Kingdom Come: Deliverance Wiki

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Town garrison

Maintaining law and order in the medieval town was the job of the Bailiff. From the 14th century onward, the function was taken over by the catchpole, then night watchmen and guards on towers. The catchpole, along with the Bailiff, the executioner or their henchmen also carried out the punishment of transgressors. They were not, however, allowed to enter freehold dwellings (the palaces and houses of the nobility, the ruling class), nor Church buildings or the University, a fact students took advantage of.

Order within the city also had to be upheld by the townsfolk themselves. They were obligated to report not only any crime, but, just like the night watchmen, to call out the hours and warn of fire, flood or tempest. For safety it was forbidden to wander at night with any open flame (torch or candle) into any castles, chambers, stables, barns or byres. Only lanterns could be used. To keep the peace at night, all taverns had to shut at sunset.

In the medieval city, military service was entrusted to either hired professionals or the townspeople themselves. Every healthy adult male had to serve at least a few days a year in the civic guard, the city walls being divided and allocated in sections to each district or trade, and it was here that they mustered whenever an alarm was raised. In practice, the wealthy burghers bought their way out of serving in the militia, leaving other men to take their turn, and these poorer men welcomed the extra income – thus gradually forming a professional municipal gendarmerie. Each man had to procure the armour and weapons needed for serving in the guards and the militia, unless his guild did so. Only the rich cities could afford to have a public issue armoury.

The right to bear arms outside of ‘duty’ was reserved for townsmen of sufficient means. Within the city walls a simple melee weapon, dagger or knife had to suffice. Only the really wealthy townsmen wore swords, taking after the nobility.

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