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Peter Jensen




Location: Maine
Joined: 05 Jul 2008

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue 12 Aug, 2008 5:30 pm    Post subject: Boston 1628         Reply with quote

I found this site (pp. 11-12) on the subject of the total equipment for 100 New England militiamen. (I've seen the same equipment list in a few places, but I think that is the best one.)

A lot of items on the list, but it adds up to a pretty straightforward table of organization and equipment if you make certain assumptions. Here are the assumptions I made:
1. Each man carries a firearm and a second item (polearm, musket rest, or drum).
2. Officers, sergeants, and drummers carry fowling pieces.
3. Everyone else carries muskets.
4. Men with full pikes wear armor, and no one else does.

Thus you get:
1. Two Officers carrying partizans and bastard-bore fowlers
2. Two men carying ensignes and bastard-bore fowlers
3. Three Sergeants carrying halberts and full-bore fowlers
4. Three Drummers carrying full-bore fowlers
5. 10 men carrying full-bore muskets and rests
6. 20 men carrying bastard-bore muskets and half-pikes
7. 60 armored men carrying bastard-bore muskets and pikes

This raises the intriguing possibility that the gentlemen on line 2 are ensigns (still an army rank at this point, as well as being a flag (national or regimental?)).

Arming officers this way assumes that there is some advantage in carrying a fowler, i.e. that they are lighter, rather than that they simply didn't have enough compact bastard muskets which officers would presumably have preferred if they were lighter. Nice of the gents who made up the list to specify lock type for the muskets - snaphances are indeed becoming quite common in this period - but leaving it off for the fowling pieces makes me wonder if fowlers were so overwhelmingly of one lock type that they didn't bother to mention it, or if they were of so many different designs that they didn't think they could specify (although they did specify bore size - I'd have thought they'd be more likely to specify lock type than caliber ... learn something new every day!)

Another possibility is that the officers and specialists were carrying fowlers partly as a badge of rank, which I suppose makes sense - if you assume overall length is barrel length plus about 16", the fowlers are always longer and thus would look distinctive. But the commanders already carry long signalling tools, i.e. the polearms.

In addition to the above questions, I am wondering more about these ensigns. Were the gents who carried them simply a sort of honor guard (something a respectable but inexperience man would be perfect for), or are they junior commanders? This whole TO&E seems ripe for dividing into three bodies, perhaps of equal size, with an ensign & sergeant directing each wing. Or were the ensigns expected to be only a few yards from their captain (each perhaps carrying a different flag)?

I'm not why you'd have two lengths of pike. I would have thought the half-pikes would be armored before the full-pikes, but maybe the former are behind and to the side of the full-pikes, perhaps to defend against crafty flanking attacks? So the pikes would bear the brunt of the action for a time, with the half-pikes expected to move more rapidly into a melee should one break out in an unexpected place?

Are leaders still "leading" in a literal sense, in this era? I.e., are the officers at the back pointing, or are they physically at the front? I think they lead their columns physically, but that applies only to movement to the battle.

What exactly is the advantage of a big-bore musket? There must be something (even if it didn't really apply in New England), or no one would lug around a rest, correct? I'm thinking maybe range (I hear 80 meters for a rest-fired musket, so maybe it was only 50 meters for a bastard musket, harquebus, etc.) Or, maybe power, which would matter a lot against armored soldiers common enough in the Old World where these regimens were created. (My first thought, that flint weapons were still rare so they had to supplement them with big old matchlocks, seems disproven by the flints' 8:1 dominance over the matchlocks.)

And finally, there's a little surprise in the idea of every man carrying both a big gun and a polearm. I kind of thought the pike-and-shot formation was a result of that not being practical. Would a company like this be leaving about half its weapons at the forte, or could these men somehow sling their muskets (haven't seen it in pictures, but it's conceivable)?
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply....         Reply with quote

In this case I suspect these are the actual flags (Ensign/ Colour) being refered to, which is odd as a company of 100 men would only have one Ensign, but would be fine for 2 companies of 85 men. These colours would be Company colours , not Regimental colours.

The numbers of Officers does fit normal patterns for the time, 3 Officer ranks, 3 sargeants and 3 drummers, which is the only difference. A normal company of 100 Foot would have 2 Sargeants and 2 Drummers. Missing from the equipment list is the 3 Corporals, who would normally control the 3 bodies that a body would be divided into for admin purposes.

There's also enough weapons for about 160 men, allowing 100 shot and 60 pike. I doubt very much the Officers would carry any firearm, being the lesser weapon at the time, I'd expect an officer to carry a half pike well before he'd touch the arms of a "rude mechanical"

There are enough muskets to arms 100 men, with 10 men acting as sharp shooter and 60 pike, with 20 half pike (really 12' long) for Guard duties. With a Company Commander, Second in Command, an Ensign, 3 Drummers and 3 sargeants. Musket bore is a measure of the size of the shot, being so many shot balls to a pound of lead "rowling" and doesn't really affect range under 100 metres. Fowling pieces tended to be lighter in relation to military pieces.

Page 18 has a bill for the armour and page 19 a bill for the bandilors, which gives an idea of the size between a full musket and basterd musket
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Felix Wang




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The list says "arms for 100 men" , but clearly they weren't all meant to be used at one time; the list runs directly into the powder supply and artillery for a fort, with a total of 8 guns (2 small pieces, but 6 of field size or larger). The 8 guns alone would probably need nearly half of the "100 men" to run them.

I can't imagine a man with a full length pike trying to handle a bastard musket at the same time, while wearing a corselet and a sword. Perhaps the equipment list was intended to cover all contingencies, from a predominantly pike formation [i.e. 60 pikes; 20 half pikes, and 20 muskets] (which proved pretty useless in New England) to a fully gun-equiped unit (which turned out to be much better).
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Paul Kenworthy




Location: Saugus, MA
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What you are looking at is the proposed equipment for the militia of the first settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Naumkeag (later renamed Salem) drafted in 1629. The Massachusetts Bay Colony followed contemporary English practice in requiring universal military service from all able bodied men. This obligation was made statutory (exempting only ministers and magistrates) by the General Court of the colony in 1630. John Endicott was elected Governor of the colony and Captain of the militia in 1629 while still in England. At that time, he had no real idea of how many able bodied men would emigrate to the colony and what arms and equipment they would possess. Having the company purchase an initial supply would insure that the first settlers would be able to defend themselves as soon as they landed in New England.

It was not intended that the militia would be restricted to 100 men. The colonial militia was organized by town. Larger towns could have more than one company and smaller towns combined their men to field a company. Men were required by statute to provide their own arms; only indigents were provided with arms by the Commonwealth.

The Mass Bay Company expected the settlers to have to defend themselves. The coast of New England had been well traveled for a generation by the time of the emigration to Salem and the sponsors were aware of the Indian tribes living there as well as the French colonists to the north and the Dutch colonists to the south. The armaments reflect contemporary practice, especially those of the army of the States-General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands modified somewhat for local circumstances. Two men who had served as cadets in the household of Mauritz van Nassau, Prince of Orange, were hired by the company to serve as drill masters and military consultants to the colony, John Underhill and Daniel Patrick.

You will notice if you look at the receipts for the equipment purchased that it does not exactly match John Endicottís list. For example, there are receipts for closed helmets which are not on his list. These are for the officers, and note that there are four of them, just like there are four officers mentioned by rank. I take this to confirm that there were in fact intended to be two officers of the grade of Ensign. An Ensign is an officer junior to a lieutenant whose job includes, but is not limited to, carrying the colors of the division. All companies in the colony donít have colors until 1636. (By the way, be cautious of the notes from the Antiquaries. One note says a corselet is a form of mail and a later note correctly identifies it as an armour for a pikeman.)

The type and quantity of weapons reflects the various roles of a town militia in New England. The first job of a town militia was to act as the local police. Partisans, halberds and half-pikes are the most useful weapons for that role. They signify authority and they are superior to guns and swords in enforcing domestic peace. Read George Silver, for example, to see how a man with a half-pike has the advantage of two swordsmen. They are not vestigial or merely ceremonial at this time.

The second job of the town militia is home defense. The colonists had to consider the possibility of attacks from individual Indians, groups of Indians, and neighboring European colonies. The long fowling pieces were popular in the colonies for personal defense against Indians. The first combat in the new colony was in 1632 when Richard Walker was ambushed by Indians during a changing of the guard in Saugus (I live in Saugus, though the place were Walker was attacked is now in Lynn). He was struck twice by arrows without effect before his attackers fled when he discharged his piece. In sieges fowlers made good sniperís weapons. The English dog-lock bastard muskets were a light, modern firearm useable in divisions of shot against European formations, but also small enough to be able to be carried conveniently through the woods. The full bore muskets would be capable of penetrating armour if any was ever encountered.

Full pikes were intended to be used as in Europe by men wearing armour. They were not used against Indians and fell out of favor very quickly in the colony. The corselets did prove effective at stopping arrows, but buff coats were more comfortable and just as effective and rapidly replaced them.

One thing the militia did not do was fight offensive wars. When John Endicott and John Underhill led an operation against the Pequot in 1636, they recruited men specifically for that service.

I donít think there was ever any intention of having the men carry two weapons or of mixing the weapons in the same division when drilling in European fashion, i.e. incorporating the half-pikes with the full pikes or the fowling pieces with the bastard muskets.

Regarding the position of officers, the captain is in front, the lieutenant in the rear, the ensign in the middle and a sergeant on each flank of the division. The drummers are equally spaced between the 3rd and 4th ranks. Officers do not stand in front of their divisions when they are giving fire or in contact with the enemy.

The drill used by the first Massachusetts Bay colonists is a special interest of mine:

http://www.higginssword.org/guild/demo/interpretation/pike.html

Iím the one on the left
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Thomas Watt




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Are leaders still "leading" in a literal sense, in this era? I.e., are the officers at the back pointing, or are they physically at the front? I think they lead their columns physically, but that applies only to movement to the battle.

Yes, they are still leading from the front.
As recently as the Civil War, at Chancellorsville Robt. E. Lee had to be restrained (some of the soldiers seized his horse's reins and wouldn't let him ride forward) from leading the Texas Brigade into the battle.
The position of Brigadier General was supposed to mean leadship at the head of a brigade. Things only fully changed with the advent of WW1 and the machine gun, but better rifles and better aim did away with leadership from the front.
The color bearer, bugler and drummer would have all stayed together with the command for the troops to use as a rally point (mass confusion happens even on a parade field, and finding where you're supposed to be is not easy).

Have 11 swords, 2 dirks, half a dozen tomahawks and 2 Jeeps - seem to be a magnet for more of all.
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Peter Jensen




Location: Maine
Joined: 05 Jul 2008

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies. It really clears things up.

Paul Kenworthy, that is a fine-looking trio. (I wish I could type that with some good 17th Century spelling and word choice, but alas. Reminds me of "Wee Bee Soldiers Three".) You're wearing a hat I very much associate with the era, but I don't know what the type is called so I can't look it up! The well-armored man in the middle ... cabasset? And the white-bearded gent ... something like a sugarloaf but with a broader brim?

If you're inclined, I'd be very interested in a little info on what each man's outfit signifies in terms of social status, etc. I'm not sure if you're Puritans, or gentlemen or yeomen, or what. (All the yeomen I've seen tend to be on gin bottles, and I've seen enough "Thanksgiving pilgrims with circa-1690 blunderbusses and big buckles on their hats" to be none too sure of my conceptions of the era.)
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Paul Kenworthy




Location: Saugus, MA
Joined: 18 Feb 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Aug, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Peter.

The clothing is a little confusing because we are mixing slightly different periods.

The hat I am wearing is a copy of the hat Charles I is wearing in the famous Anthony van Dyke portrait in the Louvre of him in hunting costume circa 1635. I chose it because of its Dutch influence. The big difference between Charles' hat and mine is that his would be made of beaver fur. Beaver has a beautiful look, a satin feel, and is completely waterproof. Beaver fur was a major export of North America at the time. My hat is, unfortunately, wool felt. The red and green feathers are the colors of the first militia uniforms which were green with red trim. The green because they were Protestant, the red because they were English.

Socially, I'm trying to represent a yeoman farmer/minor gentry. The Mass Bay colony attracted a lot of people in the upper middle class looking for a nice plantation. There were three knights named on the royal charter. For example, Sir Richard Saltonstall was a nephew of the Lord Mayor of London. He owned a small estate in West Yorkshire in what is now metropolitan Leeds. He was also a justice of the peace in the West Riding. He emigrated to Salem with his family in 1629, but returned to England in 1631 after a death in his family. He was appointed ambassador to Holland in 1644.

I'm wearing a corselet varnished black. Pikemen were socially more prestigious than musketeers in the militia,even though everyone who could afford a gun would own one. I'm wearing Dutch slops continuing the Low Countries look and am a little tarted up with a lace falling band and over-socks. My sword is an English half-basket backsword. Our group demonstrates George Silver's backsword techniques so we're partisans of shorter swords for military purposes. I wear a rapier and dagger when I'm demonstration Joseph Swetnam, Giacomo DeGrassi, or Fabris.

Mark, in the middle, is wearing armour that is a generation earlier. He is wearing Venetian breeches and a Monmouth cap under a cabasset. His sword is an open-hilted side sword with a single knuckle bow. He is closer to what you would have seen in early Jamestown than early Salem.

John, on the right, is more 1640s. The armor is gone and he is wearing a full basket-hilted backsword.

The whole Puritans in black with buckles on their hats is a 19th century myth. First off, Mass Bay was not settled by religious refugees. They were mostly middle class folks looking for a nice piece of land. They were a mixture of dissenters, non-conformist, and Anglicans. They didn't even become Congregationalists until after they came under the influence of preachers from the Plymouth Bay colony. They became stricter over time when they started requiring membership in a congregation for membership in the company. This gave ministers enormous political power and led to the expulsion of Roger William, Anne Hutchinson, and others who expressed "heretical" ideas. The strength of the theocracy probably peaked in 1659 when they hung two Quakers for returning to the colony after being banished. Note that they did not hang them for being Quakers. When they hung another one in 1660 the public outcry was so great that the General Court of the Commonwealth repealed the law banishing Quakers in 1661. Charles II was restored in 1660 and in 1661 he ordered the New England colonies to release any Quakers they held. The political power of the ministers eroded slowly but steadily after that. By the way, heresy was still a capital crime in Scotland 100 years later. The Salem witch trials are a whole 'nother story, but suffice it to say that in the 17th century witch persecutions were not restricted to New England or Puritans.

Black was not a religious color, but a formal color. Black dye was expensive and people tended to save it for their best clothes. Compare Frans Hals' portrait of the officers of the St. George Militia Company of Haarlam circa 1627 (Frans Hals Museum) with Rembrandt's painting of the Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq circa 1642 (Rijkesmuseum, Amsterdam). Hals' painting is of a formal banquet and over half the officers are wearing black. Rembrandt's painting depicts the milita company heading out on its rounds and the officers are wearing bright colors.

Dutch militia genre paintings are a good source for the look of what you would have seen in early Salem toned down to reflect the rigors of living on a frontier. A lot of the emigrants had been to the Low Countries. The two men who were hired as military consultants in 1630 had both grown up in the Netherlands. The nearest Europeans to Salem were the Dutch in New Amsterdam. John Underhill, who I mentioned in my first post, moved to New Amsterdam for awhile. His house was where Trinity Church stands in Manhattan today. He is buried on Long Island. There was occasional friction with the neighboring Dutch, but war with the Dutch was still 30 years in the future. The English colonists were much more worried about the Catholic French up north in Acadia.

Regarding leading from the front, it depends on what you mean by leading. No officers were in the front of their divisions when in contact with the enemy. Mass Bay colony practice probably followed English practice which followed Dutch practice. In the army of the States General of the United Provinces a company of foot had one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, two sergeants, and three corporals. A colonel's company had two ensigns and three sergeants, which may be where John Endicott got his numbers. There were no organized regiments in Mass Bay until December of 1636. There were many different ways of arranging companies for battle. Some had the captain at the front, some had him at the rear. Some alternated the captains by division so, for example, the senior captain leads the first division of pike, the colonel's captain leads the first division of the colonel's musketeers, the second captain brings up the rear of the pike, and the 5th captain brings up the rear of all.

"The ordering of a Regiment, according to his highness the Prince of Orange his command, hath bin showne already in the first part of this book, namely, that Companies being made into even files, and ten deepe, foure or five Companies, ioyned together make a division, to wit, the Pikes are drawne first into one bodie, and the the Muskettiers into an other, standing in their true distance of there [this is the spelling of three] foote in file & Ranke, and 18 foote distance betweene the Pikes and Muskettiers, this is the first order. The second is, when the Muskettiers are equally devided, as neere as may be, and drawne vp on the right, and left flankes of the pikes, there to giue fire by Rankes, or to march away, as these two first figures marked wth number 1 and 2 doe shew.

"Now the fittest number of men to make a dvision of, is accounted to be 500 Pikes, and Muskettiers, that is, 25 files of Pikes, and 25 files of Muskettiers, or more, or lesse of the one or of the other, as they fall out.

"This number being so embattailled makes an Agile bodie, and the best to be brought to fight, and two of them being ioyned neere one an other, can best second, and releiue each other, better then your great Phalanges, which are unweeldy bodies, the experience whereof was seene in the Battell of Nieuport: for being once broken, and routed, they can hardly be reallyed againe, and cannot bring so many men to Fight, as the Lesser Bodies doe." Henry Hexham, "The Second Part of the Principles, of the Art Militarie; Practized In the Warres of the Vnited Provinces." (London: Robert Younge, 1638. p. 17.)

That's the ideal, but regiments and companies varied widely in size during this period. I haven't been able to find any numbers on the size of the militia companies in the Mass Bay colony during their first ten years.
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Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Aug, 2008 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr. Kenworthy, well done! Sometimes I wish that I lived on the East Coast so that I could do more reenacting on the original sites of things (or at least fairly close by), and in New England there is a lot to offer in that regard. Alas, we have to come up with our own things on the Left Coast, unfortunately.

Thank you for the information on the Massachusetts Bay Colony Militia too. Much appreciated!

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
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David Evans




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Aug, 2008 3:49 am    Post subject: A few points         Reply with quote

Some interesting stuff there but I'd thought I'd throw a few points in

Hats could be ,as rightly said, made from pure beaver fur, known as castor or mixed with rabbit or hare fur to make demi castors. There are also various other mixes that crop up including otter and wool. Wool felt hats appear in the early 17th century, just not sure when!

Black is a shockingly common colour on probates, very clearly the most common colour of all. This black is a range from slate grays to pure black with degrees of fading to weather and sun light depending upon the quality of the dye stuff. Which tend to suggest that "Black" is worn far more often than we expect.

The mixture of styles is pefectly normal for any mixed social group and would depend upn the wearer's age and social status. A Gentleman in his 50's in 1640 would be wearing what was acceptable in about 1610-1620. A Yeoman farmer would tend to a few years behind depending upon how far from London he lives but again 10, -20 years behind would be normal. The lowest working classes would be almost medeveil in look, with baggy full leg hose, almost more like trousers and lose baggy coats similar to base coats of the Tudor period.

There would be a lot more layers, frequently adding waistcoat and jerkin under and over a doublet for warmth. A jerkin and breeches could freqently be of leather, to protect the wearer from thorns, brambles and nettles.
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Peter Jensen




Location: Maine
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Aug, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You guys sound pretty serious! The use of the phrase "English half-basket backsword" is refreshingly precise (i.e., instead of broad-brushing everything with an edge as a "broadsword" - not so precise).

Also, surprised to find pikemen are more prestigious than musketeers. Actually, the whole era's social class structure is a big mystery to me (less so with the last few weeks' websurfing) - all the military positions I associate with a certain class are either rapidly becoming obsolete (i.e., yeomen carry longbows, young upper class boys go from page to squire and hope to be knighted, the poorest carry polearms made out of staves and cleavers) or are still things of the future (wealthy men buy commissions in territorial or militia units).

Thanks for all the information, Paul. When I have time I'm going to look harder at this whole post.
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Paul Kenworthy




Location: Saugus, MA
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter,

I like serious and precise. It sounds so much better than obsessive/compulsive.

All the members of our re-enacting group met through our mutual interest in swords. (Bet thatís a big surprise for everyone on this forum.) Now that I think of it, thatís not technically true. I met Patri Pugliese through our mutual interest in bayonet fencing, but I think we can safely say thatís within the meaning of the act.

One of the things we like to do in our demonstrations is to compare the techniques of different authors. Since a significant part of technique is determined by weapon, we are careful to use the right weapons. Mark has a demonstration he does contrasting George Silverís backsword techniques against English-style rapier and dagger and Salvator Fabrisís style of rapier and dagger. He uses an Armour Class rebated backsword for the Silver side that is like a simplified version of the mortuary sword reviewed on this forum. Mark uses a custom made rebated rapier and dagger from Darkwood Armories for the other side. I think it has a Del Tin blade, but Iíll have to check.

I have a matching rapier and dagger from Darkwood that I use on occasion. It has a very simple two ring hilt with a plain walnut gripe. The blade on the rapier is a 44Ē Del Tin practice blade. The blade on the dagger is a 12Ē Del Tin. I like the feel very much -- nicely balanced and not whippy -- but the steel seems a little soft and nicks very easily.

Regarding the prestige of belonging to the militia: the cavalry was at the top, but the Mass Bay Colony did not begin to organize troops of horse until 1648, almost 20 years after the first migration.

Cannoneers were very important in the age of the artillery fort and the first colonists brought 8 pieces with them, but they were considered more technicians than gentlemen soldiers. (I donít use the term artillery because it had a more general meaning at the beginning of the 17th century than cannons and the men who served them.)

Wielding a pike required strength, skill, and discipline. Iíve had a chance to drill with original 17th-century pikes, and itís not as easy as it looks, especially if you care about not accidentally whacking your buddies.

Of course, anyone who has tried to fire a matchlock or a flintlock knows that there is a fair amount of art and magic to it, and especially if you donít want to accidentally shoot your buddies. The colony also differed from English practice in that up until 1643 all members of the militia (which meant all able bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60) had to own a gun Ė even if they trained as pike men. Even after that, 2/3 of the men had to train as shot and only 1/3 could train as pike. Therefore it looks like the social status of pike really had little to do with the practical aspects of the weapons.

There is something else going on with the Mass Bay militia due to the political situation in England, too. The colony withdrew its allegiance to Charles I in 1642 and Governor John Winthropís son served as a colonel in Cromwellís army. The militia continued to practice European styles of fighting because they werenít sure whether or not they might be fighting Europeans soon. The English in Virginia are Royalist and Anglican and there are still those pesky Dutch and French. Better to be safe than sorry.

Regards,

Paul
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Paul Kenworthy




Location: Saugus, MA
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Frye wrote:
Mr. Kenworthy, well done! Sometimes I wish that I lived on the East Coast so that I could do more reenacting on the original sites of things (or at least fairly close by), and in New England there is a lot to offer in that regard. Alas, we have to come up with our own things on the Left Coast, unfortunately.

Thank you for the information on the Massachusetts Bay Colony Militia too. Much appreciated!

Cheers!

Gordon


Thank you.

Mark pointed out to me that you are one of the gentlemen behind the Renaissance Soldier website. I've admired your site for a number of years, but somehow I missed noticing the link at the bottom of your post. Bad brain! No cookie! Blush

We're very fortunate to still have some of the original Mass Bay Colony sites available to us. The drill field in Salem that the General Court purchased in December of 1636 for the East Regiment to use is still there. The Massachusetts Army National Guard holds a Heritage Day Review there every April to celebrate what they consider the "birthday" of the National Guard. I put birthday in quotes because the Guard has decided that they count the muster of the first regimental organization as the starting point, and also because we know the month of the first muster, but we don't know the actual day. Sometime in April of 1637, the first permanent militia regiment in the English colonies mustered on the drill field in the center of Salem. There were other militia units in the colonies before that, but they either weren't permanent, or they weren't regimental in size.

Salem also has a recreation of the some of the first houses in Salem in a park called Pioneer Village. The original houses are gone, but these full-sized replicas were built in 1930 for the tri-centenial. Since they are in a park, they have a nice setting free from modern intrusions. They make nice wallpaper for events.

Saugus, the town were I live, has a National Park Service site for the first iron works in the colony. It has the original ironmaster's house from 1646 and reconstructions of the other buildings on the site. It also makes an excellent backdrop for events and the NPS has been very nice about hosting.

Give me a shout if you're going to be in the area some time and I'll make sure you get to see all the fun places.

Best Regards,

Paul
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul;

Thank you, Sir. And thank you for the kind invitation. Some day I'll make it back to that side of the country to re-visit some of the cool places I managed to see back in '96. (My youngest daughter won the lottery, as it were, in the form of a place on the USS Constitution for a turn-around cruise, along with three guests, so we HAD to fly out for a vacation, no?) It was pretty cool, checking out the various historical sites such as Concord, Plimouth Plantation, Mystic Seaport, Old Sturbridge Village, etc. I liked Salem a lot, and especially your own home-town, Saugus. The iron works there is pretty impressive, to say the least! So one of these days I'll make it back, and give you a jingle to set me up on the "right places" to visit! Cool

Again, thanks for the kind words, and please feel welcome to be crazy and fly out for the School of the Renaissance Soldier in April. We already had one Landsknecht come out from Boston for this year's event, and we're happy to increase the numbers from the East Coast!

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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