Welsh Soldiers in the Later Middle Ages, 1282-1422

Welsh Soldiers in the Later Middle Ages, 1282-1422

Adam Chapman


Boydell Press



Examines the role of Welsh soldiers in English armies, from the conquests under Edward I through to the Battle of Agincourt.
"Not only the leaders but the entire nation are trained in war. Sound the trumpet for battle and the peasant will rush from his plough to pick up his weapons as quickly as the courtier from the court." So wrote Gerald of Wales at the end of the twelfth century; and war continued to define the experiences of Welshmen in the succeeding years.
This book explores the role of the Welsh in England's armies and in England's wars between Edward I's conquest of Wales in the 1280s, through the wars in Scotland and France and the revolt led by Owain Glyndwr, concluding with Henry V's conquest of Normandy following his victory at Agincourt in 1415. It examines the structure and composition of armies and the social networks and hierarchies which underpinned them: what sort of Welshmen became soldiers? How was Welsh society organised for war? What impact did wider political considerations have upon Welshmen in England's armies? These questions are answered using both well-known sources, such as the financial records of the English crown, and others less familiar, including the records of local administration and the large surviving corpus of Welsh-language poetry.

Adam Chapman is Editor and Training Coordinator with the Victoria County History of the Counties of England at the Institute of Historical Research, London.


August 2015
1 line illustrations
282 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Warfare in History
ISBN: 9781783270316
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC HBLC1, 1D, 2AB, 3H
BISAC HIS037010, HIS015000, HIS027000
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Table of Contents

The reign of Edward I
Edward of Caernarfon
The Wars of Edward III: Scotland and France 1327-1360
Before Glyndwr: 1360-1400
Henry IV and Henry V: Rebellion and Aftermath
War and Welsh Society: Military Obligation and Organisation
Going to War: Recruitment and Deployment
The Distinctiveness of the Welsh Soldier: Equipment and Organisation


A tremendous work, easy to read, packed with closely researched and referenced argument. BRYCHEINIOG

A contribution to both the social and the military history of the late medieval Wales...readers with a wide interest in what the history of war can mean will find much of value and interest in these pages. REVIEWS IN HISTORY

Rhys Morgan's new study offers fascinating insight into the importance of Welsh involvement, as soldiers and colonizers, in Ireland. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW

Chapman's work throws valuable new light on both the history of Wales and of warfare in late medieval Britain, replacing some hoary myths with a much more complex view of the Welsh soldier in English royal service. DE RE MILITARI

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