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C3v. 33 The threat of foreign invasion was hardly a new concern for the English and prior to the creation of the bands various schemes and recommendations had been put forward to improve the arming and training of the county militias. The push for a change in the early 1570s had come as the result of the Dutch Revolt; the creation of the trained bands, a force that was to be better armed and better trained then its predecessor, was expected to defend the nation against the Spanish tercios, if and when they arrived on the English coast.

31 By drawing on the “worse sort of men,” the reputation of the military profession suffered and the English state, as Gates saw it, faced ruination if such scoundrels continued to be used to defend the country. A year before the Spanish Armada set sail the veteran Barnabe Rich, a vocal proponent of improving military training and a good friend of Churchyard’s, lamented that, when service happeneth we disburthen the prisons of Theeves, we robbe the Tavernes and Alehouses of Tolpottes, and Ruffines, wee scoure both Towne and Cuntrie of Rogges and vagabons.

14 Gates believed that the only way that the English could be assured of security in the future was to improve their military capabilities in the present. ”15 Churchyard, A generall rehearsall of warres, sig. i. G. Gates, The defence of militarie profession, Wherein is eloquently shewed the due commendation of martiall prowesse, and plainly proved how necessary the exercise of armes is for this our age (London: Henry Middleton for John Harrison, 1579), 26. , 6. 15 Ibid. 12 13 26 chapter one William Blandy agreed with both Churchyard and Gates that the military profession and martial prowess must be put to better use in defence of the Protestant faith and England’s sovereign prince.

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