H. D. (Henry Duff) Traill.

Social England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) online

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from printing any Bibles in the English tongue except by
permission of the Lord Cromwell, Keeper of the Privy Seal.
A revised edition of the Great Bible, with a prefatory letter
by Cranmer, was issued the following year, and numerous
editions followed. The curates and parishioners of every parish
were commanded to obtain a copy and place it in the church




lor the common use of the people, the price being fixed, by the
king's command, at ten shillings unbound, and not exceeding
twelve shillings bound and clasped. From this translation of


the Bible comes the version of the Psalms which is still used
in the Prayer-book.

The next important translation of the Bible is the Geneva
version, the first edition of which was issued in 1500 at Geneva.




" Breeches '



This version is most commonly known as the "Breeches"
Bible, from the quaint translation in Genesis iii. 7. It seems
to be a popular belief that copies of the " Breeches Bible " are
rare, whereas in reality no Bible is so common, for in the fifty
years after its first publication over a hundred editions were
issued. The notes and translation of this version have, as is
natural, a strong Calvinistic tendency, for the work was done
by Nonconformists residing in Geneva. Thus it never became
an authorised version, being, as James I. said, " the worst trans-
lated of all English Bibles," but its handy size and division
into verses made it popular with the ordinary people.




(Woodcut in the Great L'Me f 15SO.)

During the reign of Elizabeth a new translation of the
Bible was undertaken, in order to supply a version free from
the party spirit of the Geneva Bible, and containing the latest
work in Biblical scholarship. The work was superintended by
Archbishop Parker, who gave out various portions to different
bishops to translate, lie himself revising the whole as well as
translating certain portions. This version is known, on account
of the translators, as the " Bishops' Bible," and the first edition
was issued in 15GS. It was soon afterwards authorised to be read
in churches, and Convocation issued an order to compel bishops
to purchase copies both for their own houses and for their
cathedrals, and in the same way many parish churches Avere
forced to acquire it. The various editions all show consider-




able alterations, especially in the New Testament, and their The Au -

, . . thorised

effect is to be traced in our present version. version.

In 1607 forty-seven translators set to work on another
translation of the Bible under the direction of Bancroft, and
ended their undertaking in 1610. They followed as far as
possible the " ordinary Bible read in churches, commonly called
the Bishops' Bible," though it is not possible to determine
which edition of it ; and their version, which is still our


fS^lHic'.L \ r l V-v "i '


(Woodcut in the Bidwps' Bible of 1568.)

authorised version, was issued in 1611. Though it was founded
on the Bishops' Bible, many excellent renderings were accepted
from the Rheims and Douay versions. The Greek editions
used for the New Testament \verc Beza's of 1582 and Stephens'
of 1550, which in their turn were largely taken from the Greek
Testament of Erasmus.

THE eleven troublous years occupied by the reigns of Edward
VI. and Mary are full of wars and rumours of wars. They
witnessed more fjo-hting within the four seas than had been




c. w. c. seen since the end of the \Vurs of the Roses, and no such
TheDevel time of turmoil was to coinr ag;iin till the outbreak of the

opment of Q rea t Rebellion in 1042. The time was specially notable for
the Art of L J

war. the desperate fighting between Englishmen, in the three great

rebellions that of the men of Devon and Cornwall in favour
of Romanism in 1549, that of Kett's east-country men directed
against social abuses in the same year, and, lastly, Wyatt's
rising in the winter of 1552-54, aimed against Queen Mary's
Spanish match. In addition, two important episodes of foreign
war took place Somerset's invasion of Scotland, ending in the
battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547, and Mary's disastrous strife
with France in 1557-58.

Very considerable forces were put into the field on several
of these occasions Somerset took 1 8,000 men into Scotland
in 1547, and there must have been as large a number in arms
in various parts of England in 1549, when the Devon and
Norfolk rebellions were both needing suppression. Luckily,
we have very full authorities for the details of most of the
lighting, information being as full for the sixteenth century as
it is scanty for the fifteenth.

Lessons The new characteristics which we begin to note in the

continent. English armies of the middle years of the century are changes
drawn from the experience of Continental wars. The first and
most obvious is the growing numbers of the cavalry as opposed
to the foot-soldiery, and the abandonment of the old English
custom of making the horseman dismount on the battlefield
and using him only to strengthen the line of infantry. Since
the heavy cavalry of Francis L, aided by the judicious em-
ployment of artillery, had broken at Marignano (1515) the
hitherto unconquerable pikemen of Switzerland, the reputation
of the mailed horseman had been much rehabilitated on the
Continent, and it was once more expected that he should be
able, under favourable circumstances, to ride down infantry.
Pmt the infantry must be caught unprepared or else shaken
by the use of firearms before the charge was delivered upon
them. Hence came the practice of furnishing cavalry with
harquebuses or pistols, to enable them to open gaps in the

In the army which Somerset commanded at Pinkie there
were six thousand horse to ten thousand foot, the largest pro-




portion of the former that had ever yet been seen in an
English army. Naturally, therefore, in the battle itself there
was much more use of the cavalry arm than had been seen in
any tight on British ground since Edward I.'s victory at Falkirk.
It is worth noting that to raise this large body of horse
Somerset had, contrary to English custom, enlisted several
bands of foreign mercenaries. Among the men at arms were
a body of Italians under a captain named Malatesta. Many
of the hackbut men or harquebusiers also were Spaniards or
Italians, commanded by Pedro Gamboa, a Spanish soldier of
fortune. Apparently, two hundred out of the six hundred of
these primitive dragoons were foreigners. To eke out the horse
the " Bulleners " had also been brought across the water. These



(Tower of London.)

were a corps of five hundred light cavalry, enlisted for service
as the garrison of Boulogne ; they were the nearest approach
to a permanent regiment of regular troops that had yet been
seen in England. Peace existing with France, it was possible
to bring them over for the Scottish war.

The infantry were still " bows and bills " of the old fashion, The use of
but they were supplemented by a certain amount of troops
furnished with firearms, though we do not hear of more than
six hundred of these "hackbutters afoot," as Holinshed calls
them. The artillery was far more numerous and also more
movable than it had been in the armies of the last genera-
tion, and there was a considerable body of pioneers with the

The Scots came out, as of old, with their great masses of
pikemen in solid squares. To some thirty thousand foot they
had but eight hundred or a thousand horse, and this force,



divided into two small bodies, did them no service in the dav,
save threatening for one moment to attack the English artil-
lery in flank, an enterprise from which they promptly swerved
when they saw succour approaching.

The Les- The tight of Pinkie was not one of the battles of the old

sons of . . , , . . . ...

pinkie. type, in which the Scots waited in position as at Falkirk,
Bannockburn, or Flodden to receive the English attack. Both
parties rapidly advancing to seize the same point of vantage,
they came into line against each other on the side of the hill,
the Scots on the lower, the English on the higher slope.
Somerset's cavalry had outmarched his infantry and guns, in
their haste to occupy the crest of the ridge, and hence they
got into action long before the rest of the army was up. The
main body of the English horse, some 3,200 lances in two
divisions, charged downhill on to the Scottish van, the most
advanced of the three " battles " in which the enemy was
advancing. The solid mass of pikemen flung the cavalry back
with great loss, but could not pursue them up the hill, along
whose crest the rest of the English army was now getting
into line. They remained halted where they were, in a position
half-way up the slope, which meant ruin whether they advanced
or retreated. Somerset ordered forward his guns to the edge
of the ridge, sent forward archers and hackbutters to gall the
Scottish columns, and charged them again with the whole of
his cavalry, when they began to falter. This time the horse-
men broke into the gaps in the line of spears, rolled the
shattered masses downhill, and massacred them as they fled.
Thus Pinkie, like Falkirk (Vol. II., p 51.), was a demon-
stration of the powerlessness of the pike against horsemen
combined with missile weapons. If it had not been for the
cannon and archery the columns might no doubt have held
their own against the cavalry. The crash with which Lord
Grey's first charge was thrown 'back is described as being
fearful. The Scots " stood at defence, shoulders nigh together,
the fore ranks stooping low before, well nigh to kneeling, their
fellows behind holding their pikes in both hands, the one end
of the pike against the right foot, the other against the enemy's
breast, so nigh as place and space would suffer, so thick that
a bare finger shall as easily pierce through the bristles of an
angry hedgehog as any encounter the front of their pikes."



From this formidable mass Grey's cavalry were dashed back
with ease ; they could not get near the men in the hostile
front line, and fell stricken, horse and rider, eight feet in front
of it. But when, instead of a cavalry charge, the pikemen had
to face salvoes of artillery delivered from a distance of two


hundred yards, and a pelting tire of archery, the very dense-
ness of their array was their ruin. They could not stand the
fire for long, broke, and then were charged, and fled down the
slope, "leaving the hillside like a woodyard," from the countless
staves of the pikes that they cast away.

In the year 1549 we find that Somerset used an unprece-
dented number of foreign mercenaries against the rebels not


The Re-


(Tower of Lninl"i>.)



merelv ;i f< i \v hundred harquebusiers such as had hem seen ;it
Pinkie, hut largo corps of both horse and foot. It seems a
curious instance of the irony of fate that against the devoted
Romanists who raised the Devonshire rebellion, Somerset
employed a regiment of Italian foot, under one Spinola, all

armed with the harquebus, it
would appear; while at the same
moment the riotous Reformers of
Norfolk were being put down by
a force under Northumberland
which included 1,400 Protestant
Herman lanzknechts. Probably
this employment of foreigners on
a large scale was dictated as much
by a fear of the possible mis-
behaviour of English shire-levies
when opposed to rebels, as by a
reliance on the disciplined courage
of the Italians or Germans, or a
confidence in the superiority of
their new firearms to the old
English bow. Indeed, the bow-
men do not seem to have felt any
inferiority to the harquebusiers;
it was not the deficiency of their
infantry weapons, but their almost
entire want of cavalry, that was
the ruin of the rebels. For both
in Devon and Norfolk the in-
surgents could put few or no
horsemen into the field ; the gentry
and richer yeomanry, who alone
were wont to serve in the mounted
arm, having, almost without exception, remained loyal to the
Government. Kett had a few scores of horse in his cam]) at
Household Heath, but they shirked the fighting, and are said
to have been "good for booty alone and not for blows."

It was this want of horse which caused the rebels in both
parts of England to prefer defending entrenched positions,
bridges, or barricaded villages, to facing the king's troops in

MILITARY COSTUME, 1530 15(50. (MS. Aug. A. iii.)

Jill- 27/7? XXW FORCES.

the open field. Nearly ;ill the fighting took place in or about
towns or villages, or in front of fortified camps, and the
engagements, though fierce and frequent, did not take the
shape of battles. It is to he noted that cannon had grown
common in England during the last generation, and that the
rebels found it easy to obtain them, partly (it would seem)
by taking them from ships for merchant vessels in those
troublous times generally carried a few small guns and partly
by seizing them from the houses and castles of the neighbour-
ing gentry. Both in Devon and Norfolk we hear a good deal
of the insurgents' artillery, and Kett's master-gunner, one
William Miles, seems to have handled his guns very efficiently
and done considerable service with them.

That Somerset and his successor, Northumberland, were
wise, from their own point of view, when they employed
foreigners against English insurgents, is sufficiently shown by
the events of 1553-54. The native levies had no affection or
loyalty whatever for either of the Protectors ; their only feel-
ing of respect and obedience was for their sovereign, and for
the self-seeking minister they had nothing but distrust. This
appeared clear enough when Northumberland raised troops to
support the usurpation of his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane
Grey, and to put down the adherents of Queen Mary, the
obvious heir to the throne by all rules of succession. First
the host sent out under the Protector's son, and afterwards
that which he himself led out for the invasion of the
eastern counties, melted away when bidden to attack the
Queen's levies. Not a man could be induced by personal
attachment to the Protector to strike a blow against the
rightful Queen.

When Wyatt, a few months later, raised Kent in arms to
protest against Mary's Spanish match, he was well aware of
this fact. He and his confederates may have contemplated
the Queen's ultimate deposition, but they kept their plan to
themselves, protested their loyalty, and only claimed to be
rising against evil councillors and traitorous advisers. The
rebels' proclamation impeached the ministers, but said no
word against Mary herself. It was this fact that brought
about Wyatt's first successes, as well as his ultimate failure.
Men joined him because they disliked the Spanish match and



the predominance of the Romanists at Court. But they began
to melt away from him when the Queen made her ministers'
quarrel her own, came forward in person to call for her
subjects' loyal service, and showed herself at the head of her
forces. It was the conviction that after all they were traitors,
levying war against their lawful mistress, that made Wyatt's
men leave their colours and disperse in the latter days of the
rising. When the final attack on London was delivered,
less than a thousand rebels remained with their leader, and
these were the desperate zealots who could not endure
Popery, or the men who had made themselves so prominent
that they knew that no tardy submission would bring them

It is worth while noting that during Wyatt's rebellion we The
learn that the organisation of the London militia into " bands"
with a fixed uniform had been completed. All had been
clothed in white coats, and in the fighting about Charing
Cross and Westminster, much confusion was caused by the
fact that both the men who had deserted to Wyatt and those
who had adhered to the Queen wore the same clothing. The
rebels were recognised by the fact that they were muddy
from a long night march over miry roads, and the loyalists'
cry was " Down with the daggle-tails ! "

After Wyatt had been put down, there was no serious
rebellion in England against Mary, and the only fighting in
which English troops were engaged in her latter years was the
campaign of St. Quentin. The force which was sent to aid
King Philip was composed of five thousand men. Its muster-
rolls are preserved, and we note in them the first use of the
familiar word " regiment " that is found in the English army. The first
The whole expedition is called "a regiment of 1,000 horse
and 4000 foot," Of the horse half were men-at-arms, half
light-horse or " demi-lances." Each of these bodies was divided
into five " bands " of one hundred men, headed by a captain,
lieutenant, and " ancient." The foot were in forty companies
of one hundred men, each headed by a captain, but there
seems to have been no unit of organisation larger than the
company. It is to be presumed that if called upon to form
a line of battle, they would still have drawn up in the old
" vaward, main-battle, and rearward " formation, with their



cavalry on the wings. But, as they only formed part of a
large allied army, they were not called upon to do any separate
fighting of their own.





and Com


A Board
of Ad-

TIIH reign of Edward VL. witnessed a decline in the strength
of the Navy bequeathed to him by his father's government.
Henry died in 1547, leaving a fleet of seventy ships, of which
thirty were large ones, and two galleys. Edward died in !">:;,
leaving a fleet of only fifty-eight ships. Progress was chiefly
stayed by the dissensions between the Lord Protector and his
brother, the Lord High Admiral, and by the petty jealousies
and selfish ambitions which too often flourish during a minority.
The personnel of the navy did not, however, deteriorate, and
whenever the navy was employed it conducted itself upon the
whole with great credit. Its co-operation in Scotland with the
land forces in 1547 is noteworthy as being the first example
of its kind in our history : and there can be no doubt that
the victory of Musselburgh was due in a great measure to
the effect of the flanking fire of the English ships upon the
Scots army. The prompt action of the gallant Captain William
Winter, in falling upon the very superior French force which
was blockading the Channel Islands in 1549, was another
enterprise worthy of the growing spirit of the sea-service. But
the Navy was ill-managed and badly looked after in London,
and consequently its usefulness abroad was cramped; and the
piratical adventurers, who had for a time been cowed by the
vigorous policy of Henry VIII., began once more to render the
narrow seas very insecure.

During this short reign ordinances were first issued for
the conduct of the principal officers of the Navy, and these
ordinances form the basis of all later instructions which have
since been promulgated for the civil government of the Navy.
The officers appointed to manage the affairs of the Navy
Office were: the Vice-Admiral of the Fleet, the Master of the
Ordinance, the Surve}^or of Marine Causes, the Treasurer, the
Controller, the General Surveyor of the Victualling, the Clerk
of the Ships, and the Clerk of the Stores; and they were
directed t<> meet once a week at the office on Tower Hill, to
2onsu.lt together for the good order of the Navy, and to report



, j m
-* . /.

ii \ ,-;^ i a s =;

A . - ^- w ^%^ v ;

.; y/


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their proceedings once a month to the Lord High Admiral
To each member were also assigned certain specified duties.
TheMer- The Government was happily less remiss in its attention to

Marine commerce than in its attention to the fleet. In 154.S an Act
was passed for entirely opening the Newfoundland trade, and
for removing various obstacles by which up to that time it
had been hampered. In the same year the English merchants
in Antwerp complained of certain hardships under which they
suffered, and obtained the interposition of Edward's ambas-
sadors. When the regency of the city suggested that it was
strange that a king of England should more regard a company
of merchants than the friendship of a great emperor, Smith,
the king's agent, made the highly honourable reply : " The
king, my master, will support the commerce of his subjects
at the hazard of the friendship of any monarch upon earth/'

The privileges of the English merchants in Antwerp dated
from 1466, and were very valuable. At that time, according
to a memorial which in Elizabeth's days was addressed to
Sir Robert Cecil, there were not in all the town above four
hundred merchants, nor were they adventurers by sea ; and
the town was poor. But after the settlement of the English,
rents rose, excise duties and tolls increased, and the Antwerpers.
who had possessed but six vessels, became exceedingly wealthy,
and great builders of ships and shippers of merchandise. And
"so thoroughly did the Emperor Charles V. realise the import-
ance to Antwerp of the English element there, that, although.
he resisted the protestations of princes against his proposed
establishment of the Inquisition in the city, he quickly gave
up the project when in 1550 he discovered that, if he
pursued his plan, the English merchants would desert the Low

The Government also did much for the encouragement of
trade with France, and for the repression of the shipping of
goods in foreign bottoms. In the meantime the Levant trade
grew, and the trade with Guinea was securely established,
ckiefly by the exertions of Thomas Wyndham, who made three
voyages to the African coast. Other extensions of English
commerce and English maritime adventure will be dealt with
in the next section (p. 301, sct].\

The peaceful accession of Mary to the throne was much



facilitated by the action of a squadron of six men-of-war, The Navy
which had been despatched by the Duke of Northumberland
in the interests of Lady Jane Grey to watch the coast of
Suffolk, and to prevent the princess from leaving the country.
The ships were driven by stress of weather into Yarmouth,
where they were boarded by Sir Henry Jernegam, a bold and
tactful partisan, who, in a few hours, persuaded their com-
manders to desert Lady Jane and to acclaim as Queen the
princess upon whose liberty they had been ordered to place
restraint. The Navy more honourably distinguished itself in
the following year by formally exacting a recognition of
England's claim to the dominion of the narrow seas. Philip
of Spain, accompanied by a fleet of one hundred and sixty
sail, came to celebrate his marriage with Mary at Winchester.
William, Lord Howard of Effingham, the father of the great
admiral who subsequently commanded against the Armada, was
at sea with a small squadron, when he sighted the Spanish
fleet coming up the Channel. Philip's admiral carried the
Spanish flag at the main, and this Howard would not brook.
He refused to salute until the Spaniard should lower his
colours and strike his topsails, and, when the visitor showed
a disposition to argue the point, Howard fired a shotted gun
across his bows and so secured his obedience. This is, says
Campbell, in an outburst of patriotism and capital letters, "a
circumstance worthy of immortal MEMEMBKANCE, and, one would
think too, of IMITATION." And Schomberg's comment is: "An
action highly meritorious and worthy imitation."

Nevertheless, the navy declined. Mary found fifty-eight
vessels composing it ; she left only forty-six. And all belonging
to the service was mismanaged. Calais, then an important
naval station, was taken by the French, owing to the in-
difference of the English Government ; and a squadron, sent
under Y ice- Admiral Sir John Clere to annoy the Scots pirates
and to protect the home-coming Iceland fleet, met with serious
disaster, owing to its being too weak for the duties required

Online LibraryH. D. (Henry Duff) TraillSocial England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) → online text (page 28 of 68)