Archers

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
gallois
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:00 pm

Archers

Postby gallois » Sun May 24, 2009 6:35 pm

I recently posed a question to the Fraternity of St George regarding what is known about commands given to archers during the 100 years war. I am interested to know wether the archer companies used volleys and if they were used like snipers too.
I know about the 'nestroque' command by Sir Thomas Epingham at Agincourt mentioned in The Old Commadore. but there are so many variations of the meaning of nestroque that I dont believe it was a general term known to English Archers.
The ILAA suggest 'archers ready, loose!' I have also heard of 'knock your arrows, draw, loose'
I would like to hear your comments?


"A long bow and a strong bow,
And let the sky grow dark.
The nock to the cord, the shaft to the ear,
And a foreign king for a mark!"

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sun May 24, 2009 9:30 pm

The most knowledgeable fella I know about this is Roland, who posts here sometimes as Flesh & Blood.
He once described the "sniping" of an "English" archer (given that as many of them were Welsh, breton or Norman) as being someone saying "Look at that posh bastard having a drink... right we'll 'ave 'im" cue 100 archers losing at the poor SOB at the same time.
I look at archers as medieval machine guns, as area denial weapons and at crossbows as being more of a sniper/anti armour tool. Mind you i am biased in that I do prefer to use a crossbow myself. :D


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
chrisanson
Post Centurion
Posts: 704
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:23 pm
Location: Dudley
Contact:

Postby chrisanson » Sun May 24, 2009 9:46 pm

Mind you i am biased in that I do prefer to use a crossbow myself.


strange young man



User avatar
Jim Smith
Posts: 427
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Stoke on Trent
Contact:

Postby Jim Smith » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:18 pm

chrisanson wrote:
Mind you i am biased in that I do prefer to use a crossbow myself.


strange young man


Hello

Erm

My name's Jim and I er...

"Go on, it's alright..."


Well, I erm, I use a crossbow now and then but I can handle it.


Crossbow - not just a peasant's weapon but a foreign peasant's weapon.


"I hold it to be of great prudence for men to abstain from threats and
insulting words towards any one, for neither the one nor the other in any
way diminishes the strength of the enemy." Niccolo Machiavelli

User avatar
Sir Thomas Hylton
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 10:40 am
Location: NR Burton upon Trent
Contact:

Postby Sir Thomas Hylton » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:15 pm

Why do I suddenly remember & am reminded of those adverts from the 1970's, or even earlier.... All because the lady loves Milk Tray :shock: :? :lol: 8)



James The Archer
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:19 pm
Location: Centre of the world

Postby James The Archer » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:14 pm

Black powder is the way to go, none of this string stuff, go boom, you know you want to :twisted:


Duck the arrows are coming!

User avatar
chrisanson
Post Centurion
Posts: 704
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:23 pm
Location: Dudley
Contact:

Postby chrisanson » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:18 pm

Jim Smith wrote:
chrisanson wrote:
Mind you i am biased in that I do prefer to use a crossbow myself.


strange young man


Hello

Erm

My name's Jim and I er...

"Go on, it's alright..."



Well, I erm, I use a crossbow now and then but I can handle it.


Crossbow - not just a peasant's weapon but a foreign peasant's weapon.



handbags at sunrise?



User avatar
Jim Smith
Posts: 427
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Stoke on Trent
Contact:

Postby Jim Smith » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:22 pm

chrisanson wrote:
Jim Smith wrote:
chrisanson wrote:
Mind you i am biased in that I do prefer to use a crossbow myself.


strange young man


Hello

Erm

My name's Jim and I er...

"Go on, it's alright..."



Well, I erm, I use a crossbow now and then but I can handle it.


Crossbow - not just a peasant's weapon but a foreign peasant's weapon.



handbags at sunrise?


Only if I( can crouch/cower behind a castle wall while I reload... :D


"I hold it to be of great prudence for men to abstain from threats and

insulting words towards any one, for neither the one nor the other in any

way diminishes the strength of the enemy." Niccolo Machiavelli

User avatar
chrisanson
Post Centurion
Posts: 704
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:23 pm
Location: Dudley
Contact:

Postby chrisanson » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:25 pm

Jim Smith wrote:
chrisanson wrote:
Jim Smith wrote:
chrisanson wrote:
Mind you i am biased in that I do prefer to use a crossbow myself.


strange young man


Hello

Erm

My name's Jim and I er...

"Go on, it's alright..."



Well, I erm, I use a crossbow now and then but I can handle it.


Crossbow - not just a peasant's weapon but a foreign peasant's weapon.



handbags at sunrise?


Only if I( can crouch/cower behind a castle wall while I reload... :D



deal!



User avatar
Sir_John_Thomas
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:16 pm
Location: Boston, in the Shire of Lincoln

Postby Sir_John_Thomas » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:45 pm

Surely sirs you mean nine pounders at dawn, much more civilised

:D


"God said love thy neighbour as untoo thy self, unless they are Turkish, in which case, KILL THE B**TARDS!"

Richard IV before leaving on crusade

http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/Th ... fSkirbeck/

User avatar
Ghost
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:11 pm
Location: York

Re: Archers

Postby Ghost » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:51 am

gallois wrote: I know about the 'nestroque' command by Sir Thomas Epingham at Agincourt but there are so many variations of the meaning of nestroque that I dont believe it was a general term known to English Archers. quote]


Juliet Barker in her latest book on Agincourt gives an interesting alternative. According to her research the point at the battle that the order is heard by the french eyewitness was not at the stage were the english are to "loose arrows" but at the point when Henry commands the army to upstakes and to advance toward the french line. The eyewitness records that Henry's "Avaunt Banner" command is given after the "nestroque" order.

Ms Barker suggest the nestroque order was in fact a general order for the army to advance and the result of the french miss hearing "Knee Stretch" ......an order not to disimiliar to the L+M and Fed order to advance: "Knee Bend".

Makes you wonder


"Tell your masters that Englishmen do not surrender" - Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset to French Herald; Valmont, 1416.

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:12 pm

Thing is here omae, when you shout "Knee bend" i always have to fight the urge to follow it with "Arm stretch, rah, rah, rah........."


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
Jim Smith
Posts: 427
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Stoke on Trent
Contact:

Postby Jim Smith » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:58 pm

I suppose you could always form a cheerleader squad Marcus... :wink:


"I hold it to be of great prudence for men to abstain from threats and

insulting words towards any one, for neither the one nor the other in any

way diminishes the strength of the enemy." Niccolo Machiavelli

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:18 pm

You would only moan because you know more MOP would be watching me then you silly people with your sticks and make beleive swords.


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
Honourius III
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:42 pm

Archers orders

Postby Honourius III » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:55 pm

I always give the order 'Archers, Archers Mark your targets , (rather than Nock), Draw, Loose. Then continue with Mark, Draw, Loose as the volleys continue.



User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Archers orders

Postby Fox » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:03 pm

Honourius III wrote:I always give the order 'Archers, Archers Mark your targets , (rather than Nock), Draw, Loose. Then continue with Mark, Draw, Loose as the volleys continue.


Since you can't hold a war bow drawn, I've always wondered why the order is given in three parts.

Surely the order should be given to either Draw or Loose, as such a command would have to encompass both actions.



Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:20 am

"Kill them" makes sense.


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
Medicus Matt
Post Knight
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: Zummerzet
Contact:

Re: Archers orders

Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:20 am

Fox wrote:
Surely the order should be given to either Draw or Loose, as such a command would have to encompass both actions.


Not 'FIRE!' then?


"I never said that I was here to help."

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: Archers orders

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:39 pm

Fox wrote:Since you can't hold a war bow drawn...


Why not? Granted you're unlikley to be able to hold a powerful bow for VERY LONG at draw, half a second so that everyone looses togeather should be reasonable.

I got to draw a 90lb bow at Warwick and holding it for a moment wouldn't have been impossible. It was drawing it in the first place that hurt my shoulders!


Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:42 pm

Ohh look at his gorgeous muscles.


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Archers orders

Postby Fox » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:44 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:
Fox wrote:Since you can't hold a war bow drawn...


Why not? Granted you're unlikley to be able to hold a powerful bow for VERY LONG at draw, half a second so that everyone looses togeather should be reasonable.


Hopefully someone more knowledgable will turn up and confirm this, but I was under the impression that drawing a war bow was different from drawing the longbox usually used in re-enactment; the motion uses the shoulders and chest in a single "unfolding" motion that is concluded possibly with a pause, but that you would not want to [possibly rather than couldn't] hold on someone elses command.



User avatar
Stephen Dobson / Rab
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:26 pm
Location: Bedfordshire

Postby Stephen Dobson / Rab » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:48 pm

Fox, while not claiming to be more knowledgeable, that is my understanding also.



User avatar
Skevmeister
Post Centurion
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:10 pm
Location: Nottingham
Contact:

Postby Skevmeister » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:10 pm

One of the guys I work with he has a warbow. And his is based on teh pundage and strangth of those on the Mary rose, and when he shoots his, its much more of a fluid motion. It is sort of a bend, pull, aim loose. I have tried to draw this bow, and I nearly dragged my man bits into my throat with the strain.

Even if you where very strong, you I would porffer that you wouldn't want to hang on to it that long, if you where going to do it many many times.


Alixx


ad augusta per angusta

No Hamster's, Moderators, Animals, or Re-Enactors were harmed in the making of this post.

Skev keeping it real since '86

Apathy Ain't A Policy

User avatar
Mordengaard
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 5:05 pm

Postby Mordengaard » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:33 pm

Having stood around shouting "Nock, Draw, Loose" as well as having been on the... er... nocking drawing and loosing end, I'd much rather just have "Archer's Ready!" (checks to make sure everyone's got an arrow nocked and a target picked) "Loose!" (watches everyone draw and loose prettily). Saved slowcoaches from holding up a volley and people wobbling off target due to having tired arms. Also saves late shots from zipping toward shield walls unexpectedly.


Mordengaard, aka "Little Richard"
The Company of the Black Serpent

User avatar
Attilla the Bun
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:52 pm
Contact:

Postby Attilla the Bun » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:16 pm

Am I the only one who looked at the thread title and went dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum, dum-de-dum-de-di-do...








I'll get me smock


Age and Treachery will always overcome Youth and Skill

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:24 pm

(Which be 'angin' oop at lower field.)


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

Mark
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 am
Location: Melton Mowbray

Postby Mark » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:14 am

When shooting in the Bow you do hold it at full draw, but only for a heartbeat,enough to let your body and therefore your aim, settle.
Oggie (Buckinghams Retinue)



User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:32 am

"Since you can't hold a war bow drawn, I've always wondered why the order is given in three parts. "

For Colin mainly.

It is poor practice to hold a draw for very long, as they say a bow is 90% broken at full draw.

We can hold them at full draw if at lower draw weights and made of certain materials, still not a good idea.

As for the three commands, they are merely to control the shooting, we started with three commands but realised that it meant waiting for people to catch up meaning a longer hold for others so we wetn as follows:

First command (not repeated in any round of shooting)
Knock

Then 'Mark and Loose"

this meant a rough two seconds or so for drawing and loosing.

You could keep up a quick rate and control the speed.

Fast! for stop, all arrows unshot are unknocked

Round of shooting recomences with knock.

Until the mark and loose commands are given the arrows are at knock.

but two worked very well and was as safe as others and meant fewer people lagging.


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

User avatar
EnglishArcher
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:57 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby EnglishArcher » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:44 pm

You're talking about re-enactment archery - that is, a small number of lightweight bows in a relatively compact area.

On a true battlefield your furthest archers could be 300 yards away, or more. As anyone who's been on a re-enactment battlefield will know you can't hear commands from more than about 20 yards away.

So verbal commands are worse than useless.

You cannot rely on verbal commands rippling down through chains of sergeants, vintenars, etc. Either horns, drums or visual signals would be required to keep troops synchronised.

Which raises the next question: why do the archers need to be synchronised?

I believe the idea of a precision volley of arrows is a modern re-enactment fantasy, designed to look good for the public (and the movies!) and which has little real tactical benefit. Two or three seconds between the first and last arrow is still effective - it's not as if the recipients can dodge and weave their way through the arrows if they're slightly further apart!

Linked with this are the mechanics of shooting a heavy arrow a long distance - the practical application of the warbow. Shooting heavy bows does NOT have its roots in Victorian target shooting, unlike most re-enactment archers. Shooting a heavy bow is a far more... visceral... experience - somewhere between power-lifting and throwing a javelin (for want of a better analogy). To shoot effectively requires a fluid technique, which invariably means each archer has a slightly different style and timing. Very difficult, in fact, to synchronise (from 300 yards away!)


English Warbow: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every muthaf**king Frenchman on the field. Accept no substitutes.

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:55 pm

"You're talking about re-enactment archery - that is, a small number of lightweight bows in a relatively compact area. "

Absolutely and no claim to otherwise.


"I believe the idea of a precision volley of arrows is a modern re-enactment fantasy, "

I would re-emphasise the point that it is about controlling archers for safety and more importantly because most battles are scripted and are timed (makes me yawn in fact) added to the seemingly minute numbers of arrows it all looks a bit cack.

I do recall the days of WOTR archery where a few rounds ended up as a free shoot. I would and could just say loose or keep loosing until I called fast.

As most reenactment battles are tiny in scale compared to the real thing it is easy to do.

I totally and utterly agree with 99% of your post and at least to me I am a long time convert, but also realise the needs in a reenactment setting, sad to say that WOTR archery has become a watered down shadow of its former self where the timing is done with tedious slowness and arrows are exchanged, no element of concern seems to be there. Not to mention it seems to be the place where non-combatants hang around taking the easy route.

I do remember being shot at at the same time as shooting back, that gets you woken up in quick order.


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf


Return to “1100-1500”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests