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“Practice put in press”: The evolution of the english drill manual

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the development of the English drill manual from 1603-45, looking at the privately printed manuals that became popular in the second decade of the seventeenth century and the government's own drill manuals printed in the 1620s and 1630s. By the end of 1643, military practice had literally been "put in press," with drill manuals becoming a permanent part of military training in England from this point forward. Military practice in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England owed a great debt to the school of war in the Netherlands. Dutch drill methods were most likely introduced into England by veterans returned from the Low Countries who became members of the Honourable Artillery Company. The successes and failures of training neophyte soldiers in the English Civil War have been well documented.

Keywords: England; English Civil War; English drill manual; Honourable Artillery Company; Low Countries; Military practice; military training; Netherlands; privately printed manuals; school of war



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