An Apprenticeship in Arms: The Origins of the British Army by Roger B. Manning

By Roger B. Manning

This booklet explores the ways that the various army studies at domestic and in another country of the British and Irish humans throughout the 17th century brought glossy army conception and perform into the 3 Kingdoms of the British Isles and formed the embryonic British military that emerged throughout the reign of the soldier-king William III.

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30 (1973), 584–6; Barnabe Rich, Alarme to England foreshewing What Perilles are Procured where the People live without regarde of Martiall Lawe (1578), sigs. Ej r–v. Cf. also A. Lawrence, ‘The Cradle to the Grave: English Observation of Irish Social Customs in the Seventeenth Century’, SC 3 (1988), 63–84. ²¹ Sir John Davies, A Discovery of the True Causes Why Ireland Was never Entirely Subdued, ed. J. P. Meyers (1612; repr. 1988), 70–1, 107–9, 116–17, 126, 130; S. O’Domhnaill, ‘Warfare in SixteenthCentury Ireland’, IHS 5 (1946–7), 39–41.

Sidney’s standing army was to be supported by a tax on all householders instead of the more traditional system of purveyance which fell upon peasant households only. Sidney had also bypassed the Irish Parliament in introducing new policies, and the Old English perceived an alarming transfer of military and political power from them to the officials at Dublin Castle and the New English settlers. ⁴⁰ The New English plantation of Ireland began in earnest after the appointment of Sir Henry Sidney as lord deputy in 1565.

Canny, Kingdom and Colony, 95–6. ⁵² Because the laws of England had not been extended to much of Ireland before the final suppression of the Tyrone Rebellion, there had been no other way to enforce English policy except by military force. ⁵³ The Irish wars provided an important training ground for late Elizabethan soldiers to undergo an apprenticeship in arms, but the lessons learned while conducting war against a foe who employed guerilla tactics and refused to be drawn out into pitched battles were more applicable to fighting Indians in North America.

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