We meet at musters which can vary in size from small living histories and small drill displays up to full blown majors or battles. All arms of military life are employed in the society; regiments of infantry armed with pike and musket, squadrons of horse (cavalry) and batteries of ordnance (cannon).
Members of the Regiment will tell you about our strong esprit de corps - we are an extended family that look out for each other on and off the field of battle. We have something for everyone whether that is as an individual or as a family, we have young children and family groups, young and old. By no means is everyone a history buff, many just love the social friendships that are made - though the history does rub off on you.
As well as being open to all ages (though under 16s cannot take part in fighting displays) we are gender neutral allowing either gender to play the part of any roles with in the army; the only bind being they must portray themselves as the relevant gender to the historical role. Basically females can fight as men.
In Loudouns, we are passionate about all aspects of life in the historical periods we cover. Although we are primarily a military unit, there is a role for everyone, no matter what they are interested in. If it's true to our period (or "authentic", as we call it), you can do it!
On the civilian side, which we call "living history"), we can do all kinds of things:
and we're always open to suggestions!
Living history is not separate from our military activities: some members do both. It's up to you! Whatever you want to do, Loudouns is inclusive and welcoming. If you are interested in a specific activity, but don't know much about it, we can point you to good reference books and sources, or sometimes one of our members will be the right person to talk to. We're always learning too!
And kids! They love living history! They're not allowed to take the field during military displays (for safety reasons), but they can find plenty to do on the living history site! Our kids tend the fires, get training with swords, learn sewing skills, or learn to whittle a wooden spoon for themselves, or play a tune or join in the dancing - whatever they want. It's a very safe environment, and everyone makes sure the kids are looked after. They're first in the queue at meal times! As a result, kids become confident, and great communicators, learning lots while having fun. Beats an app any day!
The muster is a loose term that covers everything from a dozen re-enactors doing a drill display to a major battle with two large armies, a trayne of artillery, cavalry and a baggage trayne.
Advance warning of all types of events is given through the newsletter of the Roundhead Association (The Parliament Scoute) and through the Clarion, newsletter of Loudoun's Regiment; as well as via the members e-mail. Remember to check details before setting off. The event organiser will usually issue a warning order that gives travel directions and details of campsite facilities. The actual travel arrangements are left largely up to you but often Loudoun’s organise a minibus to major events and some people may have space in their cars. It is up to you to contact members and find out who are going and what the transport situation is.
The first muster may be a form of culture shock; remember clothes, attitudes and even speech are three centuries away from what we are used to. See the Muster Survival section below. Speech and attitudes are really only important for within the Living History camps, so the first thing a new recruit has to get used to is the uniform. The regiment possesses enough spare uniforms to kit out most first timers and we advise that you come along to one or two battles before starting to purchase your own clothing and equipment which will be available at stalls at major musters, at the bi-annual TORM (The Original Reenactors Market) or online. However it is often best to discuss any planned purchases with other members beforehand for advice.
On arrival at a Major Muster you should report to the Guard Tent whose inhabitants will direct you to where the rest of Loudoun’s are to be found, unless you are the first to arrive you will most likely see or hear us. You now set up your tent and get settled with your surroundings, this is advisable before heading to the beer tent.
Your slumber will be rudely curtailed the next morning by the noise of regiments forming up for drill. Drill may be regarded as a necessary evil, but it is NECESSARY. This is where you learn about 17th century warfare and weapons handling. This usually start around 10:00 to 10:30 and lasts for about an hour and a half.
N.B. You are not normally permitted to take the field in the afternoon if you don't drill in the morning. After drill you are free to socialise and have lunch.
At drill you will be given a time for form-up. You must be back at the campsite and ready to march to the battle site at whatever time you are given. Ready means with all your kit, including armour, on and done up ready for battle and with at least one weapon. Shoe laces tied tight, sash garters tight but not restricting. From this point you are under the command of your block officers who will be encouraging you politely to get a move on.
Whilst on the field you must be prepared to follow your officer's orders AT ALL TIMES. This is an army, after all. You will find the next hour to hour and half one of the most exilirating experiences of your life. It will be hard going and very scary at first, but you will soon understand the esprit de corps mentioned above. One tip is to try not to inhale too much gunpowder smoke, not an easy task (especially if you are on the field as a musketeer), as your digestive system will produce some embarrassing results by Monday morning.
The regiment prides itself on its skill at arms on the battlefield, especially in the competitive mock combat, its historic realism at displays, its individual members knowledge of the period and above all its friendly family atmosphere best displayed in our social activities.
Over and above regular -keep in touch- social gatherings (and not forgetting our annual banquet) the regiment also produces a regular newsletter, The Covenant Clarion. This means that although we are a regiment based in central Scotland we ensure that all members, no matter how removed they may live are kept fully in touch with the regiment.
Go on, come along and give it a go....
This is a checklist of useful things to take with you. Campsite facilities will usually run to the provision of drinking water, toilets, rubbish bags and occasionally even wood for fires.