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15561Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Women and archery

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  • J. Hughes
    Jun 30, 2004
      Cranach did several paintings of hunts for the Elector
      of Saxony. They very clearly illustrate both the
      frequent participation of women and the sort of hunt
      where the nobles wait in prepared positions while
      jagers and jagermeisters drive game in front of their

      Charles O'Connor

      --- jameswolfden <jameswolfden@...> wrote:
      > --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Kaleyna"
      > <kaleyna@c...> wrote:
      > > Can anyone tell me around when noblewomen in
      > England began taking
      > up archery
      > > as sport?
      > > Thanks
      > > Kathy
      > >
      > This is something that comes up now and then in
      > Lions Gate where the
      > women archers usually outnumber the male archers.
      > However we have
      > found it hard to find real period documentation that
      > deals with women
      > and archery (England or Europe). Lots of out of
      > period stuff. A few
      > paintings but even then some we have to discount
      > because the picture
      > is based on the goddess Diana rather than real
      > medieval women. But
      > here is some of the stuff I have right now.
      > I am currently reading The Hound and the Hawk: The
      > Art of Medieval
      > Hunting by John Cummins. He makes reference to
      > printed debates
      > between two heralds - one Englishman and one
      > Frenchman. In the
      > debate, the english herald brags about the game
      > parks set up in
      > England which allow the women to shoot the long bowe
      > at the deer
      > chased up for them. The french herald counters that
      > it is not to
      > sporting since the deer have no choice but to head
      > towards the
      > ladies.
      > The game parks referred to are areas of the forest
      > that have been set
      > aside for hunting. There is evidence to date these
      > back to the
      > Domesday Book. In some cases, the hunting area is
      > fenced off to
      > prevent the game from escaping. In some cases, deer
      > are brought into
      > the park specifically for hunting. In other cases,
      > the fencing is set
      > up with gates and deer jumps that allow the deer to
      > enter but not to
      > leave. The ladies would be participating in a type
      > of hunt
      > called 'bow and stable'. They would go to specific
      > areas to wait for
      > the game. The 'stable' of men and dogs would rouse
      > up the deer and
      > direct them towards the set of archers. Ideally,
      > this would be done
      > slowly so that the deer moved warily away from the
      > stable and towards
      > the archers without panicking. The stable would stay
      > just out of view
      > but within scent range. They would make just enough
      > noise alerting
      > the deer that humans were in the area.
      > At this point, I have not seen the actual period
      > documentation but
      > checking on the web (www.tudors.org) I have found
      > references to date
      > the publication of the debates to between 1515 and
      > 1550 with the
      > latter publication compiled by John (Jhon) Coke.
      > For European personas, there is a painting by Lucas
      > Cranach the Elder
      > entitled "Hunt in Honour of Charles V at the Castle
      > of Torgau" and
      > dated 1544 that clearly shows a woman holding a
      > crossbow taking part
      > in the hunt.
      > Hope this helps, looking forward to other
      > information to take back to
      > the ladies of Lions Gate.
      > James Wolfden
      > Arcuarius to John Macandrew

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