Jamestown Matchlock Musket Demonstration (with Live Rounds)
Back in 1611, a Jamestown law was enacted that ordered all musketeers to wear armor. In order to obey the law and shoot more comfortably, the Jamestown musketeers began adapting their armor.
To see how this adaptive armor compared to a standard breastplate, the Jamestown Rediscovery group fired matchlock muskets wearing three types of armor:
- No breastplate (control)
- Standard breastplate
Some group shots at Old North Church in Boston.
Photgrapher: Lazzaro Studios
First half of 17th century, cloak or cape with wide collar, in France named after a military hero, Baldrick. Cloaks are among the oldest garments. It is thought that the 5300 year old Otzi was wearing some form of grass cloak, though the conjectural shape of the garment has been disputed. On the war panel of the Standard of Ur in the British Museum, which dates to about 2600-2400 BC soldiers in cloaks fastened at the neck can clearly be seen.
From the sixteenth century onwards, cloaks and capes were cut and shaped of fashionable dress for men in the seventeenth century until by the early modern period cloaks were commonplace items of clothing, and for men from the mid 16th to the mid 17th centuries they were also fashion items. Cloaks rarely appear in illustrations of working men, though it has been commented that they are found in the wills and probate inventories of husbandmen and tradesmen. This would seem to indicate that by the beginning of the seventeenth century the clothing of almsman was being fossilised into an old fashioned form, whereas the cloaks, even at this level of society, were fashionable. In shape cloaks at this period are usually made in the form of a half circle, a three quarter circle or a full circle.