides that, vpon such diseases they will be a great deale lesse able to encounter with their enemies in the field vpon a∣nie occasion of battaile or great encounter, and to vse their piques and other weapons, as armed men should doo in such actions. All which rightlie considered, their vnconsiderate speaches, and enablings of Mos∣quettiers. Page [unnumbered] & Harquebuziers, and disabling of Archers vpon the accidents and occasions aforesaid, doth ar∣gue their insufficiencies in matters militarie; because such as pretend to bee men of warre, or old soldiers, should not speake rashlie,* and (as the Frenchman saith) a la volee, but with consideration, reason and iudge∣ment; for otherwise, how long soeuer they haue ser∣ued in warres, it may bee rightlie deemed that they haue spent their times, & employed themselues more to some other base and vile occupations, than to the consideration & exercises of matters Militarie. More∣ouer, they obiect against Archers,* that men in this age are not so mightie and strong of bodie, as they haue been in former ages, and therefore cannot shoote so strong, and work so good effects with their arrowes, as their forefathers haue done in times past; which is as friuolous an obiection as all the rest: and the reason is this, that they may see by experience, (if they list) throughout England, as also amongst other Nations, as manie sonnes, as tall or taller than their fathers, or big∣ger and stronger, as they shall see lower, slenderer, and weaker. Now, peraduenture with more troth some may say, that the subiects of England within these thir∣tie or fortie yeares, haue not had so much exercise in Archerie, as their forefathers in times past were wont to haue, whereby it commeth to passe, that Archers in number are greatlie decaied, which I confesse to bee verie true: howbeit, that hath chieflie proceeded through the great fault and negligence of sorts of Magistrates, who hauing excellent statute and penall lawes established in other kings times for the increase and maintenance of Archerie, and that boyes from Page 27 their young yeares should bee taught the exercise and vse of the Bowe, that being come to mans state, they might bee the better able to serue their Prince and Countrie with that kinde of weapon, haue so neglec∣ted, or rather contemned the due performance & exe∣cution of those lawes, that a great deale more through their owne fault, than through the fault of the people, it is now come to passe, that the Realme hath so fewe good Archers: which their negligence, or contempt, whether it hath proceeded of that they haue been carried into the fancies of liking the aforesaid wea∣pons of fire, because they fill mens eares and eyes with such terrible fire, smoake and noyse, or els that they haue been perswaded thereunto by some old new∣fangled men of warre, that do neither vnderstand the true effects of Mosquetterie, Harquebuzerie, nor Ar∣cherie, I wot not. But this I knowe, that if that wea∣pon hereafter shall come to be forgotten and extingui∣shed, through the negligence and lacke of good exe∣cution of such good lawes, that whereas in times past we were wont to giue battaile, and fight with our E∣nemies with a weapon so terrible vnto them, that they neuer had anie vse or skill of, but onelie to their mis∣chiefe, and therefore of great aduauntage for vs, and wherein our people and Nation of a singular gift of God, & as it were by a naturall inclination with good execution of lawes, came to be so perfect & excellent, without anie publique cost & charges either to King or Realme, we shall then vpon anie occasion of warre offensiue or defensiue, bee driuen to fight with them with their owne weapons, to our great disaduantage, that is, with the Harquebuze and Mosquet, in the Page [unnumbered] which they had and haue continual practise and exer∣cise,* by reason that they are in the continent, where e∣uerie kingdome and state doth ioyne one to another without anie partition of sea, and therefore driuen to keepe continuall garrisons and exercises of warre, whereas wee contrariwise liuing in long peace with∣out anie such exercises Militarie, vpon the occasion of a warre (as aforesaid) must leauie and enroll new sol∣diers, and goe about to traine and exercise them with those weapons that they neuer handled before, when wee should goe to fight and giue battaile to the Ene∣mies Armie, that is, of old soldiers of long time trai∣ned and exercised in those weapons.
*Now, these weapons the Long Bowes (which our such men of warre haue so much condemned) being in the hands of such soldiers Archers as can well vse them, are weapons of singular aduantage and effect for battailes and great encounters, both against horse∣men and footmen, and chieflie being so euill armed, as all Nations in these our daies both on horsebacke and on foot are, because that the Bowe is a weapon won∣derfull readie in all seasons, both of faire & foule wea∣ther (which Mosquets and Harquebuzes are not) and doth wound, gall and kill both horses and men, if the arrowes doo light vpon anie disarmed parts of them; besides that, the Archers being good, they doo direct their arrowes in the shooting of them out of their Bowes with a great deale more certaintie, being with∣in eight, nine, tenne, or eleuen scores, than anie Har∣quebuziers or Mosquettiers (how good soeuer they bee) can doo in a much neerer distance, by reason that Mosquettiers & Harquebuziers failing in their points Page 28 and blancke, doo neither kill nor hurt (vnlesse it hap∣pen as the blind man shooting at the Crowe;) besides that, in their points and blancke, through the imper∣fections before declared, they doo verie seldome hit, whereas contrariwise the arrowes doo not onelie wound,* and sometimes kill in their points and blank, but also in their discents & fall; for if in their discents they light not vpon the Enemies faces, yet in their lo∣wer discents they light either vpon their breasts, bel∣lies, codpeeces, thighes, knees or legges, and in their lo∣west discent, and fall euen to the verie nailing of their feete to the ground, which with the terrible comming of the arrowes in the eyes and sight both of horsemen & footmen, causeth in thē a wonderful feare & terror. Whereas contrarywise, Harquebuziers and Mos∣quettiers with their weapons of fire do no wayes ter∣rifie neither horses, nor men that are but foure, or fiue tymes vsed to their crackes, smoke and noyse, vnlesse by great chaunce they happen to be striken with bul∣lets; and the reason is this, that the bullets being dis∣charged are inuisible,* and therefore doo no wayes terrifie the sight; whereof it commeth to passe that when horses and men that haue been in three or foure skirmishes do see that they receiue no hurt neither by the fire, smoke, nor noise, nor that in manie thousands of Harquebuze and Mosquet shot, there are not twen∣tie men slaine nor hurt, they grow after to be farre lesse in doubt of those weapons of fire, thā of Piques, Halbards,* Launces & swords: Howbeit the volees of Archers arrowes flying together in the ayre as thick as haile do not onely terrifie and amaze in most terri∣ble sort the eares, eyes and harts both of horses and Page [unnumbered] men with the noyse and sight of their comming, but they also in their discents doo not leaue in a whole squadron of horsemen, nor footemen (although they be in motion) somuch as one man nor horse, vnstrikē and wounded with diuers arrowes, if the number of the Archers be answerable to the number of the squadron. And therfore for the experience that both I and manie others, both Noblemen, Gentlemen and great Captaines of many nations, that I haue serued amongst, haue had of the small effect of weapons of fire in the field, with the reasons and differences be∣fore alledged; for my part I will neuer doubt to ad∣uenture my life, or many liues (if I had them) amongst eight thousand Archers complet,* well chosen and ap∣pointed, and there withall prouided & furnished with great store of sheafes of arrowes, as also with a good ouerplus of Bowes and Bowstrings, against twentie thousand of the best Harquebuziers and Mosquetti∣ers, that are in Christendome. For this I know (as it is before declared) that Harquebuziers, if they be led by skilfull Conductours, are not to giue anie volees of shot aboue three, or foure scores 〈…〉, nor Mosquettiers any volees of bullets aboue eight, ten or twelue scores, at anie squadrōs of horsemen or foot∣men in motion; and yet that too farre, vnlesse their lea∣ders doo thinck rather to terrifie their Enemies with smoke and noyse, than with anie hurt of the bullets. Whereas Archers reduced into their conuenient formes, being in so great numbers (as aforesaid) doo dimme the light of the sunne, darken the ayre and co∣uer the earth with their volees of arrowes, eight, nine, ten and eleuen scores distant from them; in such sort, Page 29 as no numbers of Mosquettiers, Harquebuziers, or Argolettiers, nor yet squadrons of Launces nor of footemen,* being so ill armed as in these dayes they are, shalbe found able to abide the incredible terrour of the shot of such infinite numbers of arrowes. For there is no doubt but that Archers with their volees of ar∣rowes, will wound, kill, or hurt aboue an hundred men and horses, for euerie one that shalbe slaine or hurt, by the volees of so great numbers of Harquebu∣ziers and Mosquettiers, as are before mentioned.
Now, whereas our such men of warre do further dishable our Archers, saying, that they are to worke in a maner no effect neither against horsemen nor footemen, and that Archers are not able in the field to abide the terrour of the shot of Mosquettiers nor Harquebuziers, with manie other vaine and fond obiections, contrarie to all reason and experience: cer∣tenlie, it is not to be thought strange in them, conside∣ring that as their ouerweening and presumption hath extended to shew their lacke of skill in manie other matters militarie before mentioned, that they preten∣ded to haue most knowledge of, as namely in the mis∣taking of the conueniencie of diuers sortes of weapōs in their due times and places, with manie other verie important matters before mentioned; so in these mat∣ters of our Archerie, it is not to be meruailed at, that they do so groselie erre in their fond opinions concei∣ued and alledged, against the excellent effects of that weapon, of the which they neuer had any experience, nor yet doo know how to order them; as it did verie euidentlie appeare to all men of iudgement, that saw their disorderlie placing of Archers in the battles they Page [unnumbered] formed at Tilbury this last sommer.* 1588. where the Earle of Leycester, being Lieutenant generall of the Armie assembled for the defence of the Realme, com∣maunded all such men of warre as were the chief Of∣ficers of the Army vnder him, to consider of some ex∣cellent order and formes of battle, that should be pre∣sented within three or foure dayes after, in the pre∣sence and sight of the Queene, her Councel, and Nobi∣litie: at which tyme some of the chief Officers of the Camp, that of long tyme had serued in the Low Coū∣tries, being there assembled to forme three battles, a Vaward, Battle and Rereward, with wings, sleeues, squares & troupes, according to their best skill, & that warning had bin giuen them of the Queenes cōming so long before; and therfore had consulted how to re∣duce them into most strong and beautifull forme that they could, to haue giuen battle if the Enemie had bin there; they with many terrible othes and cursings and bannings of Archers and their Bowes, partlie for the hatred they bare to that weapon, but chiefly (as I think and as it after appeared) because they knew not where to place them; in the end (after long and much a doo) they placed certen ranckes of Archers in the middest of their squadrons of Piques, behind the En∣signes, & seuen rancks of Archers they placed behind vpon the verie backe of the battle, and all the rest they reduced into sleeues, close by the flanks of their three battailes, of which sleeues some of them were of fiue in a rancke, and some three in a rancke; and because they should bee surelie garded with shot, they reduced sleeues, or rather squadrons of Caliuer shot close to the flanckes of the Archers, of which sleeues of Cali∣uer Page 30 shot, some were of nine and twentie in a rancke, other of fifteene in a rancke, and the smallest sleeues of eleuen in a rancke, which to all men of anie iudge∣ment in matters Militarie, might bee a wonderfull scorne and mockerie. For in case that they should in that forme haue marched against the Enemie to haue giuen battaile, they themselues, by their fond and vn∣skilfull placing of the Archers, had taken away the whole effect of the volees of their arrowes. For it is to bee vnderstood, that when anie squadrons of Piquers doo approach, with intent to giue battaile and ioyne with other squadrōs of Piquers, or to receiue a charge of horsemen, they all vpright their piques, and doo close themselues by frunt and flanckes; then the Ar∣chers are to giue their volees of arrowes at the Ene∣mie, approaching within eight, nine, tenne, or eleuen scores; and to performe the same, they ought not to haue anie other weapon placed before them, that may anie waies take away their sights to direct their ar∣rowes towards the Enemies faces; but as they were placed, their sights had not onlie been taken away vp∣pon such an action with the smoake of the shot, and with so manie ranckes and Ensignes closed in frunt and flanckes as were before them, but also the most of their volees of arrowes should haue flien through the taffaties of the Ensignes, and haue glaunced or lighted vpon the piques, either cleauing them, or bea∣ting them downe: besides that, (to the Archers great disaduātage) they should haue lost a great part of their ground, in giuing their volees of arrowes at their E∣nemies, by reason of the distance, so manie ranckes of other weapons being before them: which most grosse Page [unnumbered] and ignorant errors by them committed in their re∣ducing of Archers, contrarie to all science Militarie, with manie other their disorders (which I omit) doo manifestly shew their lack of skill & insufficiēcie, any waies to controll or find fault with that most excellēt & renowmed weapō. Now therfore, I will proceede to the ancient and orderlie forming & vse of Archers that hath been vsed of great antiquitie by the notable Kings & great Captaines of our English nation, who with the grace of God and merueilous effect of that most singular weapō, haue atchieued so manie and so wōderfull victories against both Pagans & Christiās.
*The ancient order of reducing Archers into forme by our most skilfull and warlike ancestours, was into hearses, that is, broad in frunt, and narrow in flanck, as for example, if there were fiue and twenty, thirtie, fiue and thirtie, or more or fewer Archers in frunt, the flancks did consist but of seuen or eight rancks at the most: and the reason was this, that if they had placed anie more ranckes than seuen or eight, the hinder ranckes of Archers should haue lost a great deale of ground in the volees of their arrowes at their Ene∣mies, considering the conuenient and proportionate distances betwixt rancke and rancke, and ranckes be∣fore them, as also that the sight of the hinder ranckes should haue bene taken away by so manie former ranckes from directing their volees of arrowes to∣wardes their Enemies faces. And whereas the small skil of our such mē of warre at Tilbury did (as it were) locke vp all the Archers, depriuing them of all vse and effect of their arrowes, our auncestours had so great experience of the wonderfull effect of that weapon, Page 31 that they placed their hearses of Archers either before the frunt of their armed footmen, or ells in wings vpō the corners of their battailes, and sometymes both in frunt & wings. And in this sort, they placed them in the face of the mē at armes of France, & all other braue horsmen of foraine Natiōs, who in those dayes were far better armed thā any Natiōs in these our daies are. And yet with this good order, the wonderfull effect of our Archerie and arrowes was such, that flying in the ayre as thick as snowe with a terrible noyse, much like a tempestuous wind preceding a tempest, they did leaue no disarmed place of horse or man vnstriken and wounded, as may well appeare by manie battailes and victories;* and namelie by the battaile of Crecy, that kind Edward the third and Prince Edward his sonne wonne against king Phillip of France, where the said king Phillip had eight or ten thousand men at armes, and fifteen thousand Genoüeses Crossebowers (which were no wayes inferiour for seruices in the field to the Mosquettiers of this tyme) with so puissant an Armie also on horseback and on foote, verie well ar∣med and appointed of diuers Nations, that they were six at the least, for euerie one of the English, in which battaile were slaine eleuen Princes, and twelue hun∣dred Knightes, besides thirtie thousand soldiers of all Nations.* And the wonderfull effect and terrour of the shot of arrowes was that day such, as neither the Frēch king with his men at armes, nor yet anie other of his great Captaines with their braue and well armed bandes of horsemen of diuers Nations, were able to enter and breake the Archers although they had no piques, stakes, banckes, nor trenches to gard thē, but Page [unnumbered] being in the plaine and open fields, the Archers with their volees of arrowes did breake both horsmen and footmen, wounding or killing both horses and men; in such sort, that the French King himselfe being in great perrill,* had his horse with the shot of arrowes slaine vnder him. By which example, and diuers o∣thers that I will hereafter alledge, it may be apparāt to anie man that is possessed with the grace of God, and therefore of sound iudgement, that Archers being in great numbers, and reduced into the forme of hearses, or double hearses, as wings to a battaile, or squadron of piques (that they may the more conuenientlie giue their volees of arrowes) need not to bee garded with piques, nor yet stakes (as some talke of the battaile of Agincourt) but they themselues are most braue Pi∣quers; for as a squadron of Piquers well formed doo with their piques in their hands worke great effect in resisting a charge of Launces, or by encountring with another squadron of Piquers their Enemies: so the arrowes of braue Archers reduced into hearses, being deliuered out of their Bowes, doo become so terrible piques in the eyes and sight of the horses, as also in lighting vppon their shafrons, cranets, or steele pecto∣rells; or being not barbed, vpon their bare faces and e∣uerie disarmed part, that the horses with the huzzing, striking, and vnaccustomed noise, & with the blowes and wounding of the arrowes doo flie backe and a∣thwart the one the other, in such sort, as no force of spurres can make them to goe anie further against the Archers, but that they doo disorder and ouerthrowe one another. Besides that, against squadrons of armed footmen, the volees of arrowes flying in the ayre, and Page 23 comming in their eyes and sights as thick as haile, and lighting vppon their faces, and euerie other disarmed part, doo so amaze them, that they come to loose their ranckes & disorder themselues, before they can come to ioyne with another squadron of armed men their Enemies: and also with their terror doo wonderfully confuse and confound the greatest and brauest Cap∣taines in their directions and commandements. As it may verie well appeare not onelie by the battaile of Crecy before mentioned, but also by the battaile of Poi∣ctiers, where certeine yeares after the same Prince Ed∣ward, that was at the battaile of Crecy with King Ed∣ward his father, hauing not in his whole Armie aboue eight thousand English and Gascoignes, (of the which there were sixe thousand Archers, and two thousand armed men) ouerthrewe King Iohn of France that va∣liant Prince, who at that battaile was accompanied with a great part of the Nobilitie of France, and of o∣ther Nations, as Dukes, Princes, Earles, & other great Captaines, and had in his Armie aboue threescore thousand horsemen and footmen, of the which there were aboue ten thousand men at armes, and of horse∣men of all sorts aboue thirtie thousand; where a little before the battaile,* the Prince with his notable Cap∣taines considering the small number that he had to make head and resist the French King with so huge an hoast, did take a ground of some strength and ad∣uantage for the gard of the flanckes and backe of his small Armie, and placing a great part of his Archers in frunt, in the open place where the French horsmen and footmen were to enter and giue battle, the Ar∣chers with their wōderful volees of arrowes (through Page [unnumbered] the great goodnes of God) did that day so wound,* kil, and mischiefe both horses & men, that he ouerthrew King Iohn of France with his whole Armie, & tooke him and one of his sonnes prisoners; and of Earles, Barons, Knights and Esquiers, to the number of six∣teene hundred or more; besides that, there were slaine the Duke of Athens, with so manie Earles, Barons, Knights and Esquiers, that they were numbred to bee aboue seauen hundred, and so manie prisoners of all sorts taken by the English and Gascoignes, that they farre exceeded the number of the Princes Armie.
*The battaile also of Nauarretta in Spaine fought by the same Prince Edward in fauour of Don Pedro el cruel, against Don Henry of Castil, may testifie the won∣derfull effect of Archers, where there were aboue a hundred thousand Spaniardes, Frenchmen, Portugueses, Genoüeses Crossebowers & Mores, both horsemē and footmen ouerthrowne in that battaile.
*The famous victorie and battaile of Agincourt, al∣so of later yeares fought by king Henry the fift against the whole power of France, doth euidentlie shewe the most excellent effectes & execution of Archers, where with the grace of God and incredible volees of ar∣rowes, the Frēch kings army was ouerthrown,* which consisted of aboue fortie thousand horsemen & foot∣men, of the which there were ten thousand men at armes, all Knightes, Esquiers and Gentlemen; whereas king Henries Army did cōsist but of ten thousand Ar∣chers, fifteen hundred Launces, & two thousand foot∣men of other weapons. In which battaile were slaine the Dukes of Lorain, of Brabant, of Alinçon and Bar, with a great number of Earles, Barons, Knightes and Page 33 Esquires; besides that, there were taken prisoners, the Dukes of Orleans & Bourbon, with many other Earles, Barons and Knightes.
The battaile of Herrings also (so called by the Frēch Chronicles) fought in king Henry the sixts time neare vnto a village in France called Rouuray,* not far frō Or∣leans, doth euidently shew the great excellencie of Ar∣cherie against all other sorts of weapōs; in which bat∣tel Syr Iohn Fastolf, with other braue English Captains by the grace of God and terrible shot of the Archers, ouerthrewe the bastard of Orleans, the Lord high Cō∣stable of Scotland, the Count of Clermount, with manie other Captaines of great accoumpt and their whole Armie of Frenchmen & Scots, in the which there were a great number of French Harquebuziers and Crosse∣bowers, which against the Archers wrought no effect.
I might also alledge for the excellencie of Archers the most wonderfull victorie wonne by king Richard the first in the holy land, manie yeares before anie of these battailes before mentioned; where, being Gene∣rall of the Christian Armie, by the grace of God, and wonderfull effect of his English Archers, he in a most famous battaile ouerthrewe that braue Saladin, Souldan of Egipt, with his notable milicia of Mamelucks (by ma∣ny called Sarasins) and all the rest of his Armie, which did consist of an innumerable number of horsemen & footmen Turks & Arabians. But for breuities sake, I will omit the particularities of that most famous battaile, and of many other great victories that I could alledge for proofe of the incredible effectes of our En∣glish Archers in battailes: And will now come to an∣swere Page [unnumbered] certein other friuolous obiections of smaller moment than these that I haue alreadie by such nota∣ble examples and experiences of great battailes and vi∣ctories answered.
Some of our such men of warre (because by com∣mon and moderne experience, no number of Mos∣quettiers nor Harquebuziers in the plaine fields, with∣out succours of some other weapon or ground of ad∣uantage, are able to abide the charge of halfe so manie Launces or Stradiots in number as they are, without being ouerthrowne and broken) doo therfore thinke and commonlie report,* that with a verie small num∣ber of horsemen they will breake a farre greater num∣ber of Archers: by which their opinions and reports, it seemeth that as they are vtterlie ignorant, and with∣out anie experience of the effects of Archers, so are they as ignorant of all notable histories, or els accor∣ding to the newe fashion, that they doo beleeue no∣thing but that which they thēselues haue seen, which in troth appeareth to be verie little.
For answere whereunto (according to the testimo∣nie of the French Chronicles) I say, that in King Hen∣rie the sixts time, Iohn Lord of Bellay, being accompa∣nied with two hundred Launces at the least, and ta∣king his way to a towne called Mans, met by chaunce with an English Captaine, called Berry, that had to the number of fourescore Archers, who perceiuing the French men,* presentlie reduced his men into a hearse, turning their backes to a hedge, because the Launces might not charge them in back, but onlie in frunt, and so giuing their volees of arrowes at the French Laun∣ces charging, did so wound and kill their horses, that Page 34 they ouerthrewe them, and slewe and tooke diuers of them prisoners.
And within a while after a French Captaine of the countrie of Main, called Guion du Coing, departed from a towne called Sable, accompanied with sixe score Launces to seeke his aduenture,* where he might finde anie English men in the fields, who happened to meet with an English Knight called Sir William 〈◊〉 be∣twixt Mans and Alinçon, that had in his companie six∣teene or twentie Archers on horsebacke, who percei∣uing so manie French Launces, alighted on foote, and reducing themselues into forme in a broad high way, where the Launces could not charge them but in frunt,* they put their horses from them, and the French Launces charging them, the volees of arrowes of those fewe Archers wrought such notable effect a∣gainst the French horsmen, that they brake and ouer∣threw them, in such sort, that there were diuers of the French slaine and taken prisoners.
And in our tyme king Henry the eight being at the siege of Teroüenne and a conuoy of munitions and vi∣ctuals being at that tyme to go from Guiens towardes Teroüenne,* all the French Captaines of Picardy and Vermandois hauing intelligence thereof, did assemble all their men at armes & Launces of those prouinces, with some number of shot also both Harquebuziers and Crossebowers, and attended the English conuoy in ambush more than a league beyond the towne of Ard, towardes Teroüenne, where encountring with the English light horsemē auant courirs, they did ouer∣throwe them, which being perceiued by the English Captaines of the conuoy, they presently reduced their Page [unnumbered] carriages into a conuenient forme, and placing conue∣nient numbers of Archers in the two open places of the carriages before and behind, and forcing all other places betwixt carriages and carriages with Archers, where the French Launces might haue anie entrance; after a long fight and many charges by the men at armes of France and their shot giuen, the terrible effect of the volees of arrowes was such, that a great num∣ber of their horses were wounded or slaine,* and one of their chief Captaines, called Monsieur de Plessis lif∣ting vp his sword to strike, was with an arrowe shot in at the arme hole through his gusset of maile, and there slaine, with many other men at armes, & French Gentlemen of good accompt: In such sort, that the French, which did farre exceed the English in num∣ber, were that day repulsed and ouerthrowne by the excellencie of Archers. And at this action there is an old English Gentleman yet aliue, whose name is Ma∣ster Caudwell that was there present. And these ex∣amples aforesaid, are sufficient (I thinke) to conuince and confound the vaine opinions and obiections be∣fore mentioned.
Now, if the effect of volees of arrowes bee so ter∣rible both against horsemen and footmen armed (as I haue before declared by so many reasons & examples) what then are the volees of arrowes able to performe against Mosquettiers and Harquebuziers, that are in a manner altogether disarmed, whose weapons of fire in the field, doo rather terrifie and make afraid yong∣lings and nouices of warre, with smoake and noyse, than with anie often killing, hurting, or wounding them with bullets, whereof not onlie old soldiers, but Page 35 horses also that are a little vsed to their fire, crackes and smoake, are not anie thing amazed nor afraid; but three or foure volees of arrowes lighting amongst a∣nie number of Mosquettiers or Harquebuziers (how old and braue soldiers soeuer they bee) will so amaze and terrifie them, that they shall faile to charge their peeces, to put touch powder into their pannes, & their matches into their serpentines. Besides that, they will either wound, kill, or mischiefe them, in such sort as happie those that with three or foure arrowes in their bodies, faces, armes or legges, throwing downe their Harquebuzes and Mosquets, can escape out of the terror and daunger of the volees of arrowes. For con∣firmation wherof, there be diuers moderne examples, with verie honorable testimonie of such as are yet li∣uing, verie honorable by birth and parentage, as also by titles of honor and worthines, of the which that noble Gentleman Ambrose Earle of Warwicke is one,* that accompanied the Duke of Northumberland his fa∣ther (then Earle of Warwicke) a man of great valour and sufficiencie for the gouerning and conducting of an Armie, who in the yeare 1548. was sent by King Edward the sixt, as his Lieutenant generall with an Ar∣mie of horsemen and footmen, to suppresse the rebel∣lion of Ket in Norffolke, who at that time lay encam∣ped with a great power of notorious and hardie re∣bells by the Citie of Norwich, vppon a high hill called Mount Surrey, to the which Citie the Duke with his Armie being come, he with great order did encampe and lodge himselfe and his Armie on the other side of the citie and riuer, & the next day he entred the towne and brought in foure and twentie field peeces, to the Page [unnumbered] chiefe charge whereof he appointed the Coronell Cour∣penick an Alman and a great soldier, with his regi∣mēt of Almans, which was twelue hundred, the most of them braue shot, and all old soldiers, with diuers o∣ther English bands and valiant Captaines of our owne nation for the gard of the same; but before they could throughlie entrench themselues, those furious Rebels contrarie to all expectation, descended downe their hil with such a furie of shot of arrowes, being al Bow∣men, Swords and Bills, that they gaue such a terror and feare to our people both strangers and English, as they were faine to runne away with the losse of the Ordi∣nance, and slaughter of a great sort of soldiers, and be∣fore the Duke could make head against them, they had recouered eighteen field peeces, and carried them vp to their hill euen with verie force of men. And within two or three daies after, those gallants did not let to abide the battaile against the Duke & his whole Armie in the plaine field, where the battaile was so manfullie fought on both sides, that it could be hardlie iudged by the best soldiers that were there, which side was like to preuaile, but in the end, God giuing the victorie, it was seene by that battaile that arrowes were a most noble weapon. And whereas the Duke at his first assembling and forming of his Armie, had chaunged many Archers into Harquebuziers (because he had no opinion of the Long Bowe) he after that victorie and suppression of the Rebels, vpon the expe∣rience that he in those actions had of the daunger and terror of arrowes, (his owne horse being wounded vnder him at that battaile with three or foure ar∣rowes, whereof he died) did both then & many times Page 36 after openlie protest his error before Count Malatesta Baglion, an ancient and a noble soldier Italian, and o∣ther great Captaines Italians and Almans, saying, that from that time forward he would hold the Bowe to be the onelie weapon of the world, and so did all the notable Captaines both English and strangers affirme the same. And this I haue set downe almost verbatim, from the report of the aforesaid Ambrose Earle of Warwicke that now is, who was present at that action, and had his horse also wounded vnder him with two or three arrowes.
In the same yeare of the raigne of King Edward the sixt also, & in the same sommer, Sir Iohn Russel knight, Lord priuie seale, that was after Earle of Bedford, be∣ing sent by the King as his Lieutenant generall with a great power both of horsemen and footmen, against the Rebells of the West parts, accompanied with the Lord Grey of Wilton, Sir William Herbert, (after Earle of Penbrooke) the Lord of Hunsdon that now is, with manie others both Knights & Esquiers of great wor∣ship, and comming to certeine skirmishes & encoun∣ters with the Rebells, the Archers of the Rebells did so behaue themselues with their volees of arrowes a∣gainst diuers old bands Harquebuziers Italians and Spaniards, that they draue thē from all their strengths, as from bancks, ditches, hedges, and other aduantages of ground, to the great mischiefe of manie of those strangers. And of these great effects of Archers against Harquebuziers,* I haue heard the Lord 〈…〉 aforesaid (who was there an eye witnes) verie notably report. Besides that, manie yeares past I haue heard Captaine Spinola an Italian (who was a verie braue Page [unnumbered] soldier,* and wounded with arrowes in those seruices and actions, giue singular commendation of the Ar∣cherie of England.
To the like effect and singular commendation of Archers, I haue also heard the aforesaid Earle of War∣wicke diuers times further report,* that in the yeare 1562. he being at Newhauen in Normandie Lieutenant generall for the Queene that now is, the notable and great Captaine Chastillon Admirall of France (being then at the siege of Caen in Normandie, and at that time fauoured by the Queene of England) did send to the Earle for a succour of some English bands, of the which he desired that the most might bee Archers. But the Earle at that time hauing no Archers on that side the sea, sent vnto him a supplie of sixe hun∣dred braue Harquebuziers, with some armed men al∣so, which he very thankfully receiued, but therewith∣all signified vnto the Earle that he had rather haue had two hundred Archers,* and that he would haue perfor∣med greater seruice with that small nūber of Bowes, than with all those braue Harquebuziers. And this message was sent from that great Captaine to the Earle by Sir Francis Somserset, Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, and Sir William Pelham.
And shortlie after, that notable Coronel Alman the Reingraue (who had serued manie yeares in France) ac∣companied with manie other braue Captaines both French and Almans, with a great power both of hors∣men and footmen, comming downe and encamping not farre from Newhauen, there happened a great skir∣mish betwixt certeine English bands of Newhauen, and the French and Alman companies, which continued Page 37 verie hot, with many volees of Harquebuze shot, and newe supplies on euerie side, but at the length the French and Almans exceeding the English farre in multitude, forced them to retire with disorder euen to the verie gates of Newhauen; during which action, it happened that fourescore tall Archers (Hamshire men) did at that time land in the Hauen, who taking their Bowes and sheafes of arrowes, with their other furniture, did presently march without any tarriance through the towne into the field where the skirmish was; vpon whose comming, the English bands that a little before were forced by the often charges and great multitude of the shot of their Enemies, to retire euen to the verie town-ditches and gates, taking cou∣rage a fresh, they and the Bowmen entered againe in∣to skirmish with the Almans and French, where the fourescore Archers did behaue themselues so nota∣bly against the enemies with their volees of arrowes, that with the braue and valiant charges which they and the rest of the English bands gaue vppon their e∣nemies, but chieflie with the excellencie of the Ar∣chers, they forced them not onelie to retire, but to turne their backes: in such sort, as putting a great number of them to the sword, they became masters of the field. Vpon which notable effect of those fewe Archers, as also vpon diuers others that the Reingraue had before time seene in seruing against the English, he shortlie after vppon the returne of a message that had been sent vnto him by the Earle of Warwicke (Sir Edward Horsey being the messenger) did most highly commend the notable effects, that he long before in diuers seruices had seene performed by the English Page [unnumbered] Archers against both horsemen and footmen: & said also, that long before that time he knewe by expe∣rience, that great numbers of English Archers were able to performe verie great matters in the field; but that so small a number of Bowmen as were in that last great conflict, should bee able with their arrowes to do so great mischiefe against his old bands of Al∣mans, French and Gascoignes,* he would not haue belee∣ued, if he himselfe had not seene it. And therefore did with great reason and experience protest and ac∣knowledge, the Long-bowes of England to bee the most excellent weapons for the field that were vsed by anie Nation in Christendome, and said that the Queene of England had great cause so to esteeme and accompt of them. And to this effect I haue diuers times heard the Earle of Warwicke himselfe verie no∣tablie report.
*I haue also heard Sir Iames Croft, that honorable and most sufficient Gentleman, that hath serued di∣uers of our Princes in manie great and principall of∣fices and charges Militarie, both in England, France, Scotland and Ireland, declare verie notable effects, which he himselfe hath seene by our Archers in di∣uers actions performed. The particularities whereof, as also his opinion concerning the excellencie of that weapon, I remit to his owne report.
Now, notwithstanding all these notable experien∣ces and examples of the excellent effects of Archers against Harquebuziers; our such men of warre haue vsed to alledge, that neither the Harquebuzes were so good, nor yet the Harquebuziers so skilfull in those daies, as now their Caliuerers are: whereunto Page 38 it may be answered with great reason and experience of diuers auncient Captaines both Italians and Spa∣niards,* that I haue knowne (of the which some are yet liuing) that not onlie the Harquebuzes which the Italians & Spaniards did vse fiftie or three score yeres past were as maniable, and of as good forme as now they are, but also that the Harquebuziers were as skil∣full and perfect with that kind of weapon, as they are now in these our daies.* And that hath manifestlie appeared by the infinite numbers of great skirmishes that haue bin verie effectuallie performed with Har∣quebuze shot in the Emperour Charles, & the French Kings warres in Italie, France, the Lowe Countries, and Burgundie, as also in Barbarie against the Turkes and Mores, and in the warres of Germanie, betwixt the said Emperour and the Duke of Saxonie, & other Reystates and Princes of Germanie. Which opinions aforesaid misconceiued, and verie ignorantlie alled∣ged by our such men of warre, to the disabling of the Harquebuziers of other Nations in times past, and enhabling their Caliuerers of this time, thereby to detract the excellent effects of our Long-bowes, doth further manifest their lacke of sufficiencie to iudge of the exercises and vse of those weapons of fire, not onlie of times past, but also of this present time, and that hath appeared in diuers of their seruices of the Lowe Countries, as I haue heard certeine of our old Captaines of good experience affirme, that haue seen some of their vnskilfull seruices in those parts; and was also confirmed by the fained skirmish that some of their Captaines, Officers, and old bands of Har∣quebuziers and Mosquettiers of the Low Countries Page [unnumbered] of their owne training, did the last sommer most dis∣orderlie performe before my Lord Treasurer at Til∣burie, where they discharged one in anothers necke, and hauing discharged their peeces, did run out of their troupes and stand still, and charge their peeces againe, and returning to giue newe volees, did dis∣charge their peeces at their fellowes hammes, legges and backes, running together thicke and threefold so disorderlie, that it was a scorne to behold them: and this in the opinion of many Gentlemen, & some old Captaines of good seruice and experience that were there present and beheld the same, who concluded the insufficiencie of our such men of warre of the Lowe Countries, by the lack of skill, imperfections, and insufficiencies of their trained souldiers, accor∣ding to the old prouerbe; In discipulis magister vide∣tur, like masters like men. Which aforesaid action at Tilburie, doth not onlie make manifest that our such old soldiers Harquebuziers are now as vnskilfull, as the newe Soldiers Vison̄os Spaniards of two moneths pay were manie yeares past, but if that anie forraine enemie with such vnskilfull Harquebuziers as they were, should assaile a quarter of the like number of our Archers, they should not be able to abide two vo∣lees of arrowes, without casting away their peeces and turning their backes.
And now hauing in this my discourse made ma∣nifest the excellencie of our Long-bowes and Ar∣chers, by many reasons & examples, ancient and mo∣derne, both against well horsed and armed Launces, as also Harquebuziers, which I thinke by all reason may suffice to conuince and confound all the igno∣rant Page 39 opinions and friuolous obiections of our such men of warre, as also to induce all such as are of any right consideration and iudgement, to acknowledge the sufficiencie & excellencie of that weapon; & that it is further euident by all forren Histories that haue made any mention of the differences of Bowes, vsed by many Nations, as also by such as haue trauailed in many parts of Europe,*Affricke, or Asia, that our English Bowes, arrowes and Archers do exceed and excell al other Bowes vsed by all forren Nations not only in substance & strength, but also in the length & bignes of the arrowes: I will now further shewe the wonderfull effects that hath bene wrought by diuers sorts of forren Bowes, as Gothian, Parthian, Arabian, Turkish, and Tartarian, all which (as aforesaid) are in∣feriour vnto ours: that by such notable effects by thē performed, all such as are of sound iudgement, not caried with toyes, fancies and new fashions, may ve∣ry well knowe, that God hath giuen such exceeding and excellent effects vnto that weapon, that of all o∣thers it hath euer bene, and yet may be iustly accoun∣ted the chiefe weapon of battells and conquests.
I thinke it is most manifest by all Histories, that haue written of puissant and conquering Nations, that in many and diuers ages vnder their great and notable Captaines, haue giuen themselues to enlarge their dominions, or with force to possesse the habi∣tations of other forren people, that they haue erected some kinde of milicia and discipline militarie, to at∣chieue and performe the same. And as the best kinds of weapons in the handes of well disciplinated, obe∣dient and exercised souldiers, is a principall part of a Page [unnumbered]milicia,* to atchieue victories; so I thinke it is most e∣uident, that all those conquering Nations haue made chiefe choise of the Bowe, as of the most excellent kind of weapon for victories and conquests.
And although they haue not vsed in their armies that weapon alone, but other weapons also incorpo∣rated with them, yet it is most manifest, that the greatest number of such mightie armies haue consi∣sted more of Archers either on horsebacke or on foote, than of any other sorts of weapons, and by their excellent effects chiefly, haue beene atchieued most notable and wonderfull victories; as for exam∣ple: Were not diuers Emperors and great Captains Romains with puissant armies many times inuading the Parthians and Persians,* sometimes ouerthrowne, and many times repulsed by them, and that chieflie by their Archers? Were not Crassus and Cassius with a mighty armie which did consist of many legions of olde soldiers Romaines, ouerthrowne and van∣quished in the plaine fields with the force of the Par∣thian arrowes? And was not Valerian the Emperour ouerthrowne and taken prisoner, in a great battaile by the Persians, and that chiefly by the great effect of their arrowes? Besides all which it is most euident by diuers Histories, that neither the notable Consulls of the ancient Romanes, nor yet after them the Empe∣rors Romans with their conquering milicia were e∣uer able to conquere the Parthians and Persians, de∣fending themselues chiefly with that excellent wea∣pon of Archerie on horsebacke.
But now to speake of foure mightie and conque∣ring Nations, that of later yeares, but in diuers ages, Page 38 haue vanquished and subdued diuers great partes of the world. It doth appeare by many Histories, that the Gothes, Vandalls, Alans, and other septentrionall Nations, vnder their notable Princes, & great Cap∣tains, making warre at diuers times vpon the Empe∣rour Romanes,* and inuading Greece, did besiege the imperiall citie of Constantinople, and did spoile the Pa∣nonias, now called Hungarie, and Austria, with Illy∣ria, Dalmatia, and many other prouinces. Also they inuaded and wasted Italie, sacked the most auncient and famous citie of Rome, with a great number of o∣ther Cities. And in diuers notable battailes woun∣ded and killed many great Captaines, and some Em∣perours & their Generals with their arrowes. After which they passed through & spoiled Frāce, inuaded and conquered Spaine, and caried their armies to the straights of Hercules, now called Gibraltar. Also the same Vandalls and Alans passed the straights, and in∣uaded Affrike, and conquered in a maner all the Le∣uant sea coasts of the same now called Barbarie. And it is most euident, that they did performe & atchieue al those their battailes, victories and conquests, more with the effect of their Archers and Bowes, than with all the rest of their weapons.
And not many yeres after that,* the Arabians (a na∣tion before that time litle spoken of) vnder their false Prophet Mahomet, & his successors Halifas, with in∣finit numbers of Arabian Bowmen on horseback, & some numbers of Zagaias (which are double headed Lances) did inuade the dominions of the Empire of Constantinople. And with those weapons chiefly did conquere al Mesopotamia, Suria, Armenia, and Persia.Page [unnumbered] Also, they did win Ierusalem and many other Cities and Prouinces, and brought the Emperour Heracli∣us and some other of his successours to be tributaries vnto them. And in diuers great battailes with their arrowes did wound and take some Emperours and many of their Generals, prisoners.
Also, they inuaded Affrike, conquered Egypt, and subdued all Barbarie euen to the very Ocean sea. And shortly after passing ouer the straights of Gibraltar into Spaine, and finding the Gothes & Vandalls posses∣sours of the same, through the exacting and tyranni∣call gouernement of their two last kings Gothes, Vi∣tissa and Don Rodrigo, brought from all their ancient exercises militarie and vse of their Bowes, they did conquere the kingdome euen to the very mountains Perinëos, and atchieued many other notable victories and conquests in Italie, Greece, Sicilie, Candia, and o∣ther Islands of the Archipelago, and all those chieflie, by the wonderfull effectes of their Arabian Bowes.
*After all which notable conquests atchieued by the Arabiās vnder their Halifas, & that they through long peace and some ciuil dissention, were now gro∣wen into ambition, enuie and couetousnes, and to neglect their ancient discipline militarie and vse of their Bowes, the Turkes (a new Nation at that time in a maner vnknown) comming at the first but with fiue thousand, all Archers, from beyond the moun∣taines of Caucasus to the aide of Mahomet, then King of Persia, vnder their braue Captaine Tanglaropice Muçaleto, did performe great seruices vnto the Per∣sians. And after vpon lacke of pay, and some other in∣iuries vnto them by the Persians offered, retiring thē∣selues Page 41 to the mountaines, they did most valiantly de∣fend themselues, vntil that new aides and great num∣bers of Archers and Aljauas Turkes came to ioyne with them. At which time inuading the Persians, and ouerthrowing and killing their King in battaile, they conquered all Persia;* and after inuading Arme∣nia did vanquish and kill the Halifa of •aldac, and did subdue in a maner all the Dominions that Mahomet that false prophet, and his successours Halifas had in certaine hundreds of yeeres before conquered in A∣sia. And all those conquests, with many battailes and victories he and his Turkes atchieued chiefly with the wonderful effects of their Bowes, of which wea∣pon their milicia did principally consist. After whose time, the Soldans his successours, and Otoman the first Emperour of the Turkes, and his successours did win many battailes and victories against the Emperours of Constantinople, chiefly with the aduantage of that weapon.
And it is further apparant by diuerse Histories, that the Tartars inhabiting towards the North and Northeast seas of Asia, being reduced into a disci∣pline militarie vnder diuers of their Princes & Cap∣taines, as Hocata Cham,*Gabo Sabada, and Haloon, did with their innumerable numbers of Archers, and Aljauas on horsebacke, not onely subdue all the East partes of Asia, euen to the very Ocean seas, but did in diuerse ages inuade the West partes of Asia, vanquishing and ouerthrowing in many battailes di∣uers Soldans with their great armies of Turkes, and spoiled & made tributarie vnto them Parthia, Persia, Media, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Suria.
Page [unnumbered]And last of all Tamberlan, that valiant Emperour of the Tartars inuading Asia minor, and comming to battaile with Bayezet, at that time Emperour of the Turkes did ouerthrow & vanquish him & his migh∣tie armie and tooke him prisoner. Which battaile and victorie he atchieued by reason that his armie of Tartars did farre exceede the Turkes in numbers of Archers. Which most excellent effects of Archers before mentioned, was the very cause that mooued Amurat (the second of that name) Emperor of the Turkes, within fewe yeeres after to institute for the gard of his person that milicia of the Ianissaries on foote, who being Christian mens children renied, & taught from their youth the exercise of the Bowe,* as also of later yeares of the harquebuze, doe become most excellent in both kinds of weapons; so as when the Turke doth send any numbers of them vnder his Basshas to the besieging of any Cities, or towns, they al vse to take with them both their Bowes, and their Harquebuzes; Their Harquebuzes to vse in trenches against places fortified, and their Bowes for seruices of the field. Howbeit, whensoeuer the Turke in per∣son with an imperiall armie doth inuade any Prince or Nation, hee hath alwayes with him twelue or foureteene thousand Ianissaries on foote with their Bowes and cemitories without anie Harquebuzes, for his last and most assured refuge, and gard of his person: So as it is most euident that the Basshas, Bel∣larbies, and Senjaques of the Turkes (of the which there be so many notable and excellent Captaines a∣ble to gouerne, conduct and commaund great and mightie Armies, as all the West partes of Christen∣dome Page 42 haue not so many, nor the like) who knowing all the effectes of weapons of fire, as well as the best men of warre of Christendome, do by all reason mi∣litarie preferre their Bowes before their Harquebu∣zes for all battailes, and great encounters in the field: And euen so likewise two other most puissaunt and mightie Empires of Asia and conquering Nations, the one of the Tartars, and the other of the Persians, Parthians, and Medians vnder the Sophie, which Em∣pires and Nations although they haue knowen and had the vse of weapons of fire long before they were knowne in Europe,* yet haue they alwayes, and doo still greatlie preferre their Archers and Bowes on horsebacke for battailes and victories, before their weapons of fire.
And now as I haue before in diuers parts of these discourses brieflie set downe manie notable effects of our English Archers, against both horsemen and footmen of all sorts of weapons, with such and so manie notable battailes & victories atchieued by our English nation, chieflie (next vnto God) by the excel∣lencie of our said Archers; And that I haue last of all brieflie declared the wonderfull victories and con∣quests in diuers ages atchieued by foure so notable Nations, and that most of all by the notable effects of their Bowes, (I meane the Gothes, Vandals, and other such septentrionall people, their companions and fel∣lowes in armes, as also the Arabians, the Turkes and Tartars): So I might further with the testimonie of many notable histories, & partlie by the very Bible it selfe, (if it were not to auoide prolixitie) shewe and prooue, that all the notable and famous Nations of Page [unnumbered]Europe, Affrick and Asia, that haue since the begin∣ning of the world,* euen vntill this present time, at∣chieued infinite victories and conquests, haue atchie∣ued the same by the wonderfull effects of Bowes, as by the weapon of all others that God hath put into the hearts of men, to deuise and vse sometimes to de∣fend themselues withall against foraine Nations, that haue vniustlie assailed them; & sometimes to inuade, and by battailes and victories to chasten and punish other such Nations, as in former times had had the perfect vse of the same; and yet after in processe of time, by the permission of God for their sinnes, had neglected and forgotten the vse thereof, that thereby they might receiue the punishment of God, by the well exercised hands in those weapons of other war∣like Nations, that were either more in the fauour of God, or els appoynted by him as instruments, with bloud to chasten and punish such transgressors. Di∣uers of the which examples, because I haue in my Proeme of these discourses briefly declared, I think it would bee holden for superfluous to rehearse, and digresse into such innumerable examples of the ex∣cellencie and merueilous effects that haue been in all ages, wrought by infinite Nations with that most miraculous weapon; and therefore will reduce my selfe, and proceede to the proouing and concluding, that although skilfull Harquebuziers and Mosquet∣tiers with their weapons of fire, be verie excellent in their conuenient and due times & places (as I haue in diuers parts of this discourse particularlie declared) yet that for battels & victories in the field, they are no waies cōparable to our English Archers and Bowes.
Page 43And now againe to returne to the answering of o∣ther obiections of our such men of warre, who (not∣withstanding so many reasons and examples by me before alledged in due & iust commendation of Ar∣chers) haue not been ashamed many times most phan∣tastically to report,* that our arrowes wil not wound men through single buffe Ierkins, nor scarse through their ordinarie clothes: which ignorant and fond speaches were more seemelie to come out of the mouthes of nouices and yonglings that neuer sawe any thing, than from such as professing armes, ought to speake with consideration, reason and iudgement. And therefore it is greatlie to bee pittied, that men of so great ignorance and smal vnderstanding in affaires and actions of warre, are grown to such an ouerwee∣ning in their owne conceipts, that in their fond bab∣lings they doo make so light of those our weapons, that the great Captaines of France, and other Nations in King Edward the thirds time, & other kings times, did by the experience of their daungers & mischiefes so greatlie redoubt, that they caused their footmen (although they were as well armed for the defence of their bodies & heads, as footmen now a daies are) to carrie pauoises of seauen foot long, and a foot and a halfe, or two foote broad, with little holes towards the vpper end armed with steele, for them to looke through; which pauoises did couer their faces, and al other disarmed parts euen downe to their toes. And that their men at armes also (because our arrowes were so terrible in the sights of their horses, and that they did wound them in the eyes and legges, and eue∣rie bare and disarmed place, which made them run Page [unnumbered] athwart the one the other, as is before declared) did oftentimes forsake their horses, and reducing them∣selues into esquadron, came vpon our Archers with their launces and swords, the beuers of their helmets downe, and armed cap a pie, as it doth appeare by di∣uers great encounters mentioned in Froissart, and o∣ther histories.
But because the wonderfull effects and mischiefe of arrowes, may further appeare to be farre different from the dreames and reports of our such phantasti∣call men of warre, I will now of many Emperours, Kings, and great Captaines that haue been wounded and killed forraine Archers and arrowes, inferiour vnto ours, alledge a fewe examples to auoide prolixi∣tie, beginning first with some testimonie out of the Bible.
*Was not Saul (the first King of the Iewes, and a va∣liant Prince) in his last battaile fought with the A∣malakites, afraide of the volees of their arrowes, and himselfe wounded with an arrowe? And was not Ioram King of Israel slaine by Iehu his successor with the shot of an arrowe, that strake him into the bodie and through the hart? And was not Achab also king of Israel, in a battaile against the Sirians, ouerthrowne and wounded with an arrowe, that strake him into the bodie betweene the ioynts of his armour, of the which wound he that night died?*
Besides that, it is further manifest by many other notable histories, that Alexander the great, that most mightie Conquerour, besieging the Citie of Gaza in Siria, was himselfe sore wounded through the haber∣gin into the shoulder with an arrowe, in such sort, Page 44 that he was by that wound in great daunger, and his whole Armie thereat greatlie amazed. Vespasian also that famous and excellent Emperour, was wounded himselfe with an arrow in a great encounter and con∣flict, that he had against the Iewes by the citie of Ior∣pata in Iuda. The Emperour Decius also was ouer∣throwne & slaine in a battaile against the Gothes; and Decius Caesar his sonne striken dead with the shot of arrowes. The Emperour Valens also was ouer∣throwne in a great battaile by the Gothes, and himself sore wounded with an arrowe. Don Alfonso also King of Leon in Spaine, and Don Sancho King of A∣ragon were (although at diuers times, & in diuers pla∣ces) wounded and slaine by the Arabians and Mores with arrowes. Manuel also Emperour of Constantino∣ple, was ouerthrowne in a great battaile against the Soldan of Iconio, and himselfe wounded with ar∣rowes, notwithstanding his armour and target, in the which he had thirtie arrowes sticking. Orcan also sonne vnto Otoman and second Emperour of the Turkes, was ouerthrowne, wounded and slaine with arrowes, in a merueilous great battaile fought be∣twixt him, his Turkes and the Tartars. And finallie, Mahomet the second of that name Emperour of the Turkes, that wonderfull Conquerour, that did so pro∣sper in all battailes, and besiegings of townes, that he wan the two Empires of Constantinople, and Trepizon∣da, and killed the Emperour Constantine Dragon Paleo∣lego, as also the Emperour of Trepizonda, called Colo∣jani, and besides conquered ten Kingdomes of Chri∣stians, and slewe foure Kings, and all this chieflie by his notable milicia of Archers, yet notwithstanding Page [unnumbered] all those his great victories and conquests, in a great battaile fought betwixt him and that famous Vayuod Iuan Huniades Coruino, he was himself wounded with an arrowe, and his Turkes thereat so wonderfullie a∣mazed, that thereupon he and they were by the Chri∣stians vanquished, and compelled with great disor∣der, dishonor, and losse of his people to retire to Con∣stantinople. Which notable examples of wounding, and killing of Emperours, Kings, and great Captaines by foraine Archers, and arrowes inferiour vnto ours, may verie well shewe the ouerweening, and lacke of consideration and iudgement of our such men of warre, that haue sought by their vaine and ignorant speaches and words, to deface the force, violence, and wonderfull effects of our English Archers and ar∣rowes, contrarie to infinite examples and notable hi∣stories in diuers languages, and experiences of manie conquering Nations, and most excellent Captaines both auncient, and also of this age.
And now hauing in this my discourse endeuou∣red my selfe by manie reasons and examples, to make manifest how our such men of warre haue mistaken the vse and effects of diuers sorts of weapons out of their due times and places, with diuers other their er∣rors Militarie, contrary to the moderne opinions and vse of diuers forraine warlike Nations, as also that I haue (according to my first proposition) particularlie set downe the most of the perfections and imperfec∣tions of Mosquettiers and Harquebuziers, & of their weapons, with the perfections and imperfections of Archers and their Bowes, with manie reasons and examples also to shewe and proue, that the auncient Page 45 effects of our Archers and arrowes, are no waies de∣caied nor blemished by the effects of Harquebuziers and Mosquettiers, but that they doo in the field farre exceed and excell the effects of all weapons of fire maniable, and further, that no horsemen nor foot∣men are able to abide the terror and daunger of the volees of our arrowes, with many examples of bat∣tailes, victories, and conquests, of great encounters and skirmishes, of wounding and killing of mightie Emperours, Kings, & great Captaines with arrowes; I now come to conclude, that our Archers, being yet so excellent as they are, although in number not so manie as they were in times past, may (being well or∣dered) worke as great or greater effects in the field,* than they did in former ages; considering that al Na∣tions of the occidentall parts of Christendome both horsemen and footmen, do now vse to weare fewer peeces of armour to couer and defend their bodies, than they did a hundred, two hundred, or three hun∣dred yeres past, when our Archers wrought so won∣derfull effects, not onlie against the men at Armes of France, and other wel armed Nations, but also against the shot and volees of armed Crosse-bowers; who as they were verie skilfull with that weapon in those daies; so were they no waies inferiour to the shot of Mosquettiers and Harquebuziers of these our daies.
A briefe comparison betwixt Rei∣sters, Carabins, or Argolettiers, so much vsed in forren parts in these our dayes; & Crosse-bowers and Archers on horsebacke, which were vsed by the English, and diuers other Nations many yeares past: With mine opinion also, concerning which of those weapons are of greatest effect for serui∣ces in the field.
DIuers of our English Captains and Gentle∣men that haue serued in the 〈◊〉 warres of the Lowe Countries, or perad∣uenture some time in the ciuill warres of France, do so praise and magnifie the shot of Cara∣bins or Argolettiers (as they terme them) and of Rei∣sters, which are Pistollettiers, that they will not ad∣mit any shot on horsebacke to be comparable vnto them, imitating therein diuers forren Nations, that in these dayes doe vse those weapons on horseback. In which their opinions I doe not meane to touch them with any blame, because I do not remember a∣ny Nation in these West parts of Christendome, that doe vse at this present anie other. Howbeit, when I come to consider of such shot on horsebacke as hath bene vsed in times past, which are the Long-Bowe and the Crosse-bowe, and that there be some principall Gentlemen and Captaines of diuerse Nati∣ons yet aliue, that haue seen them vsed in the field, as namely of our English, that graue and most experi∣enced Gentleman sir Iames Crofte; & that I do com∣pare the vnreadines, imperfections and small effectes of the weapons of fire aforesaid, with the readinesse, perfections and great effectes of Crosse-bowes and Long-bowes. I doo (in mine opinion) greatly prefer those two ancient weapons on horseback before the Page 46 said weapōs of fire for al seruices in the field. And be∣cause it may appeare vnto such Gentlemen as may peraduēture reade this my opinion, how, & in what sort I would haue such Archers & Crosse-bowers to be horsed, armed and weaponed, I will first make mention thereof, and after briefly proceed to the for∣tifieng & prouing of mine opiniō by diuers reasons.
All the Crosse-bowers on horsebacke vnder suffi∣cient conductours well skilled in that weapon,* I would they should haue Crossebowes of two pound and a halfe of the best sort, with crooked gaffles han∣ging at their strong girdles after the manner of Ger∣manie, that they might on horsebacke bend their Crossebowes the more easily and readily, with foure and twentie quarrells in a case, well and fitly set at their saddle pommells, mounted vpon good cold gel∣dings of meane size, themselues armed with good murrians of the Spanish fashion vpon their heades, collars, light and short wasted cuirasses and backes, with sleeues of maile or chained with maile; or else, that they should be armed with murrians, light and easie Brigandines, and sleeues chained with maile, with broad short swords by their sides of not aboue a yarde in length,* and short daggers. The Archers on horsebacke vnder their Captaines or conductours skilful in Archerie, I would likewise haue mounted vpon good quiet geldings of meane size, with deepe steele skulles in very narrowe brimbd hats, well stuf∣fed for the easines of their heades; and either iackes of maile, according to the ancient manner when they were called, Loricati Sagittarij, or else light and easie brigandines, or at the least Ilet-holed doublets verie Page [unnumbered] easie and well fitted to their bodies, their sleeues chai∣ned with maile, with broad short swordes and short daggers, their Bowes of good Yeugh, long and well nocked and backed, and all their strings well whipt, with sheafes of foure and twentie arrowes apeece, with shooting gloues and bracers after the manner of our Archers in times past. And all these both Ar∣chers and Crosse-bowers I woulde haue them to be well practised, that they might knowe how to dis∣charge their arrowes and quarrells gallopping vpon the hand, and in all other motions of their horses, and the Crosse-bowers to bend againe with great readi∣nes. And diuers bandes beeing thus horsed, armed, weaponed and exercised, as also reduced into little bandes of fifties vnder sufficient conductours, and o∣ther Officers skilfull in those weapons, should (in mine opinion) be able to performe greater seruices in the field either against horsemen or footmen,* than a∣ny of the forenamed weapons of fire on horsebacke, considering that both Archers and Crosse-bowers may with their arrowes and quarrells very certainly wound or kill in their points & blancks either hors∣men or footmen that are in esquadron or troupe, two or three scores off; and rouing sixe, seauen, or eight scores, may greatly mischiefe and annoy the enemie: whereas the Argolettiers and Pistolettiers are not to worke any effect against esquadrons, or troupes of horsemen or footmen aboue ten or fifteene yards off at the furthest, and if it be enemie to enemie single, then they are not to discharge their peeces aboue three or foure yards off, vnlesse they will faile foure times before they hit once, so vncertaine are those Page 47 weapons of fire: the iudgement whereof, (because this mine opinion may seeme strange to such as doo not knowe the imperfections of those weapons of fire on horsebacke) I referre vnto any Captaines or Conductors of those weapons either Italians, Spani∣ards, or French that haue bene vsed to receiue the pay of Emperours or Kings: and if it be of the Pistolet∣tiers, then to the Reisters themselues.* Besides whose iudgements, by all reason it may appeare, that if the shot of Harquebuzrie on foote in their distances in the field be so vncertaine, as I haue in my former dis∣course declared, then of necessitie it must be a great deale more vncertaine vpon horsebacke, where, by euery motion & stirring of their horses (although they be very quiet) they shall in a manner as often hit Barnacles flying in the ayre, as hurt or kill any horses or men, vnlesse they be very thicke and wonderfull neere. Besides that, the charging of their peeces on horsebacke (be it with flaskes, cartages or charges) is so vncertaine as they shall as often spill their powder besides the mouthes of their peeces, and faile of their chargings, as charge the same. And also put∣ting their touch-powder into the pannes of their peeces, although there be no winde to disperse the same, yet vpon euery motion of their horses, they are ready to powre the powder beside their pannes. And if their peeces be Petronells, then if their stones should happen to breake, or not to stand right in their cockes, whereby they should faile to strike iust vpon the wheeles being fire-lockes, or vpon the hammers or steeles, if they be Snap-hances, or being of match, if their matches be not good and stiffe, and well set Page [unnumbered] in their serpentines or cockes, they also shall faile in their discharging; besides the difficultie that they shall finde at one time to charge their peeces, to haue an eie to their enemies, and to gouerne their horses, vsing also their scowring sticks as they ought to do: which imperfections of weapons of fire, with manie more, in the experience of all olde and skilfull sol∣diors, are the cause that the shot of them doo terrifie and scare newe soldiors and nouices of warre a great deale more with crackes, smoke and noyse, than with any often hurting with the bullet. All which vnreadinesses, disaduantages and imperfections of Argolettiers, Carabins, Pistolettiers, or Reisters consi∣dered with the readinesses, aduantages and perfecti∣ons of Archers and Crosse-bowers for all seruices in the field. I come to conclude, that Crosse-bowers on horsebacke vsed by many forren Nations of great antiquitie, and that Archers on horsebacke vsed by our auncestours many yeeres past, as also at this pre∣sent by the Turkes, Tartars, Persians, Arabians, and o∣ther mightie Nations, do farre exceede and excell all weapons of fire on horsebacke.
An exhortation to the Magistrates and Gentlemen of England.
THese discourses which I haue handled & set down, with many reasons aled∣ged, as also with very notable exāples & opinions of great captaines, & testi∣mony of most approued histories, con∣cerning the excellencie of Archers and diuerse other weapons in their due times and places, with many Page 48 errours and abuses militarie by our such men of war practised, and in publike places perswaded and taught, I haue not taken in hand and performed with anie intention or hope to reduce them from their er∣roneous opinions martiall, or to perswade them to giue credit to any thing by me alleadged and proued, because they are growen to such a selfe-wil & liking of their owne opinions or rather fancies militarie, that their ouerweening, wilfulnes & presumption do extend so far, that diuers of the chiefe of thē will giue no credit to anie historie alledged, nor anie experiēce nor example that they heare by their elders reported, nor yet any thing by diuers reasons proued; but onlie vnto their owne fancies & such few things as they thēselues haue seen: which doth most euidētly argue in them a wonderfull arrogancie, and obstinat barba∣rousnes, & that they neither haue, nor euer will haue any vnderstāding in the science militarie. For it hath bin alwais a principle in the opinion of al great Cap∣taines, as also in all reason & experience, that no man can attaine to any sufficiencie and excellencie in the arte and discipline militarie, but by three principall meanes, that is, by seeing actions of armes & of war performed, by conference with others to vnderstand the reasons of things in action or already done, & by the discourses of men of experience, and histories of things in times past performed & done: as for exam∣ple; What doth it auaile any Nobleman or Gentle∣man how excellent a wit & courage soeuer he hath, incase he had seene all the chiefe and best fortificati∣ons that are in Europe, as also many encampings of ar∣mies in campes formed, dislodgings, marchings in diuers formes, with many battailes, skirmishes and Page [unnumbered] great encounters: If hee neglecting to learne and vn∣derstand the causes of those things which hee hath seene, hath giuen himselfe to dicing, carding, making of loue and drunkennes? Or if his pride, arrogancie & ouerweening, haue so possessed him, that he hath disdained to harken or confer with others, that haue bene able by experience to instruct and giue him the reasons of things by him seene;* which in trueth are the verie causes that there are so many Captaines, & Gentlemen of diuers Nations that haue beene in ma∣ny campes, and haue seene diuers armies and actions, and yet do vnderstand very little of the Art and Dis∣cipline militarie.
Now therfore, those our men of warre being such as I haue before declared, and that notwithstanding there haue been such wonderfull opinions concei∣ued here at home of their sufficiencie, that they haue been not only compared with the greatest Captaines of this age, but also thought to bee the onlie men of warre of Christendome: certeinlie, it is greatly to be meruailed at how any such opinion should bee con∣ceiued of them, considering that they neuer serued in any imperiall or royall warres of Emperors, Kings, nor formed Common wealths within the continent of Europe, Affricke, nor Asia, where they might at∣taine to any such knowledge in the Art Militarie, but onlie in the disordered and tumultuarie warres of the Lowe Countries vnder the States (where the soue∣raigne gouernment and commaundement hath con∣sisted of a broken and vncertaine authoritie, all things tending (with great disorder and confusion) more to the spoyle, than to any discipline or Martiall seruice) Page 49 or peraduenture some verie little or nothing in the licencious and ciuil warres of France; in both which warres for the lacke of certaine and assured pay for the men of warre, as also rewards for particular and extraordinarie deserts and worthines, it hath been impossible to establish and continue any formed mi∣licia & discipline Militarie,* wherby either Captaines or soldiers should grow to any skill and sufficiencie, but rather to errors and ignorances, as it may verie well appeare by the politique and Militarie discour∣ses of that notable and braue soldier Monsieur de la Noüe, where the imperfections and insufficiencies of such as haue attained to their chiefe skill in those warres, are verie manifestlie set downe. To the parti∣cularities whereof (because his booke is not onelie extant in French, but also translated into English) I re∣mit those that are disposed to see and consider. Be∣sides all which, the wonderfull disorders, and lack of vnderstanding of our such men of warre, in all their proceedings and actions Militarie haue been such, so many, and so great, almost in al matters that they haue taken in hand in the Lowe Countrie warres, that not onlie in the iudgement of all the great Captaines Ita∣lians, Spaniards, Burgonnions, and other Nations, that either haue knowne their seruices, or serued against them, but also in the opinions of some of the wiser sort of the States themselues, they haue been iudged to bee men of no vnderstanding, nor sufficiencie in matters of warre, although it hath bin giuen out and reported farre otherwise to their aduantage here at home amongst vs, altogether to their merueilous and incredible commendations and praises: wherevpon Page [unnumbered] there hath been such credite giuen to their fond spea∣ches and ignorant perswasions, by the better sort of our Nation, that they haue not onelie since our Na∣tion began first to go ouer to serue as mercenarie sol∣diers in the Low Countries vnder the States, brought in great numbers of disorders and abuses Militarie, farre different, or rather cleane contrarie to the aun∣cient and moderne experience, vse, and proceedings of all warlike Nations, but also in a great part defa∣ced, and decaied the accompt, vse, and exercise of our most excellent weapon the Long-bowe; which in short time to come (if it be not verie speedilie proui∣ded for by the execution of such penall statute lawes, as haue been in times past ordained and established for the exercise and maintenance of the same) will growe to bee forgotten, and in a manner vtterlie ex∣tinguished; which, if through the negligence of the better sort of our Nation, imitating and following the simple and ignorant opinions of our such vnskil∣full men of warre, it should come to passe, it doth in mine opinion argue nothing more, than that God hath withdrawne his hand, and all right iudgment in matters Militarie from vs, and that in time to come, vpon any great warre either offenciue or defenciue, we shall, when it is too late, repent the same, greatlie to the hazard and perill of our Prince, Countrie and Nation. The consideration whereof, for the great loue that I haue alwaies borne, and doo still, accor∣ding to my duetie,* beare to the Crowne and Realme of England and English Nation, was the first and prin∣cipall cause that mooued me to take these discourses in hand, to the intent to aduise & perswade (as much Page 50 as in my power and small abilitie is) the Nobilitie, Magistrates, and better sort of our Nation, with all care and diligence to reuiue, and put in execution the auncient statutes prouided and established, for the en∣crease and exercise of the youth of England in Arche∣rie, that as God of his great goodnes hath blessed our Nation with a wonderfull aptnes and dexteritie in that weapon,* more than any other Nation that I haue seene, heard, or read of throughout the vniuersall world: so that wee may not through the friuolous and vaine perswasions of a fewe vnskilfull and igno∣rant men in these our daies, as vnthankfull, neglect that great and especiall goodnes of almightie God, and singular gift that he hath endued vs withall: but that wee doo with all care and diligence beleeue, and imitate the great experience of our most worthie Auncestors, that in diuers ages, with the aduauntage of that most excellent weapon, haue atchieued such and so many wonderfull and miraculous victories a∣gainst diuers Nations, both Christians and Pagans. As also that we doo giue credite to the greatest Cap∣taines of our Nation, and diuers other Nations that haue liued in our time, some of the which being yet aliue, and of principall sort and calling, haue seene the mightie works and wonderfull effects of our English Archers, and therefore with all right iudgement, re∣iecting all newe fancies and toyes, that we doo em∣brace and esteeme that singular weapon, to bee the chiefe and principall of all others for battailes, victo∣ries and conquests.
And now to make an end, I doo againe (as I did in the beginning of my discourse) notifie that mine in∣tention Page [unnumbered] hath no waies extended by any thing in my discourses contained,* to touch the reputation or ho∣nor of any Noblemen, nor Gentlemen of noble or worshipfull houses, nor yet any others of worthie minds that haue entred into those Low Countrie ser∣uices, rather to win reputation, knowledge and ho∣nor, than for any hope or desire of spoyle, or greedie gaine, but onelie such of our men of warre, as neglec∣ting and contemning all true honor & discipline Mi∣litarie, haue brought in amongst vs a most shamefull and detestable arte and discipline of carowsing and drunkennes, turning all matters Militarie to their own profite and gaine, neglecting to loue and to win the loue of their soldiers vnder their gouernments & charges, making in a manner no accompt of them, nor of their liues; in such sort, as by their euill con∣duction, staruing and consuming great numbers and many thousands of our most braue English people, as also by their infinite other disorders, they haue made a farre greater warre vpon the Crowne and Realme of England and English Nation, than any waies vpon the enemies of our Countrie.