Subject: schutter 'shooter' militiaman
Setting: Gouden Eeuw, Netherlands 17thc
Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources. Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* Haley 1972 p52
"Oligarchies there certainly were, both before and after the Revolt, for the burghers had long since lost any rights that they had once possessed in the election of their vroedschap, or city council. Only in times of crisis might the members of the ornamental civic militia known as the schutterij (themselves well-to-do, for they had to provide their equipment and their functions were largely social) seek to play a part in civic affairs -- as in Amsterdam in 1578, when in the coup known as the Alteratie, the old pro-Spanish and Roman Catholic ruling clique was turned out, and the schutterij proceeded to choose a new Council. Three years later the States sanctioned the new patriciate, but forbade city governments for the future to seek the advice of the guilds and the schutterij: the Alteratie was not to be a precedent."
* Schama 1987 p244
"[T]he most celebrated of all pseudo-military ensembles, the schutterstukken militia scenes (whether in the sober and formal manner of sixteenth-century prototypes, or the flamboyant grandeur of Hals and Rembrandt), are emphatically group portraits of civilians in martial fancy dress. Their ranks are determined by their respective places in the patrician pecking order, and their regimental insignia and emblems and colors are closer to those of the civic corporations and guilds rather than to battle dress (which had no uniforms at all). The gorgeousness of their array was an urban parade, and the doelen, even amidst the banner waving and the shouted Sunday drill, stood not as an extension of the military life into the civic, but as its opposite and alternative. The militiaman, the armed civilian, was as intrinsically benign as the professional soldier was malign. He was of the community and not a marauding invader or an unwelcome billet. He could be relied on to bear arms in the Fatherland's hour of need without abusing them to threaten its liberties. That, at least, was the received wisdom ...."
"By the early seventeenth century, the rapier, a long slender thrusting sword, began to dominate as the gentleman’s weapon of choice. During the course of the century, however, as civilian fencing techniques became more specialized and refined, the rapier developed into a lighter, trimmed-down weapon known by about 1700 as the smallsword."
"A type of rapier known as a 'Pappenheimer' widely used during the Thirty Years War (1618-48), so called because this form of pierced basket hilt was favoured by Gottfried Heinrich, Graf Pappenheim, a famous general for the Hapsburgs. Many smiths throughout Germany and the Low Countries copied the style, which provides excellent sword hand protection."
* Cohen 2002 p71
"In the Netherlands the rapier had already begun to be replaced as early as the 1630s by swords with smaller hilts and shorter, more manageable blades. When Charles II and his followers returned to England after their long exile there, they brought these 'town swords' with them."