How was it that ordinary men in medieval England and Wales became such skilled archers that they defeated noble knights in battle after battle? The archer in medieval England became a forerunner of John Bull as a symbol of the spirit of the ordinary Englishman. He had his own popular literature that left us a romantic version of the lives and activities of outlaws and poachers such as Robin Hood.This remarkable development began 150 years after the traumatic events of the Norman Conquest transformed the English way of life, in ways that were almost never to the benefit of the English. This book is the first account of the way ordinary men used bows and arrows in their day-to-day lives, and the way that their skills became recognised by the kings of England as invaluable in warfare.
The Middle Ages re-created through the cast of pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. Among the surviving records of fourteenth-century England, Geoffrey Chaucer’s poetry is the most vivid. Chaucer wrote about everyday people outside the walls of the English court—men and women who spent days at the pedal of a loom, or maintaining the ledgers of an estate, or on the high seas. In Chaucer’s People, Liza Picard transforms The Canterbury Tales into a masterful guide for a gloriously detailed tour of medieval England, from the mills and farms of a manor house to the lending houses and Inns of Court in London. In Chaucer’s People we meet again the motley crew of pilgrims on the road to Canterbury. Drawing on a range of historical records such as the Magna Carta, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Cookery in English, Picard puts Chaucer’s characters into historical context and mines them for insights into what people ate, wore, read, and thought in the Middle Ages. What can the Miller, “big…of brawn and eke of bones” tell us about farming in fourteenth-century England? What do we learn of medieval diets and cooking methods from the Cook? With boundless curiosity and wit, Picard re-creates the religious, political, and financial institutions and customs that gave order to these lives.
The Soldier in Later Medieval England is the outcome of a project which collects the names of every soldier known to have served the English Crown from 1369 to the loss of Gascony in 1453, the event which is traditionally accepted as the end-date of the Hundred Years War. The data gathered throughout the project has allowed the authors of this volume to compare different forms of war, such as the chevauchées of the latefourteenth century and the occupation of French territories in the fifteenth century, and thus to identify longer-term trends. The authors seek to investigate the different types of soldier, their regional and national origins, andmovement between ranks. This is a wide-ranging volume, which offers invaluable insights into a much-neglected subject, and presents many opportunities for future research.
Essays in this collection examine the lifestyles and attitudes of the gentry in late-medieval England. Through surveys of the gentry's military background, administrative and political roles, social behavior, and education, the reader is provided with an overview of how the group's culture evolved and how it was disseminated.
In With Bended Bow Erik Roth presents a comprehensive examination of the archer and his weapon in a time when archery was both economically and militarily vital to the security of England, based on the study of mediaeval writings and period artefacts. As an accomplished artist, his illustrations are an invaluable aid to understanding the manufacture and use of the bow.The book examines the types of weapons and kit produced by guildsmen, the materials used and the work of different specialists including bowyers, fletchers and stringers. It also details the life of the archer himself, how he cared for his equipment, learned to shoot and fought for his country on the battlefields of Scotland and France. With Bended Bow gives an exceptional insight into the tools, training and fighting techniques of the soldier who defined mediaeval warfare.
Sport has been among the most enduring forms of human endeavor. This organic interpretation of its nature and development argues that sport inherently serves the most engaging of purposes, authentically human fulfillment itself.