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Anecdotes of Archery
Part 27 of 34


BEGAN to fhoot for a Silver Arrow at Scorton near Richmond, in Yorkfhire, May 14, 1673, and have continued ever fince.

Agreed upon by the SOCIETY of ARCHERS at SCORTON, May 14, 1673, for the regulating of the annual exercife of fhooting at the Targets for a Silver Arrow.

I. IMPRIMIS. THAT every perfon intending to fhoot at this, or other yearly game, for the future, fhall depofite and pay into the hands of the Captain and Lieutenant of the Archers (or of fome others deputed and appointed by them Stewards to the Company of Archers for that year, the fum of five fhillings, or what other fum fhall from time to time be concluded and agreed upon by the major part of the Archers; the fame to be done fome convenient time before the general day of meeting to fhoot at the faid targets, whereof notice to be publicly given, to the end, that Plate, and fuch other prizes as are hereafter mentioned, may be had and provided in due time.

II. ITEM. UPON the day appointed for the faid exercife, all perfons concerned fhall repair to the place for the faid purpofe (to be appointed by the Captain of the Archers for that prefent year, which place fhall always be within fix miles of Eriholme upon Tees, in the county of York, unlefs otherwife refolved and agreed upon by the greater number of the Society of Archers prefent at the fhooting down of the faid targets) by eight of the clock in the morning; when and where a note in writing fhall be taken of thofe intending to fhoot, (the Captain and Lieutenant excepted) and lots or figures of their numbers fhall be drawn by fome indifferent perfon; according to which figures they arc to obferve their feveral courfes and orders in fhooting for that time ; and if any come after the lots are drawn, they fhall take their places, and fhoot after the laft figure and according to their coming.

III. ITEM. Two targets fhall be then and there ready provided by the Captain and Lieutenant, (who hereby are and fhall be exempted and freed from depofiting any fum or fums of money, fo long as either of them fhall continue in. their refpective offices) with four circles aptly diftinguifhed with colours; whereof the innermoft circle being gilded or yellow, fhall be for the Captain's prize; and the next to that fhall be for the Lieutenant's prize ; and the third and fourth, or outermoft circumferences, fhall be for fuch fpoons or other prizes of a greater and leffer value, according to the monies depofited, as they fhall be ordered and proportioned by the Captain and Lieutenant, and three of the Company of Archers then and there prefent.

IV. ITEM. THE faid targets fhall be fet in fome open and plain field, upon two draw bafts or mats, bread-high from the ground, each being diftant from the other at leaft eight fcore yards, as which diftance three rounds Hull be fhot by all the Company, with what manner of fhaft (not exceeding two fhafts) every one pleafeth. The Captain and Lieutenant beginning firft, and then the reft two and two, in order, according to their feveral lots and numbers, till the faid rounds be fhot cut at the firft ftand ; after which they fhall remove in ten yards, and there fhoot other three rounds in manner aforefaid; and then remove in ten yards more, and fhoot three rounds there ; and fo forwards from ftand to ftand, or one removal to another till all the prizes be gotten or fhot down; provided that their faid approach to the targets be never nearer than fixty yards, at which diftance they muft ftand to fhoot them out, if not won before.

V. ITEM. SUCH perfon as in his due order and place fhall firft pierce or break the Captain's Prise, or any parts thereof with his arrow, (that is to fay) fo as his arrow or any part thereof fhall be within the circle dividing between red and gold, fhall have the filver arrow from the reft, and fhall be efteemed and adjudged Captain of the Archers, and fhall have and enjoy all privileges due and belonging to that office, during the year enfuing; and further (hall have twenty fhillings of fuch monies as fhall be depofited by the Company of Archers at their next annual meeting for fhooting at the targets; when he fhall and muft bring in the faid filver arrow, to be fhot for in manner and form aforefaid. The fame to be done and performed yearly about Whitfuntide, to and by all the fucceffive Captains. Alfo he that: in like manner pierceth the Lieutenant's Prize or Circle, fhall have fuch prize or piece of plate as fhall be allotted and appointed by the Captain and Lieutenant for that time. Likewife he that firft pierceth either of the other circumferences fhall have one fpoon (or fuch other prize as fhall be appointed for the fame circle as aforefaid) for every arrow wherewith he fhall pierce or break them, in cafe all the prizes belonging to them be not gotten be* fore. Alfo he that pierceth any of the inner circles. in manner aforefaid, whereout the prize or prizes were won before, fhall have one of the beft prizes remaining in the circle, next to that which he fhall fo hit, provided that the fpoons and fuch other prizes as fhall be defigned for the faid two outer-moll circles fhall be of two feveral rates and values; and the better of them fhall be allotted and appointed for the circle and circumference next to the Lieutenant's.

VI. ITEM. IF any of the Company fhall prefume to fhoot at the targets out of his due turn of ftanding, he fhall loofe his fhot for that round (or having fhot before) in the next round following: And if any be abfent from the ftand to fhoot in his turn according to his figure, then the next figure there prefent fhall fhoot on, that no time may be loft, and fhall have fuch prize as he fhall then win. Neverthelefs fuch abfent figure may, at his coining to the place of ftanding, have liberty to fhoot during that round, if the Captain fo pleafe and appoint, either at the time of his coming, or at the end of the fame round, provided that he come before the beginning of the next round.

VII. ITEM. FORASMUCH as the Exercife of Archery is lawful, laudable, healthful, and innocent ; and to the end that God's holy name may not be difhonoured by any of that Society, it is agreed and hereby declared, that if any one of them fhall that day curfe or fwear in the hearing of any of the company, and the fame be proved before the Captain and Lieutenant, he fhall forthwith pay down one fhilling, and fo proportionably for every oath; to be diftributed by the Captain to the ufe of the poor of that place or townfhip where they fhoot. And in cafe of refufal or neglect to pay the fame, then fuch party to be excluded from fhooting any more till payment is made as aforefaid.

VIII. AND LASTLY. ALL the Company of Archers fhall, on the day of fhooting at the targets as aforefaid, dine with the Captain and Lieutenant at fome ordinary appointed for them near the place of {hooting; and if any of them fhall refufe or neglect fo to do, or not dining with them, fhall pay one (hitting to the Captain or Lieutenant for his ordinary ; then the party fo offending fhall lofe and forfeit the privilege of fhooting in the round next following after dinner.