Pikemen engaged in battle

17th Century

YouTube link to English Civil War Musket loading The period of the English Civil Wars (1642-49) was important for changes in both arms and armour, as well as the types of soldiers employed in battle. Firearms became more important and armour was used less than before.

The Royal Armouries houses one of the finest collections of arms and armour of the mid-17th century in the world. In addition to the arsenal collection preserved at the Tower of London since the time of its use, the museum acquired in 1985 the armoury from Littlecote House, the last major Civil War armoury then remaining in private hands. This collection is important for its groups of buffcoats, baldricks and carbine slings and for its muskets, carbines and pistols.



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Did you know?

Is newer better?

The last cast-iron British smoothbore cannon, the 68 pounder, was 8 inches (203 mm), the same calibre as the heaviest guns of King Henry VIII three hundred years earlier. Their performance was probably not very different either!