Archery

Sponsor

Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

W. H. and H. C. Overall (editors)

Year published

1878

Supporting documents

Pages

16-19

Citation Show another format:

'Archery', Analytical index to the series of records known as the Remembrancia: 1579-1664 (1878), pp. 16-19. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=59897 Date accessed: 21 September 2014.


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Contents

Archery.

I. 519. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, stating that certain poor Companies, both within and without the City, had lately exhibited a supplication to the Council, complaining of sundry disorders and inconveniences which had arisen within the City and in other parts of the realm, through, as they alleged, a remiss and negligent execution of the laws established for the maintenance of Archery, and the debarring of unlawful games, which had led to lewd and evil expenses on the one hand, and to the impoverishment of many poor artificers on the other; and directing that the Court of Aldermen should forthwith take order that the statutes and orders which had been established for the maintenance of archery, (fn. 1) should be duly put in execution for the common good, and that orders should be given to all constables, and other inferior officers within the liberties, to see the same executed and practised from time to time.
30th June, 1583.

I. 520. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, acknowledging the receipt of the foregoing letter, and stating that the Court of Aldermen would call before them the wardens of the poor Companies concerned, and use their advice and diligence to carry out the laws and orders for the benefit of the youths of the City; and also asserting the cause of the decay to be principally through the holding of such spectacles as bear-baiting, unchaste interludes and bargains of incontinence, thereby withdrawing the people from the service of God, and drawing God's wrath upon this City, as had been shown in the late dreadful judgment at Paris Gardens (fn. 2) : for remedy of these abuses within the City, every care would be taken; also recommending the Council to request the justices of the counties to put in execution like orders for the prevention of the abuses practised therein.
3rd July, 1583.

II. 249. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, (fn. 3) inclosing a petition from the Bowyers and Fletchers, and other poor Companies belonging to Archery, complaining of the disorders and abuses daily committed against their trade, and the good order of the City, through the practice of unlawful games in common bowlingalleys by reason of the Letters Patent obtained from His Majesty by Mr. Cornwallis, under false pretences for maintaining the exercise of shooting, and praying that a renewal of the licence might not be granted.
6th December, 1604.

VI. 143. Petition of the Longbow-makers of the City of London to the Lords of the Council, reciting that the late King (James I.) had incorporated them under the Great Seal, and that their incorporation contained a clause commanding that the exercise of the Long-bow should be brought into use according to the Statute in that behalf, of which grant they had not yet received any benefit, but daily declined, so that there were not above four of them left, and they were unable to take apprentices, whereby the mystery of making Long-bows was likely to be utterly forgotten in this kingdom. They had petitioned the Court of Aldermen that the said grant might be put in execution; and the Court had thereupon agreed upon certain orders which were annexed, tending to the advancement of the Company and the general good of the Commonwealth, and praying the Council to ratify the said orders, and direct the Lord Mayor to put them in practice.
Dated in margin, February, 1627.

VI. 147. Extract from Proceedings of the Court of Aldermen, with Report from a Committee appointed to consider the grievances alleged in the petition of the Bowyers' Company, stating that they had conferred with divers principal Archers now left in the City, and having heard them as to the ancient use and custom, they recommended:—That the City should be divided into four parts or regiments, viz., North, East, West, and South. At the request of the Committee. Alderman Hodges (fn. 4) had consented to be Colonel, and the under-mentioned gentlemen to be Captains, viz., Mr. Nicholas Ascough, Mr. Thomas Wood, Mr. William Hodges, and Mr. Rowland Wilson. (fn. 5) The Captains should furnish their regiments with as many voluntaries as possible, able to use the long bow, and in the event of a want of voluntaries, should furnish themselves with inhabitants, within the said parts of the City, who should provide themselves with long bows, quivers of arrows, and other necessaries for Archery, according to law. That the officers and constables of every parish should, according to the Statute 33rd Henry VIII., put in execution certain branches of that Statute made for the maintenance of Archery, and for the punishment of persons using unlawful games. It was also desirable that the Lord Mayor should issue a precept to the Aldermen of the several Wards commanding the constables and beadles to provide and furnish the inhabitants and their apprentices with bows and arrows, according to the said Statute. That each Captain should once a year lead out his regiment into the field to practise, when four prizes should be shot for, for the encouragement of Archers—the first prize 20s., the second 15s., the third 10s., and the fourth 6s. 8d., to be forthwith paid to the winners out of the Chamber. That all bowling-alleys and other unlawful games should be suppressed. That the four captains should find and provide an "Ancient of taffatie in colour" (fn. 6) for their officers; and that an allowance out of the Chamber should be paid to the Lieutenant, Drum, and Serjeant. That the Lord Mayor should issue a Proclamation requiring the citizens to furnish themselves, their apprentices and servants, with long bows and quivers of arrows, and that the constables of the several precincts should do their duty in putting the laws made to that effect into execution. Order of the Court of Aldermen thereon approving of the recommendations, and directing the expenses of the first year to be borne by the City; and that before any further steps were taken, the Privy Council should be informed of their proceedings.
30th August, 1627.

Footnotes

1 The Statute 33 Henry VIII. c. ix., 1541, recites previous Statutes, enacting that all men under 60 should have bows and arrows for shooting; boys between 7 and 17, a bow and 2 shafts; men above 17, a bow and 4 arrows, under a penalty of 6s. 8d., &c. The Charter granted to the Artillery Company by King Henry VIII., 25th of August, 1537, directs that certain persons therein named should be "overseers of the science of Artyllary, that is to wyt, for Longbowes, Crossbowes, and Hand-gonnes."
2 This fatal accident occured on Sunday, January 13th, 1582–3. The loss of life was not, however, so great as might have been expected, considering the number of people congregated together on the Lord's-day to see the sport. The scaffolds, being old and unpropped, gave way. Stow says, eight lives were lost; but a worthy zealot, John Field, who published a Godly Exhortation on the occasion, says that about a thousand people were collected; five men and two women were killed, and about 150 seriously injured. Crowley, a poet in the reign of Henry VIII., refers to these Sunday gatherings:—
"At Paris Gardens, each Sunday, a man shall not fail
"To find two or three hundred for the Bearward's Vale, &c."
3 Sir Fulke Greville.
4 John Hodges, Grocer, elected Alderman of Cordwainer, July 9, 1622; Sheriff, 1622. Thomas Smith, Skinner, elected Alderman of Cordwainer, loco Hodges, deceased, June 2, 1629.
5 Rowland Wilson, Vintner, elected Alderman of Bridge Within, November 28th, 1648, sworn December 10th, 1648; Sheriff, 1649. Died during his Shrievalty. John Dethicke, elected Sheriff for remainder of year, February 19th, 1649–50. John Beale, Clothworker, elected Alderman in his room, March 16th, 1649. Son of Rowland Wilson, a wealthy merchant (himself elected Sheriff, July 1st, 1630, but excused, August 27th in the same year, on payment of a fine of 500l.), who survived him. He was a staunch Parliamentarian. In 1643 he was Colonel of the Orange Regiment of the City Trained Bands, and marched with them to the support of General Lord Essex at St. Albans, and thence to Newport Pagnell. He was a Member of the House of Commons for Calne, Wilts, 1645–9, and in 1648 was nominated one of the Commissioners for the Trial of King Charles the First, but refused to act. In the same year he was appointed one of the Great Council of State; in the following, he was chosen one of the Trustees for the sale of Deans and Chapters' Lands, and Muster-Master General of the Forces of Warwick and Coventry. On the 12th July, 1649, says Whitelock, in his 'Memorials,' a Petition from the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City was presented to Parliament, announcing his election as one of the Sheriffs, and praying that he might have leave to hold the office. The House assented, and intimated that they would look upon it as an acceptable service to the Commonwealth if he would take office. He "considering the affection of the City, and that God had blessed him and his father with the gaining a plentiful fortune in that place, thought it fit for him to spend some of it, and to undergo the trouble of the place for the honour and service of the City." His funeral was attended by the Members of Parliament, the Council of State, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and divers Citizens, many Officers of the Army, and his own City Regiment. Whitelock says of him "that he was beloved both in the House, City, and Army, and by all that knew him; and his death as much lamented."
6 That is, the Ensign or Flag of the Regiment in its proper Colours. Nicholas Spering, a Merchant of the City, was elected by the Artillery Company as their first "Auntient or Ensign" bearer. See Note on "Ancient Pistol," Halliwell's Shakespeare, 'Henry the Fourth,' part II. p. 99.


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