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Cardiff Rose Swordsmen Guild
Costume Guidelines -


These are to provide goals and direction for Guild costuming, and have been designed to give our group a distinctive and authentic appearance. New purchases must be made in accordance with Guild requirements, but older costume elements that don't meet these guidelines may be "grandfathered" if acceptable - so don't panic! Existing costume should gradually change to meet these new standards, depending on the guildmember's rank, finances, and interests.

We portray a late-Elizabethan or Early-Stuart era local militia or Trained Band from the Welsh Border/Cardiff area. Militia members would gather for training at the local "Artillery Garden", where they would practice swordplay, shooting muskets and cannon, and drilling with pikes. Trained Bands would sometimes go on manuevers and practice battles with other militia units.

In Elizabethan times, "artillery" meant anything that was shot through the air, including archery, muskets, and cannon. Cannon crewmen were called "Matross". Matross costume is similar to the Pike and Musket Ranks, with a basic soldier's sword and either boots or low shoes. Artillery was considered "Rocket Science", and matross crews were the serious techno-geeks of the period. Minimum equipment consits of a basic sword and maybe a pair of gauntlets. Improved equipment adds tools like sighting aids and cannon tools, plus muskets or firelocks to defend the cannon.

(From The Weapons Of Sixteenth Century Warfare At Sea - an excerpt from Gunpowder And Galleys: Changing Technology And Mediterranean Warfare At Sea In The Sixteenth Century By John Francis Guilmartin Jr., Cambridge University Press. )
"The sixteenth-century gunner was not, unlike his eighteenth- or nineteenth-century successors, a mere private soldier or able seaman who had been trained to perform certain mechanical movements under fire. Gunnery was still - like race-car driving before World War I or commercial flying in the 1920s - an uncertain business with a certain grimy glamor and a tangible aura of mystery about it. It was all very much "seat of the pants". Experience, basic intelligence, and a "feel" for the business paid off more surely than precision in following a rigid set of procedures. Sixteenth-century gunnery was an art, not a science; and attempting to evaluate it as if it were a science can lead to serious errors. Its finest practitioners were men of unusual ability and daring who were attracted to gunnery by the mystery of the esoteric knowledge involved, by the danger, and by the prestige."

Dale Shinn's Scots Free Artillery Company

English Civil War Society photo

The Geometry of War website

Artillery Links (mostly UK)

ECWSA Black Powder Safety Rules - Modified for other groups ,
How to be an Artilleryman in a reenactment Society ,
The Artillery Garden,
Becoming an Artillerist,
The Geometry of War, 1500-1750 - fantastic photos and documents
about artillery tools, troop formations, etc. (museum show website),

These others are 1860's with good cannon information -
Cannon Ltd, Borland Arms, Steen Cannons, Civil War Artillery Sites.

The Guild of St. George has some excellent period Militia reference material online,
including Markham's The Soldier's Accidence and their Guild's own Polearm Drill.

Recommended Online Merchants

American Fencing Supply in SF.
Hatcrafters - an ASTOUNDING selection of hats -
the Charles, Salem, Puritan & Quaker models are recommended
Swordsmiths (UK) carries Armour Class weapons,
both 17th C "Hangers" are PERFECT Ren Faire soldier's swords.
Syke's Suttlery has good musketry supplies and costume
Frank Bee Costume carries men's tights, also check dance suppliers
Tentsmiths - US makers of period tents
Panther Primitives - US makers of period tents
Jas. Townsend - US tents, barrels, tall stockings, spectacles & more!
Loyalist Arms - Canadian Dealer, Matchlock & Doglock muskets on p. 2
Derek Cole makes Pikeman's armour in the UK,
be sure to get it sized properly & order early.
Valentine Armouries - Canadian armor, very authentic.
Thorne's page on converting Desert Boots / Hushpuppies to period Latchet Shoes
Great Northern Trade Co - hand-forged gun and cooking tools
Albion Small Arms - matchlocks, wheelocks, and doglocks from the UK
Age of Chivalry sells nice armour, baldrics and swords.
Bainbridge Bootmakers (UK) makes museum-quality footware,
at museum-level prices - won the lottery lately?

To read our character histories and Pyrate stories,
visit The Book Of The Rose pages

The Cardiff Rose Calendar -- Crew Parties, Faires, Etc.