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.
Page  74

CHAP. IIII Part. 9. Of the souldiers pay.

BVt forasuiuch as neither strangers, nor subiects can be long mainteined without pay, & because it wil a∣uayle vs nothing to leuy souldiers, vnlesse wee pay them, & mainteine them: therefore before we passe a∣ny further, let vs put those, that haue ye gouernmēt of warres cōmitted vnto them, in minde, that some order be taken for the paiment of the souldiers. For want of pay ma∣ny disorders be committed, many opportunities pretermitted. It is not possible, considering first the pouerty of the common souldier, and then their small number, that eyther they can liue of themselues, or winne any thing from the enemy. For want of pay they spoyle their friends, and associates, yea their companions, and commit many out∣rages. and who can execute iustice vpon them, that eyther must fa∣mish, or liue vpon spoyle. For want of pay they sell their armes, their clothes, they growe sicke, weake, and vnprofitabe.

Contrariwise, if they had their pay, iustice might with more rea∣son bee executed, and their persons, armes, and clothes be kept in bet∣ter estate, and many enterprises executed, that by weakenesse & want of the souldiers are broken. Lautreck riding post, came in good time himselfe to haue setled the affaires ofaMilan, if the 300. thousande Crownes, which were promised by the French king to bee sent pre∣sently after him, had likewise come in poste. For want of pay the souldiers disbanded▪ for want of pay, occasioned by I know not what friuolous delay, the Dutchie of Milan was lost by the French. Souldiers are not payd with promises, nor wordes. The slow pro∣uision of money was the cause likewise of the rashe enterprise, and ouerthrow of the French at thebBicock in Lombardy. The mi∣serable niggardise, and slow dispatch of the CardinallcSan. Malo Treasurer to Charles the 8. of France, which deferd necessary pay∣mentes beyond all reason, set all the affaires of the French in the kingdome of Naples in disorder, as Guicciardin testifieth, and the very things themselues declared. A very slowedmarche it is, that souldiers without pay doe make. Guicciardin speaking of the enter∣prise of Naples by Lautreck sayth, that the same was hindered by nothing more, then by delayes of pay; while such summes as should haue bene deliuered before hand were payde him by piecemeale and out of time. A man cannot in this kind vse too great expedition and Page  75diligence. nothing can be more hurtful herein then auarice and delay.

Further many mutinies & disorders proceede of this only cause. I neede not confirme it by examples, seeing there is none that hath followed the profession of armes any time, but knoweth it by his owne experience. Contrariwise due pay doeth binde the souldiers hearts to the Generall, as Liuy declareth in the exampleaof An∣nibal.

Without pay souldiers can neither do seruice, nor mainteine them selues in strength, nor scarce liue. With theirbpay they finde them selues victuals, clothes, armes: with the same they succour them selues in sickenes, and when they are hurt. This was the vse in anci∣ent time, and is now practised also.

For this cause all warlike Nations haue had due care that their souldiers might be orderly payd.cPorsena when the pay day came, sate by, while all his souldiers one by one receiued their pay. For that end they appointeddTresurers to attend on the Generall, and to pay the army. That Generals should then attend the pleasure of Tresurers was as a thing monstrous in nature. When the Romanes could not otherwise prouide for their souldiers, the Senate decreed, that theeornaments of gold, and siluer which Numa Pompilius had consecrate, should be made into money, that they might be payd. This was iu the time of Marius. When the common wealth of Rome had no mony, the charge was layd vpon rich menfpropor∣tionally. The Nobilitie and Gentry brought in, and lent sufficient. Some of the wealthiest in the neede of the State serued without pay. ThegAlexandrians in the warres against Caesar, by assigning to euery man of abilitie certaine souldiers to be kept, mainteined the warres against him. And generally such order was takē among all nations for pay of the souldiers, that in all stories Greeke and La∣tin I scarce read of any one mutiny for want of pay.

Some will percase reply and say, that there is no comparison be∣twixt the people of Rome, and vs. And that it was an easie matter for that great Empire to pay their souldiers, which to vs is so hard and grieuous: some conceiue that their souldiers were content with lesse pay, and others deeme that the charge of warres is nowe greater then in those times: matters vtterly mistaken. For not onely the Romanes, but also the Athenians, Thebans, Sam∣nites, Aequians, Volscians, Hernicans, Sabines, and many other Page  76small States in comparison of this kingdome, mainteined, and paid great armies many yeeres. Yea when thea State and Territory of Rome was not the third part of England in bignesse, yet did the same mainteine one army against the Samnites, another in a con∣trary quarter against the Hetruscians, and the third at home against such of their neighbours, as were not perfectly to be trusted. The pay, all things considered, was then rather bigger then lesser in re∣spect of our times. Thebpay of the Romanes was for euery day a piece of money which they called Denarium, for that it conteined decemasses. Although I confesse that afterward the value of that Coyne, was enhaunced. that wayeth of our money vii.d. or therea∣boutes, as both Budey testifieth and I haue tried, by waying diuers of the Coynes, which I haue seene in Italy, and other where.

The pay of the Athenian souldiers amounted to a piece of mo∣ney which they called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for euery day. So that both the pay of the Greekes and Romanes came to one reckoning. for Denarius Romanus, and the Athenian Drachma, byc accompt both of Mar∣chants, and Physitions weyed alike, and was of one value. That the Athenian pay amounted to so much, as I haue sayd, Thucidides shal witnesse, who saith, that the garrison ofdPotidaea had euery man one Drachma for himselfe, and another for his esquire, that waited on him, dayly. Consider the prices of things nowe, you shall finde that their pay was greater then either ours which giue commonly viii.d. a day, or the Spanish pay, which is iii Duckats a moneth for a man, beside their Ventajas, as they call them.

That the charge of warres is now greater, then in time past; is but an improbable surmise. For wherein ariseth the charge of an army nowe, but in victuals, armes, clothes, horses, cariages and such like, which were no lesse chargeable in time past, then now? powder wee haue nowe, and artillerie, which in time past was not found out, but the charge of their engins, and the things about them, which nowe we neede not, nor vse, was no lesse chargeable to them. So that if we had that order and proceeding, which they had: there is no doubt but wee are as well able to mainteine an armie, as they.

Why a sufficient armie should not bee mainteined and paid, I see no reason but want of military discipline. For seeing this land main∣teineth so many millions at home, there is no reason, but the same Page  77should mainteine 30. or 40. thousand of the same number abroad, if right discipline of armes were practised. The charge of an army is most in meate, and apperell. But in these things men spend no lesse at home, then abroad. I doe thinke that albeit this land wanted mo∣ney, yet if the army were well supplyed with victuals and clothes by ye Princes Officers, that a great armie might sufficiently be payd. For that money that should be deliuered to the souldier, would most of it come backe for victuals and clothes, of which this land (God be thanked) hath no want. The expenses of munitions, and armes, and other matters are in respect of this charge, nothing. But what should I talke of this course, when there wanteth neither money, nor other thing, but good orders well executed? The reuenues of the Crowne, the contributions of the subiects, and ayde of our friendes, are not so simple, but that there may be found maintenance sufficient, if mens good willes and loyal dealing were not wanting. Besides these if our armie were sufficient to fight with the enemie, I would thinke, there were want of skill, or good order, if the same did not aswell liue vpon the enemies spoyles, as the Princes pay.

Clearchusamainteined his souldiers, by the contribution of the cities of Hellespont, where they lay. The Romanes transporting an army into Asia, so wisely did the Generall proceede, that he main∣teined the same with the spoyles of the Countrey, and writ backe to the Senate, that for that yeere he needed neitherbprouision, nor pay. for the victorie gaue his armie sufficient. But before Princes bring such a matter to passe, many disorders are to be redressed: men desirous of honour are to be appointed Officers: the rapines and filcheries of former times, and hereafter to, by strict Auditors and Commissioners are to be sifted out, and seuerely punished, as mat∣ters that disorder all armies.cGuicciardin shewerh it by the confu∣sion that was in the French army at Gariglian, by the default and fraude of the kings Officers for pay. If those that kill a woman or a child of no great reckoning deserue death, what doe they deserue that are the cause of the death of many valiant souldiers, and betray the Realme and their Prince into the handes of the enemie through their fraude, filcherie, and delayes? the abuses in musters must also be redressed. Wherein I vnderstand that Gouernours of late haue bene carefull, and set downe many good orders, but all commeth to this passe, that the Captaines shall pay their souldiers: which doeth Page  78promise no good effect in this matter. It is a notorious abuse to giue the pay of the common souldier to the Centurion, or Captaine of euery band; neuer vsed by the Romanes, nor other nation. It first came in among the Italians about two hundred and fiftie, or two hun∣dred yeeres agone in their scambling warres among themselues. The reason was, for that the Prince that had warres hired the Cap∣taine out of some other State, and the Captaine he hired such souldi∣ers, as he could get. So that the Prince dealing with the Capatine must pay him, and the Captaine must pay his souldiers. Which rea∣son now ceasing, there is no cause why the abuse should continue. Further there are certaine dead payes allowed to the captaine, vn∣der colour whereof I doubt not but they will passe many dead men, or such as neuer were in mosters. It is asmuch as if he should be a∣lowed to defraude a Prince a litle, so it be but in sixe dead payes. But better it were and more honorable, if the Prince did allowe the Cap∣taine an honourable and sufficient pay, and make others the payma∣sters. It is not possible nowe that matters should in these cases be re∣dressed, seeing such as haue interest in the gaine, are made control∣lers of the offence.

Were it not better to pay euery souldier by the poll? better I say for the Prince. For if the souldiers acquitance, moster booke, pay∣masters and controllers accounts agree, he cannot lightly be defrau∣ded, either of his money, or of his numbers: better for the common souldier: for he shall haue his due. Yea better for the Captaines, for they should not be so condemned, as they are of the countrey, nor of their souldiers, and some very wrongfully: and who would for so small gaine, incurre the losse of his honour, or reputation? but thus they shall neither liue themselues, nor be able to rewarde their souldi∣ers: As if I wished them not larger pay, and w ih honester conditi∣ons. And as if they did vse to reward their men, or that belonged to them. it is the General, that should do it vpon their report, & not they.

WhenaScipio paide his souldiers in Spaine, euery man receiued himselfe his due paye, man by man. Which was the continual prac∣tise of thebRomanes. That I likewise confirmed by the example of Porsena the captaine of the Hetruscians, who stoode bycwhile euery man receiued his stipend. Guicciardin disputing and weying the causes why the Frenchmen in the expedition of Charles the 8. in∣to the kingdome of Naples so easily preuailed, alleageth this for prin∣cipall: Page  79that the Kings souldiers were payed by the kings Officers, and not as the Italian vse was, by the Captaines. For which cause now at length also the Spaniard weary of this abuse, appointeth cer∣taine Officers to pay euery souldier according to theamoster roll; and diuers controllers of these paymasters.

This I thinke to be the best meanes to remedy the want of pay, the fraude of Officers, the disorders of souldiers, and coruption of false mosters: whereby many Princes haue bene greatly abused, & are like to be further, if order be not taken. Before Pauy thebFrench king Francis had not halfe the number of souldiers that were vpon his moster bookes, which was the principall cause of the ruine of the army, and of the taking of the king, as Guicciardin affirmeth. The same was the ruine of the army of Iulio the 2. beforecGemuolo, and causeth many to presume further then reason, thinking their strength greater, & diuers to detest warres; the disorders are so great. This I thought necessary to speake concerning pay: more perhaps then some will like. But the commiseration I haue of poore souldi∣ers, and detestation I had of disorders, that haue happened vpon this cause in the seruice where I haue bene, and feare of worse haue ex∣torted these complaints from me, yet not to hurt any particular (God is my witnes) but generally to do my countrey good, if I could; & to admonish those whom it concerneth, to looke better vnto it hereafter.