THE Exercise of the English, in the Militia of the Kingdome of ENGLAND.

[engraving of a foppish soldier]

[engraving of a soldier]

THe Souldiers are divided into two kindes, Foote and Horse. The Foote againe are of two kinds; Pike­men and Musketiers.

Pikemen are armed with a head-piece, a Curace and Tases defensive, & with a Pike of fifteene foot long, and a Rapier offensive. The Armour is all iron; the Pike of Ashen-wood for the Steale, and at the upper [Page 2]end an iron head, of about a handfull long, with cheekes about the length of two foote, and at the butt-end a round strong sock­et of iron ending in a Pike, that is blunt, yet sharpe enough to fixe to the ground.

The Musketier hath a head-peece for defence, a Musket, the bar­rell of the length of 4. foot, the bore of 12. bullets to the pound; a Bandelier to which are fastened a convenient number of charges for powder (sometimes as many as 15. or 16.) a lether bagge for bullets, with a pruning iron; a Rest for the Musket, with an iron forke on the upper end to support it in discharging, and a pike on the nether end to sticke into the ground; lastly, a Rapier.

These Souldiers, both Pike-men, and Musketiers, are divided in­to Companies; and every Company consisteth, halfe of Pikes, halfe Musketiers. The Companies are some more in number, some lesse. Some reach to 300. men, some 200. some 90. some 80. some 70. Every Company hath these Officers of the field: A Captaine, a Lieutenant, an Ensigne, 2 Serjeants, 3 Corporals, 2 Drums; and for other uses, a Clerke, a Surgion, and a Provost.

Companies are compacted into Regiments, and the Regiments commanded by Collonels. Regiments containe not alwayes a like number of Companies, some having 10, some a 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. some 30. Companies and above. In every Regiment, are a Collonel, a Lieutenant Collonell, a Serjeant Major, all Officers of the field; a Quarter-master, and a Provost-martiall for other imployments. It shall not be greatly to the purpose to mention higher Officers than Collonels, my principall intent being no other, then to set downe the Armes and Exercise of our Nation, in the said united Provin­ces. Their Armes are spoken of. Their Exercise followes.

The Exercise of a Foote-Company.

FIrst both Pikes and Muskets are ordered into files of 10. deep The Musketiers are sometime placed before, sometime in flank, sometimes in the reare of the Pikes.

To exercise the motions; there are two distances to be observed.

The first is, when every one is distant from his fellow 6 foote square, that is in file and ranke 6.

The second is when every Souldier is 3 foot distant one from the other, as well in file, as in Ranke.

And because the measure of such distances cannot be taken so justly by the eye, the distance of 6 fout betwixt the files is measu­red, when the Souldiers stretching out their armes doe touch one anothers hands: and betwixt the Rankes, when the ends of their Pikes come well-nigh to the heeles of them that march before. And the measure of 3 foot betwixt the files is, when their elbowes touch one another; betwixt the Rankes, when they come to touch the ends of one anothers Rapiers.

For to march in the field, the distance of 3 foot from file to file is kept, and of 6 foot from Ranke to Ranke.

To order themselves in Battaile, as also to goe towards the ene­my, the distance of 3 foot in File, and Ranke is observed; and like­wise to conversion or wheeling.

The Musketiers also going for to shoot by Rankes keep the same distance of 3 foot, but going to skirmish they goe ala Disbandade, which is out of order.

There is yet another sort of distance, which is not used, but for to receive the enemy with a firme stand, and serveth for the Pikes onely, (for the Musketiers cannot be so close in Files, because they must have their arme at liberty) and that is, when every one is di­stant from file to file, a foot and a halfe, and 3 foot from Ranke to Ranke. And this last distance is thus commanded, Close your selves throughly. But it is not to be taught the Souldiers, for that, when necessity shall require it, they wil close themselves but too much of their owne accord, without command.

What the Souldier ought to know by the Drumme.

  • 1. A Call.
  • 2. A March.
  • 3. A Troope.
  • 4. A Charge.
  • 5. A Retreate.
  • 6. A Battalia.
  • 7. A Battery.
  • 8. A Reliefe.

To begin therefore to doe the Exercises, the Company is set in the first distance, to wit, of 6 foot in File, and Rank, and thus is said

  • Stand right in your Files,
  • Stand right in your Rankes,
  • Silence.
  • To the right hand.
  • To the left hand.

These are the generall words of Command, which are often to be used.

  • As you were.
  • As you were.
  • [Page 4]To the right hand about. You must note, that when they are commanded to be as they were, they must re­turn thither, from whence they parted; and if they turned to the right hand, they must return to the left & so in countermarch.
  • To the left hand as you were.
  • To the left hand about.
  • To the right hand as you were.
  • To the right double your rankes.
  • Rankes as you were.
  • To the left double your rankes.
  • Rankes as you were.
  • To the right hand double your files. Files as you were.
  • To the left hand double your files. Files as you were.
  • With halfe files to the right hand double your Rankes.
  • Halfe files as you were.
  • With halfe files to the left hand double your Rankes.
  • Halfe files as you were.
  • Files to the right hand countermarch.
  • Files to the left hand countermarch.
  • To the right hand, or left, at discretion, as you were.
  • Rankes to the right hand countermarch.
  • Rankes to the left hand countermarch.
  • To the right or left hand as you were.
  • Close your Files to 3 foot distance.
  • Close your Rankes to 3 foot distance.

Ʋnderstand that in Closing from the outsides to the middle, the Souldier is to stand in his distance of 3 foot in file, and not closer.

To the right hand wheele. To the left hand wheele.

Open your Rankes backwards in your double distance, to wit, at 12 foot, and this for a single Company.

Rankes as you were, sc. at the first.

In opening Rankes or Files, you must keepe them closed untill the second Ranke or File, beginning from the outsides, have ta­ken their distances, and so shall the rest remaine close untill every Ranke or File have taken their distances in order.

Open your Files, to wit, to the first distance of 6. foot.

If you will command to close Files to the right hand or left hand, the outmost File standeth still, and the rest close to that File.

For the Pike with a firme stand.

  • Advance your Pikes. Order your Pikes.
  • Slope your Pikes. Charge your Pikes.
  • [Page 5]Traile your Pikes. Cheeke your Pikes.

More for the Pikes, first with a firme stand, and then marching.

  • Charge your Pikes. Slope your Pikes.
  • To the right hand charge your Pikes. Slope your Pikes.
  • To the left hand charge your Pikes. Slope your Pikes.
  • Charge your Pikes to the Reare. Slope your Pikes.
  • Order your Pikes.

This must be observed charging your Pikes with a firme stand, to set the right foot behind, and charging the Pikes marching, to set the left foot before.

For the Musket.

THe Postures in his Excellencies Booke are to be obser­ved; but in exercising you must onely use these three termes of direction.

  • Make ready.
  • Present.
  • Give fire.

Your Musketiers must observe in all their motions to turne to the right hand, and that they carry the mouth of their peeces high, aswell when they are shouldred, as in pruning, and also when they hold their pans guarded, and come up to give fire.

In advancing towards an Enemy, when they doe not skirmish loose and disbanded, they must give fire by Ranks after this manner.

Two Rankes must alwayes make ready together, and advance ten paces forward before the body, at which di­stance, a Sergeant (or when the body is great, some other Officer,) must stand, to whom the Musketiers are to come up before they present, and give fire, first, the first Ranke. And whilest the first gives fire, the second Ranke keepe their Muskets close to their Rests, and their pannes guarded, and assoone as the first are falne away, the second presently present, and give fire, and fall after them.

Now assoone as the first two Rankes do move from their places in the front: The two Rankes next them must un­shoulder their Muskets, and make ready, so as they may advance forward ten paces as before, assoone as ever the two first Rankes are falne away; and are to do in all points as the former. And all the other Ranks through the whole division must doe the same by two's, one after another.

A manner there is to give fire retyring from an enemy, and is performed after this sort.

As the Troope marcheth, the hindermost ranke of all, keeping still with the Troope, is to make ready, and being ready, the Souldiers in that ranke turne all together to the right hand and give fire, marching presently away a good round pace to the front, and there place themselves in ranke together just before the front: As soone as the first ranke turnes to give fire, the ranke next makes ready, and doth as the former, and so the rest.

We give fire by the flanks thus. The uppermost file next the Enemy must be commanded to make ready, keeping still along with the body, till such time, as they be ready, and then they turne to the right, or left hand (according to the sight of their enemies either upon the right, or left flanke) and give fire all together. When they have dischar­ged they stirre not, but keepe their ground, and charge their Peeces againe in the same place they stand. Now as soone as the foresaid file doth turne to give fire, the utter­most next it makes ready, alwayes keeping along with the Troope till the Bringer-up be past a little beyond the Lea­der of that file, that gave fire last; and then the whole file must turne, and give fire, and doe in all points as the first did, and so the rest one after the other. A Sergeant, or if the Troope be great, some other better qualified Officer must stand at the head of the first file, and assoone as the second file hath given fire, and hath charged, he is to lead forward the first file up to the second file, and so to the rest one after another, till he hath gathered up againe the whole wing, and then he is to joyne them againe in equall front with the pikes.

Last of all the Troope or whole wing of Musquettiers makes ready all together, and the first rank without advan­cing gives fire in the place they stand in, and speedily, as may be, yet orderly falls away, all the rankes doing the same successively one after another.

Thus much of the armes and exercise of the foote.

The horse ensue.

The order and discipline holden in the Horse-treopes, or in the Cavalry.

The Cavalry hath for his Chiefe the Generall, the Lieu­tenant Generall, and the Commissary generall.

To the Cavalry there is a Quarter-master generall, and a Provost generall belonging; the Iustice resorteth to the Councell generall of warre of the Armie.

The Cavalry is of two sorts: Harquebusiers and Curassiers.

The first have for defensive Armes, the Curace pistol proof, and a light head-peece. For offensive, the Carbine of 3 foote, 3 inches length, and the bore of 20 bullets in the pound; and Pistols like unto the Curassiers.

The Curassiers have for defensive Armes a compleate ar­mour, the Curace pistoll proofe. For offensive, two pistols having the barrell of 26. inches in length, and the bore of 36 bullets in the pound.

For the order in Regiments, the 40. Companies enter­tained by the States doe make eleven Regiments.

The Regiment of the Generall hath alwayes the Vant­guard, the others alternatively and by turnes, and he that hath it this day, the next day after hath the Reare, the rest following in the same sort.

Those which command the Regiments are called Coro­nels. The Regiments are compounded of 3; or 4 Compa­nies, (of 3 at the least) and the Coronells Company mar­cheth alwayes on the left wing of the Regiment.

The Captaines receive orders from their Coronels, as these from the Commissary Generall.

All the Companies are divided in 3 equall parts, which are called Squadrons, and distributed to the 3 chiefe Offi­cers, Captaine, Cornet and Lieutenant, having each of them adjoyned an old Souldier, which they doe know to be of more desert, called a Corporall.

Marching in the field, every Officer marcheth at the head of his Squadron, the Lieutenant excepted, which marcheth behinde with the Quartermaster; and the third Corporall at the head of the Lieutenants Squadron.

The Companies are divided by files, and rankes, the file 5 deepe, and no more, how strong soever the Company be.

They observe that in marching in battaile they must be close together, and to doe the Motions there must be 6 foot distance from one Horseman to another.

The Companies being in battaile, there must be 25 paces distance left betweene every Company, and 50 betwixt e­very Regiment at the least.

The exercise of Armes for the Cavalry.

To open the Squadron, you must first open the rankes, and after the files.

To close the Squadron, you must first close the files and after the rankes.

There be two sorts of distances betwixt the files; the one close, and the other open.

In the close there must be no distance or intervals betwixt the files, to the open there must be 6 foot betwixt every file

Likewise there must be two sorts of distances betwixt the rankes; the Close, which must be without intervall or street; and the Open, which must be six foot distance.

In a march it must be understood, that the rankes must never be more opened, than the open distance of 6 foot.

And to the end that the Troope may march in good or­der, and observe well their distance betwixt the rankes, without that the last may be forced to runne or goe too fast, there must be heed taken, that so soone as the first ranks begin to march, all the Troope, and the Reare also march.

The words of Command, are

  • Open your Rankes. Open your Files.
  • Stand right in your Rankes. Stand right in your Files.
  • To the right hand. As you were.
  • To the left hand. As you were.
  • To the right hand about. To the left hand as you were.
  • To the left hand about. To the right hand as you were.
  • Files to the right hand countermarch.
  • Files to the left hand countermarch.
  • To the right or left hand as you were.
  • Rankes to the right hand countermarch.
  • Rankes to the left hand countermarch.
  • Close your Files. Close your Rankes.
  • To the right hand wheele. To the left hand wheele.

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