Crossbows for the king, Part II - The crossbow during the reign of Edward I of England (1272-1307)

Academic Article


  • Because of the enormous increase in military activity during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century, royal officials serving Edward I (1272Ð1307) were faced with the need to acquire far larger numbers of crossbows and crossbow bolts than had been the case under Edward's predecessors. In order to save money, royal administrative officials pursued two distinct policies with regard to these weapons. First, royal officers purchased and deployed the new technology of a removable winch that could be transferred from one crossbow to another, thereby cutting down on the total number of these expensive devices that were required for service. Royal officials also made a conscious decision to deploy very large numbers of the least expensive wooden "one-foot" crossbows in place of the more expensive, although more powerful, composite crossbows of the "two-foot" and winched types. In pursuing this cost-saving measure, Edward's officials deviated from the arms acquisition policies of Henry III's reign.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • January 2006
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 81
  • End Page

  • 90
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 1