During the Anglo-Norman invasion of Wales, it is said that the 'Welsh bowmen took a heavy toll on the invaders'.
With the conquest of Wales complete, Welsh conscripts were incorporated into the English army for Edward's campaigns further north into Scotland.
Edward III's reign was of course dominated by the Hundred Years War which actually lasted from 1337-1453.
It was perhaps due this continual state of war that so many historical records survive which raise the longbow to legendary status; first at Crécy and Poitiers, and then at Agincourt.
The longbow as we recognise it today, measuring around the height of a man, made its first major appearance towards the end of the Middle Ages.
It is however during Edward III's reign when more documented evidence confirms the important role that the longbow has played in both English and Welsh history.After landing with some 12,000 men, including 7,000 archers and taking Caen in Normandy, Edward III moved northwards.Edward’s forces were continually tracked by a much larger French army, until they finally arrived at Crécy in 1346 with a force of 8,000.It is thought that even earlier finds have been uncovered in Scandinavia.
The Welsh however, do appear to have been the first to develop the tactical use of the longbow into the deadliest weapon of its day.
The French first sent out the mercenary Genoese crossbowmen, numbering between 6000 and 12,000 men.