Archery is for sport, hunting and defence. As sport
it is favoured by the nobility of either sex as a competitive recreation
or for hunting. Kings and ladies need not pursue their prey – sometimes
it is driven past specially prepared platforms. Yet the same lady whose
hunting is made easy might find herself using her bow in earnest to defend
her husband’s property – her body included - in his absence.
The law demands that all able-bodied men in the community train at the
butts on Sundays, the longbow having proved to be a masterful weapon which
helped to win many a battle, notably at Crécy and Agincourt. It
has an accurate range of 200 yards and a skilled archer can loose 10 or
more arrows per minute. Even after the introduction of firearms, royal
legislation sought to keep this valuable art alive and well. Francis Greye
was able to demonstrate the very pinnacle of the bowyers’ art: a
self-yew war bow of 90 pounds draw weight but most of the group favoured
bows of 40 – 50 pounds. All the bows used were made by Don Adams.