|Three words of the motto from Shakspeare, printed in italics, are worth a whole chapter of Ascham.
Fight, gentlemen of England -- fight, bold yeomen;
Draw, archers -- draw your arrows to the head!
is merely a repetition of the same important element of good shooting. Failing in that, the archer shall fail of his mark, ten arrows out of twelve,whether at one, or ten score paces. Elsewhere, Shakspeare represents Richard as a consummate general; here we have him a perfect master of weapons in detail. Another drama assigned to our bard contains some pithy counsel on this subject, as, indeed, which of them does not ? It is a right merry conceit; since "mine host of the George," already plenus Bacchi et pinguis farinæ, is wholly incapable of illustrating the maxim he lays down."Hush, tush I the knaves keepers are my bones socias and my pensioners. Nine o'clock ! -- Be valiant, my little Gog Maglogs. I'll fence with all the justices in Hertfordshire. I'll have a buck till I die; I'll slay a doe whilst I live.
Hold your bow straight and steady" -- Merry Devil of Edmonton.
|See Le Roy Modus
|When addressing his troops previous to that battle, the Duke of Normandy endeavoured to excite their contempt for the Saxons, by telling them they were come to fight with a people who "knew not the use of the bow" -- Sir J. Heyward. "Among all the English artillery," says Camden "archerie challenges the pre-eminence; as peculiar to our nation, as the Sarissa was to the Macedonians, the Gesa to the old Gauls, the Framea to the Germans, the Machara generally to the Greeks. First showed to the English by the Danes, brought in by the Normans, and continued by their successors, to the great glory of England in achieving honourable victories; but now dispossessed by gunnery, how justly let others judge" Palmtoppidan, the scientific traveller, alludes to the skilful archery of that race from whom the Conqueror and his followers were originally descended: "I was born," says he, "in the uplands Or Norway, where the inhabitants handle well the bow."
|Within the purlieus of a royal forest the peasants were restricted the use of a bow and bolts, to
prevent their killing the venison. Elsewhere, they carry bow and broad arrow.-- Chauncey.
The bolt being blunt-headed was feeble, and destructive to birds and small animals only, which which will illustrate a very beautiful allusion of Shakspeare;
-- "To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition, is to take those things for bird bolts which you deem cannon bullets "
"I saw a little devil Dye out of her eye like a bird-bolt, which at this hour is up to the feathers in my heart." --Witch of Edmonton.
"Shot, by Jove l proceed Cupid; thou hast thumps him with thy bird-bolt under the left pap." -- Love's Labour Lost.
|The practice of carrying about implements of archery is illustrated by a story in a MS. Common Place Book which once belonged to a son of George Fox, the historian, A.D. 1608:--"A gentleman, very prodigal of his speeche, which made his mouth often to run over, recounted that having one daye strolled out into the forest with his bowe, he at one shot outte awaye a deare's ear and his foote together, and killed a foxe. The company saying it was impossible, his man, which stood bye, accustomed to smooth his master's lies, sayd that the deare cratching his eare with his hinder foot, lost bothe, and the arrowe glancing, killed the foxe; yet with this hint in his master's ear, that he should next time lye within compasse," for, "quoth he, "I bad never so much ado as to bring the eare and foote together."
|A military garment formed of small steel plates sewn upon leather, but flexible, so as not to impede the wearer's motions. Patricius says that an arrow, with a little wax upon the points will penetrate the stoutest breastplate.
|"Relation of the most noble Giovanni Michele, at his return to Venice, A.D. D. 1557" -- Library of the Vatican, No. 3432. p. 33.
|Holinshed, p. 275.
|Philip de Comines.
|One of these Italian compositions still extant commences thus:--
"A sagitis Hunnorum, nos defenda Domine!" From the arrows of the Huns defend us O Lord.-- "J'ai payé tous mes Anglois" -- I have paid off al my Englishmen -- is an ancient proverbial expression still current in France when a man finds himself out of debt, which originated in the ruinous contributions our countrymen levied there.
|Certain ancient military ordinances, still extant, show the high estimation our sovereigns entertained for their yeomen archers. " And in special," says one of them " at the first moustre, every archere shall have his bowe and arrowes hole, that is to wytte, in arrowes xxx. or xxiv. at the least, headed and in a sheaf. And furthermore, that every archere do sweare that his and arrowes be his own, or his mastyr's or captyne's And also that no man, ones moustered and admitted as an archere, alter or change himself to any other condition, without the kinge's special leave, upon payne of imprisonment."
|Sir Harris Nicolas's Battle of Agincourt This interesting work should be upon: the shelves of every archer's library, and I am aware it is already exten- sively known to the craft. Indeed, so minutely accurate are the details, that, whilst perusing it, time, place, the very cunning of the scene, present- them- selves as a terrible dream to our excited imaginations. Like the ancient chronicler, whose curious narrative the author introduces in his work, we almost fancy ourselves "seated among the baggage," viewing the combat. These impressions are in some degree assisted by its curious antique typography.
It appears that the Earl of Warwick broke into the town by the gardens, between the sign of the Key
and the Exchequer, in Holliwell Street. No sooner had his soldiers entered, than they raised a
tremendous shout of "A Warwick! A Warwick!" and rushed to the onslaught. The King was shot
into the neck at the onset; Humphrey Duke of Buckingham, and the Lord Sandys, in their faces, and
the Earl of Strafford in his right hand, with arrows The Marquis of Dorset also received many
similar hurts, so that, being able neither to ride on horseback nor to walk, he was carried away in
a cart. When the King perceived his men had deserted him, he retired from the field, taking refuge
in a poor man's cottage from the shot of arrows which flew like snow about him. This affair was
entirely with the archers, for men-at-arms never joined
Now followeth that black scene, borne up so wondrous high,
That but a poor dumb show before a tragedy
The former battles fought have seemed to this to be.
O Towton ! let the blood Palm Sunday pour'd on thee
Affright the future times, when they the muse shall hear
Deliver'd so to them; and let the ashes there
Of forty thousand men, in that long quarrel slain,
Arise out of the earth, as they would live again
To tell the manly deeds that bloody day were wrought.
The battle of Towton occurred on the 29th of March, being Palm Sunday. It commenced with a discharge from Henry's archers, but, owing to a snow-storm which drove into their faces as they shot, and prevented their seeing the foe, the arrows were of no execution, having all dropped short of the enemy. Lord Falconbridge, who commanded the Yorkists, like an able general, took instant advantage of this circumstance: he ordered his men, after shooting one flight, instantly to retire several paces backwards and stand, which they did until the enemy had vainly emptied their quivers; for, as an old writer observes, not one arrow came nearer than "forty tailors' yards." The Yorkists then advanced upon them, and not only discharged their own shafts with full advantage of the wind, but also in their march picked up all those which had fallen short and returned them to their masters. Then the Lancastrians gave way and fled towards York, but seeking in a tumultuous manner to gain the bridge at Tadcaster, so many of them fell into the river Cock that it was quite filled up, and the Yorkists went over their backs in pursuit of their brethren. This rivulet, and the river Wharfe, into which it empties itself hereabouts, are said to have been dyed with blood. Indeed, the tradition is more than probable, if, as historians assert, 36,000, out of the 100,000 Englishmen that were in the field on that day, "paid the penalty of their fathers' transgressions "-- the dethronement and murder of Richard II.; and the wounds, being caused by arrows and battle-axes, bled plentifully. "The blood of the slain," says an old writer, "became caked with the snow, which at that time lay plentifully on the ground, and, afterwards dissolving, ran down in a most horrible manlier through the furrows and ditches of the fields for two or three miles together. 'Occisorum nempe cruor cum nive jam commixus,'"&c. &c.One of the Paston letters was written to calm a parent's anxiety respecting the fate of a beloved son, who fought in this disastrous conflict. "Mother," says the writer, "I commend me to you, letting you weet (know) blessed be God, my brother John is alive and fareth well, and in no peril of death. Nevertheless he is hurt with an arrow on his right arm, beneath the elbow, and I sent him a surgeon, which hath dressed him, and he telleth me he trusteth he shall be whole within right short time." April 18. 1471.
|The author trusts he will not himself be mistaken for a "hardy and notorious rebel," because he quotes the following anecdotes to illustrate that gallantry and skill which formed the birthright of our old English peasantry:--"That noble gentleman Ambrose, Earl of Warwick, accompanied the Duke of Northumberland, his father, who in the year 1548 was sent with an army of horsemen and footmen to suppress the rebellion of Ket, in Norfolk, who at that time lay encamped with a great power of hardy and notorious rebels by the city of Norwich, upon a high hill, called Mount Surry. Having entered the city, the Duke brought four and twenty field pieces, to the chief charge whereof he appointed Colonel Compenick, an Alman and a valiant leader, with his regiment of Almans, all of them old soldiers. But before they could well entrench themselves, those furious rebels, contrary to all expectations, descended their hill with such fury of shot of arrows, that they gave such a terror to our people, both strangers and English, as they were fain to run away with the loss of ordnance and slaughter of soldiers; and before the Duke could make head against them they had captured eighteen field-pieces and carried them up their hill."After some further particulars, the writer goes on to say, that "whereas the Duke, on the first assembly of his army, changed many archers into arquebusiers, because he had no opinion of the long bow, he, after this victory and suppression of tile rebels, upon the experience which he had of the danger and terror of the arrows, (his own horse being wounded under him with three or four, whereof he died,) did many times after openly protest his error before Count Malatista Baglion, an ancient and honourable soldier, an Italian, and other great captains, saying, from that time forwards he would hold the bow to be the only weapon in the world."--Sir J. Smith's Discourse on Weapons MS. Lansdown.
|His fatal accident with a crossbow is noticed elsewhere under that particular head.
|Local tradition asserts that, being taken ill, Robin Hood applied for surgical assistance at Sopwell Abbey, where a nun purposely bled him to death. No doubt the lancet was thrust through the vein upon the artery which produces aneurism, generally followed by mortification and death that such a man should have submitted literally to be "bled to death " seems improbable. In the latter case, I believe, a swelling of the limb ensues with other symptoms, especially fatal to an archer.
|Twelve years ago London possessed but two establishments for vending archery tackle, Waring's and another; at present, they amount to a score at least.
|Han Kiou Koan.
|Caribbee Indians of the present day excel in shooting, and use a very tall bow, With arrows little
inferior in length. I possess many of both, and well remember a captain of a vessel who visited one
of their villages, and was so delighted with his reception, that he accompanied them into the woods,
on their favourite expedition of shooting monkeys, which they strike with fatal certainty from the
tallest trees by a perpendicular shot. On bidding adieu to his hospitable, kind-hearted entertainers,
one of the white men imprudently took more notice of a young Indian girl than was agreeable to
Indian notions of propriety. All instantly retired, leaving him and his party alone; upon which his
knowledge of the habits of these savages induced him to warn them that instant flight could alone
preserve them from "being treated as they had seen the monkeys." Already had they got about eighty
paces, and were just about to turn an angle of rock which would have effectually screened them from
every kind of missile, when the captain was observed to spring some four feet from the ground, and
with a groan fall dead upon the sands, with one arrow sticking in his head, and another between his
shoulders, which had come out at his breast. No pursuit was attempted; the outraged Caribs having
been to all appearancee appeased by this sacrifice of the offending Englishman. The fate of a number
of his countrymen, who attempted to settle among these Indians about two centuries and a half since,
also furnishes us with a very lively description of the terrors of their archery.
"Then came the arrows so thick out of the wood," says one of the survivors, "that we could not get our match in" (they were armed with matchlocks) " for pulling them out of our bodies; so amongst the band there were but five or six pieces discharged, which, when the Indians saw give fire, they did fall flat on the ground, shouting and crying with a moast hellish noise, naming us by our names when their arrows pierced us.
"So, when they saw we could not hit them with our pieces, they would come so near us as though they purposed to make choice in what place to hit us. Some they shot in the faces, others through the shoulders, and of others they would nail the feet and the ground together.
"Master Budge and Robert Shaw ran both into the sea, and were there drowned or killed with arrows. Master Finch had a little buckler, with which he did save himself a long time, but at the last an arrow passed through both legs, that he could not go, and, stooping to pull it out, they killed him; and if any of us offered to run at one or two savages, straightway they fled a little distance, but suddenly twenty or thirty would enclose us, and still shooting arrows into them until they were down, with a great Brazil sword they beat them to death. Master Kettlebye did behave himself very gallantly, for he did not respect what arrows he received in his body so he could reach one stroke at a Caribbee; but they were too nimble for us, in regard they were naked. Yet, nevertheless, we ran through them all, thinking if we could escape that ambush there had been no more to trouble us; but as I was pulling arrows out of his body, to the number of twenty at the least, a third ambush burst out of the woods, from whence came an arrow and hit him in the breast, which he perceived would be his death, for he could not stand but as I held him; and I was forced to let him go and shift for myself.
"Then I overtook young St. John, his body almost full of arrows, of which I pulled out a number; but what for the blood that ran from him, and the extreme heat he was in from his flight, he failed to overtake the rest of our company that was before.
"And still the Caribbees did gather ground upon us, and arrows came thick on every side.
"And then the poor youth willed me to entreat his men to stay; and so, having overtaken one, I caused him to stay, which he was not willing to do; for he told me his sword would not come forth of the scabbard, so I took hold of the hilt, and betwixt us both pulled it out: but before we had made an end, these cruel and bloody Caribbees had encompassed young St. John; yet to my grief I did stand and behold his end, who, before he fell, did make them give back like so many curs from a lion, for which way soever he ran they all fled before him. His body was so loaded with arrows that he fell to the ground; and upon one hand and knee he did keep them from him with his sword, so much he scorned basely to die at their hands.
"Myself and the man whose sword I had helped to set free, were now the only marks they aimed at; for having rifled young St. John they pursued very hotly, which caused us to make haste to four of our fellows who were entered into a narrow path leading through the woods from the sands, to the houses where we dwelt. But there was in the path another ambush, which drove us back to the sands; and when they saw us so hardly chased they entered the path with us again.
"On one side thereof was a high mountain, the other went down a low valley. The first four of our friends took up the mountain, by which means they offered too fair a mark for them to hit, who dropped down one after another.
"All this time neither Harry, Peter Stokesley's man (a merchant now in Bucklersbury), nor myself, was shot; but as we thought desperately to burst through them into the narrow path, there came an arrow and pierced quite through his head, of which he fell suddenly, and I ran to lift him up, but he was dead without speaking one word to me at all."Then came there two arrows and hit me in the back, the one directly against my heart the other through my shoulder blade; so sword in hand ran I upon them desperately, thinking before I had died to have been the death of some of them: and in my running I saw Captain Anthony, with an arrow in his bow drawn against me, who stood until I came very near him, for he purposed to have sped me with that shot, which, when I espied coming, I thought to have put it by with my sword, hut, lighting upon my hand, it passed through the handle of my weapon, and nailed both together. Nevertheless I continued running at him still, and before he could nock another, made him and all the rest turn their backs and flee unto the sands again; which opportunity when I espied I leaped into the wood, down to the valley, where I found a salt lake; and hearing them with loud shouts and cry, which they use in sign of triumph and victory, pursue me still, I leaped into the water, with my sword nailed to my hand, and two arrows in my back, and, by the help of God, swam over, but with much ado, for the further side was shallow, and I waded in mud up to the waist, which had almost spent me."--Another Class of Indian News; or a true and tragical Discourse, showing the lamentable Miseries endured by Sixty-seven Englishmen, &c. By John Nichol, one of the aforesaid Company. A.D. 1608.
|Aldrovandus Magnus. See also Olaus Magns, &c.
|That part of a crossbow which holds the string, when the weapon is charged, is called the nut.
|Sadler's Wells, Times, July 25. 1795.
|The final target round, which puts an end to the day's sport.
"Then will she get the upshot by the cleaving of the pin."--Old Comedy.
|De Lery.--Dr. Southey's History of Brazil (Notes).
|Of upwards of three hundred beautiful war steeds which they brought with them from Cuba, thirty
alone escaped the arrows of the Floridans; and these also would have perished in a similar manner,
had not their owners bled them to death, and cured their flesh as provisions for the camp. Of those
which were killed in battle was a gallant steed called Ageituno, ridden by the Spanish general; he
fell pierced with eight arrows, for at him the Indians principally directed their aim. Indeed, in all
battles with the Christians, they aimed at the horses rather than at their riders, knowing if the former
were destroyed their distant shooting and swiftness of foot would render them a match for the
Spaniards; and many instances of their success occurred during this invasion. On one occasion,
twelve cavaliers and as many foot soldiers, desirous of furnishing themselves with slaves, placed
themselves in ambush to intercept the natives, who usually came to pick up such trifles as the
Christians left behind on breaking up their encampments. Having posted themselves beneath the
shelter of a group of trees, with a centinel among the branches of one of the loftiest, their plan
succeeded so well that a number of Indians were surrounded and taken; of these the Spaniards made
an equal distribution; and then the party agreed to return to their quarters, one trooper excepted,
who, dissatisfied that two captives only had fallen to his share, insisted on remaining until he
procured another, and as his comrades found him obstinately resolved neither to defer his intentions
to a better opportunity, nor to accept one of theirs instead, they unwillingly consented.
Whilst they were thus disputing, their centinel gave notice that he saw a young Indian in the neighbourhood; and Paez, whose previous mishaps should have rendered him more prudent, instantly spurred straight towards the barbarian, who, as usual, sought refuge beneath a tree. The branches being low, the Spaniard was unable to ride beneath them, but, wheeling his charger upon the gallop, made a sidelong thrust over the bridle-arm with his lance. He missed his aim, however; and then the Indian, who held his bowarm extended, and his arrow ready nocked, drew up to the head, and wounded the horse in his flank: the shot proved a mortal one, for the animal, after stumbling forwards about twenty paces, fell dead. Bolanos, who had closely followed his comrade, was similarly treated, his steed being slain outright. Juan de Vega now came up at a hand gallop, and enraged to see his companions thus dismounted by a naked savage, spurred towards him with the utmost fury. The latter, however, advanced without the slightest symptom of fee;, evidently intending to slay the horse, and then seek shelter in the forest. But the cavalier, warned by the accident that occurred a short time previously to Paez, had provided his with a threefold breastplate of cow's hide, like the other horsemen of his band. No sooner, however, did the Indian get within bowshot, than he aimed at De Vega's horse; and the shaft, driven completely through the leathern protection, entered three fingers deep within its breast. Having thus effected his purpose, the barbarian fled towards the forest, but was quickly surrounded and slain. The crest-fallen Spaniards then steered homewards, admiring the courage and adroitness of their enemy, whilst they blamed the folly of him who had been the cause of such irreparable losses.
|Vie de Bayadur Khan, p. 131.
|I believe the Oriental plane.--Translator.
|A verse of the Koran, much quoted by the Mussulmans as a proof of predestination.
|What this means I cannot explain; perhaps a bait made of coloured paper.
|Chinese Tartar arrows are made of a light wood, resembling beech, and vary considerably in length,
weight, and size. The largest, used for butt practice only, instead of the iron pile, have a button of
horn or hard wood at the point, pierced with several holes. When discharged from the bow, these
arrows make a shrill whistling noise, caused by the rush of air through the apertures, and in war are
useful for night signals. Letters, also, scoured in these holes, are often shot into the enemy's camp;
though, as a Chinese author remarks, these missives sometimes fall into the hands of persons for
whom they were never intended, but who, nevertheless, do not fail to turn them to good recount. The
arrow next in size has usually a steel spear. shaped head; and a third sort is armed with a formidable
trident of the same metal.
The fletcher's art seems to be carried to a high degree of perfection in China. Besides those already described, most of their quivers contain certain number, classed as follows; viz., the eyebrow (i.e. half moon) shape; the scissors' shape; those for piercing breast-plates; those for dividing the arm at the shoulder.
They use also a remarkable description of arrow, styled by the French esprit cachés, having a triple head rivetted upon a small steel plate. With these they can strike a very minute object from one hundred yards' distance; and for all of them the archer has distinct compartments in his leathern quiver. In the first are the largest or butt shafts; the second has a triple partition, each space holding four, smaller than the preeeding, and with harp steel piles; the third compartment has also three divisions, each containing an arrow with the trident-shaped head.Whistling arrows were well known in England at least as early as the time of Henry VIII.
|D'Herbelot, Bibliothèque Orientale, iv. 49.
|By the laws of the tourney, the victorious knight was entitled: to the horse and arms of his adversary.
|Nemo enim ipso rege (Henry VIII.) Britannicum ingentem arcum contentius flexit; nemo certius atque validius sagittavit.--"No man in his dominions drew the great English bow more vigorously than Henry himself; no man shot further, or with a more unerring aim."--Paulus Jovius
|Bolts for the crossbow.
|Edited by Sir N. H. Nicolas.
|Fletcher, an arrow-maker; from flèche, an arrow.
|New Alders, the seat of Evan Pryce Llwyd, Esq., also of Llanseven, Carmarthenshire.
|Catharine of France, widow of Agincourt's hero, married Owen Tudor, a Welsh gentleman of ancient family. Richmond was the issue of this union.
|Harleian Lib. 365.
|See "Modern Archery."
|Hale's "Placit. Coron."
|See "Murder of the Hartgills by Lord Stourton," a domestic tragedy, thus alluded to by Heywood:--"----Great dearthe in Englande; For base murder, died, at Salisburie, Lord Stourton."
|Now, or recently, in possession of the noble family of Halifax.
|Civil warfare has been attended with similar results at every period of our history. An aged woman of Dorsetshire once told me, as a tradition received from her grandmother, how, during the height of the quarrel between King Charles and his Parliament, the unusual event of a wayfarer passing through her village excited so much curiosity, that the whole population crowded to their doors, and remained watching until he disappeared. It served as food for conversation long afterwards; on such a day, said they, "we saw a man!" For miles round none but women were left at home: the lands lay uncultivated, and famine gradually consumed the aged and the helpless. As to children, my informant added that none below a certain age remembered their fathers, and' although familiar with the name, they knew not its meaning.
|A bowman, left-handed, is undoubtedly the most ungainly of monsters, to whom the recommendation of even so grave an authority as Plato fails to reconcile us. The Greek philosopher considered that children should be taught to use both hands with equal dexterity, and attributes it to the imprudence of mothers and nurses that there is any difference; for among the Scythians, he says, men draw the bow equally with both hands. I repeat, however, that it has a very contemptible appearance, and is unpardonable, because any one may cure himself of the bad habit in a week.
|Commentarios Reales de el Origin de los Incas.
|A tomb of Newland churchyard, which is within Dean Forest, represents an archer, bow in hand, and with a single arrow beneath his belt. Another shows a figure recurnbent, reposing his head upon a lion, his feet upon a hound. Around is sculptured the following legend:--
Here Iyeth Jenkyn Wyrale, chief forester in fee,
A braver fellow never was, nor ever will there be.
|The family name of tile earls of Berkeley.
|From Sir R. C. Hoare's elegant translation of Giraldus. Among the Cotton Collection of MSS. is a Danish poem, reciting the exploits of Oddus the Archer, which that hero composed whilst in the agonies of death.
|Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; supposed to have been written about the year 1384.
|Frère, brother; i.e. a monk.
|Bow; "draw up" means pull the arrow to its head.
|The monk; it will be seen that he shows himself the more sinewy archer of the two.
|"Me ese with a shafte:"--accept an arrow from me as a present.
|Being abroad to hulls one day, whilst the kingdom stood interdicted, it chanced that there was a great stag or hart killed, which, when he came to be broken up, proved very fat and thick of flesh.
"Oh! oh!" quoth the irreverent monarch, "what a pleasant life this deer hath led, and yet ill all his days he never heard mass."--Hollinshed, vol. ii. p 330
|He could not plead the statute commanding every Englishman to be possessed of four shafts, because it expressly exempts "all holy men."
|"Westminster Medical Society.--Dr. George Gregory in the chair. Disease of the heart occasioned by violent gymnastic exercises.
"Mr. Smith related the case of a young gentleman, who was sent to a school where gymnastic exercises were much practiced by the scholars. The youth, being desirous of emulating his companions in their feats of strength and activity, applied himself violently to their exercises and was shortly afterwards seized with palpitation of the heart, pain in the epigastrium, and other symptoms of hypertrophy. He believed that this disease was not uncommonly the result of great excitement and over exertion, and thought their consequences should be carefully guarded against in constitutions where the fibre was lax, and a predisposition existed towards the complaint." --Lancet.
|See "Toxophilus, or Schole of Shewtinge."
|"Richard Mulcaster's Positions; wherein those primitive circumstances be examined which are necessary for the training up of children, either for skill in their book, or health in their bodie."--A.D. 1560.
|Many of the old black letter volumes, compiled for the instruction of country justices, have allusions to the manner in which the laws respecting archery were to be enforced. One of the least known of
these* directs that butts are to be made in every village and hamlet, with a penalty of twenty
shillings, recoverable every three months whilst the same should be neglected. The magistrate is
further required to make inquisition as to how many pos- sessed bows and arrows, and to fine every
householder one noble per head for each male found unprovided. The "man child, from seven years
of age to seventeen," to have a bow and two shafts; and each man, from seventeen to three score, a
bow and four shafts. In eases where the farm servants ne- glected to equip themselves, their master
was compelled to purchase what was necessary, and deduct the cost from their yearly wages.
"Eastington Manor, Gloucestershire, A. D. 1605. The jury present, that no one had exercised the art of archery with bows and arrows."--MS. copy of Court Rolls.
The legislature, which thus enforced the practice of archery by various statutes, and visited its neglect with fine and imprisonment, would have been guilty of great injustice had it not devised some protection from monopoly, and enabled the poor shooters to purchase their apparatus at a price proportioned to scanty means. At a time when the wages of farm servants amounted to no more than a groat per day, it was preposterous to expect them to hand forth their rose noble (6s. 8d ) for the purchase of a foreign yew bow, half that sum for one of inferior description, or even two shillings for a bow of common English yew Laws were therefore enacted compelling the bowyers to manufacture for every yew bow four of other reasonable woods, to be sold at a very low rate.
To prevent the monopoly of foreign bow-staves, numerous regulations were also passed, one of which I here present to the reader, because it has escaped the notice of previous writers. It is found in a volume of statutes, without date, in the library of Earl Spencer.--" Item, for as much as the great and ancient defence of this realm hath stood by the archers and shooters, which is now fallen to decay from the dearth and excessive price of long bows, it is therefore ordained, that if any person or persons sell any long bow over the price of three shillings and four pence, then the seller or sellers of such bow to forfeit, for every bow so sold, the sum of x shillings to' the king."
In the time of Edward II., a good bow cost about 3s.: thus, it is stated in a MS. of the Berkeley Chiefrents, that "a sturgeon taken within the Lordship was to be carried up to the castle of Berkeley; howbeit, the lord Or custom gives the taker, upon delivery of the sturgeon, half a mark in money, and a long bow and two arrows; or half a noble in lieu thereof."
* A treatise concerning the office of a sheriff, A.D. 1641.
|I extract the following paragraph from "The Sun" newspaper for Nov. 12. 1792, a period of great scarcity and national distress:--
"The captain of Harrow school presents his compliments to the editor of 'The Sun; ' has the pleasure of informing him that a subscription is now commenced among his companions, from the amount of which he hopes to send him fifty flannel waistcoats in the course of a fortnight. The waistcoats will be marked with an arrow."