Anecdotes of Archery
Part 25 of 34
ROGER ASCHAM, who wrote a treatife on this art in the year 1544, mentions the bracer or leathern guard worn by Archers upon the left arm, to prevent it from being cut by the ftring of the bow. But he recommends fhooting without any bracer, as its ufe may be fuperfeded by giving the bow a greater bend ; that is about nine inches. The fhooting glove was like the bracer, the fame as at prefent. The bow-ftring was made either of filk or hemp.
The bow he recommends to be made out of the bole of a eugh tree, and its ftrength fuch that the Archer could with moderate exertion draw an arrow to the head. The arrow was made of oak or birch, and was of different fizes, according to the different purpofes it was intended for; its length generally from twenty-feven to thirty-two inches ; the longeft were ufed in war.
He recommends a goofe's feather for the fhaft, as better than any other. The head of the arrow differed very much from the modern ones. Thofe ufed in fhooting at the marks fomewhat refembling a pine apple, fmooth at top, but furrowed longitudinally.
For war they ufed fharp heads without any barb.
The arrow was always drawn to the ear when they fhot at fhort marks. At long marks or rovers, it was then neceffary on account of the elevation, to be drawn to the breaft.
The Archers did not fhut either eye when they took aim ; nor did they look at the arrow, but at the mark only.
BOW - MAKERS.
DURING the laft century, the Kelsals of Manchefter were the bell bow and arrow makers in England; that family is now extinct. The art is revived by JOSEPH WRIGLEY and Co. of Cheetham near Manchefter ; who excel all others in the choice of wood, and accuracy of workmanfhip.
Bows and arrows are alfo made and fold by SAMUEL STANWAY near Northwich in Chefhire.
There is alfo a manufactory for implements of Archery eftablifhed by Mr. WARING at Leicefter Houfe.
In ancient times when the demand for thefe articles was univerfal, the bufinefs was divided into feparate branches; from whence arofe the following Sirnames, viz. BOWYER, BOWER, STRINGER, ARROWSMITH, FLETCHER, &c.