In the later years of Louis XI the core of the French armies had consisted of the compagnies d’ordonnance which his father had organized, each consisting of a hundred ‘lances,’ which meant not only the hundred men-at-arms but their retinue of ‘archers,’ gros valets, couteilleurs, etc. The archers, despite of their name, were mounted men and armoured. 1 Many of them were drawn from the noblesse. The famous Montluc, though of the best blood of Gascony (as he never ceased to boast), started in 1521 as a simple archer in the company of Thomas de Lescun, which, as he observed, was considered quite an honourable post in those days, ‘though since then everything has got degraded.’ He was only promoted to be a man-at-arms in the company of the Marshal de Foix two years after. 2