By David Schwope
Academic Forum, Vol. 21 (2003-04)
Abstract: The Tudor period was a time of great change; not only was the Renaissance a time of new philosophy, literature, and art, but it was a time of technological innovation as well. Henry VII took the throne of England in typical medieval style at Bosworth Field: mounted knights in chivalric combat, much like those depicted in Malory’s just published Le Morte D’Arthur. By the end of Elizabeth’s reign, warfare had become dominated by muskets and cannons. This shift in war tactics was the result of great movements towards the use of projectile weapons, including the longbow, crossbow, and early firearms. Firearms developed in intermittent bursts; each new innovation rendered the previous class of firearm obsolete. The medieval knight was unable to compete with the new technology, and in the course of a century faded into obsolescence, only to live in the hearts, minds, and literature of the people.