Wednesday, 7 April 2010
The importance of archers grew in importance in Medieval England because the whole of the English population was involved in Medieval Warfare! In 1252 the 'Assize of Arms' was passed which decreed that every English man between the ages of 15 to 60 years old were to equip themselves with a bow and arrows. The Plantagenet King Edward III took this further and decreed the Archery Law in 1363 which commanded the obligatory practice of archery on Sundays and holidays! The Archery Law "forbade, on pain of death, all sport that took up time better spent on war training especially archery practise". The development of different weapons, in particular the cannon and gun, this requirement of Englishmen was abated freeing the archery 'Butts' for other types of buildings.There were two main types of a bow and arrow, the long bow and the crossbow. With advances in both machinery and archery the crossbow quickly became a deadly and accurate weapon. However, this weapon was flawed since its rate of fire was slower than the long bow. The long bow was an improved version of the bow and arrow. This weapon also had a flaw, for it was more expensive to make. The armies usually had both long bowmen and crossbowmen since both weapons were very effective
In Elizabetan times it started to dwindle.By the end of the 1500's firearms were in common use. The musket was invented towards the end of the Medieval era in 1520.
By 1595 all bows were ordered to be exchanged for muskets. The most popular firearm was called a Matchlock (this name derived as it was fired by the application of a burning match). It was inaccurate, slow to load and expensive.
It was eventually replaced by the Flintlock. Canons were developed which replaced the heavy artillery of the Medieval years such as the ballista, trebuchet and the Mangonel. These early canons were made of bronze or iron and fired stone or iron. They were made in different sizes and were used on both land and on sea