The 6-foot longbow with a pull of 60 to 90 pounds made of yew is commonly considered to have been of 12th century Welsh origin. Longbows were first introduced into England during the reign of Edward I and by the 14th century had become the national weapon of the English. They proved particularly effective when deployed in a V-shaped formation, protecting the centre of the army and during the Hundred Years War, and contributed much to the English victories at theBattle of Crecy, the Battle of Poitiers and the Battle of Agincourt. Longbows enjoyed several advantages over the Crossbows that were standard in most European armies of the era, being lighter and more accurate and could be fired more rapidly. However they did require the archer to undertake great deal of training in order to become proficient with the weapon.

Arrows were generally 3-feet long and had heads of various shapes; broad, leaf-shaped for use against horses, or long and narrow for piercing armour. English archers armed with longbows were particularly sought after as mercenaries by European princes (most famously in the armies of the Dukes of Burgundy), but the increasing use of firearms during the 16th century coupled with a decline in standards of practice would see the employment of the longbow deminish (The last battle in which the Longbow was the sole missile weapon was at the Battle of Flodden against the Scots in 1813). Nevertheless Longbows were still a feature in English Armies through to the 1590s and in Scottish and Irish Armies into the 17th century.

See also:
Battle Of Falkirk

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