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Stefan's Florilegium


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arch-hist-FAQ - 12/5/96

History of archery.

NOTE: See also the files: archery-books-msg, C-A-handbook-art, arrows-msg,
crossbows-msg, arrow-making-FAQ, serving-FAQ, clout-shoot-FAQ.


This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that
I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some
messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with
seperate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes
extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were
removed to save space and remove clutter.

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I
make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the
individual authors.

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these
messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this
time. If information is published from these messages, please give
credit to the orignator(s).

Thank you,
Mark S. Harris AKA: Lord Stefan li Rous
mark.s.harris@motorola.com stefan@florilegium.org

Subject: FAQ: Archery History
Summary: This posting contains the alt.archery FAQ section containing
historical information about archery.
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 17 December 1993

This is a section of the FAQ for alt.archery. It is maintained by me at the
following e-mail address: bblohm@hpbs1686.boi.hp.com
Comments, flames, etc. on the FAQ are welcome and should be directed to me.
Comments on the specifics of the section can be addressed to either me or the
person responsible for this section. If addressed to me, I will forward them
to the author of the section. If you wish to see this section cross-posted to
another group, please e-mail me a request to do so. If I can access that
group, then I will so cross-post whenever I post this section.

Bill Blohm


Michael Van Biesbrouck mlvanbie@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca


A friend of mine occasionally gives informal lectures on the history of
archery. These are his notes. He is more than happy to have them
modified and added to. If there is any interest in turning them into a
FAQ, he has no objections. He seems to have put several random notes
before the organized sections begin.

Since these lectures are usually done for the SCA, modern information
on archery is lacking. There is a bibliography at the end.


This document consists of notes made in preparation for a number
of lectures on the history of archery. The notes are not by any
means complete; they increase in size with every lecture given.
Some sections also exist only as memory triggers with incomplete

1776 in a letter to General Lee, Benjamin Franklin regretted that
bows weren't used

Prince Louis Napoleon - "A first rate English archer, who, in a
single minute was unable to draw and discharge his bow 12 times,
with a range of 240 yards, and who in these twelve shots once
missed his man, was very lightly esteemed."

point blank, high strung, straight as an arrow, bolt upright,
bolt from the blue, wide of the mark

composite - can be kept strung longer
crossbow - examples exist from 3rd century B.C. in China
- 1450's Genoese modified bow to steel limbs (1200
lb pull) with range of 450 yds (wooden had effective range of 200
yards) - very slow and heavy (18 lbs)
strings were unreliable
two english kings Rufus and Richard killed by bolts
Edmund II (ironside) killed by springbow in privy - "entered his
fundament and pierced his lung"

wooden - no fletch - fire hardened tip
fire arrows - cloth tips often soaked in oil or fat
signal - blunt ends with holes running perpendicular to shaft -
causes whistling in flight

arrow heads (see illustrations in Grey Goose Wing)
some were designed to fall off shaft to aid in recovery of shaft
flint, obsidian - similar in flight and penetration to modern
blunts - small game
moon shaped for cutting ropes and limbs
scissor shape - ditto
bodkin - to spread the links of chain mail - occasionally coated
with wax to help penetrate plate
barbed - to increase size of wound
different sizes according to distance to be shot


while almost any wood could be used for shafts, some are superior
to others. you want something which is not totally inflexible,
but you also want something which won't explode when you try to
shoot it. most common - bamboo/reed, ash, poplar, birch, cedar

while a number of different materials have been used for fletch,
feathers are by far the most common and popular, even today.
the purpose of fletch is to stabilize the arrow in flight
you don't want something heavy that will weigh the arrow down and
you want something with a low profile, so as not to cause wind



the standard design of the arrow had a slot cut in the shaft
(perpendicular to the grain to prevent splitting) the head was
then inserted and lashed down usually with sinew
other designs had notches cut in the arrowhead to help tie it on
since flint cracks into flat pieces, the original pieces were
relatively flat, generally oval and coming to a point
with the first metal arrowheads this pattern was continued with
the creation of the familiar triangular arrowhead still attached
in the same way
other ways of attaching it were created - pins through the shaft
(creates a fracture point), with and with out side pieces on the
tip of the shaft and later a hollow cylinder which fit over the
shaft and was glued there.

Palaeolithic (35,000 - 8,000 B.C.)
may have developed simultaneously in a number of different
originally a hunting weapon with a very weak pull
fire hardened points and flint arrowheads were used
developed alongside the atl-atl, spear thrower

9,000 B.C. - shafts found in Germany

6,000 B.C. - first bow discovered - one piece yew or elm
8,000 - 3,200 B.C. - bows found in Denmark are now tillered, even
bend on top and bottom limbs of bow

Akkadians 2500 B.C.
conquered Sumeria with infantry archers

1500-1027 B.C.
First mention of crossbows in China (Shan dynasty)
although they didn't come into common use until the Han dynasty
(206 B.C. - 220 A.D.) where they were used in the guarding of the
Great Wall
190 - 380 lbs

Assyrians 1200-700 B.C.
protected their archers - archers shot from chariots with the
charioteer holding a shield to protect the archer
three types of archers - light, medium and heavy ranging from no
to mail armour with the last class also having swords.
had some mounted archers but never really adapted the bow for it

Persia 550 B.C.
archer infantry - reflexed and probably a composite with long
were slow in support of archers & therefore had a higher rate of
casualties in that area
Marathon - Greek spearman just kept coming against the archers
with wings folding in so that the archers were surrounded - six
thousand persian dead compared to several hundred Greek - must
have been bad archers - greeks came in from half a mile
other instances where the persian archers charged the greek
spearman who counter-charged when the persians got too close

Macedonia - 360 B.C.
Philip and Alexander - archers used as support for heavy cavalry
- light cavalry bowmen and infantry bowmen formed 25-50% of army
use of mobility and counter missiles to counteract the effect of
the bow

Carthage 260 B.C.
Hannibal - mounted archers - heavy and light
used archers to decimate his opponents before sending in his
Cannae - Romans - 79,000 light and heavy infantry
- Carthaginians - approx 50,000
3000 Romans escaped with 6000 Carthaginians killed (p91 A.A.S)
was in Italy for 14 years killed 250,000 Romans total size
150,000 including infantry replacements which never reached him
when they were caught by Romans without any support

Parthians - 53 B.C.
all cavalry - composite bow - carried 60-80 arrows each with a
camel train for more
Romans invaded in 53 - 23,000 killed, 10,000 captured by mobile
tactics - never closing with the phalanx - parthian general was
killed on his return by a jealous king
Parthians tried invading Rome, but while they had some success,
they weren't as good against fortifications and tried rushing
positions were they were slaughtered
37 B.C. - due to success, Rome invaded again - parthians returned
to hit and run tactics killing 35,000 Romans
Rome eventually paid off Parthia as they controlled the silk road
to China

Huns 432 A.D.

originally horse archers - Rome paid them off
Attila - hostage in Rome when Huns were allies
when he gained control he started to switch to Roman tactics -
heavily armed troops with horse archers as auxiliary unit
Huns were smaller and at a disadvantage in hand-to-hand combat
and they didn't have temperament for siege or city battles
greatest defeat came when he didn't allow archers mobility which
made them useful and the Romans closed in
after Attila died the huns reverted

Rome never learned anything from these battles - they maintained
the same army composition and tactics. While they did have some
archers and cavalry in later years (bows added during reign of
Leo I around the time of Attila), these were almost always
mercenaries (Huns)
survived by ability to field huge armies and lots of replacements
5 000 000 citizens of military age (85 000 000 population 1 A.D.)

500-900 A.D. - mounted archers followed by cavalry charge took
out Saracen bowmen, Vandals, Goths & Franks - used Huns for
missile support
900-1400 A.D. - switched to foot-archers (huns undependable?)
eventually defeated by Turkish light horse archers

archers were paid more than regular infantry - especially if from
certain areas known for their archery skills
however they had no ransom value - killed and/or tortured
not allowed to rise in social status

no one knows for certain when archery came to England and who
brought it. certainly the bow was introduced to britain at
several points through it's use by invading armies, however, it
did not gain any prominence until after the normans took control
in 1066. Before this point, the bow appears to have been
regarded as a hunting weapon and archers played little if any
role in battle.

change to longbow seems gradual, three finger release
originally pulled to chest, later to ear
protection - chain mail - worked against broadheads but bodkin
points were developed to spread the links
shafts often splintered against the chainmail - more damage

1066 - Battle of Hastings - Harold Godwinson (king of England)
was actually waiting for the invasion of William of Normandy who
was held up by winds blowing the wrong direction. harald
hardrada and Harold's brother Tostig picked this time to invade
themselves. they were defeated at Stamford bridge, but a change
in the winds allowed William to invade the south of England.
While there were archers present at the battle, as seen on the
Bayeux Tapestry, they formed a relatively small part of the
Norman army (and smaller part of the English) and were used to
soften up the English for cavalry attacks. However it is
believed that Harold was killed by an arrow through the eye which
resulted in a Norman victory (or by a Norman horseman advancing
under the protection of an arrow volley). from the illustrations
of the period the bows used were shortbows and not yet the
traditional longbow (may be misleading as the Bayeux tapestry was
designed in Canterbury where the shortbows were more common -
Normans may have used longer bows).

Henry I 1100-35
archer was absolved of murder if he killed a man during archery

Crusades 1099, 1147-1149, 1189-1192

the mohammadean army was composed mainly of desert horsemen armed
with composite bow (100 lbs +) and scimitar. The crusaders
consisted mainly of knights and some crossbowmen.
The speed of the composite bow 3 or 4 times that of the crossbow
was partially offset by their lighter arrows, especially once the
crusaders began using layers of thick felt to reduce the impact
of the arrows. However in hand-to-hand combat, the light
scimitar proved to be inferior to the knight's sword.
end result was that the crusades ended in a stalemate with
Christians gaining a coastal strip but never regaining Jerusalem.
(in moslem hands until 1917)

Richard was later killed by a crossbow bolt {which was deemed
appropriate due to the part he played in introducing the weapon
to France (as a major weapon of war?)}
Reportedly, the bolt was pulled from the wall by a defender who
had run out of ammunition. Richard actually died of gangrene
brought on by his wound and the necessity of cutting out the
arrow head. He apparently pardoned the archer who was a prisoner
at that point and gave him some money. When Richard died of the
wound, the prisoner was flayed alive.

1208 Temujin became Genghis Khan - kakahn of the Mongols
organized mongols into tuman of 10,000 men - basic unit
had high wooden saddle and stirrups which allowed them to shoot
in any direction - composite bow (70-160 lbs) and thumb ring
could kill at 300 yds with max range >600 yds
thumb ring allowed a sharper release, increasing range and
velocity although requiring greater experience and practice
on campaign carried 2 - 4 bows, 60-400 arrows of various types
(long and short distance, limb cutters etc) depending on length
of campaign (and what book you're reading)
army replacements were often just told to find the army and
report for duty, even with the army over 2000 miles away

ate dried meat and dried milk occasionally opening a vein in
horses neck and drinking blood

often travelled over 60 miles a day (more for messengers who were
wrapped up for long trips)

5 ranks - 1st two - leather armour with sabre, lance and bow
other three, sabre and bow
the back rows passed through the front ranks, shot and retreated
until their opponents were demoralized and disorganized at which
point the "armoured" mongols charged
unarmoured mongols wore silk shirts. realizing that no armour
was any real defense against arrows, they minimized injuries.
the loose silk wrapped around the arrow head without usually
being cut, the arrow could then be pulled out by tugging gently
on the surrounding silk. this allowed removal without additional
cuts being needed and without the danger of barbed arrowheads it
also reduced the risk of infection.

note on mongol tactics - would often wipe out entire cities
especially if they had rebelled to use as examples for others -
artisans would be sent back to the empire core
since they were horse archers, they employed engineers in
particular from china to aid in taking fortified cities and
especially in later times they switched to subjugation of peoples
as with russia, with the mongol ruler of the area sending back
annual tribute

Ghenghis had two outstanding generals - Jebei Noyan (Prince
Arrow) and Subotai "the Valiant"

1219 Shah Mohammed raised 400,000 men to oppose Genghis (200,000
in main battle rest in garrisons????)
G led 100,000 in from the north and sent J with 30000 over one of
the world's highest mountain ranges in from the east (3 mile high
pass) once across their foragers ran into 100,000 turks
after a long battle during which the shah was almost captured the
mongols disappeared during the night to meet up with the khan
1200 miles away receiving en route 5000 replacements

180,000 were killed in the main battle, but the shah escaped
allowing no one to oppose him and live, ghengis sent Subotai and
Jebe with 3 tuman to chase him down
five months later they succeeded, effectively wiping out his
Subotai then decided and got permission to make a raid around the
Caspian sea before returning

1222 returned home after killing the Georgian knights about to go
on Crusade, and a russian army of 70-80,000

1227 Genghis died on campaign against China
after two years of mourning ogedei was elected great khan
following the wishes of his father
Ghengis had left a comprehensive strategic plan for the
destruction of the chin empire which ogedei followed with subedei
as his general

1233 the chin capital fell
1234 the Chin emperor committed ritual suicide after being chased
from town to town

1236 korea was reoccupied after a rebellion (was part of Chin)
1236 with ogadei kakahn, Subatai returned to Russia with 150,000
men and consolidated the gains made in Eastern Russia

1237 crossed Volga

1238 Eliminated all of the Northern Russian principalities

Dec 6, 1240 captured Kiev the largest city in Russia using bowmen
on the rooftops and lancers in the streets reducing it to ashes
then dividing his army into 3 parts he invaded Hungary and Poland

April 1241 > 100,000 in Hungarian army - 80,000 died in one
battle and another 100,000 in consequent battles for Pest
liegnitz - 20,000 killed including the Teutonic knights

Dec 1241 Crossed Danube but consolidated gains before invading

During invasion, the european countries were incapable of
resolving their differences to fight a common enemy (Austria
seized parts of Hungary and the pope was rumoured to be trying to
get the mongols to attack his main enemies)

Feb 1242 messenger arrives with news Ogadei died on Dec. 11
with ogadei dead, the political infighting surfaced. Batu, now
leader of the mongol forces in Europe realized that there would
not be complete support for his offensive, pulled back and
consolidated his gains

kuyuk became leader of the mongols for two years and then was
replaced by mongke.
Mongke pushed his attack westwards towards Egypt. in this he had
the support or at least approval of many of the christian
kingdoms in the hope that he would be able to break the islamic

1259 Mongke died saving Muslim Asia from the Mongols (p114 Mongol
political infighting caused the mongol general Hulegu to pull
most of his out to Azerbaijan, weakening his forces in Syria. The
muslim army with permission granted by the crusaders to pass
through their territory (against desires of Eastern Christians)
defeated the remaining mongols
Kubilai kahn eventually won the battle for leadership but his
authority and interest was in China (conquered in 1279) after
which he made a failed attempt to conquer Japan
(1st fleet was repelled by the japanese while the second was
wrecked by a summer typhoon)

one estimation is that 19 million people were killed by the
mongols in their campaigns

1252 Assize of Arms
previous assize of 1181 didn't mention bows
Bow was listed as a warlike arm and all males btw 15 and 60 were
ordered to be equipped with a bow
those owning between 40 and 100 shillings in land were required
to equip themselves with sword, dagger, bow and arrows
less then 40 shillings in land - bow and arrows
also illustrates changing attitude towards longbow - 1242 battle
of Taillebourg (English lost to French) corps of 700 crossbowmen
were considered to be the flower of the infantry

13th century - arquebus first appeared

1298 Battle of Falkirk
English vs Scots under Wallace
Scots intended to fight a defensive battle positioning themselves
on a hill with a morass in front of them. Their army was mostly
pike in four groups with a thousand horse in the rear and several
thousand archers on the flanks and between the pike
the English knights went around the swamp on both sides,
scattering the archers until stopped by the pike, with the
Scottish horse retreating without a fight
the English then pulled back and had their own archers fire into
the massed men, completing the battle with a second charge by the

1307 William Tell
a hat was placed on a pole as a sign of imperial power and anyone
who passed was to obeisance towards it. Tell ignored this order
and was ordered to shoot an apple off his son's head as
punishment (he was known as an archer). he succeeded but had a
second bolt in his belt to kill the man who ordered it if he
failed and killed his son (there are other similar tales-330GGW)

1332 Dupplin Muir - English against the Scots using tactics which
the English later used religiously

***needs more research***

Scottish - 22000 men mostly heavy cavalry
English - 2000 archers, 500 knights
The english knights dismounted (except for a reserve of 50) and
were in the centre with the archers angled on the flanks
the Scottish ignored the archers and charged against the knights

1337 beginning of the 100 years war

1340 147 English ships vs 190 French (35000 men)
French chained all but 24 of their ships together
2 thirds of british ships had bowmen with half moon arrowheads to
cut rigging - after archers had cleared the decks, the ships with
infantry would move in to board

1346 Crecy
English were raiding in France - (estimated size 12000 men - 7000
of them archers)(size by time of battle 8100?) in 3 divisions
under king, prince of Wales and (a duke?)
English were on a hill, with the archers in wedges?
rained the day before, some accounts state that the English kept
their strings dry by putting them under their helmets
French force approx 12000 with mercenary Genoese crossbowmen
(6000 ?)

due to the rain the French order of battle became somewhat
the crossbowmen were in front - they advanced to within range and
began to fire - due to the rain many of the strings snapped or
misfired - in addition, since the crossbow is slow to load, they
only got one round off before being cut down by the english
the crossbowmen turned and fled, some dropping their bows or
cutting their strings. The french seeing this decided to run
down their own mercenaries (showing what they thought of archers)
the rear lines not knowing what was going on also charged with
the result that all of the french army became a mob within range
of the english archers and the archers broke the charges
English dead - negligible
French dead - 1200 - 4000 knights and "no one troubled to count
the rest"

In a letter written by the English King shortly after the battle,
no mention was made of the archers.

1356 Poitiers
English were again raiding in France - lots of booty, little food
estimated size under Edward the Black Prince - 7000 armoured
horse, 3000 longbowmen and 100 light troops (spear?)
French under King John - 20-60,000 (latter unlikely)

The English took protection behind a hedge and ditch, which had a
hole in one spot, after the french army came upon them from
behind (English may have been retreating)
The majority of the French force dismounted
Those who didn't charged against the hedge and were shot down by
the archers
The German allies of the French (also mounted) then led a second
charge for the gap which again was broken up by the archers and
the men at arms supporting them
However before the archers could retrieve any arrows (some
succeeded by grabbing arrows out of bodies) the French who were
on foot reached the hedge
They were in hand-to-hand combat with the English when the
English reserve cavalry charged against the French rear (included
archers, but may have been crossbowmen - Gascon)

French dead - 2500 - some (doubtful) reports indicate that the
prisoners outnumbered the English - these prisoners did include
the King of France (and his son?) who was/were held in the Tower
of London (king was ransomed for 3 000 000 gold crowns)

1356 after Poitiers, French organized their own longbow corps
which became so expert that they were disbanded by the military

1363 all men were ordered to practice archery on Sundays and
no man under 24 was allowed to shoot at a known distance and no
man over 24 was to shoot at any mark less than 11 score yds
this was reaffirmed in 1512 and was still in force in 1633

1377 Piers Plowman refers to Rymes of Robyn Hode

1415 Agincourt
English under Henry V had been in France for about 1 month -
capturing Harfleur in order to control the Seine Valley and were
then retreating towards Calais
The army was hungry, tired and many had dysentery (some of the
archers went into battle naked from the waist down due to this)
The French were both ahead and behind them, so they decided to
give battle.
English - about 6000 men - mainly archers (8600 originally - only
38 of whom were crossbowmen)
archers told that if captured the fingers on their draw hand
would be chopped off
French forces - 60,000 (reported to be outnumbered 10 to 1) - one
chronicler states that 4000 crossbowmen were actually sent away
before the battle due to the cramped nature of the field (may
also have had cannon although they certainly weren't effective)

the two armies faced each other (a mile apart) for hours as the
French decided to wait out the English
The archers were on the sides in the front lines as well as one
contingent which was in the woods on the French flank
Henry sounded the attack with the archers advancing slightly and
planting stakes in front of them and began shooting
This prompted the French to attack with cavalry charges to the
this charge was broken and the first wave began to retreat right
into the second wave causing mass confusion
the main French body eventually did continue it's attack on the
English centre (knights) but while the English line was pushed
back, it didn't break which was important as there were no
reserves, and eventually began a counter assault
with no arrows left, the archers attacked with whatever was
available - swords if they were lucky, axes and even mallets
which had been used to drive in the stakes

Somewhere in here two local lords with about 600 peasants led an
attack on the English baggage train
between this and the threat of another cavalry charge, Henry
appears to have ordered the death of the French prisoners (by a
squire and 200 archers as the knights wouldn't do it???) however
a large number of prisoners were also brought back to England so
the extent of this is hard to say

French dead 6 000 - 10 000 (Shakespeare - 10,000 dead 1500
noblemen captured includes a master of the cross-bow in the list
of the dead)
English <100 (Shakespeare - 4 noblemen and 25 more)

1440's? - Joan of Arc discovered weakness of English longbow to
relentless and surprise attacks

1452 Castillon - last battle of 100 years war (116)
English archers in a desperate position charged a strong French
artillery position and were slaughtered by cannon and lances
1472 archery was declining due to lack of bowstaves - all ships
importing from places which supplied staves were ordered to
import 4 staves per tun weight

1508 crossbows were forbidden in England in an attempt to
increase the use of the longbow (repealed 1536)

1521 General Cortes employed band of Spanish crossbowmen in
capture of Mexico

1595 all bows ordered exchanged for muskets

1644 Tipper Muir - last War with English Archers

1798 sultan Selim, witnessed by the British Ambassador Sir
Ainslie, shot an arrow 972 yards
not surpassed until the 20th century when an american Harry Drake
shot 1100 yards

1860's - Chinese used crossbow against the British
1890's - Chinese used crossbow against the Japanese

American Indians

horse arrived with spanish so horse archers didn't have as long
to develop
used pinch draw - the weakest of the techniques
Ishi - last member of the Yahi indian tribe - very poor marksman
- but good tracker, the marksmanship was not really required to
put food on the table

Caribs - heads were deformed (slant forehead backwards) to try
and thicken frontal bones of skull against head shots and allow
better shots for overhead targets

South American Indian
read arrows and hardwood tips
bow weights varied - 28-70 lbs
sufficient to cause trouble for spaniards so they performed a
test with a prisoner who from a 100 yds shot completely through a
steel breastplate. when a second was added, the arrow stopped
half way out the back of the second

Northern plains
ash and sinew bows
some groups used bone and even eliminated wood entirely

horn and sinew bows

Robin Hood
You can't really write about the history of archery without
including Robin Hood. With everything written on this topic,
there is very little agreement. I have read stories which place
him from the battle of Hastings to after the reign of Richard the
Lion Hearted.
Most of our information comes from early ballads.
The earliest surviving ballad is from 1450 - Robin Hood and the
However, the best known is A Lyttell Geste of Robyn Hode of which
there are a number of surviving copies from 1500-1550 but which
was probably originally written around 1400.
A Lyttell Geste consists of four tales: Robin and the Knight -
the tale of Sir Richard atte Lee; Robin, Little John and the
Sheriff - the archery competition with the sheriff being killed;
Robin and the King - king goes disguised into the forest, Robin
Hood's Death - his betrayal at Kirklee's where he is bled to
Maid Marion is not part of the original tales and likely comes
from French pastourelles where she was associated with a shepherd
Little John, Friar Tuck and the Sheriff are also characters
likely borrowed from other tales. The outlaw theme was common,
in two 13th century ballads: Fulk FitzWarin has King John as the
villain and Marian de la Bruere as a maiden in distress (this may
be the other tale mentioned in Piers Plowman - Medieval Archer
p62) and Eustace the Monk.
The earliest mention of a king's name is Edward which was changed
to Henry in later tales - this was possibly to keep the tales
current, which may also have happened with Edward.

1227 pipe rolls list a Robert Hood as fugitivus
1338 - Isle of Wight - on the rolls of over 500 names, only one
is given which is a shortform rather than a Christian name,
listed with 42 other archers joining at that time - Robyn Hod

This is not likely to be the real Robin, but it indicates that
the scribe and/or the archer was familiar enough with the name to
have it listed on official rolls. This shows that the tales were
well known by this time and the name Robin Hood was associated
with archers

With all of the raiding which English armies made on the
continent, it is not surprising that many of the peasants would
not wish to return to their former lives - it also was not
uncommon for some of the men not to be paid, inevitably leading
to the formation of outlaws and tales of these men fighting
injustice. If there was a real Robin Hood, he certainly did not
perform all of the feats recorded.

If anyone knows where I can find copies of the old ballads I
would appreciate it (especially if a musical score is also


Arrows Against Steel: The History of the Bow, Vic Hurley;
Mason/charter 1975
comparison of different bows and tactics - military aspects
U 877H87

The Medieval Archer; Jim Bradbury
Boydell Press 1985
U877 B73
good description of 100 years war battles

History of the Mongol Conquests; J.J. Saunders
Routledge and Kegan 1971
DS 19 s27
Mongol history - not bad but didn't do any comparisons

Bowmanship; F.L. Bishop
p21 picture of one type of thumb ring (leather sleave to keep the
ring tight

The Grey Goose Wing; E.G. Heath
Osprey Publications, 1971
GV 1185.H42 (oversize) - in different section in middle of 7th

Heath also wrote a number of other excellent books: Target
Archery and The History of Archery

Military Service and the Development of the Robin Hood Legend in
the Fourteenth Century; Nottingham Medieval Studies 36 (1992)

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