deductions are less certain. Royalist administration was certainly more wasteful of resources than the Parliament's, but there is evidence that it was able to obtain considerable sums, and the king's soldiers were probably no worse paid than the Parliament's. One problem was, of course, that for the common soldier this was not very much, and Royal officers seem to have been more ready to allow plunder and pillage to keep their men contented.


A comparison is often made between the 'riotous' king's armies and the 'godly' Parliament soldiers. There is some truth in this, especially if comparisons are made between the New Model Army and General Goring's army in the West in 1646; but both sides had suffered from indiscipline at the outset. When first raised, Parliament soldiers had plundered the homes of Catholics and other 'Malignants' in the London suburbs; and the letters of Sergeant Nehemiah Wharton show that they continued the practice as they marched through the counties. They were equally likely to seize plunder from one another, as an extract from one of Wharton's letters shows: 'A troop of horse belonging to Colonel Foynes met me, and pillaged me of all, and robbed me of my very sword for which cause I told them I would rather have my sword or dye in the field, commaundcd my men to charge with bullet [i.e. load their muskets], and by devisions to fire upon them, which made them with shame return my sword'. He had his revenge when on guard at Northampton, when he stopped the same troop on its way out of the town and 'searched every horseman of that troop to the skin, took from them a fat buck, a venison pasty ready baked, but lost my own goods'.

Royalist soldiers were as unruly, as recorded by the cavalryman Captain Richard Atkins who recalled on one occasion: 'Observing a hole in an elder hedge, 1 put in my hand and pulled out a bag of money; which if our foot had espied (who were also upon the search) they had certainly taken me for an enemy, and deprived me of both life and it'.

Apart from the problems of plundering, indiscipline hindered training in the use of arms and battle tactics. A comment by Wharton in August 1642 shows how serious a problem this was: 'This evening our ungodly Lieutenant Colonel, upon an ungrounded whimsey, commaunded two of our Captains, namely, Captain Francis and Captain Beacon, with their companies, to march out of the towne but they went not'. Six Parliament colonels wrote formally to the Earl of Essex in September, insisting that he take firm measures as 'the truth is unless we were able to execute some exemplary punishment upon the principal malefactors, we have no hope to redress this horrid enormity. We beseech your Excellency to take this into your present and serious consideration, for if this go on awhile the army will grow as odious to the Country as the Cavaliers'.

The solution for both sides was the enforcement of Articles of War, a list of offences and the punishments due based on the codes used before the war. Just to cover all eventualities, the last clause contained a catch-all such as 'All other Faults, Disorders, and Offences not mentioned in these Articles shall be punished according to the general customs and Laws of War'. It had always been customary for army commanders to issue these standing orders, and the king and the Earl of Essex both published essentially similar versions in 1642. Their success as a deterrent depended, of course, on the degree to which they were enforced.

While there are instances of examples being made of soldiers on both sides, these men were clearly unlucky rather than typical. Only with regular pay, or something approaching it, was a commander able to enforce discipline successfully. The king's armies were never able to achieve this, possibly because of the poor example set by the king himself: King Charles had a very casual attitude to the enforcement of the articles, and allowed his officers considerable licence, particularly when dealing with those he considered disloyal. This was aggravated by the influence of those of his officers with professional experience, who introduced the harsh attitude to civilians which they had learnt in the vicious wars in Europe or Ireland. The alienation of the civilian population which this attitude fostered was to prove a serious, perhaps a crucial, factor in the king's defeat.

Sir Thomas Fairfax made the most of the fresh opportunity offered by the formation of a better-paid New Model Army 'to lay an early foundation of good success in the punishment of former disorders and the prevention of future misdemeanours', by holding a court martial and marching the Army past the tree on which he hung two offenders. With this attitude, and the cash payment he was able to offer for provisions he made, the New Model Army appear a distinct improvement over the type of soldiers most contemporaries were used to. Fairfax's more strictly disciplined men did not prove better fighting infantrymen than the King's when they met at Naseby; but their more controlled behaviour won them local support. This became crucially important, as Fairfax's first campaign coincided with the outbreak of the Clubman Associations in some 15 counties in England and Wales. While not all the Clubmen groups were prepared to support Fairfax by fighting for him, they were universally distrustful of the king's promises, and denied the Royalist cause urgently needed funds and recruits.


Sir James Turner's comment on the provisions for soldiers is based on his experience in Europe, but does give a good impression of a complete system, while references during the Civil War give individual examples. Turner's description was: 'There are few princes who have not their particular establishment for their proviant, both in field and garrison, as well as for money; the order whereof commonly is this: they allow so much bread, flesh, wine or beer to every trooper and foot soldier, which ordinarily is alike to both, then they allow to the officers, according to their dignities and charges, double, triple and quadruple portions; as to an Ensign four times more than to a common soldier, a Colonel commonly having twelve portions allowed him. The ordinary allowance for a soldier in the field is daily, two pound of bread, one pound of flesh, or in lieu of it, one pound of cheese, one pottle of wine, or in lieu of it, two pottles of beer. It is enough cry the soldiers, we desire no more, it is enough in conscience. But this allowance will not last very long, they must be contented to march sometimes one whole week, and scarce get two pounds of bread all the while, and their officers as well as they'. The English evidently used a similar system, as the rations specified for English soldiers in Ireland in 1642 was set at one pound of bread, one pound of beef or a half-pound of cheese or fish in lieu, and a quarter-pound of butter.

For the most part armies on the march were quartered in the towns and villages along their route. The householder was then obliged to provide food and lodging in return for a certificate, redeemable by the army paymaster. In this case the supplies would be on the basis described above but would depend on the householder's larder. Where supplies were carried with the army itself the victual was usually bread, biscuit, peas, butter, Cheshire cheese, bacon and beer. Sometimes a small herd of cattle or sheep accompanied the army to provide fresh meat.

In garrison or where an army remained static as besiegers, a system of requisitions was used. Warrants were issued to the local county authorities for provisions to be brought in. Examples of this type of provisions include beef, bacon, pork, salt herrings, mutton, wheat, oats, beans, peas and beer. Most garrisons, even if besieged, kept live sheep and cattle, the latter for dairy produce as well as meat. Fresh food was considered important, as in the opinion of the Earl of Cork salt beef, barrelled biscuits and butter, with water to drink made only for 'a rich churchyard and a weak garrison'.


The most famous mutinies of the Civil War were those of the New Model Army in 1647; but these must be seen in their context and mutiny was, in fact, a constant part of military life in the first half of the 17th century.

Organised mutiny was developed to a fine art in the 16th century among the soldiers of the Spanish Army of Flanders, whose pay was constantly in arrears. Some incident, perhaps trivial, ignited smouldering discontent; and the soldiers of a garrison, regiment or a whole army would band together to demand their pay and improvements in their conditions, such as a hospital, and payments to the sick and the legatees of the dead. The mutineers then elected a leader and a council to advise him, and negotiated with their commander. The effect of increasingly frequent mutinies on the Spanish campaigns in the Low Countries can be imagined; but it was the only effective form of seeking redress available to the common soldier, and was soon adopted in other European armies. Even the Swedish Army mutinied over arrears of pay in 1633 and again in 1635; and smaller mutinies occurred among troops in the well-paid Dutch service.

Professional soldiers with experience gained in the Thirty Years War introduced the idea of collective bargaining to English and Scottish armies. A notable example was the mutiny of the Scottish army hired, but irregularly paid, by the English Parliament to suppress the popular revolt in Ireland. By the autumn of 1642 discontent had arisen and the officers, 'finding themselves ill payd, and which was worse, not knowing in the time of the civill warr [i.e. in England] who should be their paymaster, and reflecting on the successful issue of the National Covenant of Scotland, bethought themselves of making one also; but they were wise enough to give it ane other name, and therefore christened it a "Mutual Assurance" '. The Earl of Leven, who had only recently arrived to take command of the Army, failed to crush this 'Mutual Assurance' and returned to Scotland. The officers then formed a permanent council of officers with their commander, Robert Monro, as president. This council had a strong say in the conduct and activities of the army thereafter.

In England mutinies of small garrisons were commonplace, whether over the removal of an unpopular commander such as Colonel John Venn, Governor of Windsor; or more commonly as Captain Denys Taylor's report on the mutiny at Henley shows, 'the occasion of the mutiny was that no more money came down'. The circumstances of the Civil War itself also weakened authority as it was not a long step from questioning the authority of the king to disputing that of officers. As Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Gryme commented after one mutiny: 'All that I can do is little enough to appease them seeing their pay is so little, and private incendiaries many'.

The mutinies of the New Model Army must be seen against a background in which soldiers or officers would naturally see mutiny as a means to secure what was due to them. In the New Model Army the chief grievances were their considerable arrears of pay (18 weeks for the Foot and 43 weeks for the Horse and Dragoons) and their need for an indemnity for acts committed during the war. The indemnity was crucially important, for, as a surgeon in the Northern Army warned his fellows, 'If they had not an act of indemnity they should be most of them hanged when they were reduced [i.e. disbanded]: and for an example, told them the judges had hanged fourteen soldiers already which took horses by order from their officers'.

Neither the mutiny itself nor the formation of 'Conventions of Officers' and the election of agents or 'Agitators' by the private soldiers, first in the Horse and then the Foot, are outside contemporary military practice. The politicisation of the Army and its connection with the Levelling movement were certainly radical departures, but this developed after the mutiny had already brought the Army into conflict with the Parliament.


The first stage in the training of any soldier was, as the Drillmaster William Barriffe said, 'the well-managing and handling of their Armes: which may easily be attained by frequent Practice, and the Souldiers thereby brought to use them with ease, safety, and delight: where on the contrary (without

in a

exercise) the easiest Armes become not only troublesome burthens unto the unskilful bearers, but too often prove dangerous and hurtfull, both to themselves and fcllowcs, that rank and file with them'. It was the responsibility of the corporals of the company, under the overall supervision of the sergeants, to train their men how to use pike or musket according to a set series of 'postures' or movements. The large number of training postures were only used as an aid to training and were reduced in action, those for musketeers being reduced to three: 'Make Ready; Present; Give Fire'.

Once they were proficient enough to be reasonably safe in a group, soldiers were formed into the files they would fight in. The file was the basic sub-unit of the company and was 'a sequence of men, standing one behind another, back to belly, in a straight line from Front to Reere, consisting sometimes of six, eight or ten men, on some

1'ton occasions the Spaniards make them twelve deep'. In 1642 the French and Swedish used files of six men, the English used eight and the Dutch still kept to ten. The files were then drawn into groups either of musketeers or of pikemen for training by the sergeants in the five basic aspects of the drill: Distances, Facings, Doublings, Countermarches and Wheelings. These groups would form the next sub-unit of the company, which was sometimes called a 'squadron' in the Dutch and English service, or a 'corporallship' in the Swedish.

The next stage was to draw all the squadrons of the company together for tactical training under the supervision of the captain and his lieutenant. The drill manuals of the day showed a formidable

Infantry drill from John Bingham's Tactiks of Aelian (1616). This series of three illustrations shows the sequence used to bring files closer together. The left-hand file remains stationary while the others turn to face it, close the distance and then face front.

Infantry drill from John Bingham's Tactiks of Aelian (1616). This series of three illustrations shows the sequence used to bring files closer together. The left-hand file remains stationary while the others turn to face it, close the distance and then face front.

number of different tactical styles, but as William Barriffe comments, a captain should 'make use of so many of them, as he shall think fit for his present occasion or exercise'. It is this choice of the essential forms of drill which the Earl of Essex referred to in the opening months of the Civil War when he instructed his officers not to attempt too much with the newly raised soldiers, but 'to bring them to use their arms readily and expertly, and not to busy them in practising the ceremonious forms of military discipline'.

The manuals show a series of tactical formations for the company, but these are simply a training aid, as the company itself was not used as a tactical formation in the field. In action the tactical formation was the regiment, which was divided into three or four 'Grand Divisions' each composed of two or three of the regiment's companies. Each Grand Division was formed in the tactical style taught in company training: a centre of pikemen with wings of musketeers on each flank. To achieve this the regiment's sergeant major drew up its companies and divided them among the Grand

An enlarged view of the New Model infantry at Naseby, from Joshua Sprigge's Anglia Rediviva (1647). Note the 'Forlorn Hope' of musketeers, the artillery pieces sited between regiments, and Lt.-Col. Pride's Regiment in second line. (D. Carter collection)

Divisions; he would then draw out the pikemen from the companies which were to form each separate Grand Division to combine them to form its centre, and then divided the musketeers in two bodies, one for each flank.

Although the King's Army at Edgehill was drawn up in the complex Swedish tactical style this was unusual, and the English usually preferred the simpler Dutch style for their newly raised soldiers. To judge from Richard Elton's work, The Compleat Body of the Art Military, printed after the Civil War, the experience of five years of campaigning did finally produce officers and soldiers capable of successfully performing the more complex styles.

Into Battle

The basic training described above was sufficient to allow a commander to form up his regiments of foot in the open. T his was usually in two lines, with the units positioned so that those in the second line covered the gaps between those in the first, rather like the pieces on a draughts board. Battles such as Edgehill or Naseby were fought on sites which allowed this classic style to be used.

A commander with a weaker force, or simply a better eye for the advantages of the ground, might

"K'vngj M*upu

An enlarged view of the New Model infantry at Naseby, from Joshua Sprigge's Anglia Rediviva (1647). Note the 'Forlorn Hope' of musketeers, the artillery pieces sited between regiments, and Lt.-Col. Pride's Regiment in second line. (D. Carter collection)

"K'vngj M*upu

choose more broken country, especially if he had fewer cavalry than his opponents. Sir William Waller, in particular, was famous for this, as the Royalist Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Slingsby's comment shows: 'Indeed that Generall of the Rebells was the best shifter and chooser of the ground when he was not master of the field that I ever saw, which are great abilityes in a Souldier'.

In broken or wooded country the personal fighting qualities of the soldier and his ability to use his weapons were more important than the unit drill he had been taught. For this kind of scrambling action over ditches and hedgerows, files of musketeers were drawn out from their regiments and formed into separate 'commanded' bodies, as pikemen were of little use. Contemporary commanders held the view that brave but poorly trained soldiers could be used in the open but would stand little chance against veterans in this 'hedge-fighting'. In 1648, for example, when the Scots army invaded England at the opening of the Second Civil War, Sir James Turner favoured the route through Yorkshire rather than Lancashire 'and for this reason only, that I understood Lancashire was a close country, full of ditches and hedges, which was a great advantage the English would have over our raw and undisciplined musketeers, the Parliament's army consisting of experienced and well trained sojors and excellent firemen; on the other hand Yorkshire being a more open countrey and full of heaths, where we both might make use of our horse, and come sooner to push of pike'.

The clash of major armies was only a part of the war; all over the country smaller forces contended for control of territory or strongpoints such as fortified towns or country houses, or simply conducted plundering raids. Swift marching and sudden surprise was the key to success in these small actions. To achieve this both sides commonly formed forces composed of cavalry, dragoons and 'commanded' musketeers, often providing horses for the musketeers or having them ride double with the cavalry troopers. Sir William Waller, whose liking for swift night marches earned him the name 'Night Owl', took this a stage further, and made serious but unsuccessful efforts in 1644 to mount all his infantry with the intention of using the mobility this offered to make up for inferior numbers.

George Monk, a professional soldier who served in Europe and in the Royal Army in Ireland. He was placed in the Tower of London after his capture at the Battle of Nantwich, but later served Oliver Cromwell. Monk enjoyed the close support of the army he commanded in Scotland, and his influence was the key factor in the Restoration of Charles II.

George Monk, a professional soldier who served in Europe and in the Royal Army in Ireland. He was placed in the Tower of London after his capture at the Battle of Nantwich, but later served Oliver Cromwell. Monk enjoyed the close support of the army he commanded in Scotland, and his influence was the key factor in the Restoration of Charles II.

A Last Word.

George Monk had the last word in the Civil Wars since it was his support which made possible the Restoration of Charles II. It seems proper, therefore, to end with his advice: 'It is most necessary for a General in the first place to approve his Cause, and settle an opinion of right in the minds of his Officers and Souldiers: the which can be no way better done, than by the Chaplains of his Army. Also a General ought to speak to the Colonels of his Army to encourage their Officers with a desire to fight with the Enemy; and all the Officers to do the like to their Souldiers. And the better to raise the common Souldiers spirits, let their Officers tell them that their General doth promise them, if they will fight courageously with their Enemy, and do get the day that they shall have, besides the Pillage of the Field, twelve-pence apiece to drink, to refresh their spirits when the business is done. The which I am confident will make the common men fight better, than the best Oration in the world'.

Further Reading.

There are a whole host of books on the Civil War and its military, political and social aspects. Listed below are some of the most useful military works. Bariffe, A Civil War Drill Book (Partizan Press, 1988)

C.H. Firth, Cromwell's Army (London, 1905, 1921 and 1962)

R. Hutton, The Royalist War Effort 1642-1646 (Longman, 1982)

J. Kenyon, The Civil Wars of England (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988)

J.L. Malcolm, Caesar's Due: Loyalty and King Charles 1642-1646 (Royal Historical Society, 1983) S. Peachey & A. Turton, Old Robin's Foot: the equipping and campaigns of Essex's Infantry 1642-1645 (Partizan Press, 1987)

K.A.B. Roberts, London & Liberty: Ensigns of the London Trained Bands (Partizan Press, 1987) I. Ryder, An English Army for Ireland (Partizan Press,


D. Stevenson, Scottish Covenanters and Irish Confederates (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1981)

P. Young and R. Holmes, The English Civil War, A Military History of the Three Civil Wars 1642—1651 (London, 1974)

A very useful forum for those with an interest in the latest developments of this period is the magazine English Civil War Notes and Queries published by Partizan Press at 26 Cliffsea Grove, Leigh-on Sea, Essex SS9 iNQ.

The Plates

A: Peace—The Artillery Garden, c.1620 This plate shows members of the Society of the Artillery Garden practising with their arms in the 'Artillery Garden' from which the name derived. The society was a voluntary association of some of the wealthier London citizens who gathered together to practise weapon-handling and drill, often under the tuition of professional soldiers. Although sometimes mocked by outsiders, the Society did provide a good grounding in these military arts, and its form of training prepared members for their traditional roles as officers of the Militia regiments of the City of London. Members of the Society took their exercises seriously,

Three views of the position 'Order Your Pike'. The first is a close copy from Jacob de Gheyn's Exercise of Arms (1607), the second from an English manual of 1623, and the third a statuette c.i 638 from Cromwell House in Highgate. Note how closely de Gheyn's original design was followed. The statuette gives a good impression of the appearance of a pikeman during the Civil War. (Author's collection, British Library and by courtesy of the Board of Trustees, Royal Armouries)

Three views of the position 'Order Your Pike'. The first is a close copy from Jacob de Gheyn's Exercise of Arms (1607), the second from an English manual of 1623, and the third a statuette c.i 638 from Cromwell House in Highgate. Note how closely de Gheyn's original design was followed. The statuette gives a good impression of the appearance of a pikeman during the Civil War. (Author's collection, British Library and by courtesy of the Board of Trustees, Royal Armouries)

although as much with the intention of excelling in a social accomplishment as with any intention of military preparation. There was no formal uniform for the Society at this time, and members wore their equipment over their civilian clothing. Their equipment conformed to statutory requirements but was often chosen more with an eye to display than the latest developments. Illustrations dating from 1642 show members carrying old-fashioned heavy muskets rather than the lighter pattern then being produced.

Ai: The Double-Armed Man

The English still felt a patriotic nostalgia for the longbow, and its general replacement with firearms had been achieved with some reluctance during Queen Elizabeth's reign. William Neade hoped to re-introduce the national weapon by his invention of a device which allowed a pikeman to attach a longbow to the centre of his pike, so enabling him to hold both in left hand while drawing the bow with his right. It remained popular amongst the voluntary associations in London, particularly for displays, and theorists such as Sir Thomas Kellie and William Barriffe recommended it. There is no evidence that it was ever practised in the field. This citizen is practising Neade's style and so wears the full equipment of a pikeman—gorget, back and

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Howy So/cCierJlancCina fiitt fhatfaofcC theTiAe iuft before fiis rigfitfoot.goucrning it againft^ tfi.um5e, fiis arrrte a httCe ¿ended&'his hancCa&out f fieig/it of nis eyes, Being not BoiincC afrvaies tojet tfie rightfoot forward .

breast, tassets, sword and helmet—in addition to the quiver and wristguard of an archer. The trim of leather strips to the shoulders of the armour and the red plume in his helmet are a conscious imitation of the supposed military dress of the Classical past while his boots show the world that here is a man of substance who normally rides—or at least could, if he chose.

60s Rubberwear

A2: Pikeman

This citizen wears the full equipment of a pikeman as specified by statute, and stands in the classic 'Order Your Pike' position from the drill manual. Neither this man nor his double-armed colleague have water-proofed their armour by blackening or russeting it, preferring instead the display of polished metal. As these amateur enthusiasts were wealthy men, often fabulously so, they would not be polishing it themselves.

Aj: Musketeer

The musketeer has laid down his equipment musket, musket-rest and matchcord—on the ground beside him in the manner prescribed in the manuals. He retains his bandoleer, the heavy cross-hilted sword hung from his baldric, and wears the helmet which completes his statutory equipment. Note the expensive musket stock, elaborately inlaid with ivory, and the gold-trimmed sleeveless buff-coat.

Two views of the 'Saluting Posture' of a musketeer., one from a manual of 1623 an<* the other a statuette from Cromwell House, Highgate. Again, the posture is copied from de Gheyn's original design. The statuette dates from c.1638, but gives a good impression of a musketeer of the Civil War. (By courtesy of the Boards of Trustees of the British Library and the Royal Armouries)

William Barriffe

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B: Recruitment; Oxford, 1643

In the early years of the war men volunteered for service under King or Parliament either through a sense of commitment to the cause or for the wages offered (but seldom paid in full) by recruiting officers. By 1644 most of the infantry of either side were raised by impressment. This plate shows a typical scene in Oxford in 1643, with an officer accompanied by a drummer and a clerk recruiting soldiers for the King's Lifeguard.

Bi: Company Clerk

The Company clerk records the name of a new recruit in the company's muster roll. This officer kept the company's records of soldiers present and payments received. Contemporary writers specified that he ought to be 'very just and honest', a sure indication that many were not. As an officer he wears his own civilian clothing with the addition of the sword a man of his status would only have worn in military service.

B2: Officer, King's Lifeguard of Foot With the exception of the corporals, who wore the regimental coat, and the drummers, who wore whatever the colonel or their captain chose, officers on both sides wore their own civilian clothing. The only indications of rank being a sash and the weapons carried a partizan for a commissioned officer or a halberd for a sergeant. The usual practice was to wear a sash in the 'General's colours' and this officer wears the red sash of his king's service, a feature commonly seen in William Dobson's portraits of gentlemen in the King's Oxford Army. The only other item of military equipment he wears is the gorget at his throat, as his rapier is a part of any gentleman's civilian costume.

Bj: Drummer, King's Lifeguard of Foot Each company of infantry had two drummers on the strength, and each was expected to know 'how to beat all the several points of War' as the drum was used to convey orders in battle or on the march. A drummer was expected to be a mature, intelligent man, the use of drummer boys belonging to a later century as the drum itself was heavy and one of his duties was to carry messages to the enemy and perform the duties of a spy in the process. The drummer's costume was at the discretion of his commander and that of this figure is based upon an

The VVcJih-Mans PoSurcsT

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