Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-vsgnj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-19T07:03:25.027Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

11 - ‘Lay by thine Arms and take the Citie then’: Soldiery and City in the Drama of Thomas Middleton

from Part III - Staging Military Identities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2019

Andrew Hiscock
Affiliation:
Bangor University
Get access

Summary

My Lorde,

Touchynge our matters here, and what hathe fallen oute sithence you departed, maye perchance not be unpleasente to you to heare. Manie have beene the made caps rejoicinge to oure new kynges cominge, and who in good trothe darede not have set forthe their good affection to him a month or two agoe; but, alas! what availeth truthe, when profite is in queste? You were true and liege bondsman to her late Highnesse, and felte her sweete bounties in full force and good savour. Nor dide I my poor self unexperience her love and kyndness on manie occasions; but I cannot forbeare remembringe my dread at her frownes in the Iryshe affair, when I followede my General, (And what shoude a Captaine do better?) to Englande a little before his tyme: If Essex had met his appoynted time, as Davide saithe, to die, it had fared better, than to meet his follie and his fate too. But enoughe of olde tales; a new kynge will have new soldiers, and God knowethe what men they will be.

It is in this way that Sir John Harington, godson to Elizabeth I, addressed a letter to Lord Thomas Howard in the accession year of 1603. At this critical moment of political parturition, uppermost in the correspondent's mind was the radical re-configuration of political and military allegiances in the aftermath of the earl of Essex's vain attempt at a coup d’état in the armed revolt of 1601 and the death of the last Tudor sovereign in 1603, the year this letter was written. Harington had been knighted during the 1599 Irish campaign under Essex's command but, faced on his return with his godmother's implacable ire, he had soon come to wish that he ‘had never received my Lorde of Essex's honor of knighthood’

Decades earlier, in A Generall Rehearsall of Warres (1579), Thomas Churchyard recalled a time when

all Chevalrie was cherished, Soldiours made of, and manhoode so muche esteemed, that he was thought happie and moste valiaunt, that sought credite by the exercises of Armes, and dissipline of warre [and] he was counted nobodie, that had not been knowen to bee at some valiaunte enterprice [for the] advaunsement of his Countrey.

Type
Chapter
Information
Early Modern Military Identities, 1560–1639
Reality and Representation
, pp. 235 - 255
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×