GENDARMERIE , originally a
See also:body of troops in France composed of gendarmes or men-at-arms . In the days of chivalry they were mounted and armed cap-a-
See also:pie, exactly as were the lords and knights,with whom they constituted the most important
See also:part of an army . They were attended each by five soldiers of inferior
See also:rank and more lightly armed . In the later
See also:middle ages the men-at-arms were furnished by owners of fiefs . But after the
See also:Hundred Years' War this feudal gendarmerie was replaced by the compagnies d'ordonnance which
See also:Charles VII. formed when the
See also:English were driven out of France, and which were distributed throughout the whole extent of the
See also:kingdom for preserving
See also:order and maintaining the
See also:king's authority . These companies, fifteen in number, were composed of too lances or gendarmes fullyequipped, each of whom was attended by at least three archers, one coutillier (soldier armed with a
See also:cutlass) and one varlet (soldier's servant) . The states-general of
See also:Orleans (1439) had voted a yearly
See also:subsidy of 1,200,000 livres in perpetuity to keep up this
See also:national soldiery, which replaced, and in fact was recruited chiefly amongst, the bands of mercenaries who for about a century had made France their
See also:prey . The number and composition of the compagnies d'ordonnance were changed more than once before the reign of
See also:Louis XIV . This
See also:sovereign on his accession to the
See also:throne found only eight companies of gendarmes surviving out of an
See also:total of more than one hundred, but after the victory of
See also:Fleurus (169o), which had been decided by their courage, he increased their number to sixteen . The four first companies (which were practically guard troops) were designated by the names of Gendarmes ecossais, Gendarmes anglais, Gendarmes bourguignons and Gendarmes famands, from the
See also:nationality of the soldiers who had originally composed them; but at that
See also:time they consisted entirely of French soldiers and
See also:officers . These four companies had a captain-general, who was the king . The fifth
See also:company was that of the
See also:queen; and the others
See also:bore the name of the princes who respectively commanded them .
This organization was dissolved in 1788 . The Revolution swept away all these institutions of the
See also:monarchy, and, with the exception of a
See also:short revival of the Gendarmes de la garde at the Restoration, henceforward the word " gendarmerie " possesses an. altogether different significance—viz, military
See also:police .
GENEALOGICAL TABLE OF THE
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