Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery

Longbows and Crécy on BBC4 iPlayer

Aired on BBC4 the evening of 5 January, and now viewable on BBC iPlayer throughout January, was the first in a new 3-part historical series entitled 'Sword, Musket and Machine Gun', tracing the 1000-year evolution of weapons of war. This first part contains a lively warbow demonstration with our Freeman Mark Stetton, then a summary account of the longbow's rapid evolution between 1290 and the run-up to the Battle of Crécy in 1346.

Its first half hour has some interesting stuff on the evolution of swords, then halfway through, it devotes an instructive 10 minutes to the crossbows of the 12th and 13th centuries, the era of Richard the Lionheart.

The final 20 minutes are given over to the longbow: first a visit to the Wiltshire forge of arrowhead maker Hector Cole, then the lively demonstration by Mark Stretton of his 140-lb warbow, and finally the very good summary account of the longbow's rapid evolution beginning with Edward I's wars in Wales in the 1290s, and on through to Edward III's longbow strategy that annihilated the Scots at Halidon Hill in 1333 and the French at Crécy in 1346.

This first episode remains viewable on BBC iPlayer at the link below until 29 January: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b087llsj/sword-musket-machine-gun-britains-armed-history-1-cut-thrust

The programme's short summary narrative of the evolution of the longbow between 1290 and 1330, running up to Crécy in 1346, is consistent with the storyline of our Poitiers Supper talk on Longbow Origins in November 2014, the full text and illustrations of which are on our website at this link: "http://www.bowyers.com/bowyery_longbowOrigins.php

Meeting our MA Scholars at King's

The Bowyers' Company, as part of its annual charitable giving, funds a £2,000 MA Scholarship in the History Department at King's College London, and on Tuesday 6 December the Master, Wardens and Charity Chairman were very pleased to meet over coffee at KCL both our 2015-16 Scholar, James Rowland, and our 2016-17 Scholar, Ruth Cooper.

Having initially studied German and French history, James moved on to American history; he had completed and submitted his dissertation on the the American Civil War, and was waiting to hear back. He hopes to find funding to continue on to a PhD in the same field at King's, particularly focusing on Anglo-American relations during and after the Civil War.

Ruth's topic is medieval history, the era of the Bowyers' heyday. She'll be taking a particular interest in the ethnic evolution of the Picts and Scots in the period prior to the emergence of a unified Scottish identity; we enjoyed some good conversation on that. Ruth also has a particular interest in palaeography; her ability to understand early medieval texts could be of direct interest to the Bowyers' Muniments Committee in its continuing researches of our Company history, and we agreed to set up a working session in the new year.

It's always nice to put faces to our charitable activities, and this was a particularly happy get-together with two excellent young people.

About the Bowyers

The Worshipful Company of Bowyers is one of the older and smaller of the City of London's livery companies. We celebrate our piece of history, we work hard at our charitable activity, and we provide a convivial sociable environment that keeps our members engaged... Find out more

Forthcoming Bowyer Events

Event Bookable Now:

Mon 30 January
Court & Livery Dinner
Dyers' Hall

Wed 22 February
Tour and Black Tie Supper
Gunmakers' Proof House

Tue 7 March
Mercian Charity Supper
Mudlark Pub, London Bridge

Spring Date to Note:

Wed 26 April
St George's Ladies Banquet
Cutlers' Hall


Forthcoming City Events

A Gala Concert by the London Symphony Orchestra will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 14 March 2017 at 7pm. The concert will include a performance of the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony by the Lord Mayor, Dr Andrew Parmley and all funds raised will go to the Lord Mayors Appeal. To book on the Eventbrite Website follow the link at the bottom left of the flyer here.

City Livery Briefing

The City of London's 'Livery Briefing' for December 2016 has just been released, and may be downloaded here. Among the items of interest, towards the end, is an invitation for Liverymen and Freemen to attend early-evening 'City Briefings' at Guildhall, which provide an introduction to the City of London Corporation and its links with the Livery.


Agincourt Memorials

Charters, Ordinances and Manuscripts