Search This Blog

Monday, 15 February 2016


The longbow could shoot more arrows per minute than the crossbow. The devastating hail of the longbowmen (at a rate of six per minute) was often very demoralizing.

The basic equipment cost little, and could be very easily mass produced It was made from a single piece of hard wearing, flexible wood. (often yew, which was cut during the winter when there was no sap).

The longbow was first recorded as being used by the Welsh. In AD 633 Offrid, son of Edwin, king of Northumbria, was killed by an arrow shot from a Welsh longbow during a battle between the Welsh and the Mercians.

At The Battle of Falkirk, which took place on July 22, 1298,  King Edward I of England's army included 10,900 Welshmen armed with the longbow. The use of the longbow proved too much for William Wallace's Scots and revolutionized warfare.

The Battle of Crécy took place on August 26, 1346 in northern France during the Hundred Years War. It is considered one of the important battle in the history of warfare because the English used longbows to defeat the unwieldy crossbows and heavy cavalry of the French. Because of this change some historians call this battle the beginning of the end of chivalry.

Fighting with longbows at Crecy

The fifteenth-century English longbow was made of wood. A good archer could shoot it accurately for 400 yards (364 meters).

Despite being responsible for Hundred Years' War victories at Agincourt, Creçy and Poitiers, giving the English longbowmen a legendary status, they were not paid well: archers earned 6 pence a day, half that of a man-at-arms with sword and shield.

Using the longbow required great physical strength and ultimately took its toll: skeletons of Henry VIII's archers show deformed right shoulders and elbows caused by the physical strain of shooting the hefty bow.

The first book in English about longbow archery was Toxophilus by Roger Ascham, first published in London in 1545 and dedicated to King Henry VIII.

"Mad" Jack Churchill was the only World War II British soldier to have killed enemies with a longbow. He insisted on using a medieval bow and sword.

No comments:

Post a Comment