Mina von Vixen – Black and white portrait

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English Civil War – Pikemen

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Sealed Knot assembling to recreate the battle of Nantwich, Cheshire.

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English Civil War Battle Re-enactment

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With the final defeat of Royalist forces in 1651, power passed to the republican government of the Commonwealth of England. This remained in place until 1653, when Cromwell assumed power as Lord Protector. Effectively ruling as a dictator until his death in 1658, he was replaced by his son Richard. Lacking the support of the army, his rule was brief and the Commonwealth returned in 1659 with the re-installation of the Rump Parliament. The following year, with the government in shambles, General George Monck, who had been serving as Governor of Scotland, invited Charles II to return and take power. He accepted and by the Declaration of Breda offered pardons for acts committed during the wars, respect for property rights, and religious toleration. With Parliament’s consent, he arrived in May 1660 and was crowned the following year on April 23.

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English Civil War – Battle Re-enactment

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The Sealed Knot re-enacting the battle of Nantwich, Cheshire, England. Fought 1642-1651, the English Civil Wars saw King Charles I battle Parliament for control of the English government. The war began as a result of a conflict over the power of the monarchy and the rights of Parliament. During the early phases of the war, the Parliamentarians expected to retain Charles as king, but with expanded powers for Parliament. Though the Royalists won early victories, the Parliamentarians ultimately triumphed. As the conflict progressed, Charles was executed and a republic formed. Known as the the Commonwealth of England, this state later became the Protectorate under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell. Though Charles II was invited to take the throne in 1660, Parliament’s victory established the precedent that the monarch could not rule without the consent of Parliament and placed the nation on the path towards a formal parliamentary monarchy.

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English Civil War Re-enactment

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Drums were not only used for the men to march in step, but were an important part of the battlefield communications system, with various drum rolls used to signal different commands from officers to troops.

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Dead Tree

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Dead tree in the Peak District national Park, Derbyshire, England.

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Sealed Knot – English Civil War

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The Sealed Knot Societies’ recreation of the English Civil War battle of Nantwich, Cheshire. Pikemen ready for  inspection.

A ‘pike’ is a pole weapon, a very long thrusting spear formerly used extensively by infantry. Pikes were used regularly in European warfare from the Late Middle Ages to the early 18th century, and were wielded by foot soldiers deployed in close quarters, until their replacement by the bayonet. During the English Civil War (1642–1651) the New Model Army (1646–1660) initially had two musketeers for each pikeman. By about 1650 the New Model Army had all but stopped using pikemen. One of the advantages that the New Model Army gained by this was mobility—musketeers, who wore no armour, marched on average about 15 miles (24 km) a day which was about 3–5 miles (4.8–8.0 km) more than pikemen could manage.

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