Re: [SCA-Archery] Period archery competitions
- On 03/01/2011, Carolus <eulenhorst@...> wrote:
> Point of note. The statute only states a distance. It does not state aActually, ...
> target, number of arrows, or mandated accuracy. For all we know it
> referred to exactly what we consider "flight" shooting.
From what I understand, when shooting 12 score yards, it was not at
all, flight shooting.
Flight shooting is finding who can shoot furthest, not everyone
shooting at the same distance, to hit the same object.
Whilst flight arrows may have been used for clout shooting, shooting
at a fixed distance, is nothing like flight shooting.
I have shot in longbow flight shoots.
From what I have read (from memory), at the Cloth Of Gold (not the
"Field Of Gold" shoot to which I previously mentioned, involved a
clout, which I believe was a disk about 13 inches across, and, scoring
was dependent on the number of bow lengths from the clout.
The requirement to shoot 12 score yards, was nothing like flight shooting.
>Get the arrowThe web page at http://library.thinkquest.org/27344/history.htm states
> out that distance and who cares what it hits. It must be remembered the
> purpose of the statute - to prepare archers for war. It must also be
> remembered the nature of archery in war at the time and culture of the
> statute. It was used as a mass fire, area interdiction, weapon. At
> that time and culture, as opposed to others, archery was not a targeted,
> direct fire weapon. Nor does archery in the SCA represent only war
> archery. Throughout the period archery was used for hunting and most
> likely sport - certainly by the last century of our period it was used
> purely as a sport by the upper classes without any of its practical
> aspects. We must remember all these aspects as well as the social place
> of archery in our teaching of what archery is about.
As the 15th century rolled by, use of the bow in England began to
dwindle. In 1472, the practice of archery went down because of a
shortage of bow staves. In 1477, Edward IV of England banned an early
form of cricket because it was interfering with regular archery
practice. Crossbows were banned in 1508 to promote and increase the
use of the longbow. With the invention of the musket in 1520, the fate
of the bow in Britain was just about sealed. In 1588, the English
fleet used the musket to defeat the Spanish armada, and in 1595 all
bows were ordered to be replaced by muskets. The last battle in which
English archers were used was the battle at Tipper Muir in 1644.
So, apparently, English archers were used in war, until after our
period (assuming that the SCA "period" ends in 1600).
So, the warbow is applicable for the whole of the last century of the
Just out of interest, an officer of the British Army, used a longbow
in the "second world war", and shocked the Germans, with his results (
a German soldier or two, shot with an arrow from a longbow :) ).
He was apparently known for being armed with his longbow, as he went
into battle. I think his name is Jack Churchill.
Regarding historical target shooting, also known as butt shooting (as
opposed to clout shooting and other forms of archery), the web page at
By about 1600, three kinds of shooting were practiced in England, and
they still survive in some form. In butt shooting, the ancestor of
Olympic target archery, bowmen aimed at targets mounted on earthen
butts at ranges of 100 to 140 yards. (The butt was originally a wooden
cask, and the first of the now familiar round archery targets was
probably the cover of a butt.)
Like other sports and pastimes, archery was prohibited in England when
the Puritans took over under Cromwell, but it came back after the
Restoration. The Ancient Scorton Arrow Contest, the first recorded
formal competition, was held in 1673.
Many archery societies were organized in the 18th century, culminating
in the Royal Toxopholite Society, formed under the patronage of the
Prince of Wales (later George IV) in 1787. ("Toxopholite" is from the
Greek for "bow lover.")
The Antient Scorton Silver Arrow, involves shooting at a target at a
range of 100 yards, and the first person to hit the 3" black circle at
the centre of the target, wins. That tournament is the longest running
sports even in the world, from what I understand, running every year
except in times of great war, running from 1673 to the present.
Perhaps, if we are to be "true to period", we should be shooting
something like the York Round, at 100, 80 and 60 yards, which, whilst
created in the late eighteenth century, is more "true to period" than
40, 30 and 20 yards?
Oblio of Abertwidr
Per fructu, non folii
My life is a Comedy of Arrows
Lord Dearg Ailfredsson
"Red son of Alfred"
11th century Gall Gaidhel [gall guy-yell
a.k.a. "Irish Northman"
Leather Craftsman, Archer and Huntsman
Paid SCA member since 2003
--- On Sat, 1/8/11, Carolus <eulenhorst@...> wrote:
From: Carolus <eulenhorst@...>
Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Period archery competitions
Date: Saturday, January 8, 2011, 4:54 AM
Dearg Ailfredsson wrote:
> The only thing I have to say is;
> Good form isn't what your shooting at,
> but how your shooting at it.
> Lord Dearg Ailfredsson
> [dare-eg ale-frid-son]
> "Red son of Alfred"
> 11th century Gall Gaidhel [gall guy-yell
> a.k.a. "Irish Northman"
> Leather Craftsman, Archer and Huntsman
> Paid SCA member since 2003