[Ansteorra] Magic Moments

shark shark75080 at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jan 20 12:50:53 PST 2008

On the topic of period archery, I've been reading Juliet Barker's book "Agincourt." In it she describes the law with regard to archery practice:

In 1410 Henry IV had reissued Edward III's act of 1363 which made archery practice compulsory for all able-bodied men between the ages of sixteen and sixty; every Sunday and feast day they were to go to the butts, the local shooting ranges, where targets were set up over measured distances, to "learn and practice the art of shooting...whence by God 's help came forth honour to the kingdom and advantage to the king in his actions of war."

When I read that I wondered if that's why we practice when we do in the Steppes? I found it fascinating that practice was "compulsory." Barker's book has quite a bit of interesting information about archers during the reign of Henry V - what they were paid, how many arrows they carried, how they kept their bowstrings dry. It also says that an archer that couldn't fire 10 aimed arrows in one minute wouldn't be considered suitable as a military archer.

"Agincourt" is a really great read if you're interested in medieval warfare.

Susanna Nightegale


Go to the archery range at Warlord.  You will see a bunch of archers 
focused on their skills, and their fun, and their activities.  Are they
"modern people treating it like a sport", or are they the king's
acting as they did in period?  The answer, of course, is yes.  They are
king's archers, treating archery as a sport, just like they did in 14th
century England, when by law it was the only sport allowed on Sundays.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin 

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