Essay #16 History Of Inventions
Hello, in today’s essay I will be talking about the English longbow, the spurs, plate armor, and the blast furnace. Let’s get started.
Before the English longbow, vikings invaded France in 911AD, and became rulers of Normandy. Swayn Forkbeard captured the English throne in 1013 and forced Edward The Confessor and his family to exile in Normandy, so they fled. Afterwards Edward captured Normandy, and he became a good king, but planned his successions poorly. When he died he did not have a son, so William The Conqueror said that Edward told him that he could be king after he died, but then one of his cousins got the throne. After that William The Conqueror invaded England and became the king in 1066 AD (Christmas day). Then England became subordinate to France.
Now to the English longbow. The origin of the English longbow is uncertain. We know that the French had many archers during the Norman conquest, they might have use long bows. The king of England desired a strong military force to draw form. The “Assize of Arms,” rule 1181 required all landlords to be armed. It was updated in 1252 and required all men to have long bows. The long bow is as tall as it’s archer. One needs a lot of strength to wield it, so one had to be trained from a young age. It fired 300 yards. A trained archer could fire six arrows per minute, but that will tire him out a lot. An arrow could go through armor and kill horses. England purchased over 1.2 million arrows for their long bows (1341-1359). Unfortunately this depleted forests. The English laws made long bow practice mandatory. Eventually, by the 1600s, the gun replaced the bow.
Before the spurs, just like the English longbow, the Vikings invaded England, then they became French vassals of Normandy in 991 AD. No one really knows when the spur was invented, but we know that the Greeks and Romans used early versions of the spurs. The spurs began to take on its modern form in England in the 13th century. It is used to better control the horse. It also increases the sensitivity to leg commands for the horse, it also helps the horse overcomes fear in battles, so it doesn’t get scared by the loud noises and sites of the weapons and people charging at it. The rowel spur appeared by 1272 AD and it was very important to the nights outfit. By the 1250s, the spur was a symbol of discipline, and later on it did become a symbol of class. The knights had golden spurs and the squires had silver spurs. If a night or a squire did something wrong or something that the king didn’t like, the spur would be cut off in front of everybody as humiliation. Nowadays people still use spurs in competitions like jousting and other horse back riding activities, but they also use them when they ride their motorcycles, so they look cool.
Knighthood rose to prominence by the 13th century A.D. in Europe. The code of chivalry was developed by 1220 AD, and determined a night’s responsibilities to God, his Lord, and his lady a.k.a. his wife. Iron production was on the rise by the 14th century. Chainmail had been around for centuries and was an effective defense armor against medieval weapons, at least some medieval weapons. It was expensive and labor intensive to make chainmail, and that was unfortunate. A coat of plates was invented during the 1200s. It was gradually refined to become more formfitting and to cover more parts or areas of the body, for better protection during battles. The cost of iron was declining. So the first suit of plate armor was developed by 1420 AD. This protected the night from most kinds of a attacks, even some arrows. Plate armor was light and flexible, not too heavy, you could probably jump around in it. Plate armor was confined to the nobility because it was very expensive, but nowadays anyone can just go on websites and buy plate armor. Armor was refined throughout the hundred-year war. It started to decline in the 1600s due to the rise of firearms. I like armor myself, sometimes I go on websites with my dad to see if I can buy some metal armor.
The blast furnace is a metal structures that produces iron. People force air into the bottom of the blast furnace and they also push pig iron from the top of the blast furnace. When they meet, a chemical reaction takes place, after the chemical reaction is done iron, fresh new iron, falls to the bottom and the air which is now toxic gas leaves the top. The blast furnace was invented in China, but it didn’t spread too well. This happened in the first century A.D. Then Belgium discovered it in the late 15th century, then it was introduced to England in 1491. We still use the blast furnace today, and hopefully were thankful for it.
Thank you for reading this essay about the English longbow, spurs, plate armor, and blast furnace. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a picture for the blast furnace. Before you go would you share your favorite subject you learned about in this essay, I like the light armor personally so I’ll choose that. Bye for now.
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Very interesting to learn about Andreas Versalius. Was he one of the first to study anatomy using the human body?