Leading missile weapon of the English from the 14th century into the 16th century. Probably of Welsh origin, it was usually 6 ft (2 m) tall and shot arrows more than a yard long. The best were made of yew, might require a force of 100 lbs (45 kg) to draw, and had an effective range of 200 yards (180 m). English archers used longbows in the Hundred Years' War, and the weapon played an important role in the battles of Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt. See also bow and arrow, crossbow.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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