The Pike and Musket Society is a historical reenactment and Living History organisation whose main focus is reenacting the Green Band of the Trayned Bandes (Trained Bands) of London at the beginning of the English Civil War in 1642. We are based in Australia. Most of our members live in or near Sydney, and some in Melbourne and Newcastle.
Even though our main area of reenactment is military, this doesn't stop us from reenacting the finer parts of Stuart culture. Some members of the Pike and Musket Society have branched out to form the Stoccata School of Defence, dedicated to the study of European Swordsmanship. Others are interested in dance, needlework, and much finer cookery than the average soldier's rations (thank goodness).
17th century military encampment life was a little different than today's military. Women and children often accompanied the soldiers, the richer members of society brought along quite an encampment indeed. And as we have found in 17th century documents, some of the soldiers were cleverly disguised women. The Trayned Bandes of London's weapons were the Musket and the Pike. The musket is a black powder weapon with a lead ball of 52-58 calibre. The gunpowder was held in the 12 'apostles' or 'charges' carried on a bandolier. The pike was a 17 foot long length of wood with an 8" steel head. These don't seem very dangerous compared to today's weapons, but were the height of military technology for the period.
The Pike and Musket Society also travel under the name "The Routiers". This name came about in early Pike and Musket days when we were reenacting the European 30 years war. The word "Routier" means "Road-man" in Old French. In the 17th Century, these "road-men" were bands of vagabond soldiers who plied their mercenary trade along the highways and byways of the strife-torn Europe of the 17th Century, selling their martial expertise to the highest bidder. This fitted our reenactment perfectly. As time has worn on, those soldiers have aged, and are now the Veterans who form the mainstay of the London Trained Band's ranks. Those young, drunken mercenaries have now turned into the gout-ridden middle-aged respectable (well nearly respectable) men, some with families to support. They keep the nickname Routiers to remind them of more youthful days.