The War Of The Roses

Страница: 11/12

Muster rolls are another source of such information. The muster on 4 September 1457 before the king's officials at Bridport, Dorset, shows that the standard equipment expected was a sallet, jack, sword, buckler and dagger. In addition, about two-thirds of the men had bows and a sheaf or half a sheaf of arrows. There was a sprinkling of other weapons – poleaxes, glaives, bills, spears, axes and staves; and some odd pieces of armour – hauberks, gauntlets, and leg harness. Two men also had pavises, and the officials recommended more pavises be made available.

In May 1455 the mayor of Coventry was ordered by royal signet letter to supply a retinue for the king. The town council decided to supply a hundred men with bows, jacks and sallets, and a captain was elected to lead them.

The retinues supplied for Edward IV's expedition to France are divided into 'lances' in the Continental manner, but it is most unlikely that the forces engaged in the Wars of the Roses were ever formally divided in this manner. Rather they were grouped by weapon and armour, by companies and under the banners of their captains, and grouped into 'vaward', 'main' and 'rearward battles' under the standard of a major figure. The army as a whole would often be commanded by the leading political figure, assisted by military advisers. In the case of the king's armies the commander-in-chief would be the lieutenant or captain of the region: officers such as the Warden of the Marches, Lieutenant of Ireland, or Lieutenant of the North, the latter post being granted to Fauconberg in 1461 and to Warwick in 1462.

Many of the commanders, particularly at company level, were not knights but experienced soldiers, though many of them were subsequently knighted on the field of battle. Lovelace was only an esquire, but rose to be Captain of Kent through his military skills. Trollope was another soldier who rose to high command, and was rewarded for his services by a knighthood at Second St. Albans. Men such as Trollope were frequently the military brains or 'staff officers' behind the magnates who led the 'battles'. On the other hand, constables of towns played a key role in recruiting contingents, and they may often have commanded companies, as may sheriffs. Such men may not have had any military skill.

Although the wars started with small armies of experienced soldiers, as time went on the proportion of veterans diminished and, generally speaking, the armies had insufficient cohesion for elaborate tactics: most battles began with an archery duel, which tended to cancel out the value of the longbow, followed by a vast and contused melee on foot. The commander of an army could do little once the melee commenced, though he might hold back a small mounted reserve under his personal command, or detach a formation prior to the battle to use in an outflanking maneuver.

Large numbers of the troops were mounted – not just the knights and esquires, but many of the men-at-arms. Some of these 'mounted infantry' were used as mounted scouts, flank guards and the like, but apart from an occasional mounted reserve of only 100 men or so, the armies dismounted to do battle, all horses being sent to the rear with the baggage. Primarily this was because of the weapons used and the facts that few mounted men were sufficiently experienced to fight effectively on horseback. However, the fact that many men of all arms were mounted did tend to lead to the formation of special vanguards of all-mounted troops, who were used to spearhead movement prior to a battle.

Because of the fear of treachery, it was essential that the major commanders fight on foot to indicate their willingness to stand and die with their men. It was for this reason that so many of the nobles were so easily killed or captured once their army was defeated. The mounted reserves therefore tended to be composed of lesser knights or bodyguards, and were led by minor commanders, such as Sir John Grey of Codnor, an experienced soldier but a knight of low rank and position, who led the Lancastrian cavalry reserve at Second St. Albans.

Appendix 2 Characters.

Henry V (1387 - 1422) - King of England

Years lived: 1387 - 1422 Years ruled: 1413 - 1422 Son of: Henry IV and Mary de Bohun Married to: Catherine de Valois Children: Henry VI

Henry V, a member of the House of Lancaster, was crowned king in 1413 at the age of 26. Henry spent most of his reign campaigning in France in order to regain territories claimed by his ancestors. The highlight of his three invasions of France (1415, 1417-1421, and 1422) was the Battle of Agincourt fought on October 25, 1415 during the Hundred Year's War. In a span of a few short hours, Henry crushed a much larger French army leaving him in control of Northern France. Henry died at the age of 35 of an unknown illness, leaving the crown to his infant son, Henry VI.

Реферат опубликован: 16/05/2009