[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.

Briefe speaches to be vsed to Mosquetiers beeing in a broad square.

WHen a conuenient company of mosquetiers well guarded with armed men are reduced into a broad square of 15. or 20. in frunt, and 6. by flankes, more or fewer, and that all their restes be fixed in the ground in conuenient distances, and that their conductors vpon the approach of the enemie would haue them to giue volee af∣ter volee from their rests, taking their certen sights from pointe at blanke, and that euerie ranke should orderlie suc∣ceede Page  148 the one the other in discharging their peeces; then they are to say vnto them, Discharge, retire, and aduance, which being by the mosquetiers heard,* then the first whole ranke taking their sights at pointe and blanke are all at one time to discharge their peeces at the squadron or troupe of horsemen or footmen approching, which being by them performed they are presently to retire to the last ranke of rests there to charge againe, leauing their owne ranke of rests still fixed in the ground. Then the second ranke are to aduaunce themselues and to clappe their peeces vpon the first ranke of rests as they do stand directly before them, and the third ranke are to aduaunce themselues to the second ranke of rests, & the fourth ranke to the third ranke of rests and the fifth ranke to the fourth ranke of rests, and the sixte ranke to the fifth ranke of rests, whilest the first that hath dis∣charged, and is now retired to the sixte or last ranke of rests do charge their peeces againe & so geuing continual volees of bullets by discharging, retiring, and aduauncing as afore∣said, they may annoie the enemy be they horsemen or foot∣men in terrible sorte without falling into any disorder or cō∣fusion. And the verie like speaches may be vsed to little squares or troupes of harquebuziers in the field when they are to retire hauing discharged, and other troupes to ad∣uaunce and supply their places geuing them time to charge again, and so by retiring, aduauncing, and succeeding euery one the other, they may giue continuall volees of shot at the enemies. Aduertising and aduising all leaders of mosquetiers that will worke good effect and winne repu∣tation with that kinde of weapon in the field,* that they do not permitt their mosquetiers to discharge their peeces at their enemies aboue 8. 9. 10. or 12. skores, at the furdest, and therewithall to take their sightes at point and blanke from their rests and without their rests. Also I would that some conuenient numbers of mosquetiers should be com∣maunded to charge their peeces with conuenient charges of powder and with 5. pistoll bullets of a meane Caliuer and height with some quantitie of soft browne paper or some∣thing Page  149 else, both betwixt the powder and haile shot of war,* as also after the haileshot to restraine both powder and bul∣lets, to the intent that the same may worke the more forci∣ble and terrible effectes: And that the same mosquetiers should be commanded not to discharge their peeces when their companies do discharge theirs with single bullets, but that they should reserue their shot vntill some squardron of footmen, or square, or troupe of horsemen should approch within 10. 15. or 20. paces to charge them. At which time I would haue them to giue their volee of hailshot of warre from their rests at their Enemies approching within the a∣foresaid distances, and not any furder, because they may be the more sure to hit either horsmen or footmen, which in greater distances they cannot so certenlie performe.

And heere it is to be furder noted,* that such as doo talke of giuing volees of mosquet shot 30. 24. or 20. skores off, at squares or troupes of horsemen or footmen that are in march or in any motion of the field do greatlie erre, as men that neuer had any good experience of that weapon in ac∣tions of the field, vnlesse peraduenture it hath been to their owne mischiefe, incountring with olde bandes, Italians, Wallouns, or Spaniards, who were neuer so ill aduised as in vaine to giue their volees so great distances off, and ther∣fore doo reserue their shot to discharge at the enemie not aboue 8. 9. or 10. skores off at the vttermost, although it bee at a whole square or troupe of horsemen or footmen, vnlesse it were out of some fortification, from whence they may discharge their peeces with full bullets, and Demain puesto, as the Spaniards call it.

For although the mosquet ranforced and well char∣ged with good powder woulde carrie a bullet point and blanke 24. or 30. scores: doth it therefore follow that they should giue Volees of mosquet shotte 24. or 20. skores off,* when that in failing to take their iuste point and blanke no more but the length of a Corne, their bullettes doo worke as much effect at the starres, as against the ene∣mie that they shoot at; Besides that in so great a distance of Page  150 ground, how truly soeuer they take their sights at point and blanke, the aire dooth worke verie great effect, with their bullets that are lower by 4. or 5. bores then the heigth of their peeces, to carrie them by mounting, or otherwise from the marke or markes that they are shot at.