The practice, proceedings, and lawes of armes described out of the doings of most valiant and expert captaines, and confirmed both by ancient, and moderne examples, and præcedents, by Matthevv Sutcliffe.
Sutcliffe, Matthew, 1550?-1629.
Interpretations and annotations vpon the former lawes.

1 [All souldiers &c.] If conspirators deserue death, much more do they deserue the same that execute their treasons, and conspiracies.a Scipio killed all the inhabitants of Iliturgi a towne in Spaine, and burnt the towne, for that they betrayd the garrison, and reuolted to the enemy.b Orontes going about to betray Cyrus and his army to the enemy, was executed by Cyrus. This is nothing but the ordinary practice of the Romanes, which asc Tacitus affirmeth, brought such matters within the compasse of treason.

2 [Such as practice &c.] There is no surprise nor dangerous trea∣son wrought against a prince or his army, or garrisons, but the same proceedeth for the most part from secret practises, and intelligence of traitors with the enemy. Such practises therefore are not onely dili∣gently to be sought out, but also seuerely to be punished.d Marcellus executed seuenty persons of them of Nola for treason, and secret talke, and intelligence they had with Annibal. The Romanes ha∣uing notice of diuers cities in Hetruria and Vmbria, that had commu∣ned secretly with Annibal,e gaue order that both inquisition might be made, and due punishment awarded. Neither it is sufficient for any to allege that he is not subiect to our iurisdiction, for whosoeuer committeth treason against vs, be he Dutch or French, is to be puni∣shed. Quintiliusf Varus had intelligence how Harminius dealt with him treacherously, yet was slacke in making inquisition of the matter, which was the ruine of him and his company.

3 [Mutinous and rebellious &c.] Mutinous I do not call them, that vse bad words to their captaines, or that demand their due of them, although in tumultuous sort, albeit some do so take it, and haue pra∣ctised it. yet do I acknowledge that the same is a great offence, and to be punished, yet not in the degree of mutinie. Butg mutinous per∣sons are those that raise sedition, and stirre vp souldiers to rebellion Page  312against their gouernours, whereby the common cause may receiue detriment and hindrance. Hee that raiseth sedition, and giueth cause to dangerous stirres, is to be punished with death (saith Mo∣destinus) but if hee proceede no further then to clamorous com∣plaint, then is he to be punished with the losse of his place, if he be an officer; or if no officer, with some lesse punishment, then death. Yet are not all mutinous persons to be punished in one degree. Sci∣pio when his army in Spaine mutined vnder colour of want of pay, and long seruice; with the deatha of thirtie persons which were principall moouers of the sedition, did pacifie the matter. Caesar dismissedb Fonteius, for that hee was a seditious person. Suetoniusctestifieth that hee cassed all the tenth legion for the same cause. Mutinous I account thē also, that dissuade the souldiers from perfor∣ming any seruice commanded them by the Generall, and doe thinke that they deserue no lesse punishment. The Marques of Guast cast certeine mutinous companions into thed sea in sackes, for that they dissuaded the souldiers from the enterprise of Afrike, whither Charles the fift then led them. Such mutinies are diligently to be suppressed in the beginning, with the death of the beginners, ase Ti∣berius did the mutiny of his souldiers in Pannony, or with dismis∣sing some of the principallest.f Fuluius vnderstanding of a secret mutiny among his souldiers in Capua, gaue them no leasure to ex∣ecute their purposes, and presently dismissing the most seditious, had afterward reason of the rest.

4 [Whosoeuer yeeldeth &c.] This is nothing but a transumpt out of the Romane lawes, which in like case decree likeg punish∣ment. Pinarius being first prayd, then threatned by them of Aenna, if he would not depart out of the towne where he was in garrison, tolde them that he might not do it, for that no man was toh depart, or giue vp the towne of garrison, vpon paine of death. Thei Go∣uernour of Vacca, a towne in Afrike, was condemned, and execu∣ted to death, for that he yeelded the towne to the enemy. He that yeelded Pont Charenton to the Protestants, vpon the first appea∣ring of their troupes, was executed at Paris, anno 1567, by expresse commandement of the king. Rutilius spared not his owne sonne, that by negligence lost the castle ofk Taurentum in Sicily. So that not onely treachery, but cowardise, and negligence deserueth in this case to be punished. Cotta caused a neere kinsman of his to be Page  313beaten with rods, and afterward to serue as a common souldier for loosing a place by his default, which was giuen him in garde. The Carthaginians executed most cruelly him thata surrendred vp the castle of the Mamertines to the Romanes. There is nothing that can excuse a gouernour in this case, but necessitie, to wit, when either for want of men or victuals, or other weaknesse of ye place, he can hold out no longer. So wasb Attilius excused that departed the citie of Locri, and the garrison of Scodra that yeelded the towne to ye Turke, not onely excused, but relieued by the Venetians: for they held it to the vttermost. The Romanes suffered those to compound with Annibal, that were not able to resist his force. Except the case of necessitie proo∣ued by men of iudgement, in few other cases can those that surren∣der places to the enemie, be excused. In so much, that Alphonso Per∣rez (as the Spanish histories report) would rather suffer his sonne taken by the Moores to bee slayne before his face, then hee would surrender vp Tariffa into their hands, to recouer his sonne. Nay it is not lawfull without cause manifested before the counsell, so much as to parley, or motion any composition with the enemie. The women of Athens stoned Cirsilus to death, for that hec went about to per∣swade the townesmen to yeeld to the king of Persia. After the death ofd Cyrus, when the Greekes that went with him being farre from their countrey, were in distresse, one Apollonides despairing of o∣ther means, would haue had them to yeeld themselues to the mer∣cie of the enemie: but his speach seemed so vnwoorthie the pro∣fession of a souldier, that he was there disarmed, & like a base min∣ded beast laden with baggage. How many cities haue vnder colour, and in the time of parley bene betraied, I haue heretofore declared. The very motion of parley doeth daunt the courage of souldiers: and therefore such motions are not to bee made but in secret counsell, and in extremitie.

5 [No captaine, officer, nor souldier, &c.] The first part of this law the Romane souldiers when they were first enrolled, did sweare to performe; the second part is comprised in the Romane lawes a∣gainst such as depart the army without leaue. A matter very dange∣rous: for by such starting aside of souldiers, many garrisons are taken vnprouided, and many companies that are full in mosters, are very thin in time of seruice. And therefore although among vs euery cap∣taine of a companie take on him to giue licence of absence, yet is the Page  314same against all practise of warre. By the lawes of the Romanes no man hada power to dismisse souldiers, but the General: & if other∣wise it were, ye army might be dissolued, or at least greatly weakened without his priuitie, & the cause hindered by inferior persons trechery.

6 [All that runne, &c.] It is a great fault for a souldier in time of seruice to forsake his General. But farre greater to turne his hand against his country and friends, and to flie to the enemie. Such there∣fore deserue no fauour, being not only traitors, but enemies. The Ro∣manes punished such moreb grieuously then fugitiue slaues, and howsoeuer they compounded with others, yet alwayes excepted them. Sometime they were nailed to gibbets, sometime they werec throwen downe from hils. Those that did but endeuour to flie to the enemie although they perfourmed it not, wered put to death. Yet would I not haue them so depriued of hope of mercy, but that they may find fauour, if they with any new seruice can blot out their former offence. No man fought with more resolution against the Romanes, then these reuolters. Fabius would not suffer thee Ro∣manes to punish Altinius, that offered to restore Arpi vnto them, which himselfe before had caused to reuolt to Annibal. Marcellus knowing the purpose of Bantius, and that hee meant to flie to the enemie, yet by curtesie and liberalitie did chuse rather to draw ser∣uice from him, being a man of value, then to punish him. If then such poore men as by extremitie and want are driuen to flie to the e∣nemie, wil voluntarily returne againe and craue pardon, I would not haue them debarred from hope of mercie, which rigour is due onely to stubborne and wilful rebels.

7 [No man shall bewray, &c.] This being a difference, and somtime, as in the darke, the only difference whereby souldiers know their fellowes, great care is to be taken, that the enemie haue no no∣tice of it. In the night fight betwixt Vitellius and Vespasians soul∣diers, nothing did more preiudicef Vitellius his side, then that the enemie came to haue notice of the worde. Which happened by the often repetition of it in the darke. By the same the enemie either passeth away safe, or commeth among vs without resistance. Great punishment therefore doeth he deserue, that giueth the enemie to vn∣derstand it by simplicitie or negligence, but greater if by trecherie and false dealing. Likewise doeth he deserue punishment that neglec∣teth his watch. For seeing that the safetie of those that rest, consisteth Page  315oft times in the watch, who seeth not that they that neglect their watch, betray their fellowes safetie? thea watchman that suffered the Gaules to enter the Capitol, while hee slept, was throwen downe from the rocke whereon the Castle stood, there to sleepe for euer. By the lawes of theb Romanes hee that slept in the watch was put to death. Epaminondas going the round slew thec watch∣man whom he found sleeping, affirming that he did him no wrong leauing him, as he found him. Yet woulde I not that any man in pu∣nishing these faults should proceede rashly, and without cause spill poore soldiers blood, that is so willingly spent in the seruice of their countrey. For if the enemie be farre off, and the danger little, this fault is much lessened.

8 [Whosoeuer of wantonnesse &c.] By two meanes especially the enemie cōmeth to haue notice of our purpose, against the wil and purpose of him that giueth the notice: first by making of noyse and signes, which may be heard or seene of the enemie being farre off; se∣condly by talking and prating of matters, that ought to be kept se∣cret. by either of which meanes many enterprises are broken, & many good counsels discouered. The practise of the protestants against the towne ofd Saumur anno 1569 was broken, by fiering of cer∣taine houses whereby the enemie had notice of their comming. A like enterprise of theirs against Diep the same yeere was discouered by discharging of a pistole. In our voyage of Portugall the Spanish horsemen that coasted our companie, had fallen into a trappe layd for them, if one rash companion had not discharged his piece too soone, & therby giuen them warning before they entred into danger. If that certaine rash fellowes had not risen vp tooe soone and discharged their pieces vpon the gallyes of the Baron la garde: both he and his company had bene taken at Tonne Charente by Rochel An. 1569. by the babble and prating of a certainef Herald sent to the French king, he knew more then was conuenient of the estate and procee∣dings of Edw. the 4. as I before haue shewed. Caesar therfore that heg might take the Gaules vnprouided, forbade his soldiers in their marche to make fiers. And Homer expressing theh courage, and good order of the Greekes, saith they marched with great silence, whereas the Troians made a noyse like a flight of cranes. Frois∣sart reporteth that in ancient time the English did take an oath, Page  316that they should not discouer any practise, or counsel of their supe∣riors. But now (it seemeth) that custome is out of date. for no nation doth march with more noyce, or talke more willingly. Wherefore al∣though these matters may seeme trifling, yet experience sheweth what impediments they bring to our affaires. which caused mee in this place, seeing other meanes too weake to worke it: to forbid dis∣charging of pieces, firing of houses, making of noyse in the march without speciall direction; and also talking of secrete counsels of our gouernours at any time, and to wish that the same were by lawe enacted.