Author Topic: What is "Warbow"  (Read 91258 times)

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SimonUK

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2007, 05:00:31 pm »
Quote
They werent supermen, but they were required and were used to much higher physical strain daily than anybody today is used to.

This is something I agree with. A life of hardship and poverty really toughens people. You can see this today if you travel to the developing world. The example that sticks in my mind are the people of Nepal who carry increadible weights on their backs, e.g. another person who is ill and needs to get to hospital. They carry these weights for days up and down those mountains.

Offline Yeomanbowman

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2007, 05:54:02 pm »
Hello All,
Here’s my input, please feel free to agree/disagree or ignore, as this is only what I believe.
1.   Recurves. I like the point about recurves.  Any one who has tillered a bow with one natural recurve knows that it would be much easier to artificially bend another in.  The effectiveness of the design is well documented and works on two levels.  It improves the f/d curve and allows the tips to be thinned thus reducing limb mass.  Both improve cast.  Burgundian archers used this type of bow and the English must have been aware of them.  This may be what Ascham refers to ‘whipping’ the ends.  Contemporary images of recurved bows are problematic as many are French in origin, but I think it’s safe to assume their existence in an Anglo-Welsh context.  Here’s me drawing just such a bow with one natural recurve.  Due to BL-BS regulations I left the stave unaltered but left to my own devises I would of added a recurve to the bottom limb. (I’m the follicly challenged one at the back!)
http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q280/yeomanbowman/Badminton1.jpg 
2.   Wood choice.  That laminations add performance to a bow and make effective weapons is not in doubt.  However, they were not used in a military context in medieval England, and for me it’s as simple as that.  I know of ash backed yew bows in the Stuart period, but hand bows had been dropped from the arms of assize by many trained bands by then and the military use of hand bows in steep decline.  As to the use of period wood it as deliberate anachronistic.  I have made a 100Lb bow from ash purchased at a timber merchant that was very inexpensive.  Premium yew is not readily accessible or cheap but so what? It’s not the only period choice.  In 1360 William de Rothewell, the keeper of the Privy Wardrobe ordered: -
4062 pained bow (perhaps yew)
11303 white bows (lots of this stuff around)
However, in 1542 (due to the scarcity of good yew) a statute required that bowyers produce "for one bow of yew shall make four of elm, wych, hazel, ash or other wood apt for the same."  The ratio had switched.  To this list of period woods I would add laburnum, box and brasil (sic).
To paraphrase Josh, who summed it up well for me, laminated bows are nothing to be ashamed of but are not true recreations of warbows. 
3.   Draw weight.  This is very important and here form follows function.  A 15Lb bow could not be called a viable hunting weapon and a 60Lb bow could not be called an English warbow.  Projecting a heavy missile over a long range cannot be done at a lower draw weight.  80Lb draw weight would be my minimum as anything below this would be ineffective for the intended use.
4.   Bow section/profile.  Many MR bow profiles are stacked, to a lesser or greater extent.  However, the two heaviest are a radiused rectangle in section.  Therefore, to me this section  must be perfectly acceptable in any EWB definition.
5.   Arrow length.  Ascham talks of arrows that are too short being better than arrows that are too long, so he obviously did not like the idea of undrawn shafts sticking out past the back of a bow.  This must reflect the received wisdom for the Tudor period.  As the MR arrows fall in this time scale it would seem odd to assume 26” draw length as normal as most MR arrows are well over this length.  The MR archers ranged from 5’7” to over 6’ and whilst I will accept that the King’s flagship had the crème it also indicates persons who were well capable of drawing the supplied arrows to the head. 
This only my opinion and I have been called anally retentive  8) before on another forum, which was maybe their way of saying purist ;).  To be honest I don’t really care as I can live with either.  However, I am passionate about English warbows and their proud history.  I believe in inclusively, but not at the expense of political correctness or ‘dumming down’ the original artefact so much as to be a meaningless shadow of what they should represent.  English warbows do not have to be expensive but if you are drawing a 60Lb laminated bow to 26” then you are not shooting in the English warbow.  I can’t run a marathon by don’t shorten it to 4 miles just so I can join in.
Jeremy           

ratty

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2007, 06:16:21 pm »
Hello All,
Here’s my input, please feel free to agree/disagree or ignore, as this is only what I believe.
1.   Recurves. I like the point about recurves.  Any one who has tillered a bow with one natural recurve knows that it would be much easier to artificially bend another in.  The effectiveness of the design is well documented and works on two levels.  It improves the f/d curve and allows the tips to be thinned thus reducing limb mass.  Both improve cast.  Burgundian archers used this type of bow and the English must have been aware of them.  This may be what Ascham refers to ‘whipping’ the ends.  Contemporary images of recurved bows are problematic as many are French in origin, but I think it’s safe to assume their existence in an Anglo-Welsh context.  Here’s me drawing just such a bow with one natural recurve.  Due to BL-BS regulations I left the stave unaltered but left to my own devises I would of added a recurve to the bottom limb. (I’m the follicly challenged one at the back!)
http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q280/yeomanbowman/Badminton1.jpg 
2.   Wood choice.  That laminations add performance to a bow and make effective weapons is not in doubt.  However, they were not used in a military context in medieval England, and for me it’s as simple as that.  I know of ash backed yew bows in the Stuart period, but hand bows had been dropped from the arms of assize by many trained bands by then and the military use of hand bows in steep decline.  As to the use of period wood it as deliberate anachronistic.  I have made a 100Lb bow from ash purchased at a timber merchant that was very inexpensive.  Premium yew is not readily accessible or cheap but so what? It’s not the only period choice.  In 1360 William de Rothewell, the keeper of the Privy Wardrobe ordered: -
4062 pained bow (perhaps yew)
11303 white bows (lots of this stuff around)
However, in 1542 (due to the scarcity of good yew) a statute required that bowyers produce "for one bow of yew shall make four of elm, wych, hazel, ash or other wood apt for the same."  The ratio had switched.  To this list of period woods I would add laburnum, box and brasil (sic).
To paraphrase Josh, who summed it up well for me, laminated bows are nothing to be ashamed of but are not true recreations of warbows. 
3.   Draw weight.  This is very important and here form follows function.  A 15Lb bow could not be called a viable hunting weapon and a 60Lb bow could not be called an English warbow.  Projecting a heavy missile over a long range cannot be done at a lower draw weight.  80Lb draw weight would be my minimum as anything below this would be ineffective for the intended use.
4.   Bow section/profile.  Many MR bow profiles are stacked, to a lesser or greater extent.  However, the two heaviest are a radiused rectangle in section.  Therefore, to me this section  must be perfectly acceptable in any EWB definition.
5.   Arrow length.  Ascham talks of arrows that are too short being better than arrows that are too long, so he obviously did not like the idea of undrawn shafts sticking out past the back of a bow.  This must reflect the received wisdom for the Tudor period.  As the MR arrows fall in this time scale it would seem odd to assume 26” draw length as normal as most MR arrows are well over this length.  The MR archers ranged from 5’7” to over 6’ and whilst I will accept that the King’s flagship had the crème it also indicates persons who were well capable of drawing the supplied arrows to the head. 
This only my opinion and I have been called anally retentive  8) before on another forum, which was maybe their way of saying purist ;).  To be honest I don’t really care as I can live with either.  However, I am passionate about English warbows and their proud history.  I believe in inclusively, but not at the expense of political correctness or ‘dumming down’ the original artefact so much as to be a meaningless shadow of what they should represent.  English warbows do not have to be expensive but if you are drawing a 60Lb laminated bow to 26” then you are not shooting in the English warbow.  I can’t run a marathon by don’t shorten it to 4 miles just so I can join in.
Jeremy           


i think i would agree with that. :)

nice post. ;)

Offline Loki

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2007, 06:26:31 pm »
Quote
but if you are drawing a 60Lb laminated bow to 26” then you are not shooting in the English warbow. 

What if your drawing a 75lb to 31"  in a medieval style,ie,shooting in the Bow ;D.
You are right of course,a 75lb Bow is not a WarBow,i used to think it was untill i tried loosing a Livery arrow out of mine,Pffffttt,flat as a fart,i'll stick to my 11/32's  :D.

I agree with you Jeremy but we have to start somewhere,man,i'd love a Italian Yew stave with all its beautiful character lumps and bumps, but £600 for a Bow i wont use next year is out of the question for me.I'm going to wait till i can pull 90lb all day before i invest in one of those killers,i'm on track with my progress up to now (no aches and pains anymore after a day of shooting) so hopefully i can start doing some worthwhile tests next year when i'm using a Real warBow,even if it is a light one,they need testing too  :D.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 06:38:23 pm by Loki »
Durham,England

Offline 1/2primitive

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2007, 08:15:46 pm »
Jaro, this is a discusion, not a fight. You can let others know when they are wrong, but you don't have to wave your triumph in thier face.

That being said, and having seen at least one of your bows, along with the knowledge that you reveal in your posts, I still do hold your opinion in high regard. But calm down.
      Sean
Dallas/Fort Worth Tx.

Offline Kviljo

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2007, 09:10:01 pm »
A warbow is a warbow.

All we can do is try to make as good replications as possible. A 100 @ 32 yew isn't necessarily a better replication than a 70 @ 27 elm. I don't think it does any good to point out why your neighbour should not call her bow a warbow, unless she asks for it. After all the bow's just an interpretation of some level of the originals. So there are accurate and not so accurate replications, and it's a bit relative if you ask me.

Perhaps the best way is to say that the bow has been inspired by the original warbows, and then have a separate discussion on how the original warbows looked and felt like.

stevesjem

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2007, 09:35:16 pm »
Hi People, i thought you may all like to see some pictures of some of the real warbows of the MR.
In this pici i am holding one of the bigger bows.


This one shows the same bow as before and my Italian replica.


Here are some of the bowyers marks



And lastly a rack of history


Oh and some arrows


Cheers

Steve

marvin

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2007, 10:13:30 pm »
Jaraslov, buddy, please tone down the comments and try to resist making insults :)

I have a tremendous amount of respect for your knowledge about the english bow and have learned a great deal from you. Your knowledge is anchored in the reality of having actually built and used EWB's and so your opinion carries a lot of weight with me and others but you need to temper your passion for the craft with respect and tolerance of others who don't have your knowledge and experience.

Teach and educate. Allow room for debate and opinion and patiently educate people about the misinformation and myth that has been spread in various books and on the internet. I understand your frustration with inaccurate and unfounded statements but making insulting comments does not help to overturn those things and stop there perpetuation. It only turns people off from listening to you and learning.

All of your previous posts would have been just as valid and true without the insults and harshness and people would have been far more receptive to learning from you and thus breaking the cycle of misinformation.

Note to others here,
Cut Jaraslov some slack. English is not his native language and so some of his post/comments come across as rude when in fact he is not.

Offline Kviljo

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2007, 10:19:08 pm »
Thanks for sharing!! That's so cool 8)

Are there any toolmarks that could tell of what kind of tools have been used? 

Offline D. Tiller

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2007, 10:27:50 pm »
Hey Steve! Welcome to the site. Nice to see you found us here.  That one bow your holding is massive. Do you happen to know an estimate of what the draw weight of that bow was?  Cant believe how straight the grain is on that bow and the tight growth rings.  Do you think it was Yew from a tree farm in the Itallian Alps cerca that time period? I can imagine some Italian out in the Alps going out and cutting sucker growth off the trunk of yew trees and lovingly caring for them untill harvest then selling them to a wine merchant who shipped them back to england with the wine he purchased.  If only that bow could talk!  ;D
“People are less likely to shoot at you if you smile at them” - Mad Jack Churchill

Offline Loki

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2007, 10:44:39 pm »
Are'nt all the Bows from the wreck made from Italian Yew?
The Mary Rose had 350 Archers on board when she went down,as the Bows found on the wreck were all locked up in chest's, can we take it then,that the surviving examples are spares?Surely the soldiers on deck would of been armed with there own gear,maybe even superior.
Durham,England

duffontap

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2007, 03:35:04 am »
I'm offline for a few hours and I miss all the action.  A lot of great posts going on here. 

Let me just say:  if you have a personal message/grievance/vendetta--please use the personal message feature!  There are more than a couple people crossing the line on this thread and I don't want to use all my time to clean up the language and tell people to cool it.  If the rules are abused this forum will be closed by Primitive Archer.  I would hate to see that happen!

On What a Warbow is:
As I have said before, the murkiness of history allows for some speculation and personal opinion but neither of those are worth getting militant about.  It is true that English Warbows had very high degrees of standardization.  Stacked sections, fairly consistant length, favored materials and tiller, specific mass placement/width and thickness tapers, high weights, long draws, universal nocks, etc.  All I'm saying is, it's more specific than some posts let on.  If you have another style of English Warbow that you know to be authentic--post with some solid iconic or textual evidence to show you've done your homework.  That should keep unnecessary fights to a minimum.

I hope everyone has been enjoying this English Warbow forum as much as I have.  There has been some fabulous information shared in this thread so far.  This is quality debate--just keep the tone friendly. 

Welcome Steve!

            J. D. Duff
« Last Edit: May 08, 2007, 03:39:13 am by J. D. Duff »

Offline Kviljo

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2007, 10:24:23 am »
JD, but isn't that a Mary Rose bow you describe rather than a english warbow? I'm sure you agree that the MR-bows are only the 1545 version of the english warbow. There has obviously been some development, so I think one can stretch the MR-specifications a bit when making a "english warbow", without being historically bankrupt.


Though I do agree that it is a bit sad to see the term stretched to linnen-backed red oak board bows :)

stevesjem

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2007, 01:12:22 pm »
Hey Steve! Welcome to the site. Nice to see you found us here.  That one bow your holding is massive. Do you happen to know an estimate of what the draw weight of that bow was?  Cant believe how straight the grain is on that bow and the tight growth rings.  Do you think it was Yew from a tree farm in the Itallian Alps cerca that time period? I can imagine some Italian out in the Alps going out and cutting sucker growth off the trunk of yew trees and lovingly caring for them untill harvest then selling them to a wine merchant who shipped them back to england with the wine he purchased.  If only that bow could talk!  ;D
We can only estimate these draw weights, but in saying that a lot depends on the wood density, i personally beleive all the bows were of a similar weight and the fact that they are all different in dimensions suggests different density pieces of wood, after haveing a large number of replicas made from Italian yew, i can hazard a guess at between 130-150lb draw weight. Yes i do beleive it was a piece of farmed wood, either from Italy, Spain, Portugal or possibly carpathian.

For Kviljo... I have some other pictures of the belly of some of the bows which do show tooling marks, i would think from a "Float"., A Mary Rose bow is a warbow, there are no others that survive that we can examine, these are all we have to go on, so as far as i'm concerned the MR bows are warbows.

For Loki... No not all the wood was from Italy, some would have come from, Spain, Portugal or possibly carpathian. The bows in the chest were probably on board the ship in storage for overseas land battles, i would imagine only very few would have used on the deck on the ship, some were as when they were brought up from the bottom of the solent they were still in there brace shape.

Cheers

Steve


Offline Loki

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Re: What is "Warbow"
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2007, 01:50:09 pm »
Ahh,of course!
DOH! 350 armed Bowmen on the deck of a tudor WarShip,that will make a mess of the rigging  ;D.
Durham,England