Instructions for the warres. Amply, learnedly, and politiquely, discoursing the method of militarie discipline. Originally written in French by that rare and worthy generall, Monsieur William de Bellay, Lord of Langey, Knight of the order of Fraunce, and the Kings lieutenant in Thurin. Translated by Paule Iue, Gent.
Fourquevaux, Raimond de Beccarie de Pavie, baron de, 1509-1574., Ive, Paul., Du Bellay, Guillaume, 1491-1543,
Page  35

The manner of fortifying of old walled Townes

The 5. Chapter.

FOr that the Townes enclosed with weake walles of stone, and defended with small, square, or round towres, are insufficient to abide the mallice and offence that an enemy at this day may put in practise, the Can∣non being an engine of much more force then any before it inuented. To resist whose violence, other meane cannot be giuen, then to rampier those walles within, and make greater and royaller defences without; which de∣fences, where the ditches are narrowe and showle, the wall running any thing straight, or not making so great an arke, but that from any reasonable large flanke the same may be scoured, would be set ioint to the wall as bulwarks, and those Towres ruyned that might impeach the artillerie in their flanks to scoure the wall: but where the ditches are déepe and broade, or the wall too much circulare, there the defences would be placed without the counterscarpe, both for the bet∣ter flanking of the wall, and to auoide the great charge, la∣bour, and time, that the filling of the ditch, and farre fetting of the earth to raise the worke would require, and being so placed, they are tearmed to be rauelins of the Italyans & Frenchmen, and of vs they haue béen tearmed spurres. Of Bulwarks there is sufficiently before spoken, but yet heere note, that it shall not be necessarie to make these Bulwarks in Townes, so great as those in royall frontires, committing the charge of them vnto Townesmen, except the same be well peopled Cities; neyther were it good to bestowe too great cost vp∣pon the fortifying of any euill situated place, for suche thynges are easye for an enemy to gette, and hard after∣warde to bée gotten out of his hands, but for the delyning Page  36 of a raueling, if the same be to be placed against the side of a towne, take this course being vpon the ground where the raue∣line should stand, goe perpendicularly from the wall and coun∣terscarpe some 140. or 160. foote, or more or lesse as you will make it great, hauing respect vnto the necessitie, and vnto the valour, and number of the defenders that be vpon the place, or may be had vpon a suddaine, and set downe a stake for the exte∣riour angle or point of the raueline: then turning toward the wall, behold from what place the same raueline may best be de∣fended, which must be by caueliers or platformes raysed within the wall, except the wall and rampier bee of sufficient breadth to place artillerie vppon, which must not stand farther distant from the exteriour angle or point of the rauelin then 180. paces at the vttermost, & from those platformes or caualiers vnto the same exteriour angle, drawe two right lines for the fronts of the raueline, which fronts may not be continued vppon those lynes vnto the counterscarpe (because the extreames of thē next the counterscarpe would fall out too weake & indefencible) but must be cut off perpendicular from the counterscarpe or wall at some reasonable breadth, leauing both ends of the rauelin as the flanks or cullions of a bulwarke, and it must lye wholy open toward the towne, that the towne may commaund, and do∣maine ouer it, and that an enemy entred, may haue no succour in it, to assure himselfe from the artillerie and harquebuserie of the towne. And it must be manned by a bridge which must be layd as low, and couered as possibly it may. But if the ditch be dry, then make the way into it through a vault vnder the ground, or through the bottome of the ditch, and shut in both the sides or flanks of the raueline vnto the wall with a strong palizado to assure it from surprice. And when a raueline is to be placed vppon an angle, then procéede as in the delyning of a bulwarke, but neuer place a rauelin vppon a sharpe or right angle, because it would fall out too sharpe, but within the right or sharpe angle place a platforme which may defende the rauelins vppon the lines on either side of it: and note also that you may not vppon any other angle take the flanke of a rauelin so royall and large, as you would the flanke and shoulder of a bulwarke, be∣cause Page  37 of it disioint standing from the wall which causeth sharp∣nes.

The caualiers or platformes, must be placed where they may best defend the thing for whose cause they are made, on most parts offend an enemy, with choise as néere as may be of the highest ground to ease the labour and charge, and they may be of earth only, with dung, rubbish, and such like, as the place yéeldeth, but must be begun so broade, as that being raysed to their full height, you may haue scope inough to vse fiue or sixe péeces of artillerie vppon them, or more or lesse as shall be thought néedfull, and also haue sufficient breadth to defend the same, with a large parapet, gabions, or such like, and place them a good distance from the wall that they charge not the wall, and that being beaten, they may the easier be reedi∣fied.

If the wall be so high, that to rampier it to the heigth it is at, it would aske too great a labour and charge, then rebate it or take it downe lower, (especially if there be no high ground without the towne opposite vnto it,) but if it be not able to beare the waight of the earth that should be layd against it, then to stay the wall from sliding, lay earth without at the foote of it, making the ditch déeper and larger if neede require, as in the Figure following is séene.

To helpe the insufficiencie of the gates, place a raueline be∣fore them, foreseeing with one defence to serue two turnes, but if any gate stand indefencible as in an angle, damme it vp, and make a newe in the curtine.

Where the water may be drawne away, there make a strong and sufficient damme of stone, placing a palizado before it, (prouiding alwayes to haue some royall defence neere vnto it, that an enemy may be impeached, by all meanes possible to approch it:) which palizado must be of yong trees that will yeeld fiue or sixe inches of square timber, set fast in the ground, and bound together, the one standing three inches distant from the other, that nothing may be hid behind it from the harque∣busserie of the Fort, and also it were necessary that the outside of it should be flanked from the said Fort. Likewise, any Page  38 courtine or bulwarke standing neere vnto anye damme, seabanke, or other such like, whereby it might be easily appro∣ched, aborded, and surprised, must haue a palizado (placed at the outer edge of the parapet raysed vppon the sayd courtine or bulwarke) of sparres or such like, which palizados may be 14. or 15. foote high, or more or lesse.

Where a riuer of slowe course hath passage through a towne, whose water side or Keys are vnwalled, there place in the riuer (betwixt two forceable flanks) a stackado of great piles to keepe an enemy out, leauing certaine places open for passage, which vppon the suddaine at euery neede may be shut: but where the water runneth strong, and the fall of the riuer great, or the deapth such, that a stackado would little a∣uaile the defence, and hinder the towne of his commoditie, there only vpon necessitie, when an enemy is looked for (espe∣cially if he may either bring with him, or finde where he com∣meth to serue his turne,) make a bridge of hoyes, lighters, or such like, forceably moaring them, stretching cables from the one to the other, placing the bridge where it may be royally flanked, well arming it with men and artillerie, of all which, in the Figure following is sufficient demonstration.

Concerning the suburbes of cities and townes, if that they do lye so stretched out at length, that there could neither bee meanes found to defend them, nor reason to make them strong, they must bee throwne downe when as an enemie is looked for: (but rather too soone then too late) not only because that the sayd suburbes might lodge and harbour the said enemie, or that the timber, boord, or other thing that might bee had in them, might greatly pleasure him to offend the towne: but also because that houses or other thing standing néere vnto a towne, or fort, are meanes to surprise and approach vnto it, and the approacher not be discouered, or impeached by the defenders. But whereas the suburbes do stand round together, are well peopled and great, like vnto a peece of a citie or towne, to auoyd the great domage that would ensue of the ruining of such a multitude of houses: inuiron the sayd suburbes (hauing leisure to do it) with a good Page  93

A. Rauelins.
B. Caualiers, or Plat. formes.
C. Bulwarkes, with Pa∣lizados vpon their Pa∣rapets.
D. Stacados.
E. Dammes, with Pali∣zados before them.
F. A bridge of boates.
Page  40 ditch, and large rampier, well defended with Bulwarkes: lea∣uing the sayd suburbes open towards the towne, to bee subiect vnto it.

When as any open towne or other inhabited place is to bee fortified, whether the same be to bee made a royall frontier, or to be meanly defended against sodaine courses and surprises. The fortifier or ingener must do his indeuour to reduce the same vn∣to the perfectest forme that the place will permit, remembring the considerations alleadged before in the delineation of a fort. But where it is entended that the sayd place should bee but of meane strength, only to withstand the courses of a small num∣ber, and not to resist a puissant armie: nor that it should haue any garrison in it, but bee kept by the inhabitants: the Curtins must not be made nothing so long, nor the Bulwarkes so great as in frontiers, and the sayd Fort must bee contriued to be defended from as fewe places as it might bee: and to bring it vnto this perfection, he must neither spare house, garden, orchard, back∣side, key, or other thing that should stand in the way (where the rampier should be raised, or the ditch made) but respect the com∣moditie and perfection of the Fort before any priuate commodi∣tie: and yet rather spare the poore for pitie sake, then the rich for reward. Hauing aboue all things a regard vnto his charge, that this parcialitie do not cause the worke to be imperfect. For that these three: to weet, ignorance, negligence, and partialitie in this busines, are things to be punished with death.