Mount David in full glory..

Mount David in full glory..

Alternate weekend 26-28 Aug.

Mid-17th C Living History Weekend – Fully Catered, with Authentic Loo! EVENTS – Eating, Drinking, Musketry – including the World Famous Captain’s Cup Competition, Archery, 17th Century Military Drill, Gambling, Music, Dance and Games including the Grand Pell Mell Tournament.

Note: This year the captayne is out for revenge and the return of the cup that is rightfully his!

Program
Friday 12 August –
Arrive from midday, via Oberon and straw pickup.
Establish encampment, secure toilet, establish fire pits.
Dinner, drinks and merriment.
Saturday 13 August –
10am – ON PARADE in FULL CAMPAIGN (outside city walls/day trip/picnic) KIT
Inspection of kit and notation of deficiencies
10.30am – Drill session. Basic manoeuvres, deportment, facings, marching, turns.
11.00 – Separate Pike and Musket refined drill movements.
11.30 – Combined drill and march to Range for Grand Drill Display with firing
12.30 – Lunch
13.30 – Grand Pel Mel tournament
14.30 – Prepare for Captayne’s Cup
15.00 – Company On Parade. March to range for Captayne’s Cup
16.00 – Reverend’s Plate Archery competition
17.00 – Prepare dinner. Foraging party to march to river to deliver wild Boar for dinner
18.00 – Dicing, dancing and drivel around the campfire
Sunday 14 August
Breakfast
10.00 – ON PARADE. Review all drill manoeuvres and correct any deficiencies.
11.00 – Grand Pell Mell Tournament, Free Range Egg shooting, Archery at will
Midday – decamp and return to London

Two days Four hours of firm drilling.
In preparation for another immaculate drill display at St Ives MedievealandslightlyRenaissancey Fair, a Grand Muster has been arranged.

Late change:
Due to a Genesis-level inundation, the site is unusable and four hours of drill will be held at Lapstone instead. Check your inbox for more details.
A weekend of drill, drill, and more drill, as well as games, archery and the usual camp fayre.

No FIRING of muskets – only drill

You don’t have to stay overnight though, and can come during the day. If you can come only one day, Saturday is best, but whichever. If you want to arrange a billet nearby contact a mountain man.

Outline of program
Friday 22 July afternoon from 4 pm – Travelers from afar are welcome to break their journey at the Lagoon Fortress in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Book ahead to be fed at Companye expense!

Saturday 23 July ARRIVE EARLY AND HELP SET UP!
09.00 arrival of the trailer for set-up of tents, canopy, cooking area.
11.00 am sharp on Parade in Full and Complete Kit
Drill, lunch, drill, dinner, drinking

Sunday 24 July
Breakfast, drill, morning tea, drill, lunch, drill, pack down by 3pm

Water, fire
NVG has built up a fireplace area that looks great for both cooking and socialising. There is plenty of firewood.
There’s a water tap hidden in trees on the trail that supplies the site from a rainwater tank at the top of the hill. Bring period water containers.

Archery
There’s a nice sloped area away from the camp that would be good for archery, if someone wants to organise that.

Insurance
Public liability insurance is required for the event. If you have ALHF insurance that’s fine.
Anyone else either has to be confirmed covered by another group for the event or become a temporary member (NB: other insurance may not be valid for individuals reenacting apart from their non-ALHF group). But you may as well join the Routiers and ALHF at very reasonable rates.
Print and bring one of these if you want to JOIN THE LEGEND;
http://theroutiers.org/downloads/application_membership_2015b.pdf

Catering
Saturday lunch, dinner, Sunday breakfast, lunch – provided. BYO grog.

Accommodation
Soldiers tent or bring your own. It will be cold.

Costs
A fee for food will be charged, hopefully $20-30 max TBC.

More info will be uploaded on the website; http://theroutiers.org/wp/event/annual-general-muster/ and on the Farcebook page. BUT MEMBERS ONLY SECRET INFORMATION will only be sent via the email list.

The Muster will be at a property in Hazelbrook in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. For directions, please email secretary@theroutiers.org

an updated article from The International Routier of 2005 by Wayne Robinson

There is a considerable body of evidence for the use of half-pikes, gaining honourable mention in Barriffe’s The Young Artilleryman, where he comments, “a serviceable Half-pike may be had for 2s.6d. which exceeds not much the price of a Rest.”[1]

The half-pike is a different weapon to a pike, not just a scale model of one. The waist (like on most of us, the thickest point) is still the same distance from the butt as on a pike; (this distance to the waist are dictated by the length of the arm, plus the width across the shoulders of the user) the positions of the hands at the charge are the same with either weapon. The head and langets are the same size as on a pike only the distance from the waist to the head is different, which makes a significant change to move the balance of the weapon towards the head.

There is some argument about the length of the half-pike, Barriffe says “7, 8 feet in length” or “being complete 10 feet”[2], Silver is a bit more scientific about the length. Here’s the Silver section in full:

“To know the perfect length of your short staff, or half pike, forest bill, partisan, or glaive, or such like weapons of vantage and perfect lengths, you shall stand upright, holding the staff upright close by your body, with your left hand, reaching with your right hand your staff as high as you can, and then allow to that length a space to set both your hands, when you come to fight, wherein you may conveniently strike, thrust, and ward, & that is the just length to be made according to your stature. And this note, that these lengths will commonly fall out to be eight or nine foot long, and will fit, although not just, the statures of all men without any hindrance at all unto them in their fight, because in any weapon wherein the hands may be removed, and at liberty, to make the weapon longer of shorter in fight at his pleasure, a foot of the staff being behind the backmost hand does no harm.”[3]

The perfect length of your half pike… Silver, Paradoxes of Defence, p30

The perfect length of your half pike… Silver, Paradoxes of Defence, p30

Silver discusses the “short staff fight” and “the short staff fight against the long staff” provides a number of principles principles. For example, “Of the short staff fight, being of convenient length, against the like weapon.  The short staff has 4 wards, that is 2 with the point up, & 2 with the point down. …”[4]

He considered the half-pike to be the best weapon of “all other… by reason of its nimbleness swift motions”[5]

Barriffe goes as far as to suggest half-pikes be used in the manner of a rest for muskets mainly so musketeers are able to withstand horse without need of pikemen, dedicating three chapters to the subject.[6] Chapter CXIII begins, “Of the Half-pike, how it may be serviceable on all forms…”. This was one of the Double Armed Man experiments by the Honourable Artillery Company, which eventually lead to the development of the bayonet.

George Hale, writing in 1614 adds a note of caution “…as I have seene upon the publique Stage, a single Rapier most shamefully foyle both Halberd and halfe Pike.”[7]

Construction more or less follows that in Andrew Brew’s excellent DIY pike article from a few years back and reproduced in the 3rd edition Standards Manuel. The advantage in this case is that a half-pike can be made from a commercially available length of wood. We used a 3m length of 35mm diameter Mountain Ash dowel/curtain rod. The shorter length makes using hand tools a more realistic proposition.

Ascertain the centre of the butt end by dead reckoning or some other more scientific or arcane means and draw a circle the same size as the outside diameter as the butt ring (fnarr!).

Plane a step about 400mm from the butt of the pike. Rotate a quarter turn and plane another step, repeat, then take the high points off. When you have removed about 1/3 of the waste (that’s the other kind of waste) timber, move another 400mm down the pike and repeat as before, then a third time, removing timber down to the line. Do the same from the head end, using 800mm steps instead.  You can use more steps, but remember to remove proportionally less timber for each step. Round with rasp, file and sandpaper. Fit the head and butt ring as per pages 26-7 of the Standards Emanuel.

A pike order from 1657 specified “3500 pike to be furnished at 3s 4d a piece; to be made of good ash 16 feet long, bars to be strong and serviceable in length to be 2 feet or 22 inches. The staves to be coloured with Aquafortes.”[8] Aquafortis (nitric acid) is used to dye wood by burning the timber black when heated over a fire. Too much acid will promote rusting of the head and butt.

Why a half-pike?  W. Wood gives one explanation, “…For there is no man there that bears a head, but that bears military arms; even boys of fourteen years of age are practiced with men in military discipline, every three weeks.”[9] Cooke agrees, “Let young men be exercised betimes, for it is readiness gotten by former practice that maketh a Souldier.”[10]


[1] Barriffe, W., Militarie Discipline, or the Young Artillery-Man, London, 5th Ed, 1648, p 148

[2] Barriffe, p145

[3] Silver, G., Paradoxes of Defence, 5.1 On the Length of Weapons

[4] Silver, G., Brief Instructions on my Paradoxes of Defence, ch11

[5] Paradoxes, p43

[6] Barriffe, p145–154

[7] Hale, G., The Priuate Schoole of Defence. Or The Defects of Publique Teachers, exactly diſcouered, by way of Obiection and Reſolution. Together VVith the true practiſe of the Science, ſet downe in iudicious Rules and Obſeruances; in a Method neuer before expreſſed, London, 1614.

[8] Military Illustrated Issue 128 p28

[9] Wood, W., New-England’s Prospect, being a true, lively and experimental Description of that part of America commonly called New-England, London 1639

[10] Cooke, E., The Character of Warre, or The Image of Martiall Discipline. London, 1626, Ch III

Heere is placed the handling of Picke and Musquet,
with your left hand because there is sundrie of
this Towne who are left handed and de-
sirous to learne to handle both Pickes
and Musquets therewith.

Postures for the left-handed pikeman:

20 Presenting your Picke being shouldered to any quarter, ob-
serue that if hee be a right handed man, that thee right foote
goe alwayes back to one place, and if left handed, his left foote
alwayes backe to one place, at the exercising of these Postures
I also show the reasons, but now it were too tedious.

Musket drill is similar to right-handed. The pan and match are both used with the left hand, the rest is held in the right.

The words for the handling of the
Musket for a left handed man.
The musquet shouldered vpon
the right shoulder.

Note that when you handle your Musquet with
your right hand that your bandelier be over
the left shoulder & vnder the right arme.

Note that when you handle your Musquet with
your right hand that your bandelier be over
the left shoulder & vnder the right arme.

Achesone, A., Gentleman at Arms, The Military Garden, Edinburgh, 1629.

…For there is no man there that bears a head, but that bears military arms; even boys of fourteen years of age are practiced with men in military discipline, every three weeks.

Wood, W., New-England’s Prospect, being a true, lively and experimental Description of that part of America commonly called New-England, London 1639

…you will have young men to muster the time that they must appear at muster must be so soon as they grow to any mans estate: this will be when they are about the age of 14, 15 or 16 years: Then not only more speedily, but also more perfectly all things are learned, the sooner the better. Fore Vergetius sayth truly, that it is better that a young men exercised should allege that his age to fight is not yet come, than he should truly lament that the same were already past. Let young men be exercised betimes, for it is readiness gotten by former practice that maketh a Soldier.

Cooke, E., The Character of Warre, or The Image of Martiall Discipline. London, 1626, Ch III

 Detail of: Militia Company of District VIII under the command of Captain Roelof Bicker - Bartolomeus van der Helst, oil on canvas 1643.