Friday, May 07, 2010

Question from Lori - Elizabethan military

I am in grade 9 and am doing a school project on the warfare of the Elizabethan era. I am having trouble finding information on the military and how they fought, specifically on land (i.e. did they fight on horses, behind forts,with what wepapons, etc.). Thanks in advance.


Ladyhoby said...

hi Lori i don't know much myself about the military but you asked if they fought behind forts, well i think i am correct when i say forts were more the roman era they were made of wood while in the Tudor times we had moved into stone and were now castles.

Henry VIII had a survey of England drawn up around the 1530's for my town in of Scarborough it was drawn up in 1538, this was to see which towns had castles and could they defend the country from the sea. we also had a walled town with gates at 2 ends for people and goods to come in and out of the town. York still has its walls and gates which you can still walk through and round.

but also this survey was if someone captured the castle how could Henry and his troops gain it back. it wasn't until the civil war that Scarborough castle was captured twice and it was cannon that sorted the out come more than fighting hand to hand.

had a quick google look for you and using the words Elizabethan military found a couple of websites that may help you
this lists weapons and armor it has no pictures but give you measurements
this has a 5min video of some weapons as well as how the were used

this has two picture of troops both on foot and horse back
this site has lots as the people who have it fight in Elizabethan costume and have there own pictures

hope some of these help

Marilyn R said...

Remember that the sction in Elizabeth's reign took place elsewhere - not actually on English soil.

I don’t know what age range Grade 9(USA??)is, so not really able to help very much. If I had to tackle such a project I would try to find a good quality book from a reliable source, which you might find in a local university library, such as:

'English Warfare, 1511-1642' by Mark Ch Fissell

".... demolishes the myth of an inexpert English military prior to the upheavals of the 1640s."

English Warfare 1511-1642 chronicles and analyses military operations from the reign of Henry VIII to the outbreak of the Civil War. The Tudor and Stuart periods laid the foundations of modern English military power.

Henry VIII's expeditions, the Elizabethan contest with Catholic Europe, and the subsequent commitment of English troops to the Protestant cause by James I and Charles I, constituted a sustained military experience that shaped English armies for subsequent generations.

Drawing largely from manuscript sources, English Warfare 1511-1642 includes coverage of:

*the military adventures of Henry VIII in France, Scotland and Ireland

*Elizabeth I's interventions on the continent after 1572, and how arms were perfected

*conflict in Ireland

*the production and use of artillery

*the development of logistics

*early Stuart military actions and the descent into civil war.

kb said...

Marilyn - grade 9 in US is roughly age 14.

Lori said...

thanks so much Emma and Marilyn!

Oh and I am 14, but I live in Canada.

Marilyn R said...

Hi Lori - I meant to say the ACTION was not on English soil etc.

I think the video Emma recommended is very useful; the main point is that there was a significant move away from the traditional medieval weaponry towards firearms such as the musket, although cavalry with swords was still in use as late as World War One.

If you can find anything about Elizabeth's campaigns in the Netherlands and Ireland you might find a description of the actual fighting.

Have you seen

I think it's the same site Emma recommended, & if you dig deep there is quite a lot on there.

It explains the Irish and Spanish/Netherlands conflicts, but also briefly describes the medieval weaponry still in use, the development of firearms and why castles became obsolete. (The castles had a brief revival in Stuart times during the Civil War & this is why so many, Kenilworth is a good example, were blown up afterwards.)

Good luck with your project - and thank you for taking the trouble to thank us.