Crossbows for the king - The crossbow during the reigns of John and Henry III of England

Academic Article


  • Although the crossbow served as the primary hand-held missile weapon in the armies of England during the thirteenth century, very little is known currently about the types and designs that were available for use. This study sheds light on three important questions relating to the construction and use of crossbows during the reigns of King John (1199-1216) and Henry III (1216 1272). First, an effort is made to identify the variety of materials employed in the construction of crossbows. Second, this study examines the means by which these weapons were spanned. Finally, this study suggests the relative frequency with which the several types of crossbows used by English troops were deployed by the royal government. -- Technology and Culture
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • January 2004
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • 1100-1499 Middle English period
  • England
  • English literature
  • Latin language literature
  • Middle Ages
  • chronicle
  • crossbow
  • folk craft
  • material culture
  • military technology
  • prose
  • technology
  • warfare
  • weapon
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 102
  • End Page

  • 119
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 1