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Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:58 pm
by Phil the Grips
Other states, famously in Italy but all over the continent, buy in external troops so that they have an impartial force to look after their military affairs which is good for their mercantile interests and their political stability (read "The Prince" by Machiavelli) and in return the soldiers make a load of money rm the contracts they sign, get experience (which means they increase in how much they can charge), get the opportunity for loot, are less restricted by social conventions "back home" and can come back to Blighty as nouveau riche able to buy their way into the aristocracy through marriage- happened in the C18/19th too with the private armies in India

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:04 pm
by gregory23b
Lid, 'archer' - is a man who shoots a bow, it is not a social class. Ie if you replace 'archer' with 'commoner' then you will have a more accurate view.

Archers, 'billmen' and sundry other people with weapons are invariably commoners unless knights and upwards.

As Phil says, it is more about getting the influence or cash or in the case of the Pastons, becoming more successful over the generations, Clement Paston was not a knight, yet John 2 (his great grandson) was knighted - officially an aristocrat, although at the bottom rung in reality.

Also 'class' is not that accurate a term either as it is not directly analogous to what we perceive as 'class'. There were land owning peasants who were quite wealthy and poor knights, yet both inhabited different social spheres. Nowadays landowning is seen as part of the 'class' descriptions - landowning 'classes' for one.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:08 pm
by narvek
Lidi:
hadn't noticed which exactly year are you asking but just short about the mercenaries of mine likeness. From 1360-1370s in France were grouzps called free companies or just companies, which were a great fighting machines of midclass pro soldiers of such a great quality, they beated french army of 10 000 (by Froissart) at battle of Brignais 6th April 1362.

They owned a few castles from which spread a terror on arounds. Real menace for a trevellers or anybody. Some of the leaders where higherborns ie. Bertrand de Guiselin. But most of them were just thugs, even when bloody rich :lol:

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:12 pm
by lidimy
(read "The Prince" by Machiavelli)
I have - I thought he was opposed to the use of mercenaries though :? (probably just misread it!)

Jorge - I know 'bout the class thing too, I wasn't implying that they were a seperate class (or feudal group). More interested in how they'd move up,

so looks like, mercenary it is.

-Oh! Squire! Why didn't I think of that earlier!!!

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:14 pm
by lidimy
Sorry, to clarify, was thinking late WoTR xD

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:17 pm
by Phil the Grips
Read it again- mercenaries have their time and place in certain types of warfare and political climate.

Squire is just as variable too- some periods he was a boy in training until he became a knight, then it was a rank that many held into old age as they could have all the social status of being a knight without having to pay the taxes and have the duties involved while paying someone else to do that for him, then eventually it becomes a title for the local Justice of the Peace in the C18th/19th, though you it can still be bandied about today.

But it is a better, and a more likley, place to start.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:20 pm
by lidimy
Just re-read. Time and place indeed!

Anyway that's not the point- thanks for your help. :D Cleared up my problem a bit.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:25 pm
by gregory23b
"More interested in how they'd move up,

so looks like, mercenary it is. "

Like any other commoner, is the point - 'archer' is a red herring.

Mercs are not common in England in WOTR other than as foreigners - (the professional hired men, Penney etc are 'mercs' - but no more or less likely to 'move up' than any other commoner.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:28 pm
by lidimy
OK, my query wasn't exactly English specific anyway :D I guess England wasn't exactly in a position to be giving away men in the WoTR!

Fankoo :D

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:30 pm
by gregory23b
Well it was, Burgundy made use of men in the 1470s, as did Spain in 1493.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:31 pm
by lidimy
Really? Wow that's surprising! How come?!

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:39 pm
by narvek
And just to add: knight was in mine times the most sought after rank. ie. John of Luxenburg was knighted in the age of 26 years as a king, and famous warrior and jouster.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:41 pm
by narvek
oups...quite OT

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:42 pm
by lidimy
OT?

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:44 pm
by narvek
lidimy wrote:OT?
Off Topic...you're talking WOTRs and I'm talking 100YRW:)

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:46 pm
by lidimy
Oh, doesn't matter :D Any info is good :D

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:48 pm
by narvek
Well, not really, the end of 100YRW is called:"the end of knighthood" in military terms. Lately it was even in civil, because merchants were rich enough to buy the title:(

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:51 pm
by lidimy
I meant 'any info is good' as in 'it's more stuff for me to know' rather than refering to it's suitability to the question, but yeh :D

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:53 pm
by narvek
lidimy wrote:I meant 'any info is good' as in 'it's more stuff for me to know' rather than refering to it's suitability to the question, but yeh :D
Ahh, I'm rather the "short period, deep study" type

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:56 pm
by Dave B
gregory23b wrote:Well it was, Burgundy made use of men in the 1470s, as did Spain in 1493.
The Valois Dukes of burgundy* kept a bodyguard of english archers for quite some period. they also used quite a number of english archers in thier various wars of the 15th century. English kings used quite a lot of burgundian gunners.

Some of this exchange of men was by formal agreement of the two states, remembering that Burgundy was out ally against the french for most of the 1st half of the 15thC. Some was just basic mercinary activity - bands of men looking for the highest price for thier skills

*Phillip the bold - 1367 - 1404
John the fearless - 1409 - 1419
Phillip the good - 1419 - 1467
Charles the bold 1467 - to 1477

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:21 pm
by lidimy
Thanks Dave B :D

Another question (sorry!)

Within the army, were men able to switch jobs? Or was it once an archer, always an archer (and likewise; once a mercenary, always a mercenary etc)

?

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:27 pm
by narvek
lidimy wrote:Thanks Dave B :D

Another question (sorry!)

Within the army, were men able to switch jobs? Or was it once an archer, always an archer (and likewise; once a mercenary, always a mercenary etc)

?
archer is not job....its a type of soldier.
and mercenary is another on...you can have a mercenary archer, merc. crosbowmen, merc. siege building machine builder :twisted:

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:42 pm
by narvek
narvek wrote:
lidimy wrote:Thanks Dave B :D

Another question (sorry!)

Within the army, were men able to switch jobs? Or was it once an archer, always an archer (and likewise; once a mercenary, always a mercenary etc)

?
archer is not job....its a type of soldier.
and mercenary is another on...you can have a mercenary archer, merc. crosbowmen, merc. siege machine builder and/or operator etc. :twisted:

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:03 pm
by lidimy
OK, so type of soldier, was it normal for an archer to become a different type of soldier if he wanted?

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:13 pm
by PaulMurphy
In most cases, archers were expected to become a different type of soldier quickly - if you have 1500 archers, who can shoot 10 arrows per minute, then the first 10 minutes of the battle will use up 150000 arrows. As a result, archers shot for a very limited time, and then engaged in hand to hand combat. They were being paid more than a standard footsoldier throughout almost all of the medieval period because they added a valuable skill, but once they were out of arrows, they were an expensive and worthless force unless they could also fight with other weapons.

Don't think in Victorian terms of cavalry, infantry and artillery, with specialist engineering and medical corps - think of a general army where everyone has 2 or 3 useful skills, and maybe 10 people per side are real specialists such as a master gunner or a siege miner.

Paul.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:16 pm
by narvek
You mean after spending half a life honing his ie. shooting skills he would decide to take up a bill a change his career? I don't think so, cause his life depended on skill to kill:)

But its for sure the archers used even close-combat weapons when threatened. Not wise to try shoot guy few fts from you.

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:18 pm
by lidimy
Thanks very much Paul, that makes sense. I really should have kown to apply that concept to this context :roll:

That's what falchions are for aren't they?

How come archers have specialist swords? Was asked this by an 8 year old and I was completely dumbfounded, so there's probably an obvious answer to be had!

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:22 pm
by narvek
Falchion is not PURELY arcer sword.

Again, which period are we talking?

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:24 pm
by lidimy
Sorry - thought it was :oops:

Same period, late 15th.

What was so great about the falchion then? Did archers make use of normal swords too or exclusivle Fs?

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:29 pm
by narvek
lidimy wrote:Sorry - thought it was :oops:

Same period, late 15th.

What was so great about the falchion then? Did archers make use of normal swords too or exclusivle Fs?
Don't have too big insight into 15C but isn't a falchion bit ancient for that time?
Falchion is great cause it's swift, easy to un sheathe and deals a good damage, usable as ax etc...but for poorer archer i would guess an axe or some kind of big knife would be better.