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English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:28 pm
by Dipsy90
Hey guys, I am a member of the sealed knot and I was hoping to portray a hunter on the living history camp, I cant seem to find a lot of info on hunting in this era, could anyone give information about hunting equipment, weapons and techniques that were used in the ECW.

Thanks :D

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:52 pm
by Phil the Grips
The best place to start is this book-
http://www.amazon.co.uk/HUNTING-WEAPONS ... 0802701477

Then you'll probably have to take out a loan to arrange the staff, tents, clothing, horses, kit and dogs required as C17th hunting was a major spectacle and means of displaying wealth ;-)

On a more individual level you'd need an employer to be a huntsman (think more in terms of a ghillie who is employed by the day as a native guide for his knowledge of where to find and how to catch game than a LoTR style Ranger who lives rough all day and night for weeks on end which is something I've yet to see provenance for) or be of sufficient means that you'd be able to hunt recreationally- a musket is all that's needed but it'll be a damn fine one so will be costly. Shooting on the wing wasn't done until much later so you'll need a stalking horse of some kind ( literally a horse with a long saddleblanket, or a form of movable hide).

Stonebows were popular and repros can be made by people like Tods Stuff if you have the spendies, add in some lark mirrors and nets for an interesting display that could be done easily. If you use a crossbow then remember that spaniels were trained to retrieve the bolts so you'll need one of them too.

Fishing is easy but may fall foul of local, modern, laws and anything other than using a rod will likely get you in bother (nets, baskets, spears, bows &c). Otter hunting, with spaniels is obviously both tricky and illegal.

For falconry you'd have to ask someone with better knowledge than me.

or, do what I did, and just get a pair of greyhounds :-)

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:00 pm
by John Waller
To add to Phil's post you need to decide where you are pitching yourself. An aristo chasing a stag with hounds or a commoner snaring a bunny or somewhere inbetween? I like the stalking horse idea, that would make an interesting display.

Good luck.

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:16 pm
by Dipsy90
Thanks for all the info, probably should have made myself clearer.

The ideas I had was portraying something like a commoner hunter, with bow and arrow, nets and traps, that I am hoping to make as part of the display, it was also suggested that I could make a bit of a firing range for the demonstration of bow and arrow, although I dont know how authentic this will be.

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:21 pm
by Merlon.
Dipsy90 wrote:Thanks for all the info, probably should have made myself clearer.

The ideas I had was portraying something like a commoner hunter, with bow and arrow, nets and traps, that I am hoping to make as part of the display, it was also suggested that I could make a bit of a firing range for the demonstration of bow and arrow, although I dont know how authentic this will be.

Firstly all those activites are illegal as a commoner, you could be arrested by the Parish Constable or indeed the Provost Marshall of the military unit you are a member of. Punishments could be as extreme as the death penalty.
Does the SK insurance policy and guidelines allow archery demonstrations? Some insurance policies out there specifically exclude archery.

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:01 am
by Dipsy90
Merlon. wrote:Firstly all those activites are illegal as a commoner, you could be arrested by the Parish Constable or indeed the Provost Marshall of the military unit you are a member of. Punishments could be as extreme as the death penalty.


How would food have been caught if they were marching to battle and camping along the way?

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:05 pm
by Merlon.
Normally you would eat th rations you were issued with, or buy them from the vianders and sutlers buzzing around the main field forces.
The English were incredibly sensitive to attacks on property. Wildfowl and game usually fall in that category, they would belong to somebody - especially duck decoys and warrens. The various commanders order and day books are littered with claims for compensation and subsequent courts martial
Commanders with the exception of the likes of Goring were wary of depredations by troops on the local populous. The population was already getting peeved with the various tithes (aka formalised looting) extracted by the local garrisons. Eventually this led to the formation of the clubmen.
It was not unknown for lynch mobs to enact summary justice on lone foragers.

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:22 pm
by Brand
'It was not unknown for lynch mobs to enact summary justice on lone foragers.'

Now there's an idea for a good display :wink:

Just take time to setup hanging harness properly- botched hangings look awful!

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:54 pm
by gunsmoke
Have a word with the Countryside Allience they may know some in hunting that could bring hunting.

I understand that in the civil war the armies on both sides killed the deer through out england and only deer left was the red deer in scotland and on exmoor. If they shoot birds, geese and duck with matchlocks they would have more than likely been setting ducks!

They are reports that they where shooting flying bird, partridges, in southern Spain in the later 1500's. I have not seen any account of shooting on the wing until after 1700.

Re: English Civil War Hunting

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:59 pm
by Strafford
Normally you would eat th rations you were issued with, or buy them from the vianders and sutlers buzzing around the main field forces.
The English were incredibly sensitive to attacks on property. Wildfowl and game usually fall in that category, they would belong to somebody - especially duck decoys and warrens. The various commanders order and day books are littered with claims for compensation and subsequent courts martial
Commanders with the exception of the likes of Goring were wary of depredations by troops on the local populous. The population was already getting peeved with the various tithes (aka formalised looting) extracted by the local garrisons. Eventually this led to the formation of the clubmen.
It was not unknown for lynch mobs to enact summary justice on lone foragers.

When it comes to 'free quarter' it was frowned on by both Armies. However, Prince Rupert was often called 'Prince Robber' because he abided by the rules of the Palatinate Wars. He often caused the loss of battles because he was too busy raiding the trains of the Parliamentary soldiers. Both sides were not keen on employing mercenaries because the Mercenaries had no wish to see the War ended.
If, as happened in Ireland, a city refused terms/quarter then, once a breach in the wall was made, all bets were off especially if the besiegers had lost men. Taking a city by 'storm' left the population subject to terrible depredations. One must also remember in Ireland that Catholic losses are always boosted and Protestant losses are always played down.

The most popular Gentleman's sport had to be Hawking. It isn't as straight as that because you could only fly a hawk suitable to your station, Thomas Wentworth, found Hawking the most relaxing pasttime. Interesting enough, but there is a Hawk called a 'Saker' and a cannon caled a Saker which was popular in the Civil War and also, a fast attack Vehicle called a Saker, designed for use by the SAS.

Soldiers and often passengers on ships like the Mayflower were given a ration of bread and cheese which HAD to last them for a certain length of time.
If you ate it fast, you were going to fast. The Musters for the Scottish Army before Cromwell's invasion demanded thast the 'Heritors' bring the required amount of men from their respective areas along with provisions for 30 days. Trouble is, it created famine, took the horses and wagons away plus the smiths and the wheelwrights. Scorched earth in the South of Scotland led to widespread famine. On the 3rd September 1650, Sir David Leslie , leader (sort of) of the Scottish Army was 45 days into 30 days provisions. He had an army in which a large number of men had not eaten for four days or more.

Cromwell wasn't much better off, but he did have peas and oats which were made into a sort of broth. He also ended up having to feed the people of the East Lothian towns because they were starving.

What you may find interesting was how the Scots argued for the payment from the English Parliament to withdraw from England. They said that they couldn't possibly leave without paying any outstanding bills. That's soldiers billet and food. But they couldn't pay their dues until the Parlilamment paid them what they were owed. Also Parliament should provide safe conduct for their Army and the mmeans to cross the Tyne.

Lastly. I was in the Records office in Berwick Upon Tweed recently. In 1661, the Guilds wrote to Parliament because the garrison had not been paid for a couple of years. This meant that the soldiers may have taken out credit that their back pay wouldn't cover. Businesses were failing and the lack of funds from taxes etc. meant that the walls, the bridge and the Harbour could not be maintained adequately.

Interesting reading... Anything about the 'Diggers' and the 'Levellers'.

Go back a hundred years and you'll find that there was a fixed wage for most types of labour and a fixed price for most kinds of food.
State Papers of Henry VIII. (He quite liked Puffin!'.)