Monday 28 February 2011

A Link To: Gervase Markham's The English Housewife (1615).

When it comes to cookery, the Housewife must be 'cleanly both in body and garments, she must have a quick eye, a curious nose, a perfect taste and a ready care (she must not be butter fingered, sweet-toothed, nor faint-hearted).

More Information Here At Fragments: http://daintyballerina.blogspot.com/2011/02/world-of-sallats.html

Two New Skills Videos By Request.

Narrative of the Captivity of William Biggs. By William Biggs.


In the year 1788, March 28th, I was going from Bellfontain to Cahokia,

in company with a young man named John Vallis, from the State of
Maryland; he was born and raised near Baltimore. About 7 o'clock in the
morning I heard two guns fired; by the report I thought they were to the
right; I thought they were white men hunting; both shot at the same
time. I looked but could not see any body; in a moment after I looked to
the left and saw sixteen Indians, all upon their feet with their guns
presented, about forty yards distant from me, just ready to draw
trigger. I was riding between Vallis and the Indians in a slow trot, at
the moment I saw them. I whipped my horse and leaned my breast on the
horse's withers, and told Vallis to whip his horse, that they were
Indians. That moment they all fired their guns in one platoon; you could
scarcely distinguish the report of their guns one from another. They
shot four bullets into my horse, one high up in his withers, one in the
bulge of the ribs near my thigh, and two in his rump, and shot four or
five through my great coat. The moment they fired their guns they ran
towards us and yelled so frightfully, that the wounds and the yelling of
the Indians scared my horse so that he jumped so suddenly to one side of
the road, that my gun fell off my shoulder, and twisted out of my hand;
I then bore all my weight on one stirrup, in order to catch my gun, but
could not. I had a large bag of beaver fur, which prevented me from
recovering my saddle, and having no girth nor crupper to my saddle, it
turned and fell off my horse, and I fell with it, but caught on my feet
and held the mane; I made several attempts to mount my horse again; but
the Indians running up so close, and making such a frightful yelling,
that my horse jumped and pranced so that it was impossible for me to
mount him again, but I held fast to my horse's mane for twenty or thirty
yards; then my hold broke and I fell on my hands and knees, and stumbled
along about four or five steps before I could recover myself. By the
time I got fairly on my feet, the Indians were about eight or ten yards
from me--I saw then there was no other way for me to make my escape but
by fast running, and I was determined to try it, and had but little
hopes at first of my being able to escape. I ran about one hundred yards
before I looked back--I thought almost every step I could feel the
scalping knife cutting my scalp off. I found I was gaining ground on
them, I felt encouraged and ran about three hundred yards farther, and
looking back saw that I had gained about one hundred yards, and
considering myself quite out of danger. A thought then occurred to me,
that I was as safe and out of danger as I would be if I were in the City
of Philadelphia: the Indians had quit yelling and slacked their
running--but I did not know it then. It being a tolerable cold morning
and I was heavily clad, I thought perhaps the Indians would give me a
long chase, and probably that they would hold out better than I could;
although at that time I did not feel the least tired or out of breath. I
concluded to throw off my two coats and shoes, as I would then be better
prepared for a long race. I had my great coat tied around me with a silk
handkerchief pretty much worn--I recollect tying it with a slip knot,
but being in a hurry, it was drawn into a double hard knot; I tried some
little time to get it loose--the longer I tried the harder the knot
seemed to get, that stopped my running considerably; at length I broke
it by some means, I do not know how. In the morning I forgot to put on
my shot pouch before I put on my great coat, and then put it on over it.
I pulled off the sleeves of my great coat, not thinking of my shot-pouch
being over my coat, it having a very short strap, the coat got so tight
in the strap that I could not get it loose for a considerable time.
Still trying, it hung down and trailed on the ground, and every two or
three steps it would wrap around my legs and throw me down, and I would
catch on my hands and knees, it served me so several times, so that I
could make no headway at running. After some considerable time, I broke
the strap and my great coat dropped from me--I had no knife with me.

Curtesy Of Gutenberg.

Images of making a (trade) Axe at Wood Trekker.


A Small Mountain Man Rendezvous in America.

These people seem to be having a good time, and the only fault I can find in their activities is the setting off of a charge in a stump! A lot of fun I know, but in my opinion not something for a group meeting. Too many things can go wrong. Just the same I think this sort of small group/club rendezvous should be encouraged.

This is very similar to a rendezvous we used to hold here in Wychwood Forest many years ago, we had members all over Australia then and we all came together once a year for this rendezvous. It was a lot of fun.

Sunday 27 February 2011

The Escape Of Lord Nithsdale, 1716.

Lord Nithsdale was a Jacobite, and he was sent to the Tower pending his execution in 1716. But his wife visited with her maid, and Lord Nithsdale changed clothes with the maid and escaped.
I often wonder what happened to the maid?!
Painting By Emily Mary Osborn.

My thanks to Nelly for the following links to this story:

Saturday 26 February 2011

Jim Northrup: With Reservations

No period clothing or equipment in this video, but it is one of my favourites.


The All Dressed Up With No Place To Go blog.

Click on script to enlarge.

Ochre Archives: Aboriginal Land Use In The Armidale NSW Area

Ochre Archives: Aboriginal Land Use In The Armidale NSW Area

A Welcome & Thanks To My Followers.

This blog now has 143 followers last count. Not huge by some standards, but a lot. I am always amazed at variety of interests of my followers, some follow similar blogs, but most follow a variety of blogs that don't come close to what I do. This to me sais that I must be doing something right, and I would like to thank both old and new followers for tagging along and for leaving comments & further information. Very much appreciated.
Regards, Keith aka Le Loup.

Friday 25 February 2011

The Light In The Forest.

The clothing and makeup is not very authentic, but it is still fun to watch. Settlers did use flatboats on the rivers, and they were often attacked. Sometimes white prisoners would be used to lure the flatboats close to shore. 

A Link To: Battle for North America - 1759 - Part 1 of 4


The French & Indian War, or The Seven Years War. An Old Video.

My thanks to Flintlock & Tomahawk for bringing this video to my attention. http://flintlockandtomahawk.blogspot.com/

Woodland Indian Headgear at The Buffalo Trace.


Another Interesting Australian Blog For Living Historians.

This period is a bit late for me, but there are a lot of Living Historians out there that interpret the Australian lifestyle in the 19th century, so occasionally I will post for this period in Australia.


We are again obliged to invite the urgent attention of the Government to the deficiency of protection for the settlers in New England and the McLeay district who reside in the vicinity of, or in, the rugged tract which separates the two districts.

In addition to the notices of depredations committed by the McLeay blacks which have lately appeared in the Express, it is now our duty to place before the public another list of even more daring robberies and outrages than those already mentioned.

Since our last impression it was rumoured in Armidale that the McLeay blacks had driven off several hundred sheep from Hillgrove – Mr. Richard Hargrave’s station, about 15 miles from Armidale – and taken them down the Falls. We subsequently learned that they had swept off 500. On Mr Vincent Graham, the superintendent, receiving information of the robbery, he took two of the Hillgrove blacks with him, and started in pursuit. We understand that he found nearly all the sheep hemmed in a corner on the edge of the Falls, and that he heard a party of blacks talking at the bottom of a precipice. The descent being impracticable, he and the blacks in company, by making a long detour, and using great caution, arrived within twenty yards of the McLeay blacks before being observed by the latter, who, it appears, were busily engaged in roasting five sheep for their supper. By what means the culprits were routed we are not informed, but it is evident that they must have fled, as Mr. Graham and his blacks brought back with them a gun, powder, shot, ball, &c, left behind by the fugitives. With the exception of 12 missing, the sheep were recovered. It is almost unnecessary to remark that Mr. Graham’s conduct is deserving of the highest praise, alike for promptitude, bravery, and intelligence.

We have to add that a cow, the property of Mr. E. Hargrave, was shot recently, by the McLeay blacks, within 1½ mile of the Hernani head station, and close to the road to Grafton. Mr. E. Furber’s gunyah, within a mile of the same head station, was robbed a short time back of everything he had, by the same rascals ; and, about a week ago, they stole his axes, a blue shirt, and other articles, from where be was at work in the bush.

In January last, Mr. J. Perrett, of Tyringham, was shot at, by blacks, when about a mile from his house. It appears that the McLeay blacks, whose predatory incursions are numerous and sudden, have been for some time past a pest and continual source of apprehension to many settlers on the Grafton line. They have frequently been been with a large number of firearms, and we are informed that some of their guns have a bore of an inch in diameter, carrying an ounce bullet.

Those best fitted, from their knowledge of the country and the habits of the McLeay blacks, to form an accurate opinion as to a remedy, which ought to be immediately adopted, recommend that a party of native police should be stationed at the back of the Bald Hills station. In that locality there are heads of the Nambuccra, Bellinger, and Clarence Rivers, and dense scrubs, in which the blacks are prone to take refuge, and in the vicinity, and in which only an assailing force of blacks can be effective. in that direction, a few years ago, a shepherd, his wife, and their infant at the breast, were murdered in a most brutal manner by the blacks. Their bodies were then chopped up into small pieces, and left in a heap where they were found. Subsequently, another shepherd was murdered by the blacks.

On leaving the vicinity of Armidale, a short time ago, the strange blacks were seen to have plenty of firearms. One respectable settler on an adjoining creek states that he particularly observed one gin who was loaded with no fewer than three guns.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

The Matchlock Gun.

NEVER prime first and load second, and NEVER stick your head over the muzzle!!!

The Making Of A 15th Century Cannon.

Gunpowder & Muzzle-loading Guns.


Making gunpowder, also known these days as Black powder, was a very dangerous occupation in the 17th & 18th centuries. So dangerous in fact that gun powder mills in the New World were often simple wooden structures, because if the mill exploded, these wooden structures were easily reconstructed with little labour.

I have made my own gunpowder, but I cannot recommend that anyone else tries it. I made some because I simply wished to know if I could make a product that was good enough to use in my flintlock fusil. I mixed the ingredients wet and used no metal objects whatsoever. I used a wooden mortar & pestle. Subsequent batches were made in a marble mortar & pestle.

The gunpowder I made worked very well. I used a much smaller charge than usual as the powder I made was very fine and not graded into corns. It worked well for priming & as a main charge.

An historic gunpowder mill set in beautiful parkland. The Royal Gunpowder Mills date to at least the 17th century, and possibly earlier. We do not know when the first mills in the area started producing gunpowder, but we do know that in 1662 a local curate boasted that mills in his area had blown up 5 times in the last 7 years. http://www.britainexpress.com/attractions.htm?attraction=3933

A Kent gunpowder mill circa 1730ad.

Further information on gun powder production in the 17th & 18th centuries:







An original gunpowder tin that I purchased many years ago. It still has the original cork plug which was broken off and it sounds like there is still a little of the original powder inside. This is Chilworth gunpowder of London England.

A gunpowder flask I bought many years ago.

The first powder horn I ever made.

This is a powder horn I made and have used for many years now.

My marble mortar & pestle.

My gunpowder wallet or bag. I covered this item in a previous article.

Making Charcoal For Blacksmithing & Gunpowder.

More information on charcoal making at the following sites:






Tuesday 22 February 2011

The Diary of John Gyles, 1689:

The Diary of John Gyles, 1689:

"My honored father took my two eldest brothers and me to a field near the river. We planned to spend the day gathering the harvest. After we had dined at noon, we went again to our labors, some in one field gathering corn, while the others went to a nearby field to gather hay. About one o'clock, we heard shots. My father expressed the hope that they had been fired by British soldiers stationed in the area to protect the inhabitants.

We retreated to our barn where, to our great surprise, 30 or 40 Indians discharged a volley of shot at us from behind rising ground. The whistling of their shot and their horrid howls so terrified me that I tried to run away. My brothers went one way and I ran another.

Looking back, I saw a stout, painted fellow after me with a gun and a cutlass, which any moment, I expected to feel crashing through my brains. I tripped and the Indian came upon me, seizing my left hand. He offered me no abuse, but tied my arm tightly, then lifted me up and led me away. The Indians also captured my brother James, but Thomas, my elder brother, made good his escape across the river.

After doing what mischief they could to the farm, the Indians made us sit with them as they ate; then we were marched eastward a quarter mile, where we halted again, and my father was brought to us.

My father stated he was a dying man and he wanted an opportunity to pray with his children. The Indians called my father a brave man, and allowed his request. Father solemnly recommended us to the protection of God, then he gave us his best advice; and finally, very weakly - he took his leave. He parted with a cheerful voice, but he looked so pale, because of his great loss of blood. The Indians led him aside, then I heard the dull blow of a hatchet, but not a shriek or groan from father."

"We left Meductic and went up the Saint John River about ten miles . . . to where there was a wigwam. At our arrival, an old squaw saluted me with a yell, taking me by the hair and one hand; but I was so rude as to break her hold and free myself. She gave me a filthy grin and the Indians set up a laugh, so the incident was passed over. Here we lived upon fish, wild grapes, roots, berries, etc., for several months."

A Link To Dictionary of 18th Century Herb Usage


Colonial Women's Headwear.

Anchor find a glimpse into Guernsey's history.

The English Civil War.

Saturday 19 February 2011

NSW Firearms Legislation.


Period Fishing Links for Free Download.



Archaeolgy-Good Post.


More information & images at: This Week In Pennsylvania Archaeology

A Good Fungus Post at Australian Fungi.


Australian Bushranger Post at Dave's ACT.

The capture of Ben Hall.

Guy Fawkes 400th Anniversary

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Garlic as Medicine in the 18th Century.

I am always looking for tried and true herbs and remedies that I can carry in my knapsack when historical trekking. My 18th century gear is also my survival kit so what I carry in foods and medicines is important to me. This article will be in at least two parts, this is part one.
The uses of garlic go back a long way, and dispite not being liked by some and seen as being "unclean" by others, its use as a food and a "cure all" has been recognised by country dwellers and still remains in use as such today.

Pliny's Uses of Garlic

• Keeps off serpents, but after they have bitten, the cloves and leaves are roasted and added to oil to be applied as a liniment
• Repels scorpions and other beasts
• Good for shrew bites and dog bites (as an ointment with honey)
• Effective for healing hemorrhoids "when taken with wine and brought up by vomiting"
• Neutralizes the poisonous qualities of aconite and henbane
• Excellent for bruises, even after they have swollen into blisters
• Useful taken with vinegar for relieving tooth-ache
• Garlic mixed with goose-grease is placed into the ears
• Relieves hoarseness, checks phthiriasis and scurf if taken boiled with milk or beaten up with soft cheese
• Cooked in oxymel (vinegar and honey) it removes tape-worms and other parasites in the intestines
• Mixed with fat, it cures suspected tumors
• Epilepsy may be cured when garlic is taken in food
• Garlic brings sleep
• It improves circulation, making the body of a "ruddier color."
• Garlic acts as an aphrodisiac when taken in wine with coriander  

Garlic. The Pungent Panacea
© 1998 Christopher Hobbs

Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying, writing or investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, he wrote an encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia, which became a model for all such works written subsequently.

"Garlic is an important medicinal herb that is readily available everywhere, unlike some of the other herbs mentioned on these pages. It is one of the safest herbs, and as such can be taken often. It does, however, have its drawbacks, as we all know. Bear this in mind when using remedies (especially internal ones), and cut back when family and friends start avoiding you.

Garlic does indeed have scientifically-proven medicinal properties. It contains a substance called Allicin, which has anti-bacterial properties that are equivalent to a weak penicillin. It appears that cooked garlic weakens the anti-bacterial effects considerably, however, so don't count on cooked garlic with meals for much in the way of a curative.

Garlic appears to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. The list is long when it comes to its uses as a remedy. This list includes wounds, ulcers, skin infections, flu, athlete's foot, some viruses, strep, worms, respiratory ailments, high blood pressure, blood thinning, cancer of the stomach, colic, colds, kidney problems, bladder problems, and ear aches, to name a few. It is believed to cure worms in both people and animals - try giving the dog a clove of garlic daily (but he's not gonna like it).

For most internal problems, eating garlic raw is probably the most potent way to take it. However, due to the obvious lingering odors associated with this, a tincture can be made by soaking 1/4 pound of peeled and separated garlic cloves in 1/2 quart of brandy. Seal tightly and shake every day. Strain and bottle after two weeks of this, and take in drops - 25-30 a day, if desired.

For cough, flu, and respiratory ailments, make a cough syrup out of garlic. Slice 1 pound of fresh garlic and pour one quart of boiling water over it. Let sit for 12 hours, then add sugar until you reach the consistency of a syrup. Add honey for better taste, if desired.

For sore throat, make a garlic tea by steeping several cloves of garlic in half a cup of water overnight. Hold your nose and drink it.

Externally, garlic is a known anti-bacterial and anti-infection agent. An interesting use for ear aches is to slice a garlic clove, heat briefly in a small amount of virgin olive oil, and let cool. Then use a drop of two in the affected ear (strain the mixture beforehand, of course).

Make an Ointment out of garlic (use cloves instead of leaves, stems, or flowers as described in Ointments) for wounds, cuts, athlete's foot, or any other external skin irritation, fungus, or infection. Also, try a few drops of Oil on a toothache for pain relief."

This is garlic chives which we pick fresh from our garden as we need it. We only use the leaves.

This is garlic that I have just dug up and washed for use in the dinner tonight.

The same garlic with some of the skin pulled off showing the bulbs inside.

Here two of the bulbs have been stripped of the outer skin and washed ready for use. The three above still have the skin on.

PS: Author's Note: DO NOT store garlic in oil for any length of time, as ingestion can lead to botulism poisoning

Moulding A Spoon.

Making Colonial Style Baskets.

Making Dipped Candles.

Here is a link to my own video on making dipped candles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnBPVzhnjns

Monday 7 February 2011

Woodland Indian Body Paint For New movie.

More info here: http://www.alyssaravenwood.com/mask-makeup-artist/Tecumseh-PBS.htm
Found at the tomahawk & longrifle blog.

Asian Indians in Colonial America.

Asian Indians, also known as east India Indians, Mullato and Negro. Undoubtably some of these people were adopted into American Indian society.

Virginia Gazette Williamsburg
13 July, 1776
“..about 20 Years of Age, 5 feet 5 or 6 Inches high, slender made, is an Asiatic Indian by Birth, has been about twelve Months in Virginia, but lived ten Years (as he says) in England, in the Service of Sir Charles Whitworth. He wears long black Hair, which inclines to curl, tied behind, and pinned up…..
.. He left his Master on the Road from Williamsburg, between King William Courthouse and Todd’s Bridge, where he was left behind to come on slowly with a tired Horse…..
…Whoever takes up the said Servant, and secures him in Gaol, giving me information thereof, so that I may get him again, shall have eight dollars Reward; and if delivered to me at Westwood, in Prince William, further reasonable Charges, paid by William Brown."

Virginia Gazette Williamsburg ,
From April 15 to April 27, 1737.
RAN away…..an East-Indian, belonging to Mr. Heylin, Merchant, in Gloucester : He is a well-made, small young Fellow, wore his own Hair (which he may have cut off in order to disguise himself:)…. He went away on a strong well-made Grey Stallion, branded with a Dott, belonging to his Master. They ( a black slave and the East Indian Slave) went from Col. Lewis’s to Gloucester Town, where they robb’d a House, and took a Pair of Pistols, a Horse Whip, and ’tis supposed some other Things. They were seen on Monday going up King and Queen County. Whoever secures either of the fore-mentioned Servants, shall receive as a Reward, Two Pistoles ; for both of them, Four Pistoles, and for the Grey Stallion Two Pistoles; to be paid by John Lewis, and John Heylyn.

Evidence of “East Indians” in 17th-18th century Virginia

The seeds of what was to become modern America were planted on May 13, 1607, when British colonists arrived at an island that they would come to call Jamestown in what is now Virginia.
This first permanent English settlement in the New World would eventually become "the rightful birthing ground of America"; its soil sprinkled with the blood of Native Americans, European settlers, and their African slaves.
To this racial mix we must now include people from the Indian subcontinent.
That’s because, while preparations are underway for a grand commemoration of Jamestown’s 400th anniversary in May-June 2007, we have uncovered compelling evidence of the presence of people from the Indian subcontinent going as far back as 375 years in Virginia: people identified in American court documents of the time as "East Indians," "East India Indians," or "Asiatic Indians."

Early Woodland Indian Baskets and Mats.

Hariot says that the houses of the Virginia Indians—

Are made of small poles made fast at the tops in rounde forme after the maner as is used in many arbories in our gardens of England, in most townes covered with barkes, and in some with artificiall mattes made of long rushes; from the tops of the houses downe to the ground.
A Brief and True account of the New Found Land of Virginia, Thomas Hariot, p. 24.
Gutenberg Project.

a, Openwork fish baskets of Virginia Indians; b, manner of weaving; c, basket strainer; d, quiver of rushes; e, mat of rushes.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Prehistoric Textile Art of Eastern United
States, by William Henry Holmes.

Ojibwa women gathering wild rice.