Anecdotes of Archery
Part 21 of 34
During the reign of HENRY VIII. feveral ftatutes were made for the promotion of Archery. The 8th of ELIZABETH, chap. 10, regulates the price of bows ; and the 13th of the fame reign, chap. 12, enacts, that
" bow-ftaves fhall
" be brought into the realme from the Hanfe-
" towns and the eaftward :"
So that Archery ftill continued to be an object of attention in the legiflature.
IN a fplendid fhooting match at Windfor, before the King, when the exercife was nearly over, his Majefty obferving one of his guard, named Barlow, preparing to fhoot, faid to him, " Beat " them all, and thou fhalt be Duke of Archers." Barlow drew his bow, executed the King's command, and received the promifed reward ; being created DUKE OF SHOREDITCH, that being the place of his refidence. Several others of the moft expert markfmen were honoured with titles, as EARL of PANCRIDGE, MARQUIS of CLERKENWELL, &c.
The following letter inferted in Lodge's Illuftrations of Britifh Hiftory, ferves to fhew what attention was paid to this article in our armies fo late as the year 1544.
The Lords of the Council to the Earl of Shrewfbury,
" After our right hearty commendations to " your LORDSHIP, where thies bearers THOMAS
" SCARDEN, and JOHN STODDAR, the King's
" bowyer and fletcher, do preffently repair into
" thofe parts for the putting in order of the
" bowes and arrows, as wele at Barwick, as other
" places theire; and for theire help have alfo with
" them three other bowyers and five fletchers.
" Your Lordfhip fhall underftand, that we have
" delivered unto them conduct-monev, and alfo
" wages for one month, to begin at their arrival,
" after the rate following: That is to fay, the
" faid SCARDEN and STODDAR at XIId. By
" the daye, and every of the faid fletchers and
" bowyers VIIId. by the daye; praying your
" Lordfhip to take order for continuance of
" theire wages after the rate aforefaid, when the
" faid month fhall be expired, for the time of
" their being there accordingly. And thus fare
" your good Lordfhip right hartely well.
" From Baynard's Caftle, the XXIId. day of
" January 1544. Your Lordfhip's affured
" loving friends.
" THOMAS WRIOTHESLEY,
" THOMAS WESTMINSTER,
" CHARLES SUFFOLK,
" WILLIAM PAGET."
KING HENRY VIII. and QUEEN CATHERINE, came from Greenwich to Shooter's Hill one May-Day, where they were received by two hundred Archers, clad in green, with a Captain perfonating ROBIN HOOD ; who firft fhewed the King the fkill of his Archers in fhooting: after which the Ladies were conducted into the wood, and feafted with venifon and wine, in arbours and bowers curioufly decorated.