> If I recall correctly, both Henry VIII and the younger Elizabeth I
> were well known for their prowess with the long bow. Henry VIII
> sponsored and competed in numerous archery tournaments, and promoted
> the establishment of "Sport Archery" clubs.
> At the field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 Henry VIII showed off to his
> new queen and the king of France by skillfully hitting targets at
> extreme range, whill fancifully dressed as Robin Hood.
Have you folks heard of 'Toxophilis'? (I may have the spelling
wrong--it's been a while.) It was written by Roger Ascham, famed Tudor
educator--most notably for being one of the royal teachers and for his
Latin double translation system--and was a book dedicated to the art of
English archery. Henry VIII loved it and granted him a pension for life,
which was renewed under successive monarchs as long as Ascham lived.
It may have varied from country to country, but the English were darned
proud, and rightfully so, of their skill in archery. Ascham wrote the
book from the standpoint of being a English book written for English men,
thus promoting both vernacularism and nationalism in one bulls-eye shot.