All for one and one for all!
In short, the musketeer is an infantry soldier that carried a musket. Pretty simple. There have been musketeers in countless cultures, especially in Asian and European armies. Due to the fact that Ren Faires are focused on European villages and cultures, that is where we are going to focus our attention.
In particular we are going to look at the traditional French Musketeer.
The Musketeers started as a junior branch of the Royal Guard. They could fight on foot s infantry or on horseback as a dragoon guard. They carried muskets into battle along with swords (usually a rapier). They would line up and fire a volley of their muskets then charge into battle with swords drawn and daggers in their left hands. In long drawn out battles the musketeers would find themselves initiating guerrilla tactics – finding cover, firing and reloading to win a battle of attrition.
The fact that the musketeers were a low level division of the Royal Guard meant that people of lower groups of society were in something better then the regular army. Lower members of the nobility could then be a part of the Royal Guard. The fact that these younger members and lesser members of the nobler families were parts of the musketeers meant that they were excited about what they were doing; that enthusiasm drove the divisions of musketeers to win battles and fight harder on the battlefield, thus inspiring other troops and winning for the musketeers a reputation that they deserved but that also made them a thing of legend.
That legend was also fostered by the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Though written more then 100 years later, The Three Musketeers was about a set of musketeers that are inseparable friends that bring the son of another musketeer under their wing and help to save the king after the musketeers have been disbanded. In this novel and in the movie versions of the novel, the musketeers are seen as having a set of ethical beliefs to live by. They are believers that they live and die by their devotion to each other. They protect each other the problems of the one are problems for them all or – “All for one and one for all.”
The musketeer costume is pretty easy to pull off. Start with a typical Rennie outfit. Loose pants and a poet shirt then the accessorize, as usual make the costume.
- Cavalier boots in black
- a blue or grey tabard that hits you around mid thigh, belted in with a black belt
- Cavalier hat with q lot of feathers – the hat should be the same color as the tabard
- Next comes a rapier and a left hand dagger or main guache – these should be girded on with a sword hanger and the dagger should be in a frog.
At this point you are a musketeer in costume but you have to have the attitude to be a true musketeer and that part is a little harder.