[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.

Concerning Ensignes and Ensignebearers of priuate bandes of footmen, as also concerning the Standard, and Standard bearer of an Emperour, or of a King.

HEere it is to be noted, because Ensignebearers of footmen are to march in the midst of the armed men, aswell in squadrons as in priuate bands; and therewithall to be euer ready to take their places vppon the assembling, reducing, or marching of such bandes: Page  129 that they with their Ensignes ought to be lodged in their Captaines tents or lodginges,* or verie neere vnto their Captains; alwaies accompanied with one of the drum∣mers, and the phier of the band; & the other to accom∣panie the Captaine. And incase there be but onely one drummer and a phiser, then they are alwaies to accom∣panie and lodge where the Lieutenant and ensignebea∣rer with his Ensigne in their soldiors quarter doo lodge; and that, in respect, that they may with al celeritie by the stroke and sound of the drum assemble their band vppon al sudden Alarmes, or mutinies or other accidents.

Also it is to bee noted that an Ensignebearer in the field,* carrieng his Ensigne displayed ought 〈◊〉 carrie the same vpright, and neuer, neither in towne nor field, nor in sport, nor earnest to fetche florishes about his head with his Ensign staffe, & taffata of his Enigne, as the En∣ignebearers of London do vpon midsommer night; be∣cause that such florishes in all true discipline are houlden for mockeries: Howbeit sometimes to aduaunce, lift vp; and raise his Ensigne higher vpon certen occasions it it verie allowable.

Also an Ensignebearer carying his Ensigne woond vp about the Ensigne staffe,* or else he carrying the same o∣pen, & leaning it to his shoulder, ought marching doune a hill to gather together the lower parte of the taffata of his Ensigne in such sort as it may not touch the ground: And therfore Ensignes of a conuenient size and not too large and great,* are far better and more conuenient then Ensignes that are very large.

Also the halbarders that do march in the ranke of the Ensignes, and are for the gard of them ought to carrie their halbards with such respect as they ought not to teare nor touch any part of the Ensignes as neare as they can possible.*

Also all Ensignebearers marching in the field either a∣mongst their single companies, or being reduced into squadron vpon the discouerie of the Enemy are present∣ly Page  130 to vnwind, open & display their Ensigns: but yet if the wind be great, they may gather together the lower parte or taffata of their Ensignes, and leane the Ensignestaffe and Ensigne to their shoulders vntill they approch nee∣rer to the enemie; at which time all Ensignebearers ought to display and aduance their ensignes carrying them in their left hands, to the intent that they may bee the more ready vpon the neer approch and encountring with the enemie, with their right handes to drawe their swordes and defend their Ensignes, by reason that they ought not to fight nor thrust with the points of their en∣signe staues, but only in assaults of Towns, or vpon some other great extremitie, but to carry them vpright, and sometimes aduanced to the intent that they may be still in the sight of their souldiors.

Also if any Ensignebearer or ensignebearers in their band or bandes,* happen to march by an Emperour or King, or by the Lieutenant Generall, they ought to car∣rie them displaied and aduaunced, and when they come almost ouer against such a Prince or his Lieutenant Ge∣nerall, they ought to pull downe their ensignes lower, & bow downe forward the point and taffeta of their ensign or ensignes, not directlie towards the prince, or Lieute∣nant Generall, but directly towardes the waie that they are marching: and at the same instant, they ought also to bow something forward their heads and bodies, in to∣ken of respect and reuerence, without any waies moo∣uing or touching their burgonets, which ought to be al∣waies fast tied with a taffeta vnder their chinnes.

Also when a single band or companie of soldiors or a squadron of diuers bandes marching in the fieldes shall come to aduaunce their piques and make a stay,* or pause, then the Ensignebearer of that single band if it be alone, or all the Ensignebearers of a whole squadrō must display and aduance their Ensignes.

Also a squadron of diuers bands marching in the fields, it is lawfull for all the Ensignebearers in their ranke or Page  131 rankes of Ensignes to carrie their Ensignes woond vp a∣bout their Ensignestaues,* rested or leaned to their shoul∣ders so as in the ranke of Ensignes or in each ranke of En∣signes, if the squadron be so great that there be more then one ranke of Ensignes, that one Ensignebearer in eache ranke must carrie his Ensigne open and displayed: and he during the time that he so carrieth his Ensigne ought to be in the midst of the ranke of the Ensignes, vntill such time as he to ease himselfe doth wind vp his Ensigne, and retire againe to his owne place, be it on the right or left hand, leauing the middle place to the Ensignebearer that doth succeede and supplie his place with his banner or Ensigne displayed. But it is to be noted that in a squadron whereas there be diuers Ensignes, for some of them to car¦rie their ensignes woonde vp and leaned against their shoulders & others displaied, vprighted, and aduaunced, and other ensignebearers also their ensignes opened and leaned to their shoulders, it is verie vnsoldiorlike and vn∣comely to see such varietie of carrying of ensignes in one squadron, & therefore either they ought all to carry their ensignes woond vp and leaned against their shoulders sa∣uing only one ensignebearer with his ensigne displayed, vprighted, or aduaunced as aforesaid; or incase in calme weather or vpon any other occasion, the ensignebearers like not so to do, then they may carrie them al opened & displaied, but in any wise all after one sort, sauing only he that is the chiefe ensignebearer for the time, who ought to cary his ensigne vpright, opened & displaied, although all y other ensignebearers do carry their ensignes woond vp as aforesaid.

But all this before notwithstanding,* here it is to be no∣ted that in case an Emperor or a Kinges Standard be in a∣ny battle or squadron of footmen in the field, that then al the ensignebearers of priuate bandes are to receiue their orders & directions from the Standerbearer of the same Emperor or King, whether they shall carrie their ensignes woonde vp, or any waies open, with all other directions.

Page  132And also it is to be noted that the said standardbearer with his standard, or his deputy standardbearer, when the standardbearer is disposed to ease himselfe,* is alwaies to hold the middle and chiefe place of the ranke of ensigns, and therewithall that hee should neuer display his Stan∣dard, as other ensignebearers of priuate bandes doo, but onely vpon the assured doubt and expectation of battle, the enemies Armie being in sight in the field,* or else vp∣on some other great and principall occasion; and yet not then neither without the speciall commandment of the prince or his Lieutenant Generall: which said displaying of the Princes standard, ought to be performed with cer∣ten notable respects, praiers, and ceremonies: which be∣cause I do not certenlie know them all, I omitte. And therwithal it is to be furder noted that the standardbearer of an Emperour or King being alwaies either a Noble∣man or a Knight, doth seldome himselfe carrie the stan∣dard, but vpon certen great occasions, and therefore he hath alwaies. 2. or. 3. esquiers of great reputation and valot to supplie his place in carring the standard, the ene∣mie being not in sight in the field; but the enemie being in sight, he is presentlie to leaue his horse and to retire himselfe into the squadron and ranke of ensignes, readie to take his standard into his owne handes vpon any im∣portant occasion: And besides when he commeth neare to the place where he shall lodge,* be it in Campe or Towne which ough to be in the Lieutennante generalls lodging or at leat very neare vnto the same, he then be∣ing on foot, must himselfe with great respect & reuerence take and carrie the standard be it imperiall, or roiall, and place it in his lodging vnder a strong and verie conueni∣ent guarde of soldiors, and so likewise in the morning vp∣on the occasion of dislodging he himselfe being strong∣lie accompanied ought to take the standard into his own hands, and to march and take his place according to the directiō of the Prince or his Lieutennant general, which being by him performed, he may then deliuer the stan∣dard Page  133 vnto one of his deputies giuing vnto him a great charge therewith, and so march out of the battle & then take his horse and ride a little either before the squadron to ease himselfe, or else to accompanie the Prince or the Lieutenant Generall if any of them both bee neare vnto the same battle or else not. And these particularities con∣cerning these matters aforesaid are such as I doo at this present remember, although there be others that I haue in times past obserued which with length of time I haue forgotten.