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,

How to raung one band in battaile, and the order that it ought to keepe in trauailing through the countrie: and the manner how to lodge it in a campe, in his quarter a part, and a Legion together

The 7. Chapter.

THe first thing of importance, in the exerci∣sing of these bands, is to teache them to keepe their rankes well: wherefore they must be first raunged in single order: that is three and three together, or fiue and fiue, or eyght and eyght: as it will best fall out, with-out respect of the number, wheather it bee euen or od: for that dooth nothing in this matter: but is an obseruation with-out any grounde, and Vegetius him selfe can giue no good reason for it, but custome. I haue sayd before that euery one of the ten bands that shalbe appointed for the bodie of the Battailion, of euery one of the newe Legions, which I doe ordaine (for I leaue a side the Legions heretofore leuied) shall haue 510. men, not coumpting the Captains: which 510. ought to be brought into 102. ranks, that is fiue men in euery ranke, and afterward their ranks aug∣mented either marching slowly or in hast: as of two rankes of fiue, to make one of ten, and of two of 10. to make one of 20. and soddainly to reduce them out of this ranke into their first single order, and to aduertise them that the second should al∣waies follow the first, not leesing them, and the third the second: and the others likewise following vntil the last. This done you Page  14 may order euerie one of these bands, in that order that they must be ranged in, when al the Legion is in one Battailion together. And for to doe this, the Pikes for the flankes shalbe taken out of their order & shalbe put one the one side: and two Corporalls of ordinary Pikes shall make the head, the one Corporall and his people first: and the other Corporall, and his people after∣ward: and the Corporall of the Halbardiers shall followe them, with the Ensigne in the midst of the Halberds. The other two Corporalls of ordinarie Pikes shall make the taile, eache one with his men: and they shalbe rancked fiue and fiue, and euerie Corporall must be shewed, what place he must keepe at al times: and the Corporalls must afterwards shew the Chiefes of squa∣drons, and the cheifes of squadrons, their Deceners. The Cap∣taine must be at the head of the band, and the Lieutenant at the taile. The Sergeant hath no place of abiding, except the Cap∣taine doe giue him one: but must trot vp and downe from place to place, to make the ranks to keepe good order, and to com∣maund that the Captaine willeth to be done. The Clarke of the band shalbe there also out of ranke to take view of those that wante, that they might be punished afterward, according vnto the lawes that the Colonell shall make for that purpose. The second ranke shall enter with in the first: the fourth within the third: the sixt within the fifte, and the other afterward follow∣ing, so that the 85. ranks, which the fiue Corporalls with their Chiefs of Squadrons comprised, doe come vnto 42. rankes, in euery one of which ranks are 10. men besides their Corporals, which are ranged before their people. These 42. rankes shalbe againe redoubled in making the on ranke to enter within the o∣ther as is a foresaid: & then wheras they were before but 10. mē, they shal now be 20. with euery one of which ranks, their Chief of squadrons shall range themselues in the midst, so that he shall haue ten men vpon his right side, and ten vpon his left, which is a iust squadron. Euerie Corporall shall place himselfe before his fower squadrons: so that the Souldiers of this one band, shall make 20. rankes: euerie one of which rankes shall haue 21. men. The first 8. rankes, and the last shalbe all Pikemen: and the fower in the midst shalbe all Halbardiers.

Page  42

[illustration] [diagram of troop formation]

Or otherwise all the souldiers of one Squadron might followe one another: and to make so many Squadrons as you intend to make rankes: For my meaning is that euerie Squadron shoulde make but one ranke. So that if they be ranked, fiue and fiue, and that you would range the 20. Squadrons in bat∣taile, the Squadrons must be brought vp the one by the side of the other, vntill that they be all ranked the one nether before nor behinde the other. The first of euerie ranke shalbe the Chiefes of the Squadron, and the second one of the two Diceneres; and after him all his Dicenere. The other Dicenere shalbe in the last ranke, and he shall serue for the guide behinde. His Souldi∣ers shalbe ioyned vnto his companions in such order that the last of the one, and the last of the other, shall make the two mid∣dle rankes. And as I did before place Halbardes in the midst so I pretend heere also to haue as many, and these shalbe the last of euerie Dicenere that shall cary Halbards, and so there shalbe Page  43 no expresse Squadrons of Halbards. By this reckoning there shalbe in this little Batailon 21. rankes of 20. men in front: e∣uerie one of the Corporalls shall place himself before his Soul∣diers.

[illustration] [diagram of troop formation]

And whether the first maner be better then this or no, allwaies it is euident that the Souldiers should be practised in such sort that they might know how to range themselues in battaile: and must be made to martch hastely forward and backwarde, and to passe through troublesome passiages not loosing or breaking Page  44 their order: and if they can doe this they deserue to bee called practised Souldiers, although that they neuer sawe enemies and on the contrary parte, those that cannot keepe these orders, although they had bin in a thousand warres, ought to bee cal∣led but new souldiers. It is also a hard matter, for men to put themselues suddainly into their first order, after that they are once broken either through ill passages, or by their enemies: ex∣cept they haue had great exercise and long custome. But to helpe them it weare necessarie to haue two things done, the one is, that the Ensignes might bee easely knowne, and that the Chiefes, Members, and officers should haue some cognissance vpon their armes, or their garments, and the other is, that euery bande shoulde bee ranged in the Battaillion in one accustomed place, and not chaunge at any time: and that the Corporalls should know their places with their troups, not altering at any time: so that if a Corporall were accustomed to bee in the first ranke, hee shoulde allwaies continew there: in the place ap∣poynted them at the beginning. And if a band bee accustomed to be on the right side it shoulde there continew, and that on the left side likewise in his place. By this meanes if the Souldiers weare accostomed to knowe their places (put case that they should be out of order) they would quickly bring themselues in againe: for the Ensigns knowing their accustomed places in the Battaillion, & the Corporalls knowing euerie one their place, might soone see where they ought to range: for those of the frunt would retyre vnto the frunt, and those of the taile vnto their pla∣ces also. Moreouer the Chiefes of Squadrons doe knowe in∣to how many rankes they should range themselues, and aswell they as the Corporals doe knowe who shoulde goe before, and who should followe. Wherefore the Souldiers hauing nothing to doe but to follow their Chiefes, woulde range themselues readily euery one in his place, without Sergeant or any other to place them: for that the custome would make them perfect. Thse thinges heare spoken of doe teache themselues, so that there be diligence vsed and custome: and after that they are once well learned they will be hardly forgotten. It shalbe also ne∣cessarie to make them to turne all at once: for somtime the head Page  45 must be made the tayle, or one of the flanks, according vnto the enimie his force, and the place he will assault them on, and for to answer on that side that shall be necessarie, there needes no more but to turne their faces, and that part that they turne to∣ward, shall be called the front. But who so would that a whole Bataillon should turne all together, as if it were a massie body, must haue therein great practise and discretion: for as if they should turne toward the left hand, those of the left corner should stand still, and those next them must go but slowly, that those in the right corner should not be constrained to run, or els all would come to a confusion: but this may better be shewed by effect, then by writing. As for ye two bands yt should make the forlorne hope, their Pikemen may be ranged in battell, to learne them to keepe order: for I would vse them, and those of the flankes in particular factions, to wit in skirmishes, and other extraordi∣nary seruice, where it should not be needfull to send any great number of people, but principally I will haue those of the flanks to defend and couer the Bataillon: and as for the forlorne hope, I appoint them both Pikes and Harquebusiers to begin the Battell, and to fight amongst the Horssemen, without keeping any order. And to that intent I haue armed them lightlye, for their office shallbe to fight not standing firme, but running from one place to another, be it yt they haue the enimie in chase, or are chased themselues, wherein the Pikes may doe great seruice: for they may reskue the Harquebusiers, and may shew their fa∣ces vnto those that would force them, whether they were on Horsebacke or a foote, or to follow those that should flye, and to force those that shrinke. So that as well the one as the other, whether they be of the body of the Bataillon, or of the flanks, or of the forlorne hope, haue need to be well exercised, to the in∣tent that they might knowe how to keepe their ranks, and to put themselues readilye againe into their places if they were broken, by meanes of ill and straight passage, or that the enemy should put them into any disorder: and if they can doo this in their particular bands, euery band wil afterwards easily learne what place it ought to keepe in the Bataillon, and also what they ought to do in a Campe. As for the bands of these legions Page  46 that are already made in France, which are of a 1000 men, to bring them into order: fyrst make their single order of 6 and 6, and afterwards reduce the six Corporals men, which are for the bodie of the Batailon into 96 rankes, not comprehending the Corporals, nor the Chiefes of Squadrons; then double them, and make them of 12 in a ranke, causing the one ranke to enter within the other as is abouesaid, so that the 96 rankes shall come vnto 48. Moreouer, they must be doubled againe, and from 12 in a ranke they will amount vnto 24. and the Cheife of the Squadron shall ioyne with them, so that euery ranke will be 25 men. The Corporals shall put themselues before their Squadrons, euery man before his owne, two Corporals of Pikemen shall make the forepart of this small Battailon: and two Corporals of Halbardiers shall make the middest, and hee that is formost of them, shall make one ranke of Halbardiers, and then two ranks of Pikes, and after them one ranke of Hal∣bardiers. The other corporall that is behind him shall also make one ranke of Halbardiers: then 2. rankes of Pikes, & after them one ranke of Halbardiers: by which accoumpt there shall be 2. rankes of Halbardiers together in the middest, & the Ensigne in the midst of them. The other two Corporals shall make the taile of this Batailon, and each of their troopes shall make foure rankes. Touching the other foure Corporals, that re∣maine, one must be appointed for the flanke, and the other three for the forlorne hope. And this is the forme that I would keepe in ranging one of the bands of these Legions by it selfe, where∣in the Souldiers must be often practised.

Page  47

[illustration] [diagram of troop formation]

And if the King would permit that these orders, should be dili∣gently executed, and put in practise, he should haue many good Souldiers in his kingdome in short time, but the disorder that is amongst our men of warre at this present, is cause that these things are dispraised; and therfore our armies can not be good: albeit that the Chiefes were naturally vertuous, for that they be∣ing ill followed and obeyed, can neither shewe their knowledge nor their vertue. It may bee also that the number of Chiefes which I doe ordaine in a Legion, shoulde seeme superfluous, or might make a confusion amongst themselues: because of the number which I doe institute, which thing would be to be doub∣ted, except they should referre themselues wholly vnto one Page  48 Chiefe: but hauing one principall Cheife aboue them all, the great nomber of officers wil cause good order: for if there should not be a great number of Cheifes, it would be impossible to go∣uerne so great a multitude of people: for as a wall that ouer hangeth, doth require rather to be vpholden with many shoores, although they bee not very strong, then with a fewe of greate strength: for that one alone, how strong soeuer it bee cannot assure the wall but onely where it standeth; so likewise must it be in a Legion, for it is necessarie that among euery ten men there should be one of more courage or at least of greater autho∣ritie then the rest, to keepe the other Souldiers firme and in or∣der to fight, through their good courage, examples, words, and authoritie: specially the Deceniers are necessarie, if they did but serue to keepe the rankes right and firme, and in so doeing, it were impossible that the Souldiers shoulde disorder them∣selues, and if so bee that they shoulde bee so far put out of order, that they coulde not immediatly finde their places, by meanes of these Chiefes, who shoulde haue regard therevnto being by them, the Chiefes of the Squadrons are to commaunde the Deceniers, and the Corporalls are aboue them: who looke into al things that doeth concerne the duety of the Souldiers and theirs. But at this day wee serue our selues with all these offi∣cers, to no other effect but to giue them more wages then vnto other men: for that they haue credit to bring certaine compag∣nions vnto the bands, which is cause of many Leagues a∣mongst Souldiers. We vse likewise Ensignes at this present, more to make a great shew, then for any militarie vse: our aun∣cetours did vse them for guides, and to knowe how to bring themselues into order by them: for euerie man after the En∣signe was placed, knew his place by it, and placed himselfe in∣continent, they knew also that if it mooued or stayed they ought to mooue or to stay. Wherefore it is necessarie, that in an hoast there should bee many bodies, that is to say bands, and that euerie body should haue an Ensigne to conduct those that are of the same body: and so the hoast shall haue many soules, and by consequent many liues. The Souldiers ought then to gouerne themselues by their Ensignes, and the Ensignes by the sound of the Drume, which being well ordered as it ought Page  49 to be, doth commaund a whole Legion, which Legion march∣ing in such sort, that the steppes of the Souldiers do agree with the stroke of the Drumme, shall easily keepe their order. And for this purpose had the auncient Souldiers Flutes & Phiphes perfectly agreeing with the sound of their Drummes: for as he that daunceth according vnto the steppes of his musicke, doth not erre; so likewise a Battell in marching according to the sound of the Drumme, can neuer put it selfe in disorder. And therefore when they would chaunge their gate, or would encou∣rage, and appease their Souldiers, they chaunged their sound; and as the sounds were variable, so likewise their names were differing: for they had the Orique stroke, and the Phrigian stroke; the one animated the Souldiers, and the other appeased them. They had besides many other; as the Aeolian, Iasian, Ly∣dian, and others: all which serued to appease and to inflame the hearts of men. We haue in our time Drummes for footmen, and Trumpets for horsemen: either of them hath strokes and sounds to reuiue Souldiers when neede requireth, and are in∣uented to the intent that they might commaund, and bee vnder∣stood a farre of. But I beleeue that Drummes were inuented for a measure for Souldiers to march by, for all the times of their strokes are true stoppes and measures, for to hasten and slake the goings of men of warre. Now, when as the Bands are instructed in the exercises which they ought to knowe perti∣cularly, and therein haue many times béen exercised, it is time to put them into the feeld, in some place where the Legion might meete most commodiously. In which place all the Captaines shall meet at the day appoynted, euery man bringing his band with him, and as little carriage as possiblie he may, & the Cap∣taines themselues must lessen their estate, if they were accusto∣med to carrie any tayle. Moreouer, they must haue a regard that the Corporalls, Chiefes of Squadrons, and Deceniers, do not mount on horsebacke, nor likewise the simple Souldiers. The Captaine & his members must forbeare riding as much as may bee, I do not meane that if he had any sicke men that they should not ride; but all others: for sith they haue taken the estate of footmen vpon them, it is necessarie that they should execute it Page  50 wholly. And as for the carrying of their baggage, one horse shall suffice for a squadron, which shal carrie two Mattresses of course canuas, two couerings, & one tent for the one Deciene, and as much for the other, with some linnen, pots, and vessell, & tooles to make Trenches and Bulwarkes, and also a ladder of good length made of peeces. Euery Deciene may haue a seruant; the Chiefe of Squadron one, and the Corporall two. The Corpo∣rall and his foure Chiefs of Squadron shall haue a Tent and a horse to carrie it. The Captaine shall bring with him as fewe horses and seruaunts as possiblie he may. The Lieutenant and Ensigne bearer may haue either of them two, euery officer one, & the Drummers shall haue none: but they must be lodged néere vnto the Captaine, and his members. The Colonell and the Officers of the Legion, shall keepe as fewe as they may: for of a great baggage procéedeth oftimes many disorders, and the ruine of an armie: and aswell the horses as the seruants should bee chosen to bee such, as might serue more then one turne at a neede: and aboue all things there must be none suffered to carrie Trunckes, Coffers, Waggons, nor Whores. And in this do∣ing, all the bands of the Legion will be the better giuen to do all honest exercises, then if they should bee troubled with all these lets. Moreouer, the whole Legion will passe foure daies for a need, with the victualls that the whores, pages, and horse, that one of the bands that are now ordayned do carrie with them, do consume in one day. Hauing so prouided for the baggage, the Captaines shall put themselues into the feeld euery one a part with his companie, and shall go towards the place where the ge∣nerall muster is appoynted to bee kept, making small iournies, and in the best order that they can, finding their Souldiers to bee good and honest men. And to bee so thought of, they shall march through the countrie in good order sounding their Drum, and not in troope as vanquished men, and shal lodge themselues without the townes.

Page  51

The forme of a Campe for to lodge a Legion, distributed into 12. bands, being 660. paces square.

This space betwixt the trench and the lodgings is 60. paces large to exercise the Souldiers, and to raunge them in battell.
For sixe bands of footmen.
These two places shall serue for the horsemen.
Streates of 300. paces long and 60. paces broad for merchants and artificers.
For the Colonell.
For sixe bands of footmen.

Page  52The ground that this one band will occupie to lodge in a Campe, is in length two hundred and fourtie paces, and thirtie and fiue in breadth: which length must be deuided into seauen parts, euery one of which parts shall be thirtie paces, & betwixt euery two, there shall be a way left of fiue paces broade: the mid∣delmost of these places shall be to lodge the Captaine, his mem∣bers, and officers: the other sixe shall serue to lodge the sixe Cor∣poralls, and their people: euery Corporall with his Chiefes of Squadrons and Souldiers: the Corporall and his Chiefes of Squadrons Tent shall be in the midst of the same place, and the Tents of his eight Deceniers shall be round about him. This length may be deuided without breaking any ground: for it will serue the turne to line it out with cordes, without making ditch or other thing, but only placing the bands euery one in his quar∣ter. But if the Campe might bee inuironed with a small trench, such as is vsed in the countrie where it doth lodge, to keepe the same forme that it should do if an enemie were neere, it would be better. There must also a night watch bee set, and aboue all things regard had of surprise, as carefully as if it were in time of warre; and in the morning there must be a discouerie made, before that the watch bee discharged, and afterward they must dislodge altogether: but before they depart, the Captaine must cause all those to bee satisfied that haue furnished his Souldiers with victuall, or other thing; that it be not sayd that they tooke any thing not paying for it, or without the good willes of the people of the countrie: but that they and their Souldiers should gouerne themselues euery where so orderly, that the countrie should not feele that there had any band passed. And in this ma∣ner they shall go towards the place where the muster shall bee kept, behauing themselues like honest men, and good Soul∣diers: and when they approach neere vnto the sayd place, the harbinger shall go before to seeke for the quarter where the band shall lodge in the Campe, the Legion being assembled and lod∣ged together, who must repayre vnto the maister of the Campe of the sayd Legion, whose office amongst other things, is to choose the most wholesomest place to lodge the sayd Legion in Campe that he can finde. And hauing found some commodious Page  53 place, he must lay out the quarters, and appoynt in what order the Campe should be fortified: and therefore it shall bee necessa∣rie that the maister of the Campe should go before for to deuide and lay out all the quarters before the bandes should ariue, where it is ment that they should lodge. The Colonell shall be attendant in the sayd place, to see the bands come in order, and the Prouost ought to bee abroade to vnderstand of the Soul∣diers misdemeanour, or of any other vnder their colour, to the intent to punish those that do commit any offence. Further∣more, certaine men must bee appoynted to followe after the bands foote by foote, who should looke into their behauiour to∣wards the countrie, and shall informe the Colonell of all that passeth. And if there be any complaint, the Colonell shall lay it vpon the Captaine his necke of the band that hath committed the offence, if so bée that the fault was committed through his negligence, or that he vsed no industrie to punish the offenders: then he should bee houlden to make satisfaction of his owne purse, if it were any thing that might bée recompenced with monie; and if it were any fault that deserued bodily punishment, the sayd Captaine should bee driuen to seeke out the offender, and to deliuer him into the Prouosts hands: and if he were fled, the pursuite after him should be made at the Captaines charge: for by the meanes of this rigour, the Captaines would looke very néere vnto their people, and would bée more diligent to make them to liue honestly, or to punish them more greeuously then they are.

But wée must lodge the bands as they ariue, and speake of the forme of the Campe that shall lodge the whole Legion. Then for to lodge the twelue bands, putting them in one Campe together, wée must choose a square place of sixe hundred and sixtie paces in length, and asmuch in breadth: in the middest of which great square shall bee a lesser square made, which shall bée euery way fourtie paces; within which square must the Co∣lonell bee placed, for he must keepe the Campe aswell as his Souldiers: and I would inuiron this sayd square with a small trench, within which trench I would lodge the maister of the Campe, the Prouost, the other officers of the Legion, and the Page  54 Colonell his guard. And those that followe the Colonell for their pleasures, hauing no charge, I would lodge them without round about the sayd trench. And for to order the rest well, I would appoynt that the front of the Campe should bee toward the East, and the backe towards the West, and the flanckes to∣wards the other two Regions. For to deuide the quarters, stretch a line from the Colonell his lodging East-ward, which must be three hundred and ten paces long, & afterwards stretch two other lines of either side of it one, which must be of the same length that the first was, each of them thirtie paces distant from it, to the intent that the breadth of this space may be fourtie pa∣ces. At the ende of these lines I would make a barre or gate, which I would name the East-gate: the distance betwixt these two outtermost lines will make a fayre streate, to go from the Colonell his quarter out of the Campe, which streate will bée threescore paces broad, as is aforesayd. On the other side of the Colonell his quarter West-ward, must three other lines bée stretched of like length and distance, as the three first aforesayd: so likewise vpon the South and North sides shall be two other streates made of like length and breadth. I make all these streates so broad, to the intent to lodge in thē all sorts of buyers and sellers, artificers, and victualers that do followe the Le∣gion. Furthermore, I do make foure square places, betwixt these foure streates, euery one of which places shall containe two hundred and fourtie paces in length, and asmuch in breadth. The Campe shalbe inclosed with a trench, betwixt which trench and the quarters for the lodgings shall be a space left of three∣score paces broad round about, which shall not be occupied with any lodging, but shall be emptie to serue to set the watch, and to raunge the Legion in battell, if neede were. As for the foure pla∣ces abouesayd, those two that are betwixt the East and North streates, and betwixt the South and West streates, shall serue to lodge the twelue Bands: to wéet, sixe in one quarter, and sixe in another. Each of these two quarters shall bée deuided into sixe parts, euery one of which parts shall bée two hundred and fourtie paces in length, and fiue and thirtie paces in breadth, and euery one of these parts shall bée furthermore deuided into Page  55 seauen parts, as I haue sayd before in the lodging of a Band a∣lone. Betwixt the quarters of euery two Bands there shall be a way left of sixe paces large, which shall serue for to come and go vnto the perticular quarters: the other two parts which re∣maine vndeuided, shall by and by bee set a worke: but for the twelue Bands this is sufficient. So that after this, or some bet∣ter manner, may euery Legion be lodged as often as it shall be assembled to make a generall muster.