Weaponry during the Elizabethan Period

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The weaponry during the Elizabethan period was the most advance weaponry known to the world. The most common weapons used were crossbows, longbows, war hammers, spears, early forms of pistol and cannons. With all this weaponry Europeans also needed armor, like chainmail and plate armor. Different types of weapons and the different kinds of armor were a key component to warfare during the Elizabethan period, in Europe.

Long distance weapons were essential to European combat. The main long distance weapons used by Europeans during that time were the longbow and the crossbow. Each form of weaponry had its unique advantages and their pejorative. The long bow (shown in figure 1) was the original form of distance weapons. The term ‘bow’ means to be made from wood, iron or steel. The Welsh, who inhabited England, were the first people to use longbows. Longbows were 6-7 feet long and had a range of 250 yards, and still had the ability to pierce a knight’s armor (Byam 12). A well trained archer could shot 10- 12 arrows in a single minute. Despite these pro’s the longbow had a lot of disadvantages as well. One draw back was only skilled archers, who were costly to train, could use a longbow. Another disadvantage was it didn’t have a ready loaded arrow (Edge 34). The crossbow (shown in figure 2) on the other had been emphatically different. The crossbow had a span of 2-3 feet and could kill a knight on horseback with one shot, because of good aim (Byam 30). Crossbows had ready loaded projectiles, while the longbow didn’t and the crossbow could be used by anyone since it didn’t require any skill. The crossbow did have a down side though, it had slow reloaded because of a crank and it was expensive. Crossbows were also used for other thi...

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...n in her book “WEAPONS”, “Gold plating, or gilding, was sometimes used to embellish borders or bands of decorations and, in some cases, entire armors.” By the 15th century, knights were protecting themselves with full suits of plate armor” (Byam 41). His armor usually represented his class or authority. Each knight’s coat of arms had a different personality ranging from different helmets to different metals to different emblems.

During the Elizabethan period Europeans mainly focused on warfare. War required long range weapons to slow down the approaching enemy and short range weapons were needed for combat. This era started the usage of combustion and developed cannons and pistols. The advancements of weaponry also lead to the advancements in armor from chainmail to plate armor. Various weapons and armor’s were needed for warfare during the Elizabethan period.
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