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Free Company

  • Medieval Era
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

In the Late Middle Ages, the development of Military Formations known as "Free Companies", were common. In essence, a Mercenary Unit, The Free Company could trace it's origins in a form, to the 2nd Century AD Middle East. By definition, a Military Formation conscripted or raised (weither paid or not), was a "Owned" Company. The associated Soldiers had to fight for a Nobleman or Royalty without "free will". This was not the case with a "Free Company". These were men (although paid) - who could pick and chose "who" to fight for. This was based in part, on the fact that they were "Professional" Soldiers. Their first widespread use was in France after The Hundred Years War. England could well afford to maintain a standing Army  (by pay or supply). The English chose "Free Companies" as an augmented Force. Later, they would be seen as extremely important in Italian History, as being the primary Military Force used in the many Civil Wars and Wars of Succession.