Jacob de Gheyn (II): Instructions for the exercise of a musket, plate 1 (1597-1607)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

When the Dutch war of Independence broke out in 1568, there was no Dutch army. This new army was created in 1588 by Maurits, Prince of Orange. Maurits saw that there was no instruction Manuel for use of the weapons of his army and created this. This book was called "Wapenhandelinghe van Roers Musquetten ende Spiessen" or "Instructions for calivres (a lighter version of the musket), muskets and pikes". This book contained lots of pictures so drill-instructors in the army had a much easier time drilling the new recruits. This picture is plate 1 for the musket: 'stand ready with your musket over your shoulder'. The soldier carries his musket on his left shoulder. In his right hand he holds a fourquet, a stick on which the musket rests when firing (Muskets in the 16th century could weigh about 5 to 8 kg). Besides his musket he also has a rapier for selfdefence. The bandolier over his shoulder is sometimes called 'the 12 apostals' and the tubes hold gunpower. On his right hip he has a gunpowder flask and a spare fuse. In his left hand he holds a fuse which is burning. This plate is from 1597-1607.


  1. Ik heb je al eens gezegd hoezeer ik deze reeks waardeer. Maar dat is geen reden om het niet nog eens te zeggen. Dank je wel.


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