Which is why Neil Kinnnock never went near Chester either.....as they too can slot a Taff so long as it is within the city walls. Now I know why my Taff missus hates Chester and wouldn't let me take her shopping there! You'd think she was suspicious about me or something..
A number of things spring to mind with this topic.
Firstly, the longbow was a Welsh invention and used to good effect at Agincourt, although most references are to 'English longbowmen'.
Secondly, why are the Welsh only allowed to slot the Saesneg (English) for eighty minutes a year? (17th March 2007 - Millenium Stadium). Trouble is, we sometimes fail to take the opportunity!
Lastly, these laws could be a Chief Constable's dream! Imagine the targets they could achieve by enforcing them.
I must tell my son in law, an English bobby working in Wales, about this and stand back and watch his career flourish.
Similar rules apply about Scots in York and on the Isle of Man.
To say that the longbow was a Welsh invention is stretching it slightly.
The concept and the origianal weapon (that we know of, ie the Knight killer of Agincourt) was certainly Welsh. And was used to great effect by the Welsh Mercenaries fighting for the English against the Scots and the French.
The Longbow was taken up by the English with viguour after this point, the Welsh being instrumental in teaching the English how to use it. During the end of the 13C the only sport allowed on a Sunday was archery. Thus the English became highly proficient in the Longbows use for nunting and poaching (it's main use) but later for battle.
The English modified the weapon by altering the arrows to allow them to pierce armour with the use of steel bodkins fitted to war arrows, and they also made the long bow longer, for greater force. It was the English who devised the "Indirect" path for the arrows, the Welsh fired it at you directly individually, the English perfected the "rain of arrows" that decimated the French at Agincourt.
Many English Kings enforced laws that forced the people to own and train on longbows throughout the year, as this avoided the costly option of maintaining a standing army, but maintained a flow of trained archers. The time taken to train a true longbow archer being years not weeks or months. The French went for the crossbow, as it was easier to train people up on. English and Welsh longbow archers were paid to fight as mercanaries by the Italian Cities (like little countries) and by Spain during these times.
Traditionally, the weapon was used by the Welsh and the Mercians. Ie what is now Cheshire, Staffordshire and a little bit of Shropshire. Some of the Mercian border has crossed over in to what is now Wales, on occaision, through history. And also those who lived by Sherwood Forest. (Not Robin Hood although he is portrayed as an accomplished Archer using hte Longbow) But about this time there were huge forest spanning counties all through this middle part of UK, in which the Longbow was used to great effect hunting.
I think the Royal Company of Archers (a ceremonial bodyguard to HM) use Longbows, although I don't htink they string them anymore. THis club were formed in the 1650's to practice archery in Scotland, awarded the bodyguard bit in the 1800's.
Longbows have also been used by other nations over the years. They have been found in Africa (with evidence to suggest they were used to bring down elephants), America (particulary the Cherokee) and in Japan (Samuri). Mongolians had one to I think. THe Japanesse ones were Bamboo or laminated wood stripps. THe mongolian bows were all made from bone and tree sap (I think).
In summary then, Longbow - Welsh concept, modified by the English (and no doubt by the Welsh too throughout the 500 odd years it was in use as a weapon. And used by the English (particulary the Mercians) as much as the Welsh.
The term English Longbowman may be a misfire by foreigners who don't know the difference between UK, GB and England or may also be the fact.