The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1985 Friday, 19 November 2004
Date: Thursday, 18 Nov 2004 11:45:36 -0800
Subject: 15.1977 Henry V
Comment: Re: SHK 15.1977 Henry V
>At Naseby, Prince Rupert had his 'scoutmaster' Ruce go to find out where
>Cromwell/ Fairfax's men lay. Royalist 'intelligence' was, apparently,
>notoriously bad owing to many scouts 'scamping' their jobs...
But heralds are to be differentiated from scouts, or "espialles," as
Hall often calls them for the 1399-1547 period. Chronicles of the period
often mention the activities of spies, scouts, foragers, skirmishers,
and in general light horsemen, all of whom could gather intelligence.
Heralds, on the other hand, moved around openly and were well-labeled as
to their identity. (Hall never mentions the actual name of a herald,
pursuivant, or other officer of arms, referring to them only by title:
"Garter," "York," etc.) Their movements seem to have been constricted
as they were accompanied by heralds from the other side and "highly
entertained" for hours or overnight--crucial periods before a battle.
As to the original post on this matter, Henry V is not a subtle drama
and I doubt Montjoy was intended to be anything other than honorable as
he formally fulfilled the usual heraldic duties. How he acts is to be
contrasted with the boasting of the Constable and the other French
nobles and especially the action of attacking Henry's baggage train.
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