Saturday, November 17, 2012

Militarie instructions for the Cavallrie, 1632

His arms were a close casque or headpiece; gorget, breast pistoll-proof (as all the cuirasse in every piece of it), and caliver-proof (by reason of the placcate), the back pouldrons, vanbraces, two gauntlets, tassets, cuissets, culets, or guard de rein, all fitting to his body; a good sword (which was to be very stiffe, cutting, and sharp-pointed), with a girdle, and hangers so fastened upon his cuirass as he might easily draw it; a buffe coat, with long skirts, to wear between his armour and his cloathes ; his lance, either after the wonted manner, or (as Walhausen hath it) after the manner of a pike, only somewhat thicker at the butt end, the head of it either to be three-edged, or otherwise, like a pike head, made strong and sharpe, the length to be about eighteen foot, it being otherwise of little effect either against infantine or cavallarie; within two foot of the butt end to be bored through, and through it a thong of strong leather to be put, to fasten it to the right arm, for the surer holding and better managing thereof. On the outside of his right stirrop to have a socket of leather fastened thereunto, to place the butt end of his lance therein. His saddle to be handsome, made with advantage, fit for the rider to keep firm against the violence of a shock; thereat he should have one, if not two, pistolls, of sufficient bore and length, with keys and cartouches; also he must have flaske and cartouche-box, and all appurtenances fitting.
...again, is to be armed at all points, and accoated with a buffe coat under his arms, like the lance; his horse not inferior in stature or strength, though not so swift. He must have two cases, with good fire-locks; pistolls hanging at his saddell, having the barrell of eighteen inches long, and the bore of twenty bullets in the pound (or twenty-four, rowling in); a good sword, stiffe, and sharp-pointed, like the lancier. This sort of cavalarie is of late invention: for, when the lanciers proved hard to be gotten, first, by reason of their horses, which must be very good, and exceeding well exercised; secondly, by reason their pay was abated through scarcity of money; thirdly, and principally, because of the scarcitie of such as were practised and exercised to the use of the lance, it being a thing of much labour and industry to learn; the cuirassier was invented only by discharging the lancier of his lance. He is to have a boy and a nagge, as is otherwise said, to carry his spare arms and oat sacke, and to get him forage. His saddle and bit must be strong, and be made after the best manner. He is also to wear a scarfe, as hath been showed, chapter 20. He is to have his bridle made with a chain, to prevente cutting; and he must be very careful to have all his furniture strong and usefull.
The harquebusier was first invented in France, at the time of the warres of Piedmont; whom Melzo and Basta would have either not armed (though they confesse themselves contradicted therein by others), or but slightly (only with a head-piece and breast), and those but some few of the foremost. But the printed edict of the States of the United Provinces expressly commandeth that every harquebusier be armed with an open casque, gorget, back and breast, of the horseman's furniture; and captain Bingham, in his 'Low Country Exercise," appointeth him a cuirasse, pistoll-proof. Moreover, by the late orders rendered in by the council of warre, the harquebusier (besides a good buffe coate) is to have the back and breast of the cuirassier's arming more than pistoll-proofe, the head-piece, &c. For offensive arms, he must have the harquebuse of two foot and a half long (the bore of seventeen bullets in the pound, rowling in), hanging on a belt by a swivel, a flaske, and touch-box and pistolls, like the cuirassiers, (as some writers have it). His horse (according to the same edict of the States) should not be under fifteen hands high, being swift and well managed. The carabinier is to be mounted on a middling guelding, and to have a good buffe coat, a carbine or petronell (the barrel two foot and a half long, the bullet twenty-four in the pound, rowling in), hanging as the harquebusse, a sword, girdle, and hangers, flaske and touch-box, as the harquebusier.
The dragoni is of two kinds, pike and musket. The pike is to have a thong of leather, about the middle of the pike, for the more commodious carrying of it. The musketier is to have a strap or belt fastened to the stock thereof, almost from the one end to the other, by which (being on horseback) he hangeth it at his back, keeping his burning match and the bridle in the left hand. His horse is of the least price, the use thereof being but to expedite his march, alighting to do his service.
Cruso, John. 1632. Militarie instructions for the Cavallrie

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