Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Williams: Lancers vs Reiters, 1590

Considering the resolute charge done with the might of their horses, the Launtiers are more terrible and make a farre better shew either in Muster or Battaile. For example, when the Almaines, during the time they carried Launces, carried a farre greater reputation than the do now being pistolers named Rutters. The most Chiefes of Souldiers of accompt are armed at the proofe of the pistol. If the leaders commaund their troupes to spoyle horses, the Launces are more sure, for divers pistols faile to go off: if charged it shakes in a man's hand so that often it touches neither man nor horse; if the charge bee too little it pierceth nothing to speak of. True it is, being pickt and chosen, the pistoliers murther more… but I was often in their companie when they ran away, three from one Launtier in great troupes and small… Without doubt, the Pistol discharged hard by, well charged, and with judgement, murthers more than the Launce; out of a hundred pistoliers, twentie nor scarce tenne at the most do neither charge pistol nor enter a squadron as they should, but commonlie and lightly always they discharge their pistols eight and five score off, and so wheele about: at which turnes the Launtiers charge then in the sides, be they well conducted… The Launtiers have or ought to have one pistol at the least.

Williams, Sir Roger. Briefe Discourse on Warre, 1590 p 50

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