ScotWars - Scottish Military History and Re-enactment
17th Century Prices
Whilst doing some research, I came across the following in an old book, of how things may have affected those we re-enact from the wars in Europe in the 17th Century.

1 statute mile = 1760 yards
1 Scots mile = 1984 yards
1 Irish mile = 2240 yards
1 Russian verst = 1168 yards
1 Italian mile = 1467 yards
1 Spanish mile = 5028 yards

As you can see from the above, this must have caused absolute chaos when planning supply routes for the opposing armies. For example, if you told an Irish mercenary to scoute 5 miles in front – this would be his equivalent to 11,200 yards (6.36 statute miles from the start). Whereas, if you ask the same of a Spanish mercenary to scoute 5 miles in front – his equivalent would be 25140 yards from the start (14.29 statute miles).

However, if a Russian mercenary were asked to scoute 5 miles (verst) in front, his equivalent would be 5840 yards (3.32 statute miles from the start)! Hmmmm

I felt you might find this interesting when you are reading accounts of battles and campaigns in other parts of Europe, all may not be as it seems at face value! Value being the operative word when calculating the distance of siege lines around cities, for example, a Spanish account of a siege stated their lines covered a length of 3 miles in total around the city. So, 3 Spanish miles (15084 yards) which is 8.57 statute miles. Now this gives an impression of how great the siege lines actually were.

As a further point of interest for any budding apothecaries out there, the following are some apothecary weights and measures.

20 grains = 1 scruple = 1.296 grams
3 scruples = 1 drachm = 3.888 grams
8 drachms = 1 ounce = 31.1035 grams
12 ounces = 1 pound = 373.2420 grams

Ponder at your leisure!!

(But it was typed by the intelligent one!)

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