When the ordinary man decided to take up arms in 1642 there was no full-time standing army in England, instead defence of the realm fell to part-time soldiers - the militia and trayned bands.
Joining Lord Brooke's regiment, men arrived in their own civilian clothes and were in most cases equipped with weapons from the Lord's arsenal, and trained in their use.
To that end, the kit used by and large by members is based on civilian clothing of the period. As the war began to take hold, the regiment received deliveries of clothing as outlined below*:
"22nd August 1642 - 740 sets (rec'd 740 shirts 740 shoes 634 snapsacks)
16th Sept 1642 - 24 shoes 3 shirts to Lord Brooks Regiment
23rd October 1642 - Lord Brooks Purple Coats
2nd Dec 1642 - 200 Coats, shirts, shoes, caps and snapsacks for Lt. Col Billingsly received by Robert Brook."
Outlined below is an example of clothing worn by members of the living history group, portraying a soldier from late 1642.
* Source - The Soldier's Life by Stuart Peachey.
Lord Brooke's Regiment of Foote
A number of pieces of headwear were in use during this period. For civilians, knitted caps such as wide brimmed Monmouth and Monmouth caps were typical.
Montero caps were widely issued to Royalist troops and likely to have been issued to Parliament troops also.
Felt hats make their first real documented appearance in 1646.
A close fitting garment, made from broadcloth or linen.
Issued to troops on garrison duty; destined for Ireland and/or part of the Trayned Bands.
Made typically from wool (occasionally from linen). Baggy and loose fitting, high-waisted.
Worn in unison with 'Hose', or wool stockings.
A square cut simple broadcloth coat, raw edged and finished with cloth; covered or metal buttons OR tapes. Lined with white linen.
Variation between coats is typical, with some with rolled shoulders and others without (amongst other differences).
The coats for Brooke's regiment were dyed 'Logwood' purple.
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Often referred to as 'Bandoliers', the period correct term is a 'Collar of Boxes'.
Each wooden bottle would hold a measured charge of black powder. A primer bottle hangs from the shotte bag (where the musket ball was stored).
Wooden topped or pewter topped will suffice. No New Model Army Blue permitted.
Little variation existed between common footwear of the period, with either closed or open latchets being typically worn or calf-boots (without a heel). The former would be sported more often than not by persons from urban areas whilst calf-boots would be seen more so in rural areas.
The most common style of musket used during the civil wars was the matchlock. A smooth bore weapon, which fired a single musket ball.
A burning rope (slow-match) was cocked and presented to the pan (where the gunpowder was) which then ignited the powder resulting in the main charge in the barrel being ignited.
A 'Hangar' or 'Tuck' is a short sword used by musketeers and Pikemen during the Civil Wars.