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2.12. Of Armour and Munition. Cap. 12.

Of Armour and Munition. Cap. 12.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 HOw well or how ſtrongly our countrey hath béene furniſhed in tymes paſt with armor and artillery, it lyeth not in me as of my ſelfe to make rehearſall. Yet that it lac|ked both in the late tyme of Quéene Mary not onely thexperience of myne elders, but alſo the talke of certaine Spaniards, not yet forgotten, dyd leaue ſome manifeſt notice. Vpon the firſt I néede not ſtand, for few wil denye it. For the ſeconde I haue hearde that when one of the greateſt péeres of Spaine e|ſpyed our nakedneſſe in this behalfe, and did ſolemnely vtter in no obſcure place, that it ſhoulde be an eaſie matter in ſhorte tyme to cõquere England bycauſe it wanted armor, his words were thẽ not ſo raſhly vttered, as they were pollitickly noted. For albeit that for the preſent tyme theyr efficacie was diſ|ſembled, and ſemblaunce made as though he ſpake but meryly, yet at the very enteraunce of thys our gracious Quéene vnto the poſ|ſeſſion of the Crowne, they were ſo proui|dently called to remembrance; and ſuch [...] die reformation ſought of all handes for the redreſſe of this incõuenience, that our [...] was ſooner furniſhed wyth armour and munition, from diuers partes of the [...] (beſide great plentie that was forged here [...] home) then our enemies could get vnderſtã|ding of any ſuch prouiſion to be made. [...] this pollicie alſo was the no ſmall hope c [...]|ceyued by Spanyardes vtterly cut of, [...] of open friendes being nowe become our [...]|crete enemies, and thereto watching a [...] wherein to atchieue ſome heauie exploite a|gaynſt vs and our countrye, dyd there vpon chaunge their purpoſes, whereby Englande obtayned reſt, that otherwyſe might haue ben ſure of ſharp & cruel wars. Thus a Spa|niſh worde vttered by one man at one time ouerthrew or at ye leaſtwiſe hindered ſun [...] priuy practiſes of many at another. In times paſt the chiefe force of Englande conſiſted in their lõg bowes, but now we haue in maner generally giuen ouer that kinde of artillerie and for long bowes in déede doe practize to ſhoote compaſſe for our paſtime: which kinde of ſhooting can neuer yeld any ſmart ſtroke nor beate downe our enemies as our coun|try men were woont to doe, at euery time [...]f néede. Certes the Frenchmen and Rutt [...] [...]eriding our new archerie in reſpect of their corſlets, will not let in open ſkirmiſh yf [...] leyſure ſerue to turne vp their tailes and [...] ſhoote Engliſhe, and all bycauſe our ſtrong ſhooting is decayed and layed in bedde. But if ſome of our Engliſh men nowe lyued [...] ſerued king Edward the third in his warr [...] with Fraunce, the bréeche of ſuch a Ver [...] ſhould haue béene nailed to his [...] with one arrow & an other fethered in his bowels before he ſhoulde haue turned about to [...] who ſhotte the firſt. But as our ſhooting [...] thus in maner vtterly decayed amõg vs [...] way, ſo our countrie men were ſkilful in [...] other poyntes as in ſhooting in ſmall Pieces, the Cal [...]uer, and handling of the Pyke, in the ſeuerall vſes whereof [...] are become very experte. Our armour [...]|fereth not from that of other nations, & th [...]|fore conſiſteth of corſlets, almaine [...] ſhirtes of mayle, Iackes quilted and couered ouer wyth leather, fuſtien o [...] [...] thicke plates of yron that are fowed in [...] ſame, and of which there is no towne [...] [...]|lage that hath not hir conuenient furniture. The ſayd armour and munition alſo [...] in one ſeuerall place appoynted by the [...]|ſent of the whole pariſh, where it is alwayes ready to be had and worne within an houres warning. Sometime alſo it is occupyed [...] EEBO page image 87 pl [...]ſeth the Magiſtrate, eyther to view the a [...]men and take note of the wel kéeping of the ſame, or finally to ſée thoſe that are inrol|led to exerciſe eache one his ſeuerall weapon according to his appointment. Certes there is almoſt no village ſo poore in Englande (be it neuer ſo ſmall) that hath not ſufficient fur|niture in a readines to ſet forth thrée or foure ſoldiors, or one archer, one gunner, one pike & a byll man at the leaſt. No there is not ſo much wanting as their verye lyueries and cappes, which are leſt to be accounted of, if any haſte required. What ſtore of [...]nition & armour the Quéenes maieſtie hath in hir ſtore houſes, it lyeth not in [...] to yelde ac|compt, ſith I ſuppoſe the ſame to be infinite. And where as it was com [...]ily ſayde after the loſſe of Calais that Englande ſhould ne|uer recouer their Ordinance, there left, that ſame is at this time prooued falſe, ſith euen ſome of the ſame perſons doe now confeſſe, that thys lande was neuer better furniſhed wyth theſe thinges in any kinges dayes that raigned ſince the conqueſt. As for the armou|ries of diuers of the Nobilitie (wherof I alſo haue ſéene a part) they are ſo well furniſhed wyth in ſome one Barons cuſtodie, that I haue ſéene thrée ſcore corſlets at once, beſide calyuers, handgunnes, bowes, ſheiefes of arrowes, pykes, bylles, pollaxes, flaſkes, touchboxes, targettes. &c. the verye ſight wherof appalled my courage, what would ye wearing of ſome of thẽ haue done this trow you, if I ſhould vſe them in the field. I would write here of our maner of going to ye wars, but what hath the long blacke gowne to doe with gliſtering armour, what acquaintance can there be betwixt Mars and the Muſes, or how ſhould a man write any thing to the purpoſe of that, wherewith he is nothing ac|quainted.

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