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Home > Books > The Archer's Guide > Notes Chapter II
Notes Chapter II
1. Ritson's "Robin Hood."
2. Discourse on Weapons of War.
3. The best derivation of the term artillery seems to be from the French Arc tirer, to draw or pull a bow; its original import, therefore, had no relation whatever to fire-arms. The French term Artillerie also signifies archery, as the King's bowman was in that nation called artillier du roi. Artillery is now applied ill both countries to Ordnance only, and affords a curious instance of the perversion of words from their original signfication. It may also be worthy of note, that long after the disuse, in France, of the bow as a warlike weapon, the name of archer was retained in that country as a designation of particular officers of executive justice; thus, under the old monarchy, the officers who attended the lieutenants de police and provosts to make captures, seizures, arrests? &c., were called archers, though their arms were only halberds or carabines. In this sense they had archers of the grand prevot de l'hotel; of the prevot des marchands; city archers; archers du guet, or of the watch, &c. Small parties of archers, called also gens de marechausse, continually patroled on the great roads to secure them against robbers. The carriages of Lyons, &c. were always escorted by a party of archers.

4. Mrs. Charles Stothard, in her "Memoirs of the lab C. A. Stothard, F.S.A." p. 347, gives us the following interesting description of the solemnities of this game, as still practised by the archers of Ghent.

"Here are two bands of archers, called the Knights of St. George and of St. Sebastian; the former wear a scarlet and the latter a green cloth dress. Besides frequent exercises in this their favourite sport, there is one day in die year appointed for the great assembly of all the archers of Gendt, Bruges, and the neighbouring towns. Each band produces a bird carved in wood and these generally amount to 100 in number. They are suspended upon long poles, and one bird, the chief prize, is by some contrivance elevated to a height equal to that of the steeple of the Cathedral. To transfix this bird is the great object of emulation. The archer who strikes the top bird receives so many Napoleons, together with a golden cup or medal, or other chief prize; and he returns triumphantly at the head of the procession into Gendt. It is afterwards placed in the hall of the town to which be belongs, in commemoration of the victory. Inferior prizes are given in succession to all who strike a bird. These diversions continue for several days, during which time the Knights of St. George and St. Sebastian entertain the ladies with balls and festivals in a truly splendid manner. They also attend mass at the Cathedral attired in their costume. These exercises in honour of archery are exceedingly grand, and, like the whole conduct of the sports revive, in some degree, a faint image of the spirit of ancient chivalry."

5. Patent of Charles I.
6. See Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, and the Archaeologia, vol. vii.
7. Encyclopædia Londinensis
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