The Sealed Knot
English Civil War Re-enactment

Becoming a Musketeer

The Sealed Knot Coat of Arms
A Musketeer

The Musketeers - basic foote soldiers, fight with five foot long Matchlock Muskets which are firing replica's of the actual weapons used in the 1600s. They form "blocks", attack at about 25 metres firing volleys, then using the butt of their musket as a club, and finally their swords to engage the enemy in hand to hand combat. We do not actually use shot in the musket, only gunpowder and wadding. Full training will be given and you have to pass a safety test before you are allowed to use a musket or a sword on the battlefield. Dummy muskets are used prior to this. Although being a musketeer does not require the full body contact that being a pikeman does, it is none the less just as enjoyable and exhilarating. Below is a breakdown on the equipment worn or carried.

The basics.

Shirt - a plain calico or cotton shirt, with drawstring cuffs, small collar and no yoke. For those wishing to portray a wealthier "citizen-soldier" lace around collar and cuffs can be added according to price and taste.

Breeches - plain colours and designs are best, and lined breeches last longer. The material can be wool, with wool mix best for cleaning.

Hose & Socks - some thick stockings, made from jersey cloth, or seaboot socks are reliable alternatives from camping shops.

Coat - this is made in the regimental shade and as such is supplied by the Regiment to all members as one of the major parts of uniform. The coat is cut and made to the appropriate design, and lined with calico for strength and durability. Most members consider dry-cleaning the best option for preserving the colour, which can make for an interesting conversation point with your local dry cleaner, but otherwise a cool wash is advised.

Shoes - by far the best type that can be purchased for use are the current day designs of desert-style boots, always in a tan/mid-brown colour. Leather laces can replace any modern nylon fibre ones, and some members have been known to "convert" their footwear so that it resembles latchet shoes of the period. Shoes can be obtained from most high street shoe shops.

Belt - a good strong black or brown leather belt, available at markets or at our musters, to support your money pouch and your breeches.

Snapsack - either made out of leather, or hessian/calico material, this is the seventeenth century soldier's rucksack, and is valuable for carrying all manner of things.

Helmet or Hat - The choice of headwear is completely yours, though headwear must be worn. Felt hats are the prefered headwear by many, although some prefer scotch bonnets or monteroes. Our helmet design is available from a trader within the Society, and will require padding and lining. All helmets are "blacked" to complete the uniform style.

Gauntlets - leather long-cuffed gloves that help protect the hands, traditionally of a brown/buff leather colour.

There you have the very basics to equip yourself as a member of the musket. The above uniform and equipment will allow you to participate in any Society enactment - as a word of warning, mixing seventeenth and twentieth century clothing styles is unacceptable when performing re-enactment events in front of any audience.

muskets fire

The advanced stuff.

Bandoliers - best described as an over the shoulder belt from which hangs the 'apostles' - 12 gunpowder flasks.

Musket - basic foote soldiers weapon, a five foot long Matchlock Muskets which are firing replica's of the actual weapons used in the 1600s.

The prices for the above items may vary. Patterns are available to make your own, or you can often buy second hand items either from your Regiment or on "Traders Row".


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