Humphrey de Bohun (1309–1361) - 1336th Earl of Hereford, 1336th Earl of Essex from 1338, Lord, High Constable of England 1360–1361, 1326–1327. Miniature from the manuscript "On the Nobility, Wisdom and Prudence of Kings" by Walter de Milemet, Christ Church, XNUMX-XNUMX. London
Uzziah also had an army that went to war in detachments, according to the account in their list, compiled by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the overseer, under the leadership of Hananiah, one of the main dignitaries of the king.
Second Chronicles 26:11
Second Chronicles 26:11
Military story countries and peoples. The previous article told about the "first uniform" that appeared during the Hundred Years War. Today we continue to talk about the events of that distant time. And if last time our conversation was mainly about clothing, today we will try to find out how the recruitment of troops took place then. After all, before dressing the army, it had to be recruited. So, what was the army that resisted the British invasion of France at the beginning of the Hundred Years War, who did it consist of and what principles was it recruited?
Sir Robert Knolles with Sir Thomas Grandison. The English warriors setting out on a campaign under the cross of St. George are dressed in quilted and padded jupons, worn over their armor; some are buttoned or tied in front with laces. The commanders preferred to take off their helmets, replacing them with a high hat during the march, and the second with a headdress that strongly resembles a turban. One has the commander's wand in his hand. Miniature from the Chronicle of France by St. Denis, 1380-1400 Paris, France. British Library, London
And it, as before, included the feudal militia, as well as the troops recruited under the contract, and professional foreign mercenaries. All these soldiers received payment for their service. The feudal structure of France was constantly changing, but the kingdom continued to include the royal domain, five grand duchies, 47 counties, several dozen viscountries, and many other feudal estates, the owners of which bore various titles. This system also included hundreds of chastellainies, which included the most important castles with their surrounding territories, and thousands of smaller seigneuries. In France, there were up to 50 families of nobles (noblesse) or chevalerie (chevalerie), but only a small part of the nobles of them could serve as knights. The majority remained in the rank of squires.
Quite a funny illustration from the manuscript of Walter de Milemet "On the nobility, wisdom and prudence of kings." St. George presents a shield and a spear to Edward III. The reversal of heraldic animals on the right shoulder pads of the depicted knight or on the right side of a horse blanket was sometimes used to show their position with the muzzle forward, because an animal turned back to the enemy, according to the rules of heraldry, was considered "cowardly." However, it was not customary to do this in surcoat, and here we are dealing with an artist's mistake. That is, alas, they were wrong at all times!
The number of combat-ready knights in France ranged from 2350 to 4000. As for the numerous squires who fought side by side with the knights, they also received salaries for their service, but they were paid, of course, much less. These warriors could count on acquiring knightly status only after the expiration of more than one year of service, so that the period of their stay in squires sometimes stretched out for decades. So the knightly estate began to acquire more and more features of a hereditary caste, which had significant privileges, such as exemption from taxes.
The French king is fighting on foot. "Chronicles of France", 1410 Paris. Royal National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague
Although in France there was still a universal conscription - the arrière ban, which covered the entire male population between the ages of 14 and 60, it was actually abandoned at the very beginning of the Hundred Years War. Instead, the main form of feudal conscription was the collection of the nobility (Semonce des Nobles), which concerned the holders of the feudal fiefs, as well as the collection of the militia in cases of emergency (arrière ban après bataille). Knights recruited through the Semonce des Nobles were paid a daily salary, as were contract warriors. "Obligatory service" (Servitutum debitum), which made it possible to collect significant infantry contingents, by the beginning of the XIV century. was in decline, and all that remained of recruiting in the countryside was little more than a form of local militia and "transportation service". On the other hand, French peasants were allowed to have weapon... The situation was serious, and the government issued a decree that gave the peasants the right to provide armed resistance to gangs of robbers - a significant concession for a time when the right to bear arms, given to commoners, could be a threat to the entire existing social order.
As we know, during the Hundred Years War, battles took place not only on land, but also at sea. This miniature from the Chronicle of France, 1410 Paris. The Royal National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague, we see one such scene: the archers of an English ship going in the wind, fire a volley at a French ship, the soldiers on which are protecting themselves from arrows with shields, but they do not try to shoot back against the wind!
The city population attached great importance to the fulfillment of military duty, and by the XIV century. French cities could deploy small armies of infantry and cavalry. Some of these militias were even created on the basis of church parishes, each of which had its own captain. This commander was often a member of one of the most influential guilds and may have belonged to chivalry. But he might not belong, although he very often wore expensive knightly armor.
The feudal army could also be replenished with funds from the collection of rent for the possession of the fief or annual rent (however, this measure fell out of use after 1360).
Archers from the Hundred Years War era are depicted here wearing armor. However, this is a miniature from a work of art telling about the exploits of Alexander the Great, where there are a lot of miniatures, absolutely fantastic in content. Manuscript "The Book and the True Story of the Good King Alexander", 1400-1425. Paris. British Library, London
The motives for serving aristocrats in the feudal army remained as traditional as the recruitment system. Ethics, corporate spirit and national identity persisted, despite the fact that the knightly estate was characterized by excessive extravagance and overly sophisticated manners. War also remained the main means of achieving social and material conditions. The self-esteem of the warrior was supported by the knowledge that he or his ancestors won fame or fortune through military valor. The cult of heroes among this warlike class included nine of the most revered warriors of ancient literature and more closely related historical heroes. These included: Hector, Alexander the Great, Gaius Julius Caesar, Josiah, David, Judas Maccabee, King Arthur, Charlemagne and Geoffrey de Bullon - plus the saints consecrated by church tradition - Saint Michael, George and Mauritius. In the XV century. this pantheon also added modern heroes, such as: The Black Prince, Bertrand du Gueclin, Boucico, Don Pedro the Cruel, Jacques Lalen and others, whose exploits were vividly described in knightly novels.
Let us once again turn to the work of Walter Milemet "On the nobility, wisdom and prudence of kings." Such throwing machines were used at a time when King Edward III was still studying on this, specially written for him "book of knowledge"
Side by side with this feudal elite, professional soldiers hired by contract fought. After such a contract system proved its reliability, it began to supplant all other forms of recruiting troops. By 1350, contracts, both oral and written, increasingly regulated the hiring of soldiers and servants, noblemen and commoners. The English system of full contract, including prepayment, was rare in France. Typical can be considered the detachment of lord Bomanoir, recruited by contract by the French king in 1351. This detachment included 4 knights, 18 squires and 30 archers or crossbowmen. Most of the cavalrymen in such detachments belonged to the small landed aristocracy, whose estates provided very modest income, and since war was the only worthy occupation for such gentlemen, many of them became professional soldiers. True, most of the commanders came from the environment of the noble aristocracy, which suggests that the internal structure of such detachments reflected the peculiarities of the feudal system. But after the XIV century. the commanders of the detachments began to be called only according to their place of origin, which suggests that most of them were of common origin or illegitimate.
The wars of the era of the Hundred Years War, as we have already noted more than once, were completely unchivalrously cruel. "Wenceslas Bible", 1389, Germany. Austrian National Library, Vienna
Next are foreign mercenaries, although in fact this term is not entirely accurate, since most of the foreign troops were recruited on the territory of those states that had especially close ties with the French crown. These could be famous Genoese crossbowmen or Castilian sailors. In the armies of the empire, which included men at arms, equipped by the bishop of Liege, each soldier received 15 livres for the campaign, plus another 000 livres for each day of service. In addition to this, the banner knight, that is, the banner bearer, received 50 sous, the banner - 40 sous, the knight - 20, and the squire 10 sous as an advance for each month of service from the moment of hiring. They pledged to hand over all their captives to the king, but they could keep their horses and equipment. If they themselves were captured, the French king had to redeem them, as well as compensate for the cost of all those horses that they lost during the hostilities. As you can see, the terms of employment were quite favorable. So, if a person survived, he received a substantial jackpot for his service.
The infantrymen are burning down the peasant houses. It is very well shown that the bows of the archers are much taller than their height. "Chronicles of France", 1410 Paris. Royal National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague
The most famous infantry unit of the French army in the early years of the Hundred Years War was undoubtedly the Genoese crossbowmen. They were complemented by the Genoese infantry sergeants and the Italian ragazzini, the inhabitants of the Alps, who were probably used as light infantry.
Naval and land forces from the Iberian Peninsula helped the French during the war for Brittany in 1342, and 15 years later, Charles of Navarre ferried 224 men at arms and 1120 infantry across the sea to fight in Normandy.
Robbery. Miniature from the Chronicle of France by St. Denis, 1380-1400 Paris, France. British Library, London
Who commanded the mercenary forces? In the period between the truce in Bretigny (1360) and the end of the XIV century. the French were led by military leaders who came from the clan aristocracy, although among them there were also soldiers of an ordinary origin. The French government maintained over 1600 nobles to lead the military units, of whom only less than 350 acted in this role relatively regularly. But only 180 were awarded recognition as the "royal officer corps", and it was they who at the end of the XIV century. represented the real military aristocracy of France. Most of them were natives of Normandy, Brittany, Western France and the environs of Paris.