Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

English war bow

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <123
Author
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar
Suspended

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 508
  Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: English war bow
    Posted: 05-Jul-2007 at 12:41
Originally posted by Gavriel

The war bow is commonly known as the longbow (a later conception)its origins can be traced back to neolithic times, but the fact is it emerged in the years leading up to the hundred years war as a Battle winning weapon.What made it so effective was the number of bowmen who could be assembled in  a army,one or two might do damage but thousands could destroy armys and the English alone in europe were capable of assembling those numbers,why?
 It took years of practice to master the huge weapon (some reports say the bows had a 180lb draw weight,WOW)the english started training the common folk as archers at 5years of age,by the time they were 16 they were ready for the wars.
So why didnt ant other nation use the commoners as Archers?
Gavriel.


Both France and Burgundy used longbowmen [France Scottish, Burgundy English]. From 1448 training in archery was made compulsory in France and the French fielded several units of Francs-archers in later battles of the 100 years war. English mercenaries also served in various other conflicts throughout Europe.
Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar
Suspended

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 508
  Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2007 at 12:47
Originally posted by rider

Do you know when it went out of use, or the last recorded use of longbows?


In England, that would have been in the mid to late 1590's, at a guess, as the Shire levies summoned for the Armada campaign in 1588 still contained many longbow men. I suspect there would have been a gradual decline as calivers and arquebuses became more commonplace. 
Back to Top
Endre Fodstad View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 03-May-2007
Location: Norway
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Endre Fodstad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2007 at 16:34
Originally posted by Paul

Bows found show the lengthy processes of smoothing and tillering have been carried out with much more hours invested in pre-historic bows.  Paleolithic times they'de perfomed finishing work on the bow which would have taken days whereas in medieval times they haven't bothered.


Er. The Mary Rose bows were not finished products at the time the ship sank. The Hedeby bow, and the danish bog bows of the iron age all match neolithic bow finds in finish, tillering and smoothing.

Originally posted by Endre Fodstad


They were professional in the sense they weren't a Feudal levy. They were freemen who signed on for military services very much in a modern day sense at recruiting posts. They signed a contract, were paid and the contract had a termination date in which they were no-way obliged to continue with after. They were recruited in the modern day sense as professional contractors.


And in the same way, retinue soldiers and knights were recruited for permanent service, sometimes with time termination and get-out clauses - as far back as the 12th century at the very least. It was nothing new. The feudal levy was turning into "bastard feudalism" almost from the get-go. People often forget that feudalism is a model for understanding some medieval relationships (and it fits badly outside the areas it was applied from, in both space and time), not a social system that was broadly implemented.
Back to Top
Endre Fodstad View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 03-May-2007
Location: Norway
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Endre Fodstad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2007 at 16:36
Originally posted by Challenger2


In England, that would have been in the mid to late 1590's, at a guess, as the Shire levies summoned for the Armada campaign in 1588 still contained many longbow men. I suspect there would have been a gradual decline as calivers and arquebuses became more commonplace. 


As I recall it, bowmen were still in use militarily in the early 17th century in England. It was also during this period that it became a gentleman's sport in the country (and presumeably also declined as a military pursuit).


Edited by Endre Fodstad - 05-Jul-2007 at 16:37
Back to Top
edgewaters View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Snake in the Grass-Banned

Joined: 13-Mar-2006
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2394
  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 02:15
Originally posted by Paul

Hunter gatherers who are dependant on the bow for their very survival develop both skills at using and manufacturing beyond that of later users.

Bows found show the lengthy processes of smoothing and tillering have been carried out with much more hours invested in pre-historic bows. Paleolithic times they'de perfomed finishingwork on the bow which would have taken days whereas in medieval times they haven't bothered.


I'd tend to agree that Neolithic weapons were at least equivalent, if not better.

A good example is the native American flatbow, which was a highly sophisticated and effective weapon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatbow

Modern bows are based on the flatbow design.

Flatbows were made with yew in Neolithic Europe - these must have been devastating weapons.

Edited by edgewaters - 06-Jul-2007 at 02:16
Back to Top
Endre Fodstad View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 03-May-2007
Location: Norway
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Endre Fodstad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 02:28
I have to admit (and, working as a museums conservator, I've seen quite a few bows of a great deal of periods in addition to my living history interest in the subject) that I really don't spot any difference between stone age bows and later bows in finish, since, as I said, many of the Mary Rose bows are just staves.

The modern olympic bow is recurved and made from layered composite plastics, fiberglass, and carbon fiber (the flat bow construction profile lends well to layering modern composite materials). Wooden flatbows are excellent weapons, but tend to be limited in draw power unless you really start wasting wood to make the bow. They've tended to be used more as hunting bows than as war bows. Native american indians did actually use both types of bow - some tribes used d/circular-cross section "long"bows of 100lbs+.
Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar
Suspended

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 508
  Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 11:06
Originally posted by Endre Fodstad

Er. The Mary Rose bows were not finished products at the time the ship sank. The Hedeby bow, and the danish bog bows of the iron age all match neolithic bow finds in finish, tillering and smoothing.


Hang on, the mary rose sank in 1545 sailing to engage the French in battle. What was she doing carrying unfinished weapons?  what makes you think they were unfinished?
Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar
Suspended

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 508
  Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 11:09
Originally posted by Endre Fodstad

Originally posted by Challenger2


In England, that would have been in the mid to late 1590's, at a guess, as the Shire levies summoned for the Armada campaign in 1588 still contained many longbow men. I suspect there would have been a gradual decline as calivers and arquebuses became more commonplace. 


As I recall it, bowmen were still in use militarily in the early 17th century in England...


Not by the Trained Bands, which by then had moved on to Calivers and Muskets. It's possible the Shire levies still had them but they would have been phased out as firearms became cheaper and more readily available.
Back to Top
Endre Fodstad View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 03-May-2007
Location: Norway
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Endre Fodstad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 15:33
True enough, but they were talking about the latest use of the bows.

Originally posted by Challenger2

Hang on, the mary rose sank in 1545 sailing to engage the French in battle. What was she doing carrying unfinished weapons?  what makes you think they were unfinished?


The unfinished staves were stored in the cargo holds. It's all there in the archaeological report. There were a number of bows aboard the Mary Rose, those in the topdecks ready to use (plus some in the mid-deck chests). I presumed that the poster above was talking about the staves when he mentioned unfinished medieval bows - it is pretty much the only explanation for paleo/meso/neolitihic bows being more "finished" than medieval bows that I know of.


Edited by Endre Fodstad - 06-Jul-2007 at 15:41
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <123

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.188 seconds.