My love for reenactment began in the Elizabethan period, as a Tudor at Kentwell Hall, Suffolk, England. Kentwell pretty much invented the idea of Domestic Living History (rather than battle reenactment) The only problem with KW is we are 'Year Specific' and the year changes every year, so it has been a few years since w e have done a classic Elizabethan year, which is a shame as I love the clothes and other kit.
|Musketeer of the Essex Trained Bande|
To get round this problem, my small reenactment group, The Suffolk Free Company now does Elizabethan events in the Guise of an Essex Trained Bande. Most of our kit is mid to late Elizabethan and in 2013 we are going to be in either 1588 or 1593. Big hats and ruffs!
|Musket drill with the Trained Bande|
The other cool thing about Elizabethan is that we get to play with guns. Being predominantly a Military Historian, I am fascinated with the 16th Century as it is a Transitional Period, where we see a huge shift from one form of warfare to another. This is when guns come to the fore. And The SFC are REALLY getting into guns:0)
|Woodland Skirmish: 'Give Fire!'|
Along with the transition in firepower, we also see a transition in hand to hand combat, a move from the medieval arming sword to the 'Cut & Thrust' sword which evolves into the rapier. We are enjoying developing our sword skills and learning to fight in a different style.
|Cut and Thrust sword fighting.|
One of the bonuses for us specialising in Elizabethan, especially the military side is that there are few other groups doing so, as there are no major battles on English soil. This means that we are doing very nicely when it comes to getting events at some splendid venues. In 2013 we will be found at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire and Pendennis Castle in Cornwall. Plus, weather permitting, we shall be marching out at the English Heritage Festival Of History in July.
|Discussing the defence of the castle and fending off those pesky Spaniards!|