Muster Roll of Lord Scales' Company assembled at Garges for the Siege of St Denis, 1435
This muster roll is written in medieval French. Nothing is known about the soldiers listed on it except their names, but it provides a rare glimpse of some of the ordinary men who served in English armies of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453).
In total, Lord Scales supplied some 728 archers and about 50 men at arms (armoured cavalry and foot soldiers) for the Siege of St Denis, a few km north of Paris. Unlike soldiers in earlier medieval armies, who had an obligation to serve their lord, Scales' men fought under a contract for regular wages.
Thomas de Scales (1399 (c)-1460) had served in France since 1422, taking part in the siege of Orleans (1428-1429). He was captured and ransomed by Joan of Arc at the Battle of Patay in 1429. He probably continued to fight in France until the 1440s, when most of the English possessions there had been lost.
In 1450 Scales raised a force which helped to defeat the peasant rebellion of Jack Cade against King Henry VI. He supported the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses, and was captured by the Yorkists in an attack on the Tower of London in 1460. He was subsequently murdered by Thames boatmen whilst trying to seek sanctuary at Westminster.
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