Fighting Elizabeth’s wars
Troop levies from the counties
in War and politics in the Elizabethan counties
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This chapter looks at another key function of the Elizabethan lord lieutenancies: raising soldiers to serve in the wars overseas. It first addresses the overall extent of the burden, showing, through an examination of every troop levy of the period, that the counties provided around 94,000 soldiers across the period, somewhat fewer than had been thought. It then examines the process of finding recruits (and who those recruits were), supplying equipment and transferring the soldiers to military control. Finally, it assesses the overall quality of the outcome, showing that, although results were inevitably very mixed, the outcome in terms of the quality of the recruits and the equipment was far from as universally bad as it usually regarded, and that many local officials worked very hard to ensure as high a standard as possible.

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