The Hundred Years War was a struggle for control over the French throne, fought as a series of conflicts between England, France, and their respective allies. The Soldier in Later Medieval England is the outcome of a project which collects the names of every soldier known to have served the English Crown from 1369 to the loss of Gascony in 1453, the event which is traditionally accepted as the end-date of the Hundred Years War. The data gathered throughout the project has allowed the authors of this volume to compare different forms of war, such as the chevauchees of the late fourteenth century and the occupation of French territories in the fifteenth century, and thus to identify longer-term trends. It also highlights the significance of the change of dynasty in England in the early 1400s.
The scope of the volume begins in 1369 because of the survival from that point of the "muster roll," a type of documentary record in which soldiers names are systematically recorded. The muster roll is a rich resource for the historian, as it allows closer study to be made of the peerage, the knights, the men-at-arms (the esquires), and especially the lower ranks of the army, such as the archers, who contributed the largest proportion of troops to English royal service. The Soldier in Later Medieval England seeks to investigate the different types of soldier, their regional and national origins, and movement between ranks. This is a wide-ranging volume, which offers invaluable insights into a much-neglected subject, and presents many opportunities for future research.