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“There is great need for reformation”: Military books and mounted warfare

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the English military books and manuals that included instructions for exercising the cavalry by examining the chasm that existed between the theory and practice of mounted warfare in the years leading up to the Civil War. It begins with a brief survey of the late Elizabethan military theories on cavalry warfare and an assessment of the horsemanship treatises written in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, but only in so far as the latter texts related to the preparation of horse and rider for the rigours of the battlefield. The chapter examines the small number of early Stuart works, including those of John Bingham, Francis and Gervase Markham, and Robert Ward, that addressed mounted warfare and called for the reform of the cavalry troops of the trained bands.

Keywords: Civil War; English military books; Gervase Markham; horsemanship treatises; John Bingham; late Elizabethan military theories; mounted warfare



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