Edward III counting the dead on the battlefield of CrécyThe Management of the Mobilization of English Armies: Edward I to Edward III

Ralph Anthony Kaner

University of York: History Department, Doctor of Philosophy, August (1999)


This thesis examines government administrative action that can be described as ‘management’, in the context of the logistics of mobilizing royal armies during the reigns of Edward I, Edward II and Edward III. Its purpose is to contribute to understanding of how fourteenth-century government worked. Mobilization required the issuing of detailed instructions for administrative actions to be taken by individuals. The actions covered recruiting, arranging transport, and providing for supplies. Government’s objective was to assemble armed forces at a particular place and time. Merely issuing the instructions did not guarantee that all would be fulfilled, or achievement of the overall objective. Government had to make on-going arrangements to try to ensure that orders were obeyed, to correct failures, to monitor progress, and, if necessary, to modify plans in good time. Those arrangements, and consequent actions, are the ‘management’ that is studied. The detailed management of mobilizations for eight selected campaigns, from Edward I’s Second Welsh War (1282-3), to Edward III’s Reims campaign in 1359- 1360, is described. Recruitment, transport and supplies are considered, first in relation to each other for individual mobilizations. They are then considered as separate themes, followed by a discussion of the coordination of planning, in Chapter 9.

The thesis shows that in mobilizing armies Edwardian government made good use of practical management techniques. Planning was coordinated. Plans were by and large based on realistic, deliberately collected, quantitative information. Progress and other reports were required, and acted upon. ‘Progress chaser’ appointments were made to supervise executive action. ‘Privatisation’ was used pragmatically, particularly in 1359. Chapter 10, ‘Conclusion’, argues that, though in mobilization as in other fields, what are remembered are administrative failures, in fact Edwardian government was managerially sophisticated enough to be able to mobilize its armies effectively. This ability to manage effectively may therefore be more true of its general administration than sometimes appears.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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