Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Sources for the "surmises and assumptions"
- Godwin fitzGilbert de Striguil wrote:
>The Bowmen of England - Donald Featherstone. Pg. 48-50Thanks, I found that passage late last night.
>Specifically Pg 50, paragraph 2.
>"English archers carried into the field a sheaf of twenty-four barbed
>arrows, buckled within their girdles. A portion of them, about six or
>eight, were longer, lighter and winged with narrower feathers than the
>rest. With these flight arrows, as they were called, they could hit a
>mark at a greater distance than with the remaining heavy sheaf arrows.
>The advantages occasionally derived from this superiority of range, when
>directed by a skilful leader, have led to very important results such as
>that at Towton. Unfledged arrows cannot fly far and are greatly affected
>by the wind. Ascham, the 'Isaak Walton of archery', says 'Neither wood,
>horn metal, parchment, paper nor cloth but only a feather is fit for a
>shaft'. There must have been a great consumption of goose feathers; an
>army needed at least 20000 sheaves of arrows, requiring a million and a
>half goose feathers. Peacock feathers were used as well as those of the
Unfortunately Featherstone doesn't give a source for this 'fact'
What I do recall is that there were two lengths of 'munitions grade'
arrows on the Mary Rose. I believe Hardy explained it as shorter arrows
for those archers with shorter draws. I don't know how Featherstone
could deduce anything about the point and feathers considering the
dearth of surviving intact medieval arrows.