[Certen] instruct[ions, obseruati]ons and orders militarie, requisit for all chieftaines, captaines [and?] higher and lower men of charge, [and officers] to vnderstand, [knowe and obserue]
Smythe, John, Sir, ca. 1534-1607.

That great bands of 500. vnder an Ensigne are mor connenient for al seruices in the field, then smal bands of 150.

IN this place before I proceede any further, I thought good to notifie vnto all such as shall read these my instructions, that my opinion is, y great bands of footmen of 500. souldiours to euery Ensigne accor∣ding to the ancient and moderne vse of Germany (when they doo inuade,* or resist, and make head against y Turk) are more conuenient, and a great deale better as well for the princes sauing of many paies of Captaines, and offi∣cers, as also for the more speedie forming of great battles or squadrons with dexteritie & celeritie, then smal bands of 150. are; who in respect of the many Captaines and officers, are a farre greater charge vnto the prince as a∣foresaid; Page  101 as also through the smalnesse and great number of their compertiments or diuisions of diuers different sorts of weapons, a great deale more slow and vnfit to be reduced into great battles or squadrons, then great bāds are: which mine opinion, because I haue fortified and proued the same with certen examples & many reasons in my booke of discourses, which I set foorth and caused to be printed 1590. and yet that the same hath beene by certen apassionate Gentlemen with many malicious and vaine words void of all reason militarie, denied in certen malicious libelling pamphlets by them in written hande in many places dispersed contrary to all ciuilitie and pro∣fession militarie; I wil againe in this place rehearse & set downe a part of that which is conteined in my foresaid booke of discourses, and wil fortefie the same with such reasons and examples, as any man that is of any discreti∣on may manifestlie see the great ignorance and lacke of skill of those that doo thinke, that many small comperti∣ments of piquers and of weapons of volee may be assoon brought into any forme of battle, with sleeues, winges, forlorne hopes, &c, as great bandes of 500. that do con∣sist of great compertiments of different sorts of weapons may; And therefore the words of my booke of discour∣ses to proue my foresaid proiect, are in a manner verba∣tim, these following.

When the great Princes of Germanie vppon any oc∣casion or iniury offred, are disposed to make Warre one against another, or vpon an imperiall army assembled to inuade or resist the Turk, beeing bounde as they are by their Tenures Militarie to the Empire, some to finde Horsemen,* and others to finde footemen at their owne charges, they then vppon such occasions haue alwaies vsed, and doo still vse to forme their Regiments of foot∣men into great bands of 500. to an Ensigne, & that they vse especiallie for two causes; the one thereby in their re∣gimentes and so consequentlie in their whole Armies to saue the pay of a great sort of Captaines, Lieutenantes Page  102 of bands, Ensignbearers and other officers, which would be greatly increased & so amount to a far greater charge, and pay, incase they should compose smaller bandes of 200. or 150. or vnder that number.

The other cause that doth moue them to forme their bands so great, is, that their Militia consisting of harque∣buziers, mosquetiers, piquers, and some halbarders, with a few slathe swords for the guard of their Ensignes, that those sorts of weapons by reason of the greatnesse of the bands being in great compertiments and diuisions may be the more readilie and easilie drawne out, and sepera∣ted, and with a great deale more celeritie incorporated with the other great compertimentes of like weapons of other great bands to forme their squadrons with sleeues, winges, troupes, and forlorne hopes, according to the order and direction of their Coronels, and Sergeantes Maiors, then if their bands were smaller either of 200. or 150. or vnder that number, whereby the Comperti∣ments of weapons should be also the smaller, and therby in number the greater, and so consequently, would re∣quire a much longer time not only to drawe out, but also to incorporate compertimentes with compertimentes for the forming of battles with sleeues, winges, and for∣lorne hopes as aforesaid: Besides that, such great bands both by reason and experience are as readie, and a great deale more ready to bee emploied either in whole com∣panies vnder their Captains and Lieutenants, or deuided into partes and corporalates vnder their Corporals and Sergeants, for watches, bodies of watches, Centinels, and all other ordinarie and extraordinary emploiments and actions militarie, in Campe, Towne, or field, then a∣ny smal bands are: For it is most euident that smal bands of 150. to an Ensigne, consisting of 5. different sortes of weapons, (viz:) piques, battleaxes, mosquets, harque∣buzes, and longbowes, and that therefore euery one sort of those weapons is to be reduced into diuers little diuisi∣ons by themselues, which besides the vncomely sight to Page  103 see so many small compertimentes in euery such little band, it would require a much longer time vpon the dai∣lie and ordinarie dislodging of an Armie reduced into a vaungard, battle and rereward, to draw so great numbers of compertiments out of such a number of little bandes; then out of a few bands of 500. to draw a few great com∣pertiments, and to incorporate and reduce them into any forme or formes.

And this before written, I thinke, might suffice to per∣swade any that do professe Armes, that are of any discre∣tion, although but of meane iudgement in matters Mili∣tarie, that such great bands as aforesaid, are a great deale more fitt and conuenient to forme battles and squadrons withall, then such small bands as aforesaid are. Howbeit because there be some 3. or 4. of our Nation yt haue writ∣ten in certen lewde and false pamphlets and libells against me (as is before mentioned) that haue not bene ashamed to name themselues the inuentors and deuisers of a new discipline Militarie, (who how farre wide they are from the vnderstanding of all true discipline, all men of right consideration may euidently see by their writinges, speakings, vaine opinions and actions); that they I say, in their malitious and friuolous libels do write (as aforesaid) that small bands of 150. are as readie to be reduced into any squadron, as great bands of .500. are. I therefore to make that, which I haue before written more apparant, and vtterlie to conuince their obstinate ignorances, will by comparing the best orders and waies of fourming of squadrons, both with great, and with small bandes, shewe with what great readines and facilitie, squadrons may be formed with a few great Compertiments out of great bandes of. 500. to an Ensigne; and with what difficultie great squadrons are reduced into forme, with many little Compertiments out of small bandes of .150. to an En∣signe: that therby all men of consideration may euident∣lie see the erronious and vnskilfull opinions Militarie that those our such men of warre do hold: And therefore I do Page  104 for example alledge: That admit that a generall of an Ar∣my of .18000.* footmen reduced into .6. Regiments of .3000. to euerie Regiment and .8000. 10000. or .12000. horsemen of diuers armors and weapons, with all other prouision and furniture belonging to such an Armie, to inuade some forren dominions; & that the whole 18000 footmen being deuided into 5. partes he had concluded (according to the commendable opinion of some nota∣ble men of warre that I haue knowne in my time) that. 3. parts of the 5. should be all piquers and short weapons, or all piquers without any short weapons, to forme a vaun∣gard, battle and Rereward, according to the manner and vse of the Italians and Spaniards of this time; and that the other two parts should be all weapons of volee; weare I say, determined to make a proofe, whether little bandes of 150. or great bands of 500. were most apte and ready to forme squadrons withal; and therefore hauing reduced 3. of the 6. Regiments into little bands of 150. that is 20. bandes of 150. to euerie Regiment of 3000. and the o∣ther. 3. Regiments into great bandes of .500. that is .6. bandes of 500. to euerie Regiment of 3000. he then ge∣uing these or the like directiōs hereafter set down, should most manifestly see the great aptnes, dexteritie and readi∣nesse of great bandes of .500. to reduce squadrons into, with the wonderfull vnreadinesse, great disorders and im∣perfections in reducing of squadrons into forme by little bandes of 150. consisting of .5. different weapons as a∣foresaid▪

The Lieutennant general therfore first to make proofe whether the piquers of one of the regiments of the small bands, or the piquers of one of the Regiments of the great bands were more readie to be reduced into squadron, is to commaund that at a certen houre vpon a sound and warning giuen by his trompettor, two Coronells with their two Regiments the one consisting all of small bands of .150. and the other all of great bands of .500. should with all celeritie reduce themselues into their simple and Page  150 single order of rankes: (which reducement of bandes in∣to their simple, and single order, is euer to be performed before squadrons can with order and reason Militarie be formed),* and that either in the place of Armes, if the Ge∣nerall shal appoint that place, or otherwise if it shal please him to commaund both the Coronells at one time to march out of the Camp to two seuerall places & grounds appointed both of like distance from the fortifications of the Campe; there to reduce .3. parts of their Regiments which do consist of piquers, (the other two parts consist∣ing weapons of volee as aforesaid) into two seuerall squa∣drons, each of them 60. piquers in frunt, & 30. by flanks which are in each Regiment .1800. piquers:* Then I say that the 3. partes of piquers of euerie great band of .500. being .300. and the other two parts of weapons of volee in number 200. marching out of their quarters into the place of Armes, which is betwixte their quarter and the fortifications of the Campe, and there reducing them∣selues into their simple and single order of 100. rankes 5. in euerie ranke; or rather into 50. rankes of 10. in euerie ranke: I mean the one halfe of the weapons of volee, that doconsist of 100. marching before the ranks of y piquers, and the other halfe of y like number of weapons of volee behinde the hindermost ranke of all the piquers, with the Ensigne according to all discipline in the middest of the piquers: And so all those 6. bandes of 500. vnder e∣uerie Ensigne marching 10. in a ranke one after another out of the Campe towardes the ground where they are to forme their squadron; whither being comne, the wea∣pons of volee that are in frunt of the first band, marching a conuenient distance to the right hand from before the piquers, to the intent to giue the piquers place, and to be readie to arme the forepart of the right flanke of the squadron: And the compertiment of piquers of this formost and first band being comne to the ground wher∣as they are to aduaunce their piques, and make a stande, and hauing perfourmed the same; the other halfe of Page  106 the weapons of volee of the same band that marcht be∣hind, who are to arme the forepart of the left flank of the squadron being drawne vp by their Conductors so large a distance on the left hand from their compertiment of piquers, as they may leaue ground enough betwixt them and their piquers to forme all the rest of the squadron: which whilst the first band of 500. is a performing; then the one halfe of the weapons of volee of the second band that dooth follow the first band, being by their Condu∣ctors drawn from before their compertiment of piques, and marching vppe by the right flanke of the comperti∣ment of the first bande of piquers, (that haue alreadie made their stand) vntill they come to the formost com∣pertiment of the weapons of volee; & y second comper∣timent of 30. ranks of piquers 10. in a rank of y said secōd band, marching vp by y left flank of the first cōpertiment of that weapon vntill they find their first and last ranks e∣quall in frunt and backe, with the first and last ranks of the first compertiment; and then the other halfe of the wea∣pons of volee, that marched behind the second comper∣timent of piquers being by their Conductors drawne so farre to the left hand, vntill they come to find the hinder∣most rankes of the other compertiment of weapons of volee that was marched thither before; And so subse∣quently the formost compertiments of the weapons of volee of the third band of 500. marching vp by the right flanke of the piquers that they find alreadie reduced; as the other two foremost compertimentes of the former bands haue doone; And the third compertiment of pi∣quers marching vppe by the left flanke of the other two Compertiments before reduced, vntill they finde them∣selues of equal frunt with them: And then the other that is, the last compertiment of weapons of volee of the same band, being drawne from behind their piquers to the other two compertiments that are already of the left hand: And so subsequentlie the three formost comperti∣ments Page  107 of weapons of volee of the three last bands, mar∣ching vp by the right flanke of the piquers before them, to the intent to arme aswell the hinder part of the right flanke, as the backe, or Rereward of the squadron: And the three compertimentes of piquers, of the said three last bands, marching vp by the left flanke of the other 3. compertiments already reduced, as also by the left flanks orderlie the one of the other, vntill they find themselues all of one equal frunt; the whole squadron by this means, is now reduced in a very short time into forme of battle, hauing in frunt 60. piquers, and by flankes 30. rankes: which whole squadron being reduced thus into forme of 60. piquers in frunt, and 30. rankes by flankes, doth con∣teine 1800. piquers as aforesaid; the hindermost & last three compertiments of weapons of volee marching to the left flanke of the squadron, readie to arme the same according to the direction of the Coronell or Sergeant Maior.

Or otherwise, if the same said Regiment of 3000. bee∣ing ready to dislodge and march out of their quarter, will vse a more short waie of reducement into squadron, and to arme the same with weapons of volee: Then the Ser∣geant Maior may giue order that euerie one of the 6. bands of 500. to euery Ensign be reduced into their sim∣ple and single order of rankes in this sort following; that is that the Captains and officers of the 3. first bands that he will reduce into forme, and begin his squadron withal, doo reduce all their weapons of volee that are to 〈◊〉 the frunt and right flanke of the squadron into comper∣timents of 10. in a ranke, or fewer as he shall think most meet: And that the said seuerall compertiments of eue∣rie one of those three bands being led by their Conduc∣tors shall march and follow one another: And that al the piquers of the 6. whole bandes be reduced into 6. com∣pertiments of 10. in euery ranke from frunt to back, rea∣die vpon the sound of the drums to follow the comper∣timents of weapons of volee; As also beeing distinctlie Page  108 led by their Captaines to march and follow one another: And then that the three compertiments of weapons of volee, that do belong to the three last compertiments of piquers, y are to arme the left flank and back of the squa∣dron shall reduce themselues into 10. in a rank through∣out, or any smaller number, in like sort as he hath before giuen direction to the three first compertiments of wea∣pons of volee.

Al which reducementes into their simple or single order beeing performed; then vppon the strokes and sounds of the drummes, or of the Coronels trompettor, they are presentlie to march out at that Sallie, turnpique, or barriers of the camp, that it hath before pleased y Ge∣neral, or L. Marshal to giue direction: And the three for∣most compertiments of weapons of volee being comne neere to the place where the squadron is to bee formed, they are presently to march to the right flanke and side of the same place, & there to reduce themselues into as ma∣ny different forms, as the sergeant Maior hath before gi∣uen direction: At which instant, the first compertiment of 30. ranks of piquers 10. in a rank, doo march vp to the place of reducement, whither being comn, vpon y sound of the drums for that purpose, they are presently to ad∣uance their piques and make a pause. At which time & instant the second compertiment, and the third comper∣timent both of like numbers of 10. piquers in euery one ranke from frunt to back, do march vp the second by the right flanke of the first compertiment that hath alreadie made a pause or stand, and the thirde by the left flanke of the said first compertiment: At which time and instant also the fourth compertiment dooth march vppe by the right flanke of the second compertiment, and the fifth by the left flanke of the third compertiment.

And the sixt or last compertiment by the right flanke of the fourth compertiment, vntill all those 5. comperti∣ments doo finde their first rankes equall in frunt, and their last rankes equall in backe or rereward, with the first and Page  109 last rankes of the said first compertiment. During which time and instant of the reducement of the said 6. com∣pertiments of piquers into squadron, the three last com∣pertimentes of weapons of volee doo march vp by the left flanke of the squadron of piquers now alreadie four∣med, and there are to reduce themselues into the like formes that the foremost 3. compertiments of weapons of volee haue doone, vpon the right flanke of the squa∣dron: Or otherwise as it shall please the Coronell or Ser∣geant Maior to giue direction, for the arming of the said left flanke and back of the aforesaid piquers.

And now this squadron being by this kind of reduce∣ment, reduced into forme, with sleeues, winges, troups, and other formes of weapons of volee, with great readi∣ness and celeritie; al men of consideration may euident∣lie see, with what great facilitie and dexteritie a few great compertiments of piquers and halbardiers for the guard of the Ensignes, out of great bands of 500. are reduced into squadron of 60. souldiors in frunt and 30. rankes by flanke, or into any other farre greater squadron, with weapons of volee reduced into diuers formes to arme, the frunt, flankes and backe, according to the comman∣dement of the Generall, or Coronell, or Sergeant Maior.

But now let vs see how the other aforsaid regiment of 3000. deuided into small bandes of hundreds and fifties, (according to the contrarie opinion) three parts of them piquers, and the other two partes weapons of volee (as aforesaid) may with most celeritie be reduced into y like squadron of 1800. piquers before set downe; that is, 60. in frunt, and 30 by flanks: I say that to form that squadrō, each one of the 20. Captaines must according to all or∣der and discipline, first reduce their bandes vnder their Ensignes into their simple and single order of rankes, as also into their different compertiments, as the great bāds before haue doone.

And because that they may the more readily forme the Page  110 squadron, it will behooue them to haue speciall re∣gard to the number of 60. souldiors that their squadron must conteine in euery ranke from frunt to backe, as also that there must be 30. ranks by flankes: which beeing by them considered, they then must reduce all the piquers of euerie one of their bandes into such numbers of ranks, as that they may be by flank, in equall numbers of ranks with the squadron that they intend to forme of 30. ranks: which to accomplish, they must reduce their comperti∣mentes of piquers of each one of their bandes into 30. rankes of 3. in a ranke: which number being 3. partes of the 5. parts of each one of their bands as aforesaid; doth amount iust to 90. piquers; the other two partes consi∣sting of weapons of volee beeing 60. So as they must forme their squadron with the compertiments of 90. pi∣quers, 3. in euery ranke, as the great bandes did forme their squadrons with compertiments of 300. piquers 10 in euery ranke, which to perform, (considering that they are 20. compertiments of 90. piquers to euery comper∣timent, out of 20 little bands, as the compertiments of the great bandes were but only 6. compertiments of 300 piquers to euery compertiment, out of the 6. great bands of 500. to euerie band) will require 3. or 4. times longer time, then to reduce them into squadron by the 6. com∣pertiments of the great bandes as aforesaid.

Or incase that the Coronell would giue order that those little bands being reduced into their simple and sin∣gle order of.3.* in euerie ranke throughout euerie Com∣pertiment as aforesaid, should come to ioine 3. or 4. Cō∣pertiments of piquers out of 3. or 4: little bandes, think∣ing thereby to forme the squadron with greater celeritie: They I say shall first before they bring that to passe, finde themselues greatly confused to forme the same, by their seeing so great a number of little bandes dispersed ouer the place of Armes, which do occupy a great deale more ground in the said place, then 6. great bands do: Besides that it will require a double, or rather a treble time more, Page  111 first to reduce 20 little bandes into their simple and single order of ranks, and little Compertiments of so many dif∣ferent sorts of weapons in so many places dispersed: and then to drawe out and to incorporate such a number of small Compertiments one with another, and after to re∣duce them into one bodie of squadron as aforesaid, then only with 6. greate Compertiments of piquers to forme the like squadron, & to arme the same with many formes of different sorts of weapons of volee in frunt, flankes and backe. By all which alleadged both Pro et contra, as also performed in the sight and presence of such a generall as aforesaid, I thinke it would be euident vnto him, and to all other men of consideration and Iudgement in his A∣mie, that this little squadron formed but of. 1800▪ pi∣quers, is a great deale sooner and with more facilitie per∣formed with the Compertiments of a few great bandes, then with a great number of little Compertiments, out of many little bandes as aforesaid: which if it be so in so small a squadron where the little Compertiments of 90. piquers marching 3. in a ranke doo beare length in num∣ber of rankes by flankes to forme such a little battle with∣out patching and peecing so many little compertiments to forme the squadron withall: what then if the Generall should command the Coronels and Sergeants Maiors of 2. of the 3. Regiments of those little bands to reduce al the piquers that according to the former diuision doo a∣mount vnto 3600. piquers, into a squadron on of 90. piquers in frunt, and 40. rankes by flanke? when that to perform the same, they must not onlie first of all reduce euery one of their little bands into their simple, and single order of ranks of 3. or 4. or more in euerie ranke; but because that their compertimēts of 30. ranks 3. in euerie ranke are too short by 10. rankes to make 40. rankes, they must not on∣ly incorporate themselues by flankes with the like nom∣ber of rankes; but also must with pieces of other bandes, patch and piece their incorporated Compertiments, and after the patching and pieing of them, then reduce and Page  124 forme their squadron: which to performe doth require a verie long time, and doth greatlie confuse & confound the Coronels and Sergeants Maiors, and al the rest of the officers of those Regiments to their great disgrace and reproach: wheras contrariwise the 3600. piquers of the. 2 Regiments of 6000. that do consist but of 12. great bands being in the place of Armes reduced into 10. Comperti∣ments of 9. piquers in euerie ranke, in each Comperti∣ment from frunt to backe, are with great facilitie, & with out any cōfusion to be reduced, by doubling themselues by flanke, or flankes as aforesaid into the aforesaid squa∣dron of 90. piquers in frunt, and 40. rankes by flankes: which being so, as by all reason and practise Military it is, then if the Generall should giue furder order to the three Coronels or Sergeants Maiors of al the three Regiments of 9000. that do consist of little bands (as aforesaid) to re∣duce al their piquers, which according to the proportion and diuisions aforesaid, do amount iust vnto. 5400. pi∣quers; besides the other two partes that are weapons of volee, into one bodie of squadron of 108. piquers in frunt and of 50. rankes by flanke: how wonderfully then would the Sergeants Maiors & officers of those Regiments find themselues confused to forme so great a squadron of the peeces and patches (as they may be well termed) of. 60. little bandes; when euery one of those single Comperti∣ments do not only lacke number in frunt to make conue∣nient compertiments to forme the frunt of the bate with celeritie; but also are a great deale too short by flankes to forme the aforesaid squadrō in number of ranks by flanks and therefore must of necessitie, not only incorporate a great number of little Compertiments, and peeces of compertimēts with other little compertiments by flanks therby to make them to come to the iust number in frunt of 108. piquers; but also must peece and patch euery one of those Compertiments with the peeces of other little Compertiments in backe or Rereward, thereby after to reduce, forme, and being their squadron by flankes to Page  125 haue the iust length of 50. rankes: which to performe, dooth cause so great a disorder and confusion in the offi∣cers executing of the directions of the Coronelles and Sergeants Maiors, as it is neuer to make an end: whereof insueth great noises and rumors, by calling, by swearing, by commaunding and countermaunding, and by this and by that.

Wheras contrariwise, the compertiments of piquers of the other three Regiments of great bandes of 500. as aforsaid, consisting of 300. piquers to euerie comperti∣ment, may with great dexteritie, quietnesse and facilitie, without the aforesaid peecing and patching of comperti∣ments with compertiments form the aforesaid squadron of 108. in frunt, and 50. by flanks, with their single com∣pertiments, without any one band, or compertiment bo∣rowing the one of the other: As for example, to form the aforesaide squadron of 108. piquers in frunt; and 50. rankes by flankes, (the three Regimentes of 3000. to e∣uerie Regiment consisting of 18 bandes 500. to euerie ensigne: which of piquers and weapons of volee are in all 9000. Of the which there are 3. partes piquers, and two partes weapons of volee, as aforesaide, that is 5400. piquers, and 3600. souldiours of weapons of volee) the compertimentes of piquers of all those 18. bandes con∣sisting euery one of 300. piquers, and euery one of those compertimentes of 300. beeing reduced into their sim∣ple and single order of 6. in euerie ranke, from frunt to backe, are iust in number 50. ranes of 6. souldiours in euery ranke.

All which 18. compertimentes of 300. piquers to euerie compertiment marching euery one of them 6. in a ranke, (as aforesaid) beeing led and drawne vp by their Captains by the flanke, or flankes the one of the other, (according vnto any of the orders that I haue before ve∣ry particularly set down for ye forming of squadrons and battles) are without any kinde of trouble, disorder or ru∣mor, with great facility reduced into ye aforsaid battle and Page  126 squadron of 108. piquers in euery ranke from frunt to backe, and of 50. rankes by flankes, which squadron in al consisteth of 5400. piquers as aforesaid.

And this dexteritie and facilitie of forming of great squadrōs without any disorder or confusiō doth proceed of the great compertiments that are drawne out of great bands: whereas farre otherwise, to forme the same saide squadron with 60. compertiments of 90 piquers, 3. in a ranke in euery compertiment, drawne out of 60. little bandes of 150.* to euery Ensigne, to the intent to forme the said squadron: the Captaines and officers after that they haue reduced euery one of their bandes into their simple and single order of ranks, (which is the first thing for all seruices in the field that according to al discipline ought to be performed) must then because their litle com¦pertiments of 90. piquers doo consist but of 30. ranks, 3. in a ranke, go and find another compertiment of the like number of another band to ioine with them by flanke, thereby to make their compertiment of 6. in euery rank. But because their two compertiments incorporated by flankes as aforesaid, doo lacke 20. rankes of 6. in euerie ranke to make the iust length of the squadron by flanke that consisteth of 50. rankes: Another Captaine must bring his whole compertiment of 90. piquers, which do consist of 15. rankes 6. in a ranke, and ioine them at the backe of the other two compertiments; and yet those 3. Captaines must borrowe out of another compertiment of a fourth band 5. rankes more of 6. in a ranke, which are 30. piquers to make out the full number of 50. ranks, 6. in euery ranke; so as the fourth Captain that hath lent 30. piquers, dooth remaine but with a peece of his com∣pertiment of 60. piquers, with the which he must after incorporate, and peece and patch other compertiments either to make length by flanke, or bredth in frunt. And in this sort or in the like with small difference all the 〈◊〉 compertiments of 90. piquers in each compertiment as aforesaid must in corporate, peece and patch by flankes Page  127 and backe all the rest of their compertiments, and peeces of compertimentes vntill they haue formed their squa∣dron: which kind of reducing, peecing and patching, to forme a squadron, dooth breed such a wonderfull confu∣sion in such a number of little compertiments dispersed in the fieldes, as the Sergeants Maiors and other chiefe commanders wil finde themselues wonderfullie confu∣sed and confounded in their directions for the forming of their squadron,* and the Captaines and other inferior officers in the performing and executing of the same.

And as these before alledged confusions and disor∣ders doo insue in forming of a squadron of piquers with such little compertiments: euen so dooth there ensue as great or greater confusions in reducing a farre greater number of little compertimentes of weapons of volee, that do consist of three different sorts of weapons, as of Archers, mosquetiers and harquebuziers, into diuers formes and emploiments; All which reducementes of squadrons into forme with sleeues, winges, troups, and forlorne hopes of weapons of volee, and other such like doo require fower or fiue times longer time to performe, then with a few great compertiments of piquers & wea∣pons of volee out of bandes of 500. to reduce such great squadrons into forme as aforesaid with sleeues, winges, forlorne hopes, &c. of weapons of volee, as all men that are not obstinatelie ignorant may by that which I haue before declared most manifestlie see.

The testimonie and proofe whereof was euidentlie seene at such time as there were certen great squadrons formed, or rather with great disorder, trouble, and con∣fusion wonderfullie deformed heere in Essex the yeare 1588. Which proceeded of nothing so much as of the lacke of vnderstanding of such as should haue reduced the whole Armie into great bandes of 500. to euery En∣signe, with conuenient and well sorted compertimentes, or of 400. or of 300. to euerie Ensigne at the fewest. Whereas farre otherwise, the bands of the whole Armie Page  128 did consist of diuers different numbers, as of 150. of 200 of 300. of 400. of 500. and of 600. to an ensigne, and in all those bands, the compertimentes of the different sorts of weapons were so ill sorted, and in so great dispropor∣tion, as the same with the lacke of skill of such as should haue reformed those imperfections, were the very cau∣ses that when they went about to reduce and forme any squadron with sleeues, wings, &c: they fell into manie errors and confusions, as all those that were there of any vnderstanding in matters militarie might euidentlie see. Vppon all which reasons and examples of reducing of great and small bands into squadrons with so many im∣perfections, confusions, and failings as are incident and doo ordinarilie ensue in reducing of little comperti∣ments of small bandes into diuers formes of squadrons with sleeues, winges, forlorne hopes, &c, with the great perfections and easinesse of reducing the great comper∣timentes of great bandes into all sortes of formes with great facilitie as is before declared, considered; I come to conclude that the aforesaid Lieutenant Generall, or any other Chiefetaine of right vnderstanding, obseruation and iudgement, would forme the footmen of his Armie into great bandes, and not into such small bandes as are before mentioned. And thus farre concerning the proo∣uing that great bandes of 500. are more conuenient for all purposes and emploiments, then small bands of 150. or 200. are.