In general there was a great deal of inertia in the disarm true Protestant Englishmen on the eve of
Trained Bands, and it took a national emergency or invasion from Ireland. In fact Parliament also very enthusiastic officers to overcome it. T he Crown seized Trained Band arsenals but enjoyed more made a significant attempt in 1623 t0 revitalise it sympathetic press reports.
and form a perfect or 'Exact Militia'. A new drill
T rained Band soldiers did serve during the Civil manual—Instructions for Musters and Armes, And the War, sometimes forcibly impressed in field armies, use thereof: By order from the Lords oj His Majesties most but more usually in defence of their county or, Honourable Privy Counsayle—was produced and particularly, in the defence of their homes during circulated, but the influence of the voluntary sieges of their towns or cities. In general, whoever associations in London had greater effect, and this controlled the county or the town could call out the only because military exercises became fashionable. Trained Bands if it was felt to be worth the trouble.
Only two groups made a significant impact on the Civil War itself: the Cornish for the king, and the London Trained Bands for Parliament. The Cornish did so through sheer tenacity, but even they would not serve outside county boundaries. London was a special case.
The support of the Trained Bands may have seemed The London Trained Bands, a doubtful advantage; but as relations between king At the beginning of 1642 the Trained Bands of the and Parliament worsened both sides were conscious City of London consisted of four regiments totalling that they were the only formed bodies of armed men 6,000 men, half being musketeers and half pikemen.
in the country. Control of the Militia, and On 12 February a re-organisation was authorised to particularly the appointment of their officers, increase the total to 8,000, organised in 40
became a critical issue as both sides hoped to use companies of 200 men each. These new companies these soldiers as the basis of new armies. These were divided amongst six regiments known as the arguments reckoned without the feelings of the Red, White, Yellow, Blue, Green and Orange
Trained Bandsmen themselves as local interest, or Trained Bands after the colour of their ensigns. The self-interest, outweighed support for king or first four regiments had seven companies each and
Parliament. King Charles appealed for the support the last two only six. The following year the City of of the Trained Bands when he raised his standard at London together with the City of Westminster, the
Nottingham but, finding that they refused to serve Borough of Southwark and the Power Hamlets outside the county, made the fateful decision to were surrounded by a series of earthworks disarm them instead, a practice he then continued in Other counties. Clarendon claimed this was done A file of pikemen from John Bingham's The Tactiks ofAelian,
•it 1 - f , showing how the pikeheads of several ranks could project past witn wariness ana caution, out 111 iact it was the file leader to face the enemy. A depth of 16 men is shown, regarded with grave suspicion and lent credence to rather than the ten normal in i6i6, because it illustrates the
1 1 • • 1 style of a Macedonian phalanx as a model for modern war. The
Parliament propaganda that the king aimed to figures are dressed as 17th century pikemen.
Was this article helpful?