Sketch of a Welsh archer, 13th centuryMarginal drawing from a catalogue of records, 13th century. The pictogram of a Welsh archer shows at a glance that the text concerned Wales. A copy of the image was made on the lid of the coffer holding the documents to help identify the contents quickly. Welsh archers had a fearsome reputation as soldiers. Those who fought with Edward III might be organised in contingents of a hundred men, each with a chaplain, an interpreter, a standard-bearer, a crier and a doctor. Technological advance, as represented by the longbow and subsequently by the invention of the cannon which is said to have been used at the Battle of Cr‚cy in 1346, was to make the heavily armoured knight redundant.
See item in the collection's timeline