POLITICAL HISTORY Cawarden's armoury, seized in 1554, shows what store of weapons might be collected in a private house. After his death in August, 1559, Eliza- beth's Council forbade any further proceedings against those who had taken his arms and horses, and kept the former for the queen's service at the Tower. Kingston and Guildford became the places where such warlike stores as were provided for the county were kept. The county should have been provided with powder. If we may trust John Evelyn's information, coming through Aubrey, the earliest powder mills in Eng- land were erected in Henry VIII. 's time near Wotton. In 1 570 they moved down the stream of the Tillingbourne to their present site at Chilworth. The abundance of charcoal already made in the neighbour- hood was a probable reason for the choice of both sites. On May 5, 1584, it was suggested that there should be a public subscription to pro- vide powder, lead and match for the county. 1 But on April 7, 1586, Lord Howard had to confess that the Council was finding fault with him because of the want of supply of powder in Surrey. 2 In fact, a change was passing over the art of war, and English archery was becoming obsolete. The practice of it was decaying, and the great Netherland wars were witnessing improvements in firearms and the introduction of tactics founded upon their use. A controversy was raging in England, and Sir John Smythe wrote vehemently, but ineffectually, as late as 1590 in favour of archery. The Surrey records show how the practical difficul- ties of providing stores told against new improvements. The county was evidently short of powder and lead and match for muskets. When the Armada was expected a levy of 1,800 men was ordered in Surrey. The county sent 1,500, but the authorities had to admit that they could not send the remaining 300 unless they were allowed to substitute archery for ' shot.' It was not the men but the weapons which were wanting. It was not till 1600 that, in a levy for the Irish war, archery was altogether wanting, completely superseded by the new weapons. 3 To return however to the arming of Surrey against the Spaniards. The musters of the county in 1574-5 had produced 96 demi-lances, i, 800 armed men and 6,000 able men. The demi-lances were the heavy cavalry in practice of the day. ' Lances ' men cased in com- plete armour on horseback were limited to a few noblemen and gentle- men. Armed men were those who could provide themselves, or could be equipped by their landlords or masters, as soldiers, pikemen, bill- men, musketeers, archers or light horsemen. Able men were men fit for service, who might no doubt muster bills and bows among them, but who looked for complete equipment to the county magazines. They would serve as infantry. The light horsemen no doubt represented the yeomanry and farmers, who could mount themselves, but who could not provide the ' great horses ' necessary to carry a demi-lance in helmet, breastplate and cuisses. The numbers appear satisfactory, but after a few hundreds had been drafted off at different dates for service in the 1 Loseley MSS. date cited, vi. 53. a Ibid, date cited, xi. 41. 3 Ibid. January 14, 1599-1600. 389
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/461
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