Archive for Reenacting

Beaufort Pirate Invasion 2015

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

Since so many of ye have been asking, t’is easiest for us to post one explanation:

From the Quarterdeck

Let it be known that the

Crewe of the Archangel will not be attending the Beaufort Pirate Invasion this August 2015.  

We could not come to an agreement with those in charge of the event because Archangel can not, in good conscience, agree to

1) lower our standards on safety,

2) lower our standards of authenticity,


3) sign a contract where we are not told prior to signing what we are supposed to agree to.

We would also like it to be known that if there is to be a hanging this year, the performers are doing so

without our training,

without our safety regulations


without any affiliation to the Crewe of the Archangel.

In spite of our differences, we wish the organizers and the event well. 


The Lost Letter: Beaufort Pirate Invasion, August ’14

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

By Alice Mason Sterling

Alice Mason Sterling

Dearest Sarah, my most beloved Stepdaughter,

I pray this Letter finds you and Sean in good health and that Sean’s Studies prosper. Father is most proud of him as am I. I write an Account of our most recent Journey to see your Father. Though the Times I spend with him are often infrequent and all too short, I treasure each and everyone of them. As I know ye love him and see little of him as well, I will impart several Pages, copied from my Journal, so that ye may see that he is well and continuing to help keep the Colonies protect’d.

Wednesday, August 6

Upon Sightings of Pirates in the coastal Waters, and credible Rumors of their Intent to attack the small Town of Beaufort, North Carolina, the Crewe of the Archangel made Plans to travel to Beaufort and assist the Townsfolk and local Militia in defending the Town.

Kitty and I arriv’d to-day, traveling under the Protection of Quartermaster Jack Roberts. Master Gunner Dorian Lasseter and his Indenture Josephine Legard arrived soon after. The Bosun’s Mate, Mitchell O’Sionnach, travel’d in their Company. We spent the several Hours raising Canvas and laying out the Camp, then took our evening Meal at an Establishment in Town.

My Husband and Stepson, Captain John Sterling and Joshua Merriweather Sterling, made port late this Evening. We are quarter’d near the Gaol and Pillory, which will make Captain Sterling’s Work all the easier once the invading Rabble are conquer’d and the Pirates brought to Justice. And surely they will be.

Thursday, August 7

The Captain and the Ship’s Officers spent the morning in Meetings with the local Authorities, making Plans for the defense of the Town. Later a pouring Rain drove us to the shelter of the the awning near the Quartermaster’s tent , where a rare hour of leisure allow’d for pleasant Conversation. All in all we were grateful for the Rain as it provid’d relief from the Heat and plaguing Mosquitoes.

Once the Downpour abat’d Josephine, O’Sionnach, Kitty and I ventur’d to a nearby burying Grounds. Though somber, I found it a quiet and lovely Place, with great twisting Oaks providing a green Canopy overhead.
20140807_155826 I could not help but wonder how many more Markers would be add’d in the coming Days if the Pirates did indeed attack.

Much to my relief, my Maid Charlotte Cole arriv’d late in the Afternoon, along with the Captain’s Steward Fionnan Murtaugh. Dr. Jerome Geiger arriv’d several hours later and our Company is now complete.

Friday, August 8

This Morning dawn’d warm and humid as the ones that preced’d it. The final setup and preparations within the Camp were seen to, with further Tents add’d for our Supplies and storage. At the Entrance to Camp the wither’d remains of a dead Pirate swing from a Noose. A gruesome sight, but hopefully one that will serve as warning to those who would follow the same Path.

With the Laundress’ inexplicable absence, Kitty and I took up the task of doing the crew’s Wash while Charlotte carri’d on with lace-making.

Charlotte Cole

The Smoke from Josephine’s Brazier waft’d pleasantly through the Camp as she prepar’d her Herbs and apothecary supplies, should they be need’d. Across the camp Dr. Geiger organiz’d his surgical Instruments and arrang’d them in a rather ghastly Display. O’Sionnach tend’d to the maintenance of Block and Tackle and the Master Gunner ensur’d that the crewe’s arms were ready to use at a moment’s notice. Fionn look’d after the Captain and continu’d work on the Archangel’s Flag, the Captain’s personal Ensign, while the Quartermaster oversaw the running of the Camp and our Supplies and my Husband continu’d with the battle Plans.

In the afternoon the Crew made a display of arms alongside the local Militia. The firing of the great Guns and the small Arms alike bolster’d the confidence of the Townspeople, who were understandably apprehensive at the threat of Invasion. Many of the Townsfolk visit’d our Camp after the Demonstration, taking interest in our tasks and our methods of operation within the Camp.

This evening a display of talent was provid’d from amongst the Town and all present, with our own Mistress McDonough paying a visit and treating us all to a Song from her Homeland.

I will admit that this Account is not as coherent as it might be, given that the punch Bowl was pass’d not once but twice this evening as the Crewe sat together around the Table after dinner. T’is a fine thing to share such a fine Drink in such fine Company. Josephine provid’d a Dessert that we took turns cooking at the ends of sticks over the Brazier, something Kitty enjoy’d immensely. Now t’is late, and I shall retire with my Husband and pray for success and safety on the morrow.

Saturday, August 9

This morning we all feast’d upon a fine Breakfast serv’d by the Townsfolk, save for Quartermaster Roberts who remain’d behind to oversee the final preparations of a gallows that was built in case.

Well he did, for the threat of invasion by Pirates became a reality mere hours later. The gallows were mov’d to a public Square and their assembly complet’d before Crowds of curious onlookers shortly before the call to arms was given.
A solitary Pirate arriv’d in a small dingy, making bold Threats against the Town, and was driven off by a single Shot from one of the smaller Guns. Had that been all, the Town would have had an easy Day of it, but the persistent Pirates soon arriv’d in large numbers and the Battle began in earnest. The pirate ships fired upon the Town’s Defenders and were given Cannon Fire in return.
Running the guns

The Battle continu’d on Land as the Pirates took to disembark, but after a vigorous Defense by the Archangels, the Townsfolk, and the Militia, the Pirates were defeated.

Several Pirates were caught and put in the town Gaol, with two Irishmen going to a swift Trial and sentenc’d to be hang’d. As the Sky darkened and Rain began to fall in a light, steady Drizzle, the condemn’d were led forth and parad’d through the town Streets to the Square where the Gallows wait’d. The Procession was a somber one, with one Prisoner begging for his life and the other belligerent and violent, requiring Quartermaster Roberts to beat him frequently.
Captain Sterling overheard the younger prisoner’s pleas and allow’d him to argue for his Life, his Case being that a poor childhood and Poverty drove him to his crimes. He offer’d his skills as a Cobbler and was eventually grant’d a Pardon in hopes that he would better his future.

The second Prisoner, the vile O’Tierney, made no such pleas.
Instead he insult’d my husband in language that made my blood boil. God forgive me, I know vengeance is His alone, but there are times when I am glad to see justice done. With the noose already around his neck he assault’d Captain Sterling, taking my husband to the ground before Quartermaster Roberts could pull the prisoner away. As O’Tierney stood atop the block he request’d a final drink, which he then threw into the Captain’s face. The Pirate vow’d to see the Captain in hell, to which the Captain only laugh’d and remark’d, “I hardly think so,” and kicked the block from beneath the Pirate’s feet. He was hanged for his foul Murders of our innocent Sailors and other terrible Crimes.

With the Hanging concluded the Crowds gradually dispersed. The weary but victorious Crewe dismantled the Gallows and later sat together to partake of a fine Dinner in Camp. Another Bowl of punch and several Games of Whist lended to the celebratory mood.

Sunday, August 10

Parting from the Crewe is never easy, and many of us were already dreading the Farewells as we breakfasted together and began breaking up the Camp. The Rain held off until the very last, drenching many of us as the last Roll of canvas was placed onto the Carts. We took shelter in one of the Town’s Ordinaries and spent about half an hour discussing all that had taken place the previous Days. At last goodbyes were said and we broke company, taking solace in knowing that the Town remained safe and we would all soon assemble for another grand Adventure.

My Dear, I am happy to report that your Father sends his Love and will write to you and Sean, himself, as soon as he is able. I will end now, for I would see this Letter handed off to the Post before I and Kitty head for the Carriage back to Virginia.

We love you both and are eager to visit with you upon our return.

Your loving Mother,


Copyright August 2014 S. W. Permenter
Special thanks to the following photographers: S.W.Permenter, J.Otte, D.Tobin, C. Warner, M.Murillo

NOTE: Hangings are done by trained, experienced stunt people, followed by a safety demonstration. DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!

Transcription of Letter sent by Captain Sterling 18 February 1712

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by creweofthearchangel

Mistress Mason,
My cherish’d Friend, my most belov’d Heart, my dearest Alice,

Please excuse the Liberty I have taken in writing these few Lines, hoping this will find thee in good Health. I pray also that all is well indeed, with thy Sister Ella and my dear Soul Kitty. I trust in God, that all is truly well with thee, as, thanks be to God, I find myself, though anxious, am I, to see thee.

As I sit and pen this, t’s  a raw &  windy night and I wish that my dearest Heart where here beside me.
I am currently addressing the final Details before the Archangel must put back to Sea, to cruise once more that we may do our Duty in the continuing War.  I and my Officers have made Arrangements with Edward Hyde to entertain a recruiting Party at his Establishment upon the 14, 15, & 16 March.  With such in Mind, I would entreat thee that thou wouldst consider traveling down to Wapping so that I may spend the Week’s End in thy Company, for I would see thee again before I must take my Leave.  

I have miss’d thee my dearest Heart, my beloved Lady, and such dismay at thy Absence I cannot give a sad enough Name. I have been too long depriv’d of the Sight of thine Eyes in which I was wont to see so much Love, which made me feel so full of Joy, and Peace, which took the Place of all else to me and which, in a Word, were all that I desir’d and continue thus..Sweetheart, do not deny me the Pleasure of thy most loving Person. I beseech thee for the love ye bear me,  to give an answer to this, mine crude Letter that I may know how far I may depend on thy coming. Send Word and make haste, I beg thee, to get thee to the Hyde before I must make sail.

But if it does not please thee to answer me in writing, then, I pray God, to hold thee in mine arms within the week.  With my heart I kiss thy hand, since I cannot with my lips, renewing my vows that I love thee more than health, or any happiness here upon this earth.
I pray God that the hours may not be long whilst we are apart.

I conclude with my Love to thee & I remane thy ever loving

and waite impationt for thy return.

Copyright 2014 C.A.Salone

Thinking Back: Charlotte Cole, Maid to Alice Sterling and Family

Posted in Crewe Reflections... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by creweofthearchangel

Who are you?

My name is Charlotte (Lottie) Cole and I grew up in a large family in London, England.

What are your dealings with the Archangel?

I serve as lady’s maid to Mistress Sterling. I see to her needs and desires as befitting my position and those of caring for her’s and the captain’s children Kitty, Thomas and the twins Ella and Andrew. I came into her service during her masquerade as the Turkish Princess and she and the captain have been most kind to keep me on. I take great satisfaction in the work. I also fill the role of traveling companion when Mistress Sterling takes to the seas, which has been most exciting for me!

What is your most memorable event concerning that relationship, and do you have any prized possessions connected to the event?

Recently, Mistress Sterling has seen fit to take me on as her lace-making apprentice! I would have been fortunate enough to remain in her employ as lady’s maid for the rest of my days; I never imagined being granted the opportunity to learn such a skill. I have few personal belongings, and my lace-making pillow is prized amongst them. I suppose it represents freedom to me, as I hope always to earn my own way in the world.


“Provide for their [servants’] support and their maintenance; let them not want in their work. Be punctual likewise in their pay. When the work is done, the laborer is worthy of his hire; if he deserve better, encourage thy servant in well-doing; this will encourage him for the future to do well.”

“Behave thyself so in thy family, so that those below will love and fear you.”

“Be not too familiar with thy servants, neither let them be too privy to thy secrets….Keep a distance with discretion, that others may know their places, do thou know thine.”

“Be not imperious, yet keep thy staff in thy own hand. Let them rather see thy power than feel it. …. Choose those that will be careful without chiding; and delight to see them cheerful in their business and to do it with delight.”

“Rebuke in private, public rebuke hardens.”

“The greatest master minds his meanest servants.”
~Advice of a father, or, Counsel to a child (1664)

“In small households, generally lower middle class, or even lower class, with only one servant, that servant was generally female. Cheaper wages (as low as £2 for a general maidservant) is one contribution to this. If another servant was employed, it would often be a child, whose wages would be minimal or even nonexistent.

Slightly larger households might have more even numbers of female and male servants. Perhaps they would have a maid or two (who might cook, clean, and do other duties, as well), a boy to do general errands (who may or may not be paid), and a manservant for various other work. Only in households with at least three or four servants were there likely to be menservants employed.

A modest household might have three male servants and two female- one manservant to be coachman and farm manager, one to be footman and gardener, a boy, and two maids, one of whom would presumably do the cooking.”
~Servants: English Domestics in the Eighteenth Century</strong> by Bridget Hill

Copyright 2014 A. Cole

Thinking Back: Mitchell O’Sionnach, Able Seaman

Posted in Crewe Reflections... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Who are you?
I am Mitchell O’Sionnach, a lad of sixteen years, who has gone ta sea to seek me fortune, so as ta support me Mum and sister home in Ireland..

What are your dealings with the Archangel?

I am an Able Bodied Sailor on board de’ Archangel. an like the other sailors, I serve on a watch, tend ta t’e sails and rigging, and when needed can use both blade an’ shot in battle..

What is your most memorable event concerning that relationship, and do you have any prized possessions connected to the event?

My most memorable event concerning my relationship ta de ‘Angel would have to be when I went to enlist, I saw one of the ship’s officers, Dorian Lasseter, the gunner, praying under his breath with a small chaplet, I quietly remarked upon the ta beauty of such a ting, it having reminded me of my home, where, when I was small I remember my father having a similar rosary, when he went to pray.

The day after the ship left port I noticed a small parcel in my sea-chest, one that was not there before…. in it was a chaplet, very similar to the Gunner’s.
It is a possession I treasure right much.. a token, though neither of us remarked upon it, that I suspect is from one countryman to another.

In 1691, King James II signed the Treaty of Limerick. This assured that the Irish Catholics were secure to own their own land, could speak their own language and above all, practice their religion. History tells us that as soon as he left Ireland, the treaty was broken and all the guarantees above were denied by the English.

Death became the common penalty for attending or celebrating the Mass. Many many Priest and Laity lost their lives in the underground churches. These times became known as the ‘Penal Times’ and the Irish Penal Rosary became popular.

Information from :
rosary workshop – museum – irish penal rosary . (n.d.). Retrieved from…Rosary-20c.html

Copyright M.Fink December 2, 2013

A History and How-To of Dorset Buttons

Posted in How to with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Josephine’s Journal
The Account of an Indentured Servant’s Adventures with the Crewe of the Archangel

June 19

During our most recent stop in London, while we were staying at the Hyde, I noticed a particular style of button on many of the waistcoats the men were wearing. I ask’d a friendly patron about the style and he inform’d me that they were known as Dorset Buttons, named for the area in which they were created. He offer’d to teach me how to make one style, and I took him up on that offer. I have since ask’d around and discover’d that the Dorset Buttons have quite a storied history:

Dorset buttons originated in Shaftsbury in Dorset, and were the design of one Abraham Case who, along with his wife, began the Dorset button industry around 1622. The High Top was the first design, follow’d by the Dorset Knobs; by 1658 about 31 different designs are believed to have exist’d. (1) The buttons gain’d popularity in Europe and also the new world, and eventually Abraham Case’s grandson, Peter Case, was sent to Liverpool “where he started a clearing house for the export side.” It was Peter who design’d an alloy to prevent the rusting of the metal rings used for the base of the buttons. (2) The buttons to be export’d were label’d according to their quality. The very best quality was reserv’d for export and was mount’d on pink paper. The buttons that were of good quality but were not to be exported were mounted on black paper. The remaining buttons, consider’d “third class” buttons, were mount’d on yellow paper and were of the poorest quality (although not necessarily of poor quality, they were not as perfect as those list’d previously). (3)

By the end of the 1700s, the Dorset Button industry employ’d around 4,000 women and children. However, this industry would soon fall into ruin with the advances made during the industrial revolution. In 1851, at the Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, a man by the name of John Ashton displayed a “button making machine” which was to bring about the end of the handmade Dorset button industry. (4) Many who were employ’d as button makers became seamstresses or lace-makers, or they left England all together to follow family to Canada or Austrailia. (5)

Having learned the crosswheel style Dorset button while in London, I now can make buttons for crewe members or others when necessary, as buttons lost during work aboard ship is a common occurrence. The necessary steps for making a Dorset button are not difficult, although they can be time consuming if many must be made at a time. The materials used include: a horn or metal ring of the desired diameter for the button size, embroidery thread of the desired color, a sturdy needle, and a pair of sewing scissors.

Once these materials have been gathered, the following steps will guide the reader through the process:

1)First, it is necessary to cut as much thread as will be requir’d to make the entire button. If the button is to have a half-inch diameter or smaller, 3 lengths of your arm should be enough to complete the button. If the diameter is to be larger than a half-inch, it may be necessary to take four lengths of your arm worth of thread. It is important to remember that the larger the button, the more thread you will need.

2)Thread the needle with the embroidery thread, only pulling about 3-4 inches through the needle. Do not tie off the thread, as it will be needed at the completion of the button.

3)Place the end of the thread, opposite the needle end, on the ring and hold it with your thumb. Using the needle, wrap the thread over the ring, through the ring, and then back under itself before pulling it tight. This is similar to a button-hole stitch, and will hold the thread in place after several rotations. Repeat this movement until the entire ring (including the loose end of the thread) is tightly covered by the thread. There will be a ridge along the outer surface of the ring. Do NOT tie off once this is complete.

4)Working around the ring, push the ridge on the outer edge into the inner edge. This may require going around the ring several times to move the ridge in steps.

5)Starting with the thread at the top of the button (now on the inside of the ring). Wrap the around the bottom of the ring and then loop it up the back to the top. Turn the ring slightly and repeat. Do this until there is the desir’d number of spokes in the ring (Typically, this is about 5 spokes but can be more or less). One side of the button will have the even spokes, the other will be uneven.

6) Keeping the thread pull’d tight, insert the needle and thread through the smallest opening on the side of the button where things are uneven. Bring the thread back through the opposite opening on the wheel and pull tight. This will create the “spoke” look on both sides of the button.

7) Maintain the tightness of the thread, either by pulling it tight or with a small stitch in the center to hold the spokes tight. Begin the weaving of the button by pulling the thread up through the hole to the left of the nearest spoke, and then taking it down through the right side of the same spoke in a counterclockwise motion. (6) Repeat this motion until the entire button has been filled in.

8) Once the entire button is complete, tie the thread off on the back of the button and trim it short. The button is now ready to be sewn onto a garment, simply by attaching the back of the button with thread to the desired garment.

(1) Anna McDowell, “History of the Dorset Button Industry”, Henry’s Buttons, 5 October 2012,, accessed June 19, 2013.

(2) Mandacrafts, “The History of the Dorset Button,”‎. accessed June 19, 2013.

(3) Mandacrafts, “The History of the Dorset Button,”‎. accessed June 19, 2013.

(4) Anna McDowell, “History of the Dorset Button Industry”, Henry’s Buttons, 5 October 2012,, accessed June 19, 2013.

(5) Mandacrafts, “The History of the Dorset Button,”‎. accessed June 19, 2013.

(6) Diane Gilleland, “How to Make Dorset Buttons,” The DIY Wedding. March 4th, 2011 ,…uttons/page/all, accessed June 19, 2013

Copyright: November 11, 2013 J.Otte

Thinking Back: Josephine Legard, Indentured Servant and Herbalist

Posted in Crewe Reflections... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Who are you?

Josephine Legard, an indentured servant from Cancale, in the Brittany region of France.

What are your dealings with the Archangel?

I am indentured to the Master Gunner of the Archangel, Dorian Lasseter.

What is your most memorable event concerning that relationship, and do you have any prized possessions connected to the event?

My most memorable event would be my rescue from my indenture from St. Malo by Monsieur Lasseter. I was indentured to a rather unkind tavern owner in the city, and the Archangel crewe took rest at our tavern following a great storm that damaged their ship. They were disguised as Frenchmen so as to receive kind treatment. Toward the end of their stay, Dorian Lasseter was involved in a game of cards with the tavern owner. The owner bet my papers in a last ditch effort to recoup his losses, but was defeated and my papers passed to Monsieur Lasseter.

I still carry a letter in my pocket, written by my brother when he was forced upon a ship bound to New France. It was the last word I had from him, and my last connection to St. Malo. I carry it in the hopes that I will someday find him again.

NOTE: In the late 17th/early 18th century many women often kept Herbals, books or scrap books containing herbal remedies known to work, to care for their families.

“The housewife is assured that she will not be asked to deal with the ‘depth and secrets of this most excellent art of physic,’ receiving instruction only in ‘some ordinary rules and medicines which may avail for the benefit of her family…for the curing of those ordinary sicknesses which daily perturb the health of men and women’.” Gervase Markham

For more information on the subject, please see the following:

Anna’s Herbal, An Education in the Healing Power of Herbs
Geraldine Brooks, Year of Wonders
Sharon Hiltz, 2011…AS%20HERBAL.pdf

The English Housewife, Gervase Markham
Edited by Michael R. Best…epage&q&f=false

For more on Josephine Legard, click here…-joseph-legard/
Copyright September 2013/J.Otte