- Written by Keith Foster
What Can I Do?
Members of both sexes can choose from several different roles in our re-enactment.
DRAGOONES The rank and file of the regiment, armed with muskets, and often swords for close combat.
CAMP FOLLOWERS include the wives and children of the soldiers, together with the looser type of women always closely associated with armies. Vital to our re-enactments, they maintain soldiers in the field, and take part in cameos.
MUSICIANS playing drums and wind instruments form an integral part of any civil war regiment. The drummers give audible signal of orders during the battle, when shouted commands often cannot be heard. Musicians also make an invaluable contribution to the social life after the battle.
THE BAGGAGE TRAYNE comprise of professionals and tradesmen whose skills were required by the regiment. These included surgeons, blacksmiths, engineers, clergymen etc. These skills are particularly important at living history events.
In addition to its primary battlefield role the regiment has the equipment and skills to portray a soldiers camp, and can also play the role of a unit of pioneers.
All on all there is a role for everyone, which you can shape to suit your own skills and interests.
Uniform and Dress
The regiment prides itself on having a good standard of 17th Century dress and equipment. You will normally be able to borrow this for your first few musters but eventually you will be expected to provide your own. The minimum you require is:-
SOLDIERS UNIFORM Red Woollen Soldiers Coat, Woollen Breeches, Woollen Socks/Stockings, Footwear, Shirt, Felt hat, Montero or Monmouth cap. In addition soldiers will require arms and accoutrements, i.e. sword, musket, baldric, powder flask etc.
WOMENS DRESS Long Woollen Skirt, Bodice, Shirt or Shift, Linen Bonnet, Footwear.
There are three ways to acquire kit – make it yourself, persuade a friend or relation to do it or buy it ready made, from the merchants who attend many of the events
For various items such as coats and muskets the regiment organises a central supply, so that new recruits can either borrow from the store, or buy basic uniform items at a reasonable price.
It is always advisable to consult an established member of the regiment when buying or making equipment, to avoid acquiring unsuitable items or paying more than is necessary.
Sealed Knot Events
The majority of events are musters (battles), up to 20 each year during the spring, summer and autumn. Musters are held throughout the country, with members camping over the weekend.
Normally people arrive at the campsite on the Friday evening, take part in the battles on Saturday and Sunday, and leave on the Sunday after the battle. Members are encouraged to attend as many musters as they can and after a while it can become a way of life.
During the winter the regiment maintains contact through social events (banquets etc.) Details of musters are published in ‘Orders of the Daye’, the magazine of the Sealed Knot, and via the society's web site. Additionally the regiment publishes it own newsletter to keep members abreast of any developments, and has an e-mail group for the same purpose.
What Do You Get?
You will receive Public Liability Insurance cover for all re-enactments, as well as ‘Orders of the Daye’, and ‘Dragoone’, the regimental newsletter.
For your first events it would be expected that you can borrow all the clothing and equipment you will need. The regiment also maintains stocks of coats and muskets for longer term loans, and can provide help in purchasing the larger items.
The joining fee for new members at the start of the 2017 season is set at £38 for individuals and £58 for families, plus a one off joining fee of £6. A temporary membership for one trial event is also available, as is a reduced price half year membership.
The cost of uniforms varies depending on the style and quality. As a guide the clothing we would expect you to start obtaining in your second year (shirt, hat, hose, breeches and shoes) will cost approximately £200 if new, but second hand items are often available.
There is also some financial commitment involved in obtaining a shotgun certificate and black powder license.
This is a hobby with something to appeal to everyone. It is possible to leave the cares of the modern world behind and enjoy a complete change of life style. Whether your interests lie in history, battle re-enactment, or in making lots of new friends, the Sealed Knot has something for you.