Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

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RonanTheLibrarian
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Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by RonanTheLibrarian » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:06 pm

Whilst it is good that the army lists have now been amended to allow English border horse to have crossbow/pistol in the early/later Henrician armies (as per their Scottish cousins), can someone explain why no shooting weapons are allowed for the Elizabethan army? I'm told there was a deliberate reason for this (whereas the Henrician absence was simply a mistake), but what was it?
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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by nikgaukroger » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:10 pm

Thanks for the reminder :-)
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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by nikgaukroger » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:25 pm

Looks like the northern types were only used in Ireland - so will pop some in the Armies in Ireland section. Don't appear to have been used in other Elizabethan armies (not that there were that many of those).
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RonanTheLibrarian
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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by RonanTheLibrarian » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:55 am

That's a bit odd as the army lists say no light horse in Ireland. I've read about demi-lancers being used in the forces sent to aid the Dutch, but nothing about the light horse.
So, no extra weapons to use against the Dastardly Don landing in England in 1588 then? (Speaking of which, I would suggest the army list comments are a little harsh on the English, given that Parma was only bringing 1,000 light horse, who would have been massively outnumbered, and 17,000 foot, whom I suspect would have been very quickly whittled down by a scorched earth policy.)
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nikgaukroger
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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:00 am

RonanTheLibrarian wrote:That's a bit odd as the army lists say no light horse in Ireland.
The Special Campaign in Ireland has the LH that can be used there to replace the LH is the main list: Anglo-Irish and Irish types with Javelins, Lt Lance, Swordsmen, to which I'll add some northern border types with Xbow/Pistols but as an option within the 4-16 allowed (probably 0-8).
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RonanTheLibrarian
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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by RonanTheLibrarian » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:51 am

OK, but still don't understand why no shooting option for Elizabethan light horse for use in Europe alongside the Dutch, or against an Armada-era Spanish army - a single pistol would at least be something. Just been reading some extracts from a two-part article in "The Arquebusier" by John Tofts White, which cites:-

1) An Armada-era letter from Lord Chobham to Roger Twisden of Kent regarding the latter raising a troop of light horse, including: "...each mount was to be a stallion or gelding, ridden with a light horseman's saddle, with holsters for pistols...".

2) Another description from the Armada period, of light horse from the Wirral area, included "...a corselet furnished, a brace of pistols, and a Northern staff, or light lance".

3) A letter from the Privy Council to Sir Charles Hatton in 1587, lists a light horseman's armament as including "...a light lance, sword, dagger, and a case of pistols".

4) Whilst a lot of his writing is theoretical, Sir John Smithe/Smythe also refers to light horse being armed with pistols.

What is interesting is that other documentation suggests that the light lance was actually less common among southern light horse, rather than pistols, whilst petronels (carbines) generally replaced the lance AND pistols. Also, that demi-lancers are often referred to as being armed with "heavy lance" in contrast to the "light lance" of the light horse.

I would suggest a shooting pistol (ie pistol/lt lance/sword) be allowed for Elizabethan light horse after 1584.
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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by Vespasian28 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 pm

No idea myself but don't forget one of the design philosophies of FOG is about how the troops behaved and not necessarily what they were armed with. Parthians cataphracts often had bows but they don't shoot in FOG.

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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by RonanTheLibrarian » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:21 pm

Well, that's their problem. If I'm having six units of LH in my Elizabethan army, they are damn well having some shooty capabilities. Don't care if it's pistol or crossbow, but it should be one of them.

I can't help thinking that the army list designers have just looked at the 1540s Henrician organisation and the Elizabethan set-up in Ireland, and based the entire Tudor period on how crap and how corruptly run, those two armies were. The early Henrician and Armada-era Elizabethan armies were actually well organised (even if the latter was not overly well armed), and troops returning from assisting the Dutch would have added considerably to the "resolve" of the Elizabethan forces.
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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by timmy1 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:17 pm

Ronan, while understanding your angst, what historical evidence is there for Elizabethan LH having and actively using as a part of their tactical employment any missile capability was not just part of the immediate close combat process? Not saying that there is not any but I don't recall any evidence from the armies in France or the UDP.

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Re: Why no shooting weapons for Elizabethan light horse?

Post by RonanTheLibrarian » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:06 pm

I haven't yet come across any, but then my reading on Tudor tactics has been subordinated to uniforms and equipment. Given so many instances of them being issued, should we not be assuming that they were used? Contact with the Dutch and French would have been influential, I would have thought.
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