A Brief History of the Bow:
The earliest bow was found in Europe and dated at around 9,000BC. In Scotland the earliest found is 4040-3650BC. The earliest found in England is 2600BC.
Longbows were so called to distinguish them from crossbows. The English proved their longbows were much quicker to use and in medieval times various sorts were developed. (photo left of Henry VIII with a longbow)
Potential game were herded toward the bowmen sited in a camouflaged area, who shot at 20-30 yard range with bows of 60-70lb draw weight which was just light enough to hold and aim.
Strung with silken string for quietness, mostky aimed at Herons, using flu-flu arrows which were easier to find and also only stunned the birds, not damaging them.
Shot at 120-200 yard range with a pull of 100-160lb. Not aimed specifically but used en masse to create an arrow storm. (Battle of Hastings / Bayeau Tapestry).
Made of boughs of seasoned ash which would have been already cut for fences etc. The shapwood forms the back of the bow and the heartwood used for the rounded belly.
Each bow took four years to make as horn and hoof glue could only be used in the Spring. England became short of staves and were imported as a tax.
18th Century Recreational Bow
Mainly made of Rosewood. The sport of Archery was developed by the Victorians as a leisure activity shooting at 120 yards which is 7.5 (N) or 5.5(S) roods. Originally a masculine domain but when ladies and families were introduced to archery the clubs began to swell their numbers enormously.
An interesting video link below on the basics of Archery:-