Archers pay roles

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Archers pay roles

Postby Chiron » 29 Dec 2013 23:43

I seem to remember archers pay-role documents from the hundred years war being digitized, but somehow I can't find them any more. Most archers and mounted archers are often listed separately in modern descriptions, but I seem to have it in my head that they were pay-roled under a contractor along with men-at-arms and such, do I have it in my head wrong?
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby MugginsToadwort » 30 Dec 2013 11:12

Under the French ordonnance system in the 15th and 16th centuries, each ordonnance of troops demanded from a lord contained so many archers, mounted archers, and knights. The pay records are available for about 200 years- but I'm in the pub watching cricket, so you'll have to wait or use the above as search terms...
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby Chiron » 30 Dec 2013 14:47

I've already got those, it would be nice to be able to show a correlation in English practice, it's obvious that mounted archers were combined with men-at-arms at a unit level, but it would be nice to be able to show it. The integration of ranged elements into cavalry units (lance fournie/gleve/Helm etc.) seems to obviously go back pretty far (they are frequent inclusions in the macjowski, Manesse, golden psalter and one is even to be found in the Bayeux tapestry) it would be nice to be able to demonstrate the integration on a unit basis.
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby MEversbergII » 11 Jan 2014 05:53

I was under the impression that in Europe, these mounted archers dismounted to fight.

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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby Chiron » 22 Jan 2014 08:49

Depends, there are times when the didn't it seems, length of bow isn't as much of a problem as poundage.
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby MEversbergII » 23 Jan 2014 05:24

Do tell!

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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby admin » 27 Jan 2014 12:39

In England for quite a long time it was normal to pay foot archers 3d (pence) per day and mounted archers (who dismounted to shoot) 6d a day. However it seems that by the late Hundred Years War basically all archers were paid 6d a day, though this may simply be because they were all mounted (quite likely in my opinion).
There are various pay rates shown for other kinds of soldiers in the English army of the time, but I'm afraid that I cannot remember the details. I seem to recall that a standard man at arms was paid 12d per day, but my memory is hazy on that. I do recall that people who tracked the careers of individuals through indentures found examples of archers who had later become men at arms, presumably when they had accumulated enough wealth and equipment to serve as a man at arms and hence get the higher rate of pay and possible further social advancement. Equally though, I know that some quite socially advantaged people served as archers rather than men at arms, so it could go both ways.
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby MugginsToadwort » 27 Jan 2014 14:37

The attached question is this: did the mounted archers need more pay to feed their horses, or did it reflect their ability to ride a horse provided? I can see a horse being an expensive proposition, and mounted archers effectively earning less
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby admin » 27 Jan 2014 14:54

Both I think. Remember that only high-bred horses require special food. Little hacks and ponies that they would have been using can graze on any old grass or hay.
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby Chiron » 28 Jan 2014 09:16

That's one of my next areas to look at, but basically any horse can survive on grass, but to keep the high amounts of muscle mass one might want for a trained destrier it takes supplements or a lot of good quality grazing. This is however providing one has grass and time to graze it, an army is a hungry thing and I doubt that you could count on finding sufficient grazing unless you were fairly far away from the column and even then you would have to let them graze for a few hours. I think you have a point that it could become unprofitable if you ended up in a bad situation, such as stuck in a siege where you can't graze or plunder. On the other hand I think you have a better chance of getting the good loot.

I'm less interested in the archers themselves than the groups they got hired in, because I remember seeing the roles of how many of x y z earl so and so brought with him and that would be good to find again as it could help to demonstrate that they were integrated not separate units.
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Re: Archers pay roles

Postby janner » 10 Mar 2014 19:39

The thing that leaps out at me is the limited number of roles on offer, e.g. archer, mounted archer, MAA etc.

It may seem obvious, but I regard these as broad categories of equipment rather than battlefield role. So, whilst paid as a mounted archer, the chap with a horse, warbow, and longarm could as easily been a lighthorseman, i.e. a scurrer or hobilar, as well as a mounted infantryman capable of acting as medium foot or a skirmisher in battle.

Although it is dangerous to be too influenced by modern practice, there is no reason to think that a professional warrior of the Middle Ages was any less capable of operating across a variety of roles than their modern counterpart.

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