Sunday visitors to Sulgrave Manor were entertained by a range of events celebrating the United States of America’s declaration of independence on July 4th 1776. Representatives of detachments of the British and French armies in North America at that time camped in the Manor grounds and gave regular demonstrations of drill and musketry. Irregular colonial and native American forces were also represented together with various camp followers. The cheerful sounds of fiddles, banjo and guitar accompanying the Appalachian dancers helped to dispel the gloom of a rather cold and sunless day. Indoor events included “Auntie Sammy” helping the children with pastry making and brass rubbings and an exhibition of native American clothing and crafts.
More photographs on the next page.
Commander-in-Chief prepares despatches….
As always on Independence day, visitors were greeted in the courtyard by Wotan of Cotswold Falconry, the symbolic and magnificent bald eagle, ever popular with the children….
A demonstration for the children by “Auntie Sammy”…
Carefully does it with a brass rubbing….
The French contingent marches forward….
….to perform musket drill…..here, priming the flintlock….
….ramming the charge into the barrel with the thin rod known as a “baguette”….
….the firing mechanism is cocked….
….the hammer comes down and after a brief delay the musket is fired.
A colonist irregular of the type whose tactics and determination led to the United States success….
An Iroquois warrior looks on as the visitors enjoy the demonstrations.
The Iroquois native Americans allied themselves with the British, which turned out not to be the most sensible thing to do…..
Ready, steady, aim…….
Within seconds, the soldiers are shrouded in smoke.
One little visitor sleeps through it all!
“Sweet Rojo’s” provide a less warlike distraction.
A beautifully decorated example of a cradleboard.
The last musketry demonstration of the afternoon….
….a final detonation….
…and the smoke clears away.
Independence Day Celebrations at Sulgrave Manor in 2008
Independence Day Celebrations at Sulgrave Manor in 2010
Don’t forget that these lovely events at the Manor are free to villagers (remember your passes).