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Ian Alexander





Joined: 06 Jan 2017

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed 02 Jan, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Common infantry between 13th century to early 15th century.         Reply with quote

Hi. Iíve been doing some reading around English common infantry in the 14th century, particularly looking at spear and bill men. In the reading iíve done I can find reference to common infantry in the English/Welsh/Scottish wars of the late 13th/early 14th century, on both sides. I can also find information about common infantry in the early wars of roses in the early 15th century. But everything iíve read about the hundred years ago war separates the army into common archers and noble knights and men-at-arms. No common non-archer infantry! Is this an accurate picture of the Hundred Yearsí War English armies? And if so why is there this gap between the Welsh/Scottish wars and the wars of the roses where commoners become strangely absent from English non-archer infantry only to appear again later on? Thanks.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 776

PostPosted: Wed 02 Jan, 2019 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Ian and welcome to the group.

I think in part it has to do with geography. The English/Scottish/Welsh wars as well as the War of the Roses took place on the Island of Britain. More chance to recruit of force the commoners to join the military. With the Hundred Years War these troops would have to be shipped to France from England to participate. Considering the nature of the war, mainly raids, I would rather have professional soldiers who could ride to increase my mobility which in turn lead to some of the big name battles of the war. I know that there are those who know their history better then I who will give more and better information.

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Ian Alexander





Joined: 06 Jan 2017

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed 02 Jan, 2019 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply and welcome Happy Yeah that makes some sense. Although iíve heard it said about the yeoman archers, that they werenít really conscripts or levies, but very skilled professional soldiers who chose a career in the army. If thatís true of archers, I imagine there were also yeomen who equally were skilled with pole weapons and could make up a valuable part of an army of this time? Why were they not taken?

Oh maybe they were but just that the articles iíve read focus only on the men-at-arms and the archer because they were the most significant?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,877

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 2:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, here are some serfs/peasants.
http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/lansing/c.../Week6.pdf

I don't have access to all of, nor have borrowed/owned
The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham (1376-1422)
(wow, now in paperback, I'll grab one soon)

Nor really looked at (remember all) Froissart lately.

I do remember somewhat Edward I and his expeditions into Wales and some of the texts discuss his army.

The London Rolls and other texts at
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/

are quite useful in research

I may be extrapolating a bit but in the UK by the 1300s, men at arms are conscripts that survived and freeing them from serfdom (if only to a life as a soldier). Militia were men at arms and all expected to turn out. Little changed about UK militia law until past the Napoleonic era and similarly in other countries. Able body men of given ages expected to respond. All free men, in a simplistic view
https://peersofbeinan.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/medieval-militias-a-brief-history-of-england-and-europes-primary-defense-forces/

Between jstor and google books, archive.org and other sources, look to all the editions of
https://www.jstor.org/journal/englhistrevi
\

More reading than I'll ever do Wink but the British History online site alone has vast resources, as well as the fordham university Medieval Sourcebook links and when in doubt, one of my first internet bookmarks
http://www.sirclisto.com/

Cheers
GC

edit
PS
Now see what you have driven me to? Totally sidetracked down a rabbit hole
http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no99024320/
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Ian Alexander





Joined: 06 Jan 2017

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow thereís a lot to go on there! Thanks thatís great! Iíll enjoy reading/researching!
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Ian Alexander





Joined: 06 Jan 2017

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Itís easy to get lost on those websites if you donít have any particular path to follow. Itís a bit like throwing a bunch of darts blindfolded and hoping for a bullseye! Interesting but frustrating too.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 468

PostPosted: Fri 04 Jan, 2019 2:29 am    Post subject: Re: Common infantry between 13th century to early 15th cent         Reply with quote

Ian Alexander wrote:
Hi. Iíve been doing some reading around English common infantry in the 14th century, particularly looking at spear and bill men. In the reading iíve done I can find reference to common infantry in the English/Welsh/Scottish wars of the late 13th/early 14th century, on both sides. I can also find information about common infantry in the early wars of roses in the early 15th century. But everything iíve read about the hundred years ago war separates the army into common archers and noble knights and men-at-arms. No common non-archer infantry! Is this an accurate picture of the Hundred Yearsí War English armies? And if so why is there this gap between the Welsh/Scottish wars and the wars of the roses where commoners become strangely absent from English non-archer infantry only to appear again later on? Thanks.

From the middle of the 14th century onwards, the keywords you need to look for are armati or armed men. You can find English kings bringing spearmen and knifemen to France at the beginnning of the Hundred Years' War if you look, Kelly DeVries recently published translations of all the 14th century sources for Crecy and Randall Moffat is finishing a book on the militia in 14th century England.

People who have read the primary sources don't seem sure that there was a class of billmen without bows or harness in the Wars of the Roses. It might be that the bills were either armed men, or archers who also had a staff.

www.bookandsword.com
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Ian Alexander





Joined: 06 Jan 2017

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri 04 Jan, 2019 2:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thatís great thanks. Iíll check out some of those links. Interesting that troops may have been multifunctional like that.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,877

PostPosted: Fri 04 Jan, 2019 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A somewhat recent publication of collaborative work.
https://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Later-Medieval-England/dp/0199680825
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Ian Alexander





Joined: 06 Jan 2017

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat 05 Jan, 2019 1:37 am    Post subject: Re: Common infantry between 13th century to early 15th cent         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
Ian Alexander wrote:
Hi. Iíve been doing some reading around English common infantry in the 14th century, particularly looking at spear and bill men. In the reading iíve done I can find reference to common infantry in the English/Welsh/Scottish wars of the late 13th/early 14th century, on both sides. I can also find information about common infantry in the early wars of roses in the early 15th century. But everything iíve read about the hundred years ago war separates the army into common archers and noble knights and men-at-arms. No common non-archer infantry! Is this an accurate picture of the Hundred Yearsí War English armies? And if so why is there this gap between the Welsh/Scottish wars and the wars of the roses where commoners become strangely absent from English non-archer infantry only to appear again later on? Thanks.

From the middle of the 14th century onwards, the keywords you need to look for are armati or armed men. You can find English kings bringing spearmen and knifemen to France at the beginnning of the Hundred Years' War if you look, Kelly DeVries recently published translations of all the 14th century sources for Crecy and Randall Moffat is finishing a book on the militia in 14th century England.

People who have read the primary sources don't seem sure that there was a class of billmen without bows or harness in the Wars of the Roses. It might be that the bills were either armed men, or archers who also had a staff.


That upcoming book by Randall Moffat looks good. But I canít find an author by that name through a google search! I can find a Randy Moffat but he seems to be writing sci-fi novels! The only Randall Moffat that comes up is a Canadian broadcaster.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 468

PostPosted: Sat 05 Jan, 2019 2:18 am    Post subject: Re: Common infantry between 13th century to early 15th cent         Reply with quote

Ian Alexander wrote:
Sean Manning wrote:
Ian Alexander wrote:
Hi. Iíve been doing some reading around English common infantry in the 14th century, particularly looking at spear and bill men. In the reading iíve done I can find reference to common infantry in the English/Welsh/Scottish wars of the late 13th/early 14th century, on both sides. I can also find information about common infantry in the early wars of roses in the early 15th century. But everything iíve read about the hundred years ago war separates the army into common archers and noble knights and men-at-arms. No common non-archer infantry! Is this an accurate picture of the Hundred Yearsí War English armies? And if so why is there this gap between the Welsh/Scottish wars and the wars of the roses where commoners become strangely absent from English non-archer infantry only to appear again later on? Thanks.

From the middle of the 14th century onwards, the keywords you need to look for are armati or armed men. You can find English kings bringing spearmen and knifemen to France at the beginnning of the Hundred Years' War if you look, Kelly DeVries recently published translations of all the 14th century sources for Crecy and Randall Moffat is finishing a book on the militia in 14th century England.

People who have read the primary sources don't seem sure that there was a class of billmen without bows or harness in the Wars of the Roses. It might be that the bills were either armed men, or archers who also had a staff.


That upcoming book by Randall Moffat looks good. But I canít find an author by that name through a google search! I can find a Randy Moffat but he seems to be writing sci-fi novels! The only Randall Moffat that comes up is a Canadian broadcaster.

This guy https://weber.academia.edu/RandallMoffett

Remember that there was a big difference between armies in England and armies overseas, and between English armies in 1300 and armies in 1400. The whole free adult male population was liable to service at home, but if you wanted them to spend six months in France they needed to be paid so kings thought very carefully about who to recruit. There was no point in bringing the guys with just a staff and a knife to France, they would just eat up the king's bread and drink down his silver and there were plenty of barely-armed refugees in France willing to serve for food. As far as I know, Anne Curry's work focuses on the second kind of army, because big spending produces mountains of documents.

Edward III's march to and siege of Calais in 1346/1347 cost him 127,000 pounds, about four years of peacetime revenue, and involved an average of 10,000 troops in the camp outside the city. Meanwhile the Scots invaded and the militia came out to meet them at Neville's Cross. That also involved about 9,000 men, but the cost to the crown was about 308 pounds, and within two weeks the Scots had been defeated and hundreds of ransomable prisoners had been taken (Geoff Mortimer ed., Early Modern Military History, pp. 9-10).

www.bookandsword.com
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Ian Alexander





Joined: 06 Jan 2017

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat 05 Jan, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all this guys, itís been really helpful, has answered my questions and given loads of places to do more research!
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