Certen Orders, directions, and briefe speeches to be obserued by a Sergeant Maior, and Captaines, and leaders of Ar∣chers in the field.
ALl the most notable and excellent kinges and their great captaines of our English nation in times past, (who as it is most manifest by many notable histo∣ries both auncient and moderne) were not any wayes infe∣rior in knowledge and skill in the Arte and science milita∣ry to the greatest kinges and captaines of our age deceased; but did also farre exceed and excell all the Princes and Cap∣taines of this obscure time of Ignorance in christendome nowe liuing, in all proceedings and actions militarie, (as it is most apparant by the many batt•les & great victories by them in diuers ages, and against many warlike nations ob∣tained) did (contrarie to the vaine and friuolous opinions of our newe English men of warre of this time) so greatly esteeme of our archers,* through the continuall and great experience they had of their wōderful & miraculous effects in all battles and great in countryes; that vpon the compo∣sing & forming of any Armie, the same being deuided into fiue partes, alwaies three partes of the fiue did consist of ar∣chers: And because archers in all actions militarie were so continually & greatly emploied, they vsed to reduce them into the most conuenient orders and formes that they could deuise for them with their arrows to work their grea∣test effects,* against both horsemen and footmen their Ene∣mies; which was into the forme of hearses, which hearses were broad in frunt, and narrow short by flankes, which is to be vnderstood, of many soldiors in euery ranke; and but of fewe rankes by flankes; in such sorte, as what nom∣bers Page 151 soeuer of archers they placed in frunte, that is in euery ranke, the archers by flanke did neuer exceed the nomber of 7. or 8. rankes at the most; And the causes and reasons were these: that the archers being reduced into their hearse or hearses, as also into their conuenient distaunces in frunt and by flankes, euery one of them without any trouble through the too much nearenes of their fellowes in the same ranke, or by the ouermuch nearenes of the ranke & ranks before them, might, without any impediment shoot and roue of any mean height at their enemies being either horsemen or footmen, ouer the heads of the rank or ranks before them; and therewithall that the hindersmost ranks, (being so few by flanks as aforesaid) might the more easily see their Enemies that they shoot at: As also that by the fewnesse of their rankes, the hindermost ranke and rankes being the nearer to their Enemies, should the more easilie reach their Enemies with their volees of arrowes; whereas otherwise if the rankes were many, then by the ouerplura∣litie of rankes the hinder rankes should be depriued of the sight of their Enemies that they should shoot at, and also should be driuen to shoot their arrows at their enemies too high a compasse, and by such meanes worke the lesse effect against their enemies.
All which considered,* I thought good in this place to shew how any number of archers should be reduced into the forme of a hearse, or diuers hearses, which is a thing of great facilitie to be performed, because that the Captaine or Captaines of archers haue no more to do but to say vnto their archers. Ranke your selues archers. 7. in a ranke or if they will make a hearse of 8. rankes, then ranke your selues 8 in a ranke, (as in the first part of this my booke concerning the reducing of single bandes into rankes, is verie particu∣lerly contained); which being by the archers performed thrughout the whole band, or as manie bands of archers as they will bring into a hearse; then their Captaines and con∣ductors are to lead them by the flanke and corner of the squadron where those archers shall be reduced into winge; Page 152 and there drawing those archers as far out, and large from the corner of the squadron as they shal think requisite; and finding the hindermost ranke of 7. soldiors, or of 8. if they be disposed to make their flanke of 8. archers, to be of such cō∣uenient distance from the corner of the squadron as they shal think meet: then the chiefe Commander of those Ar∣chers is presentlie to goe to the midst of that flanke where they are to make of flanke frunt, and then being a conueni∣ent distance from them, he ought to say vnto them: Frunt to mee Archers, and let this worde passe throughout from flanke to flanke: Vppon which his wordes pronounced, all the souldiors in flanke throughout next vnto him are pre∣sentlie to turne their faces and weapons towardes him and make of flanke frunt, and so subsequentlie all the rest of the archers throughout al the rankes must performe the like. And this making of flank frunt may be performed aswel by the stroke of the drumme as by the briefe speeches of the commander: which being by them performed, then they must presently reforme themselues into their conuenient distances both by frunt and flanks, that thereby they may without any impediment giue their volees as aforsaid: And thus of a great number of ranks that they were before when they marched in their simple or single order of rankes, as of 7. or else of 8. in a ranke from frunt to backe, they are now become a great number of Archers in frunt; that is, in eue∣rie ranke, and but onelie of 7. or else 8 rankes by flankes, which order and forme is to be vnderstood and tearmed a hearse of Archers; and as this hearse is now reduced into a wing either from the right or left corners of the squadron: so may the like winges be drawen from all 4. corners, as al∣so vpon the frunt or flankes of the squadron, or any other place or places where it shal please the General of the field,* or the Lord Marshall to direct or command.
But heere it is to be furder noted, that such hearses are not to giue any volees of arrowes at their Enemies, but on∣lie vppon a token or signe giuen vnto them by some chiefe Commaunder of the hearse, who by his officers is to make Page 153 all the souldiors of the hearse priuie to the same signe and token; And therefore the same Commaunder and signe giuer is to be of good vnderstanding in archerie: as also of the distances of groundes, that thereby he may not faile to giue his signe when the hindermost archers are within the reach of the former rankes of the enemies bee they horse∣men or footmen: for if hee should faile in the same, where∣by the Archers through the too great distance of ground shoulde shoot short, hee should then commit a very grose error.
Also it is to bee noted that if the commander of the ar∣chers doo thinke it requisite, he may deuide the deliuerie of his archers arrowes into two volees, that is, that hee may if the hearse doo consist of 8. rankes by flankes take order that fower of the formost rankes shal giue their first volees, and as the enemies doo approch neerer to giue order that the other 4. hindermost rankes shall likewise giue their volees altogither with the rankes before them. And as the reducing of Archers into these aforesaide formes of hear∣ses are verie conuenient and of great effect for battles: euen so they may bee brought into diuers other formes accor∣ding to the scituation of the ground or grounds and di∣uers other occasions, and likewise worke verie great ef∣fectes.
But now, whereas there be diuers in this time professing Armes, that doo greatly disesteeme archers, thinking that a farre greater number of Archers were not able to en∣counter with a smaller number of mosquetiers:* Thereunto I say that that their opinion doth proceede of nothing else, but of their lacke of vnderstanding and knowing the won∣derfull imperfections and failinges that do belong to mus∣quets and mosquetiers in the field, as also of the strange and incredible effects of archers arrowes, and therewithall that they did neuer enter into the consideration that mosque∣tiers are not to worke any effect in the open fieldes but from their restes fixed in the ground, or some other accidentall or naturall rests and themselues standing still to take some Page 154 sight from point at blanke, at their enemies when they dis∣charge, which at men in motion with any certentie it is not possible for them to performe, and if they faile in taking their sightes at point and blanke, then their bullets do flie straight at the Cloudes without doing any other hurt; be∣sides that when they haue once discharged their first char∣ges of full bullets, or haileshot of warre from their rests in∣case they be forced vpon the vncerten comming of the E∣nemie to remoue and new place their rests and charge a∣gaine, their peeces are so exceeding heauie, and they there∣withall so troubled with their rests hanging vpon their fin∣gers, that they are driuen to a verie long recharging of their mosquets againe, which recharging if it be not in such par∣ticuler sort and perfection, as I haue before set downe, the bullets of their second volee will scarce go within the com∣passe of the height of piques vprighted, or rather of younge trees, as all skilfull soldiors that do know their wonderfull vncerten effects in seruices of the field will confesse: so as I com to conclude, if the trial were to be made in the open & plaine fields betwixt 1500. archers, and 3000.* mosquetiers without any other weapon of succor either for the one side or for ye other, ye mosquetiers being reduced into anyformes of greatest aduauntage and conueniencie for mosquetiers yt can be deuised, those. 1500. archers being reduced into ma∣ny & many troupes of fifteenes, of twenties, of fiue & twen∣ties, of thirties & more or fewer, and they approching & as∣sailing the mosquetiers both in frunt and by flanks, & giuing their volees of arrowes in continuall motions at the mos∣quetiers, who if they meane to worke any effect of necessi∣tie must stand still to discharge their peeces as aforesaid du∣ring which time of their standing still they shall to their great error and mischiefe receaue the continuall volees of the archers arrowes, vpon all parts of their bodies, in such sort as the archers there is no doubt, being well instructed and led in their troupes by their Captaines and other offi∣cers,* would with great facilitie with a verie few volees of arrowes breake all the mosquetiers, although they were of Page 155 a farre greater number: For although mosquets will carrie their bullets point and blanke a great deale furder distance then archers are able to work any effect with their arrowes; yet their wonderfull vncertenties (many of the particula∣rities whereof I haue in other my bookes very particulerlie set downe) are such and so manie, as against archers redu∣ced into great numbers of troups as aforesaid, and assailing them in motion with infinite volees of arrowes, they would be found to be of a wonderful, & incredible small resistance against the blowes of such innumerable arrowes as afore∣said.
Howbeit peraduenture some professing armes will saie, that harque∣buziers may with a great deale more aduantage encounter with Archers then mosquetiers,* because that harquebuziers may incounter with Archers deuided into great numbers of societies and troupes, and therewithall may giue their volees of bullets in motion at the archers, aswell as the archers their volees of arrowes in motion at them. Wherevnto I answer, that if the volees of mosque∣tiers bullets from their rests be so vncerten at men in moti∣on as I haue before mentioned, then of necessitie the vo∣lees of harquebuziers, themselues discharging in motion, at the archers likewise in motion must needs be a great deale more vncerten: besides that if harquebuziers do discharge 9. 10. 11. or 12. skores distant at the archers, as the archers may doo at them, it will bee found that in 10000. of their shot they will not hit so many as 10. archers:* so wonderful vncerten by all true experience of all wel practised and skil∣full souldiors are those weapons of fire. So as I come to conclude also that a farre greater number of harquebuziers are no waies able to abide the terror of a much smaller num¦ber of archers, I meane if the archers bee of a thousand or any greater number, whereby they may reduce themselues into many formes and troupes.
And now as I haue alledged diuers reasons to shew and proue that a smaller number of archers reduced into many greater and smaller troupes, haue great aduauntage to o∣uerthrow Page 156 and breake a great deale greater nomber of mos∣quetiers in the plaine & open fields: euen so am I perswaded by the like causes and reasons that.* 500. harquebuziers in the plaine and open fields reducing themselues into many societies of loose shot, as also into greater troupes (as I haue before in other places, whereas I haue shewed in what sort harquebuziers should skirmish declared) were able with great facilitie to ouerthrow and driue out of the fieldes. 500 mosquetiers; I meane, if neither the harquebuziers nor the mosquetiers had any other weapon to succor them but themselues, by reason that the harquebuziers being disper∣sed into many societies of loose shot, and into greater and lesser troupes, may trauesse their grounds and inlarge them∣selues, and giue their volees in continuall motion, Iauing only at the instant when they take their sights and discharge their peeces at the frunt, flankes and backe of the mosque∣tiers standing still like buttes without motion at their rests whereas mosquetiers reducing themselues into diuers broad squares, or troupes according vnto their most con∣uenient orders of aduauntage to discharge their peeces from their rests, cannot discharge their peeces although with haileshot of warre at the harquebuziers to any effect, by reason that they are dispersed, and in continuall motion. Howbeit if any man will saie that mosquetiers might with∣out their rests likewise reduce themselues into many little societies, and greater and smaller troupes, and so with great aduauntage in respect that their peeces wil carrie point and blanke a great deale surder, then harquebuzes, skirmish with the harquebuziers:* Thereunto it is to be aunswered, that it is not possible that mosquitiers, although they were al men of great force and strength, should be able with their fore∣handes to support and beare their so heauie peeces to dis∣charge, and shoote with any steadines or certentie: Consi∣dering that for any man to discharge any peece either har∣quebuze, Currier, or mosquet without a rest effectual•lie it doth behooue him to haue his peece of such lightnesse, as he may be Maister of his peece, and not his peece through Page 157 the great heueth thereof maister of him;* that is, that hee may with dexterity discharge it steadily and with ease from his forehand, taking his sight either from point at blanke, or at least from the end of his peece with some kind of certen∣tie: which if his peece be any thing too heauie for him with facilitie & ease to mannage, it is not possible for him to per∣forme, although it were at a firme and steadie marke, by reason that he striuing with all his force to beare the end of his peece, to discharge the same with some steadinesse and certentie, the same ouermaistring his forces with extreame heueth, doth make him to shoot iust either at the centre of the earth, or else at the seuen stars without dooing any hurt to the enemie: Besides that when he hath once or twise dis∣charged to recharge againe, it dooth not onlie through the great length and heueth of his peece require a much lon∣ger time then for a harquebuzier to recharge his harque∣buze, but also doth so weary the mosquetier, that it doth be∣reaue him of his forces, in such sort as he is to work in a mā∣ner no effect, other then by his seldom discharging to make a great noise. So as in this matter I come to conclude, that as mosquetiers (as I haue in certen other places before men tioned) through the great distance that their peeces wil ca∣rie, and the great blowes that they will giue aswel with hail∣shot of war as with single bullets, haue in their conuenient and due times and places great aduantage against har∣quebuziers: Euen so for skirmishes, harquebuziers for the causes and reasons before alledged, do in their effects farre exceed and excel mosquetiers. And thus farre concerning these matters before handled.* All Captaines both of horsemen and footemenne and their officers shoulde in∣struct and teach their bandes that when they are reduced into their simple or single order, or into any forme of squa∣dron, or into any other form; that when any briefe speeches or words are spoken either by y• coronel or sergeant Maior, or by their Captains, to y• intent that the same should passe from the hindermost rank to the formost rank, or from the formost to the hindermost, or from flank to flanke: y• then Page 158 they do in no wise faile with all celerity to passe that speech or worde without stop or stay vppon seuere punishment of euerie ranke that shall be found not to passe the same, euen to the verie first or last ranke, and so likewise from flanke to flanke. And the commandement of the passing of those briefe speeches or wordes in bandes single doo appertaine to the Captaine,* his Lieutenant or Sergeants; and if it be in diuers bandes reduced into forms either to march or fight, then those commandements of briefe speeches or wordes doo apperteine chieflie to the coronell or Sergeant Maior, or to his deputie Lieutenant, and not to any Captaine or Captains, or their officers, without the speciall comman∣dement of one of the three aforesaid officers.
All drummers should bee very skilfull and perfect in all* the different strokes that are to direct and command al cap∣taines and their souldiors be they either in Campe, field or Towne. All trompettors also, aswell such as doo belong to bands of horsemen, as others that doo belong to Coronels of footmen should be very skilfull and perfect to blow and sound all kinde of soundes, directions, & commandments. And the Lord Lieutenant generals sergeant trompettor, or trompettor Maior, as also his Sergeant drummer, or drum∣mer Maior, should haue a speciall care to see that all trom∣pettors, and drummers vnder them throughout the whole Campe should strike, and sound all diuersities and kindes of soundes and strokes with one conformitie, in such sort that all Captaines and their officers & souldiors may at al times and vppon all occasions vnderstand distinctlie by all those their diuersities of soundes and strokes what they shoulde performe without any waies mistaking them.
Also all Captaines and officers of bandes aswell of hors∣men* as of footmen should be verie carefull to instruct their souldiors to learne and know what euery different sound of trompet or stroke of drumme dooth signifie, and howe to performe the directions of those trompets or drummes: as for example, when horsemen or footemen should reduce themselues into their simple or single order of rankes, and Page 159 when one or diuers bandes should reduce themselues into squadron, and how when they being reduced into squadron should make of backe, or of flankes, frunt, when also to march faster or more leisurelie, and when to march a trot without disordering their rankes, when to staie and make a stand, when to retire, and when to aduance, when also to straighten and close their rankes by frunt and flankes, with all other diuersities of soundes and strokes, that are in the skill and science of trompettors and drommers to direct with their trompets and drums. And as they are to learne and know when by the sound of the trompet, or stroke of the drum to performe those and other actions militarie, so ought they to be instructed and taught by their Captaines and officers by often exercises how to performe all those and other matters militarie with great order as well euerie souldior in particular as all souldiors in generall. And thus all bands both of horsemen and footmen being instructed and taught by their Captaines and officers to vnderstand the different significations of all strokes and soundes of trompets and drummes, as also all such briefe speeches, as I haue before set downe in this booke, and how effectu∣allie to performe them, may in mine opinion be very well accounted not only soldiors, but old souldiors, in most ser∣uices of the Campe or field.