’Unconsidered soldier’ Horace Vere and the genesis of the British military, 1565-1635

PhD Thesis


Gill, R. 2019. ’Unconsidered soldier’ Horace Vere and the genesis of the British military, 1565-1635 . PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Humanities
AuthorsGill, R.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctorate of Philospy
Abstract

This thesis provides the first scholarly assessment of the role of Horace Vere, Ist baron Tilbury, as a major progenitor of the English and later British army. As commander of the English land forces in the Low Countries for 30 years Horace Vere made a considerable contribution to the organisation, training and discipline of the English military during their transition from a mediaeval conscript force to a highly trained, professional fighting army. Set against the backdrop of both the Dutch wars of independence and the advent of the Thirty Years War, Vere’s ‘Compendium of the Art of War’, produced between 1611 and 1614 was one of the earliest drill manuals in English. A comprehensive guide for officers and men the Compendium covered most aspects of infantry training especially regarding the use of firearms in the field but it also encompasses supply, encampment and logistical matters.

Significantly too, Vere’s long period of successful command attracted a large number of young men to serve and learn under his tutelage. Many of these men later went on to become leaders themselves during the English Civil Wars and then to establish the first permanent, standing, early modern British army with unbroken links to today’s military.

Horace Vere was also a notably pious Puritan at a time when religion loomed large and he was an active and influential supporter of many radical divines when such support was not without its dangers and disadvantages. In addition, though Vere began life as a commoner his ascent to high command heralded the first time that someone not of noble birth actually led an officially sanctioned independent English force in the field. Horace Vere has been overlooked for too long. This thesis redresses that omission.

KeywordsHorace Vere; Assesment; British Army; Military history
Year2019
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File Access Level
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Publication process dates
Deposited03 Sep 2020
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8w1qz/-unconsidered-soldier-horace-vere-and-the-genesis-of-the-british-military-1565-1635

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