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A Regiment of the Sealed Knot
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The pikeman is the cheapest soldier to kit yourself out as, initialy at least. The majority of your kit is provided by the regiment.

Basic Kit



A pikeman is the most basic form of soldier in a C17th army. The pikeman was armed with a wooden pole, 16 to 18 feet long (~5m), that was topped with a metal point and two metal straps called languets, which prevented the top of the pike being cut off by sword or other bladed weapon.

The pikes we use today are still 16 to 18 feet in length but they're topped with a plastic end, made to look like metal - we don't actually want to kill the enemy after all. The pike is supplied and kept by the regiment.


Both pikemen and musketeers may, and are encouraged to, also carry a sword on the field. As with the musket it necessary to pass a test administered by the sword inspectorate in order to assure that you are competent and safe to use the sword on the field. Sword training is carried out by members of the regiment and also at musters on the Living History site by members of the inspectorate, who will also be able to test you if they feel you're ready. You will need to buy your own sword if you wish to carry one.

Swords used on the field have to meet certain safety criteria concerneing the type of steel used and raidus on the out edges of the blade, also certain types of sword may not be suitable for the role which you aim to portray on the field. For example a pikeman would have carried a very simple sword called a Pikeman's Tuck. The regimental sword trainers and other seasoned members will be able to guide you when if you decided to purchase one. Sharp swords may be carried in Living History, but there are strict rules about handling them.

In the C17th the belt that carried the scaboard, the baldrick, was worn over the right shoulder. If you buy a sword you will also need purchase the bladrick and scaboard; they are not always included.


Pikeman's Morion and cap
Pikeman's Morion and Caps

Morion (Helmet)

A helmet is an essential piece of kit for a pikeman. The regiment has several it can loan out to new recruits until they can buy their own.

Helmets come in several designs, but the best design for a pikeman is an English Pot Helmet. Designs with a neck guard, so called Lobster Pot helmets, should not be worn. As always it's best to take along a seasoned member when you go looking for one to buy, they will be able to guide you and advise you about what to avoid.

Helmets can be painted black to protect them from rusting; or they also be allowed to go rusty, then polished and allowed to rust again. This processes is repeated until a layer of iron oxide is built up on the outside of the helmet and prevents deeper rusting, this process is called browning.

You will also need to buy a wooly hat or leather arming cap to pad the inside of the helmet.

Back & Breast

Pikeman's Armour
Pikeman's Armour

When you have been a pikeman for a little while you may also wish to purchase at set of armour for yourself, two examples of armour style are shown to the right. The left hand set is back and breat with tassets, the right hand is just the back and breast. The tassets are designed to protect the upper legs and groin, however many pikeman by the English Civil War period had discarded the tassets as they were not effective against musket fire and thus only served to encumber the pikeman while giving little defensive advantage.

Armour, along with the sword, is one of the more expensive pieces of kit that a pikeman might buy.

Other Kit


Pikemen also require a pair of stout leather gloves to proect your hands and lower arms.

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