pull, may judge of his own strength fifty-
four pounds is the standard weight of a bow ;
and he who can draw one of sixty with ease,
as his regular shootwg-bnw, may reckon him-
self a strong man ; though a great many
archers can draw one of seventy and eighty
pounds, and some ninety, but they are very
Ladies' bows are from twenty-four pounds
The CROSS Bow. This can hardly be said
to come under the head of archery ; but those
who used them in former times in" battle, were
always stiled Archers, or Cross-Bow Men,
and indeed they might be called so with more
propriety than those who use them now, for
ihose archers discharged arrows from their
('UTS, the present ones shoot only bullets.
V/'ntever might have been its powers as a
v.papon of war, it is now, like the long-bow,
reduced to an instrument of amusement ; and
that amusement is chiefly confined, and for
which it is well adapted, to shooting rooks,
hares, rabbits, and game in general.
The modern cross bow, for that purpose,
possesses one great advantage over the fowl-
ing piece, -which is, that in the discharge it
is free from any loud noise ; for a person
when shooting with a fowling piece in a
rookery, or warren, is sure to alarm the whole
fraternity by the report of the first fire, which
makes it a considerable time before he can
get a second, but a cross bow has only a slight
twang in the loose.
It likewise possesses an advantage equal
with the rifle, the arm being guided by the
position of a small moveable head, and which
can be placed to such an exactness as to bring
down at ninety, or one hundred and twenty
feet, to a certainty, the object aimed at.
ARCHERY was kept up with great spirit in
the year 1T93. The birth-day of his Royal
Highness the Prince of Wales, the Saint
George's Bowmen, August 12, met together
and shot for the prize ; a handsome gold bugle
horn was won by William Forster, Esq.
The late Duke of York's birth-day was
also kept by the Old Sarum archers, who
shot their annual target, a gold and silver
medal. The contest for the first prize lasted
for upwards of two hours and a half, between
Mr. Goldwyer, and Mr. Ogden, and was at
last won by Mr. Goldvvyer ; the silver medal
by Mr. Wyche.
*The Toxopholite society, on September 4,
shot for the silver bugle horn, given by his
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and
won by Hastings Elwin, Esq.
The society of the royal bowmen, shot for
the annual prize given by his Royal High-
ness the Prince of Wales, at their Lodge on
Dartford Heath, when, after a contest of four
hours, it was won by the Rev. Robert Wright.
The day being exceedingly fine was honored
with the company of most of the ladies of
beauty and fashion. The Duke of York's
band attended upon the occasion several of
the first musical professors attended also
many excellent glees were sung, and amongst
a variety of songs the following one was re-
ceived with great applause:
Bright Phoebus, though patron, of poets below.
Assist me of ARCHERS to sing :
For you we esteem as the god of the lou,
As well as the god of the string,
The fashion of shooting 'twas you who began,
When you shot forth your beams from the skies,
The sly urchin Cupid first followed the plan,
And the goddesses ehot with their eyes,
THE BRIGHT GIRLS (
Diana, who slaughter'd the brutes with her darts,
Shot on'.y one lover or so ;
For VFAUS excell'd her in shooting at hearts,
And had always more strings tc her bo-x,
A SLY JADE!
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
On beautiful Iris, AroM.o bcstow'd
A bow of most wonderful hue ;
It soon grew her hobby horse, and, as she rode
On it, like aa arrow she flew,
To earth came the art of the ARCHERS at last.
And was follow'd with eager pursuit ;
But the sons of APOLLO all others surpass ;
With such tery long 6cx>s do they shoot,
LYIXG DOGS !
UI.YSSES, the hero of Greece, long ago
In courage and strength did excel;
So he left in his house an inflexible box,
And a far more inflexible belle,
The Parthians were bowmen of old, and their pride
Lay in shooting and scampering too ;
But BritOO* thought better the sport to divide,
A'o tiiey shot, and their enemies flew,
THE BRAVE BOKS !
Then a health to the brave British bowmen be
May tlieir courage ne ? er sit in the dark ;
May their strings be all good, and their bows be all
And their arrows fly true to the mark !
The Royal Surrey Bowmen, also, in the
above year, held their last meeting for the
season on Epsom Downs, when they shot
their Autumn target. The elegant bugle horn,
given to the society by the Right Hon. Lady
King, then patroness, was adjudged to Tho*-
mas Woodman, Esq. lor the most central shot ;
as was likewise the medal for Captain of the
In 1824, his late Majesty's purse of twenty
guineas, given to the Royal Company of
Archers, was shot for in July, in Hope Park,
Edinburgh, and won by G. H. Watson, Esq.,
Accountant of Excise.
In the above year, with the exception of
the fete given by the Right Hon. the Earl of
Bradford, in Nesscliff, last year, the largest
meeting of the Shropshire bowmen took place
on Friday the 6th of July, 1824, at Brado, the
hospitable mansion of the Hon. Thomas
Kenyon. Soon after eleven the shooting
commenced, the ladies at two butts contested
for the King's prize, which was won by Miss
Maria Neuxome ; and the gentlemen, at two
butts also, for the King's prize, which was
won by Capt. Greville. Both these prizes
were very handsome ones of the kind that
for the ladies consisting of necklace, ear-
rings, armlets, and brooch ; and that for the
gentlemen a gold chain.
In 1825, at the Derbyshire Bow Meeting
at Keddleston, Miss Bent won the gold medal ;
and Miss F. Strutt the silver ditto. Also,
the Rev. C. R. Hope, won the gold medal ;
and Mr. W. K. Holden, the silver one.
In July 1826, the prize given by his late
Majesty was shot for in Hope Park, Edin-
burgh, by the Royal Company of Archers,
the King's body guard, and won by J. C.
Wilson, Esq., W. S.
A very delightful exhibition of archery also
took place in the above year, in afield at West
Mackton, in the neighbourhood of Taunton,
under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Maddison,
rector of that village. The ladies, in general,
evinced great adroitness in the management of
In August 1826, the Tottenham archers at
the society's ground, Tottenham, on which
occasion a splendid silver medal, manufactured
by Messrs. Hamlet, bearing the arms of the
society, richly chased on the face, and a suit-
able inscription on the reverse, was shot for
by the members ; and after a close and well
contested struggle was won by Mr. J. Four-
drinier, of Tottenham, by a majority of a single
arrow only. The ground was most numerously
attended by all the beauty and fashion of
Tottenham and places adjacent.
On August 31, in the above year, the last
meeting of the West Somerset Archery So-
ciety, for the season, was held at Rail's Place,
the seat of R. G. Ayerst, Esq. The ladies'
target was placed at fifty yards, and the gen-
tlemen's at ninety-two ; the prize for the
ladies, consisting of a handsome gold brooch,
in the shape of an arrow, appropriately studded
with pearls and emeralds, to imitate the
feathers, was most skilfully contested, and
eventually won by Miss Shouldham, Miss
Barnett being the next in excellence. The
gentleman's prize, a handsomely ornamented
bow with a suitable inscription, with quiver
and arrows complete, was decided in favor of
R. Beadon, Esq., of Fitzhead Court, Mr.
Ayerst being the second best shot. The scene
was enlivened by the band of the West Su-
merset Militia playing during the day.
In September, 1827, the West Essex Archers
assembled for their last public meeting for the
season on Harlow Bush Common, after some
of the best shooting we ever witnessed, the
ladies' prizes were adjudged to Mrs. John-
stone, and Miss Welch. Robert Glyn, Esq.
of Darrington House, and the Rev. Mr. John-
ston, of Farndon, bore off those allotted to
In the same month and year, an annual
meeting took place at the seat of J. Cunie,
Esq., at Essenden, Herts, under the auspices
of Mr. Rickets. A booth on the lawn was
very tastefully decorated with all sorts of
flowers : Miss Byron gained the ladies' prize.
On Wednesday Sept. 12, 1827, the park of
Sir Henry Bunbury, at Barton, near Bury,
exhibited an elegant assemblage of ladies
and gentlemen of the neighbourhood. After
two trials, every lady and gentleman discharg-
ing four arrows at the target at each inning,
the ladies' first prize (an archery brooch) value
nine sovereigns, was won by Miss Lav/ton, of
Elmswell, the second ditto by Mrs. H. Heigh-
ham, of Hunston. The gentleman's first prize
was won by Mr. Wm. Colville, of Lanstall,
who in the first innings laid three arrows in
one in the centre, and two in the next circle,
counting twenty-three. The second prize was
won by George Blake, Esq.
The sixth meeting of the Herefordshire
Bow Meeting took place on W ednesday, Sept.
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
19,1827, in Stoke Edith Park, the seat of E.
J. Foley, Esq., M.P. The shooting through-
out the day was excellent, and at a long dis-
tance four arrows were placed in the golden
centre of the targets, two of them from the
bow of J. Ark vvright, Esq. of Hampton Court.
The prizes were awarded to Miss F. Salway,
Miss Money, Mr. Arkwright, and Mr. Money.
At Newick Park, in the same year, a grand
display of archery took place at the residence
of H. Slater, Esq. The shooting was very
fine, and the whole of the assemblage ex-
In the musical Opera of the Woodman,
written by the late Reverend Bate Dudley,
and produced several years since at Covent
Garden Theatre, the scene in which the female
archers were introduced had a most pleasing
and attractive effect, and was highly applauded
by the audience. And within the last two or
three years a similar scene was introduced at
Ducrow's Amphitheatre, in a Sporting Bar-
letta, with great success. The fine figure of
Mrs. Pope, in the character and dress of a
Lady Patroness to a Society of Archers and
in which her attitudes were much admired for
their elegance and spirit which she displayed
in shooting at the target. In the above Burletta
a characteristic dance was likewise performed
by the whole group of female archers, adapted
to the skill required, and movements of the
bow this scene throughout was received with
the loudest tokens of approbation from the
In 1829 a new Society of Archers was
formed, under the patronage of Sir Edward
Lee, of Somerset House, and who held their
meetings at the Wellington Cricket Ground,
Chelsea. The uniform of the above society
was much admired for its elegance and taste.
Mr. Robert Cruikshank, the celebrated artist,
was the honorary Secretary to the above insti-
tution : as a marksman he also distinguished
himself with the bow, as he had obtained
merit by his pencil and according to the old
adage in his trials of skill he won the gold
medal, and on their days of meeting he always
sported this honorary badge of distinction.
" Why is shooting with a bow and arrow
called archery ? Because the bow, when
drawn, is in the shape of an arch.
Why is it inferred, that the bow was the
most ancient and most common of all weapons ?
Because Ishmael, we are told, became a
wanderer in the desert, and an archer: so
were the heroes of Homer ; and the warriors
of every age and country have been ac-
quainted with the use of similar arms.
Strutt has copied from a Saxon manuscript,
representations of Esau, going to sell venison
for his father ; and Ishmael, after his expul-
sion from the house of Abraham, and residing
in the desert.
Why were the English formerly expert in ar-
chery? Because, as far back as the thirteenth
century, every person not having a greater an-
nual revenue in land than one hundred pence,
was compelled to have in" his possession, a
bow and arrow, &c. ; and all such as had no
possessions, but could afford to purchase
arms, were commanded to have a bow with
sharp arrows, if they dwelt without the royal
forests, and a bow with round-headed arrows,
if they resided within the forests, to prevent
the owners from killing the King's deer.
His skill in the use of the longbow was the
proud distinction of the English yeoman, and
it was his boast that none but an Englishman
cjuld bend that powerful weapon. Chaucer
describes his archer, as carrying ' a mighty
bow ;' and the * cloth-yard shaft,' which was
discharged from this engine, is often men-
tioned by our old poets and chroniclers. The
command of Richard III. at Bosworth, was
" Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head."
To the use of the bow as a warlike weapon,
we need here refer but briefly. The bow,
too, claims part of the glory of the conquest
of England, by William, Duke of Normandy.
The Norman army was fronted by * footmen
clothed in light armour, worn over a gilted
cassock, and bearing either long-bows, or
steel cross-bows ;' and the celebrated onset of
Taillefer, gave note for the attack by showers
of arrows, returned by tremendous cuts of
steel axes. Harold, himself, too, had his eye
struck by an arrow ; notwithstanding which,
he continued to fight at the head of his army.
The bowmen were also the chief reliance of
the English leaders in our bloody battles, for
the succession to the Crown of France. At
Agincourt, Cressy, Poitiers, and Flodden, it
did terrific execution ; and many of its effects
are graphically described in the sparkling
pages of Froissart.
Why were the Englisn archers so superior
to those of other countries ? Because it seems
there was a peculiar art in the English use of
the long-bow ; for our archers did not employ
all their muscular strength in drawing the
string with the right hand, but thrust the
whole weight of the body into the horns of
the bow with the left.
Why was archery first practised as a holi-
day pastime ? Because of a command of
Edward III., that the leisure time upon holi-
days should be spent in recreations with bows
and arrows. Richard II., and Edward IV.,
made similar ordinances : the latter, that
* every Englishman, and Irishman dwelling
in England, should have a long-bow of his
own height, that butts should be set up at
every township, at which the inhabitants were
to shoot upon all feast days/ or be fined one-
halfpenny for each omission. In the 16th
century, the use of the long-bow was much
neglected. Henry VIII., however, made laws
in favour of archery ; instituted a chartered
society for shooting, and with waggish
humour dignified a successful archer, named
Barlow, by saluting him as Duke of Shore-
ditch, at which place the man resided. This
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
-ditrnity was long preserved by the captain of
the London archers, who used to summon the
officers of his several divisions by the titles of
the Marquises of Barlow, Clerkenwell, Isling-
ton, Hoxton, Earl of Pancras, &c. Stow in-
forms us, that before his time, (he died 1605)
it was customary for the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs,
and Aldermen, to go into Finsbury Fields,
where the citizens were assembled, and shoot
at thf standard with broad and flight arrows
for games. After the reign of Charles I.,
archery fell into disrepute. Sir William Da-
venant satirizes the attorneys and procters
shooting in Finsbury Fields. The Artillery
Company, or Finsbury archers, revived in
1610, retaining the use of the bow, as well us
their place of exercise. About 1753, a society
of archers erected targets in Finsbury fields
during Easter and Whitsuntide, when the best
shooter was styled captain for the ensuing
year, and the second, lieutenant. About 1789,
archery was again revived as a general amuse-
ment; and societies of bow-men, or toxopho-
lites, were formed in almost every part of the
kingdom. Moreley, in his Essay on Archery,
1792, enumerates twenty of the principal
societies then existing. In the present century
archery has been occasionally revived, more
as a private than a public amusement. About
five years since there were companies in the
neighbourhood of Taunton ; at Harlow, in
Essex ; Bury, in Suffolk ; and at Westmin-
ster ; and about a month since a society was
formed at Newbury in Berkshire.
Archery, as a branch of school amusements,
existed at Harrow within the last sixty years.
In the original regulations for the endowment
of the school, date 1590, the benevolent
founder specifies the only amusements al-
lowed at Harrow : * Driving a top, tossing a
handball, running, and shooting.' For this
latter exercise all parents were required to
furnish their children * with bow-strings,
shafts, and breasters.' In consequence of this
regulation it was usual to hold an annual ex-
hibition of archery, on August 4, when the
scholars contended for a silver arrow. Of
this sport we have seen an etching, now be-
come somewhat scarce. This custom has been
abolished, and in its room has been substituted
the delivery of annual orations before the as-
Why are the heroes of romance usually
praised for their skill in archery ? Because,
in the early ages of chivalry, the usage of the
how was considered as an essential part of the
education of a young man who wished to
-make a figure in life. Strutt.
Why was the long-bow so called? Because
it might be distinguished from the arbalist or
cross-bow, which was not only much shorter
than the former,but fastened also upon a stock,
-and discharged by means of a catch u .trigger,
which probably gave rise to the lock on the
modern musket Strutt.
Bayle, explaining the difference between
testimony and argument, uses this laconic
simile. * Testimony is like the shot of a long-
bow, which owes its efficacy to the force of
the shooter ; argument is like the shot of the
cross-bow, equally forcible, whether dis-
charged by a dwarf or a giant.'
Why was the arbalist, or cross-bow, also
called a steel-bow ? Because the horns were
usually made with steel.
Why were cross-bows also called stone-
bows? Because they were modified to the
purpose of discharging of stones.
Why were cross-bows much less common
than long-bows ? Because of several laws for
the prohibition of the former. In the time of
Henry VIII., a penalty of ten pounds was in-
flicted on every one who kept a cross-bow in
Why was a certain arrow called a bolt ?
Because it had a round or half round bolt at
the end of it, with a sharp-pointed arrow head
proceeding therefrom. When it had only the
blunt bolt, without the point, it was a bird
bolt. Hence the phrase, bolt upright, and the
sign of the 6o/Mn-tun,(or tub,) in Fleet-street,
London. The bolt thus differed from a shaft,
which was sharp or barbed. Hence the pro-
verb, * to make a bolt , or a shaft of a thing.'
We have the first also in the proverb, ' A
fool's bolt is soon shot.' Nares says, ' see also
Midsummer Night's Dream, ii. 2, for the ex-
quisite beauty of the passage.' Here it is,
from one of the most splendid pages of Shak-
(Oberon to Puck.) I saw (but thou couldst not)
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all anii'd ; a certain aim he took,
At a fair vestal, throned by the west ;
And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts ;
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the wat'ry moon ;
And the imperial vot'res passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy free.
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell ;
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white ; now purple with love's wound
And maidens call it, love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower ; the herb I show'd thee once ;
The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Why was the word * aim' formerly used for
applause or encouragement? Because, to
cry aim, in archery, was to encourage the
archers by crying out aim, when they were
about to shoot.
Why was to ' give aim,' an office of direc-
tion and assistance ? Because the person
chosen stood within a convenient distance
of the butts, to inform the archers how near
their arrows fell to the mark ; whether on
one side or the other, beyond or short of it.
The terms were, wide on the bow hand, or the
shaft hand, i. e. left and right; short or gone,
the distance being estimated by bows' lengths.
This was, in some measure, a confidential
office, but was not always practised. Nares.
Maria gives aim in Love's Labour Lost,
when she says,
Wute o'er the bow-hand ! 1'faith your hand is out.
PIERCE EGAN S BOOK OF SPORTS.
So Venus assists Cupid :
While lovely Venus stands (a givr the aim,
Smiling to see her wanton bantling's game.
Dray ton's Jtclogues 1420.
"Why was.* too much o' the bow-hand' used
to denote a failure in any design ? Because
the bow-hand is the left hand, in which the
bow was held.
Why Wcis a certain arrow called a butt-
shaft ? Because it was used for shooting at
butts ; formed without a barb, so as to stick
into the butts, and yet be easily extracted.
The very i>in of his heart cleft with the blind bow
boy's but-shaft. Romeo and Juliet.
Why was an archer said to hit the white ?
Because the centre part of the mark upon the
butts was white. The whole was painted in
concentric circles of different colours, the in-
terior circle being white ; and in the centre of
the white was a pin of wood, to cleave which
with the arrow was the greatest triumph of a
marksman. Hence, to hit the white, was used
to signify, ' to be right/ ' you have hit the
mark ;' expressions common in old authors, as
shooting v/as in their time a daily practice.
Why was the yew preferred for bows ?
Because of the compactness, hardness, and
elasticity of the wood ; and so much of it was
required for the above purpose, that ships
trading to Venice were obliged to bring ten
bow-staves along with every butt of malmsey.
Why were young archers recommended to
shoot in the dark, at lights set up for that pur-
pose ? Because one great fault which they
generally fell into, v/as the direction of the eye
to the end of the arrow, rather than to the
Why was it necessary for an archer to have
several arrows of one flight, plumed with fea-
thers from different wings ? Because they
might suit the diversity of winds. Slrutt.
Why is the term ' upshot ' so commonly
used ? Because, in archery, it formerly sig-
nified the decision, and, though archery is
now so much in disuse, the above word, in
the sense of the end or conclusion of any
business, is still retained.
Why was the bow, even in Elizabeth's time,
thought to be more advantageous than the
musket ? Because the latter was at the period
very cumbrous, and unskilful in contrivance,
while archery had been carried to the highest
perfection. Mr. Grose tells us, that an archer
could formerly shoot six arrows in the time
necessary to charge and discharge a musket,
arid even in modern days a practised bowman
has been known to shoot twelve arrows in a
minute, into a circle not larger than the cir-
cumference of a man's hat, at the distance of
* The above Questions and An.wcrs respecting the
Science o Archery, are extracted from a very clever
and useful work, called " Knowledge for the People ;
or the plain Why and Because." The above work is
At the present period (May, 1832), through
the kindness of Mr. Wales, proprietor of the
Archery Warehouse, Gilbert Buildings, West-
minster Road, Lambeth, we are enabled to
state that the following Societies of Archers
are kept up with great spirit and splendor.
The Southampton Archers are under the high
patronage of his Royal Highness, the Duke
of Gloucester. The Yorkshire Archers are
patronized by the venerable Earl Fitzvvilliam,
and the Countess of Mexborough. The Hat-
h'eld Archers are also under the patronage of
the Marchioness of Salisbury. St. George's
Bowmen, Lewisham ; South Saxon Archers ;
Toxopholite Society, London : the Robin Hood
Bowmen, Highgate ; the Hereford Archers ;
John of Gaunt's Bowmen, Lancashire ; the
Preston Archers ; and there are several other
societies who hold their meetings in different
parts of the country, but whose names we are-
not in possession of. However, we are well
assured that ARCHERY has been rapidly
gaining ground in the estimation of the lovers
of rural recreation all over the kingdom during;