The Sealed Knot Society is the largest re-enactment society in Europe. It focuses on the period of the English Civil War, which lasted from 1642-1651, and aims to re-enact the skirmishes, battles, sieges of that time and to recreate aspects of ordinary 17th Century life.
The name of the society derives from a group which during the Commonwealth, following the execution of Charles I, plotted for the restoration of the monarchy. The present Sealed Knot was founded in 1968 by Brigadier Peter Young, a distinguished soldier and recognised authority on the Civil Wars. The Sealed Knot is both a registered charity and a limited company.
The Sealed Knot as an educational charity aims to promote interest in and the study of history, primarily that of the English Civil War. This is achieved through presenting public performances, often in partnership with County Councils and other organisations in the UK.
Divided into two armies (as you may have anticipated), Royalist and Parliament, each army consists of about 25-30 regiments. Those of the Royalist Army are grouped into Tercios, while those in the Army of Parliament are grouped into Associations. Each army is headed by its Lord General who is supported by his Staff who assist with military tactics, battlefield and other organisation. During the Civil War the cavalry were prominent but in the SK we have only two relatively small cavalry regiments.
The Living History group consists of members who wish to re-enact the non-military aspects of 17th Century life, living in a separate encampment, authentically 17th Century which the public can visit.