FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
First of all, let us debunk a few myths:
1. You have to be Scottish to join the Scots Brigade - FALSE!
Our membership catchment area spans the whole of the UK and even beyond. We count Scots, English, Irish, Welsh and even Bavarians amongst our current members!
2. We only fight battles - FALSE!
Whilst the main purpose of the Sealed Knot is to reenact battles, there is much more on members; the Baggage Trayne (camp followers), musicians and the 'Living History' encampment. Not forgetting much merriment to be enjoyed after-hours in the members Beer Tent and at private banquets which are held during the Winter months.
3. Braveheart lives! - FALSE!
Actually no. We strive to be as authentic as possible in both our dress and our conduct. We regularly drill to perfect 17th Century warfare manoeuvres on the battlefield and our 'kit' and weaponry are based on historical fact. We leave the fiction to Hollywood.
4. It's just for men - FALSE!
Wrong again! Many of our members are women. Some choose to take up arms and fight as men or become drummers whilst others form part of the Baggage Trayne as non-fighting civilians. Many families - including those with young children - enjoy being active members. The Sealed Knot also operates an 'Apprentices' club for children aged 10-16. There really is something to suit everyone regardless of age, gender or capability!
Below are the most common queries we receive. However if you have any additional questions, do contact us and we'll be pleased to talk to you.
Where and when do events take place?
Sealed Knot events (known as 'musters') occur over weekends throughout the United Kingdom, often on, or near to, actual Civil War battle sites. The main season usually runs from Easter to early Autumn, with members choosing however many events they wish to attend - typically however we will attend four events per season as a Brigade.
Previous events have included:
Castle Urquhart, Loch Ness; Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire; Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire; Newbury, Berkshire; Basing House, Hampshire; Wetherby, Yorkshire; Kelmarsh Hall, Leicestershire; Naseby, Northamptonshire; Weston Supermare, Somerset; Coleford, Forest of Dean and Nantwich, Cheshire to name but a few. So you can see, we really do get about!
What about the weather?
Musters go ahead come rain, wind, shine and even snow!
Where do you stay?
Members camp free of charge on specially arranged sites; this may be in the grounds of a stately home or close to an actual battlefield . Those involved in Living History stay within an authentic encampment setting but the vast majority of members pitch-up on the 'plastic site' in tents or caravans/motor homes. Food stalls, a Beer Tent and toilet facilities are also provided on site.
Where does clothing and equipment come from?
Much of the clothing, leather work, weaponry and armour are made by members themselves and are based on original patterns. We also have a 'Trader's Row' at musters and Traders' Fairs twice a year when clothing and equipment can be purchased from specialist suppliers.
Ultimately every member is expected to provide their own authentic clothing and any associated weaponry. This 'kit' can be acquired over time. Until then, individual Regiments can usually loan various items to their newer members if required. We also provide patterns and advice.
Whose side are you on - Royalist or Parliament?
The Scots Armie played a pivotal role on both sides during the English Civil War. Sometimes fighting for the King and at others for the Parliament cause, there are even incidents where Scots changed allegiances mid-battle!
Each Sealed Knot battle re-enactment is unique and, where possible, is based on the known records for that location. the Scots Brigade therefore (as part of the wider Sealed Knot), assume whichever side is deemed necessary to match historical accuracy for the Scots overall per individual re-enactment battle - including sometimes acting the part of English Militia under our 'Rutland' guise.
Is it expensive to join?
The Sealed Knot offer a variety of memberships for individuals and families, ranging from annual and half-yearly subscriptions to single event passes. For details on the latest membership fees and an application form click here .
Clothing and associated weaponry may be purchased over time but once you have it, it never goes out of date. Some members wear the same kit for decades!
Regarding everything else, all you'll need is camping equipment (tent/caravan/camper). The camping itself is free and sites are often open a couple of days either side of the main event so that members can extend their stay and make more of a holiday out of it if they wish.
Why do you do it?
Passion for history. A belief in preserving our heritage. A desire to do something different. Exhilaration. Escapism. A love of dressing-up. Wanting to travel the country. The Great Outdoors. Fascination for the traditional way of life. Interest in the Military. Raising money for charity. Sense of adventure. To meet new people. Enjoy having lots of fun.
Every member has his or her own reasons.
What will yours be?