M. Royal Artillery
"Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl"
M. Royal Artillery was founded in February 2000 at the
Florida Renaissance Festival with one person, one
small tent and a bit of land to put it on.
It has since grown to twelve people, twelve tents, fourteen cannons,
two mortars (one shoots bowling
balls while the other shoots golf balls),
numerous small arms and a large encampment at FlaRF.
Since 2000, as a member of the cast, our commander Sir Robert Russell has opened and closed the Festival each day with a cannon shot. From 2014 through 2016, the entire crew closed the Festival daily at sunset with a small arms and cannon barrage. Specially invited Festival participants often joined us shooting in the evening. Begining in 2017, we shoot a scheduled cannon and mortar demonstration every day near our camp and closing the festival has gone back to a single cannon shot.
We are a freelance mercenary artillery battery that is currently employed by the King, since he pays the best. He pays us well and mostly on time because he knows the kind of firepower we have and doesn't want us mad at him.
the King doesn't have
a nice little land war going on with one of his neighbors, we
usually have a lot of free time on our hands. That's when we'll pack up
and go to sea as privateers. This lets
us pillage and plunder as much as we want and as often as
given us a 'Letter of Marque', the King encourages this activity
backs us up... as long as he gets his cut.
Four of our members have the distinction of having been trained and certified by the National Park Service to shoot full sized black powder artillery. Sir Robert and his wife Lady Triskelia were certified in 2004 and 2006 respectively while Mr. Avery and Mistress Catalina were both certified in 2014.
H. M. (in Royal Artillery) currently means "His
but it could just as easily mean "Her Majesty's".
We purposely did not spell it out
since the Monarch can, and often does, change. Sometimes
without warning. If and when there is a change, and the new
has also changed, having our name written in this fashion saves
us time and money because we don't have to make up new signs and
All battery members wear, and can be identified by, one of two distinct insignias.
The first is worn by members who are fully qualified with all of our weapons. The
leather background is the traditional artillery color red, the crossed
cannons are the traditional symbol for artillery and the crown
A third insignia is worn by a very few select individuals who, in recognition of their
unwavering and continued
99% of the time we fire blank shots, all of our weapons are real and fully capable of live fire.
The 1% of the time we do shoot live, it's our bowling ball mortar lobbing 16 pound balls 200 yards into the lake at Quietwaters Park during FlaRF.
(Yes, it really is legal)
was our one and only 500 yard shot. Using some really fancy math it was found that the
reached an altitude of 980 feet. After this we cut the powder charge in half. The ball is very
visible throughout its entire flight and, because of the finger holes, it whistles as it flies.
The shot always ends with a very large and quite satisfying splash.
The lake is a great target. We've never missed yet.