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Excerpt from The Life of Oliver Cromwell It is well known that from the era of the Norman conquest there were never wanting bands of mercenary soldiers to occupy the castles and fortified towns belonging to the king, no traces of a standing army, similar in its composition to those which now exist throughout the whole of Europe, can be discovered in this country prior to the middle of the 17th century. Down to that date, wars, whether of defence of conquest, were carried on either by the feudal militia, or by troops raised under a commission of array; which, being enrolled for some particular service, were, on its conclusion, disbanded, and sent again to their own homes. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.