Bride Valley Archers

 This page is being developed to record the history of archery in the local area. If anyone has any relevant information/photos etc please contact us. 

1368 Robert de Assheton (Lord of the manor of Litton) was commissioned to raise forty archers in Somerset and the adjoining shires for service in Ireland.

1461 Humphrey Stafford (Lord of the manor of Litton and Hooke) fought at the Battle of Towton, the bloodiest battle on British soil. Possibly around 28,000 people died (about 1% of England's population). Archers were prominent in the battle.

1469 Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Devon (Lord of the manor of Litton and Hooke) took archers to the Battle of Edgecote.

1541 Parliament was concerned that archery skills were being lost, with men spending too much time playing various board and coin games.

The 'Bill For The Maintaining Artillery and the Debarring of Unlawful Games' was created as well as a requirement for all men to practice their bow and arrow skills.

"Most humbly complaining, shew unto your highness your daily orators, the bowyers, fletchers, stringers and arrowhead makers of this your Realm, that where for the advancement and maintenance of archery, the better to be maintained and had within the same, and for avoiding of divers and many unlawful games...occupied and practice within this realm, to the great hurt....of shooting and archery, divers good and lawful statutes have been devised; the which good and laudable act not withstanding, divers and many subtil inventative and crafty person's intending to defraud the same statute..

have found and daily find many and sundry new and crafty games as Logetting in the Fields, reason where of archery is sore decayed and daily is like to be more and more minished, and divers bowyers and fletchers, for lack of work, gone and inhabit themselves in Scotland and other places out of this realm, there working and teaching their science, to the puissance of the same, to the great comfort of estrangers and detriment of this realm.

"Every man being the King's subject, not lame, decrepit nor maimed (except spiritual men...justices and barons)...shall...use and exercise shooting in longbows and also have a bow and arrows ready continually in his house to use shooting; and also that the fathers, governors and rulers of such as be of tender age, do teach and bring them up in the knowledge of the same shooting; and that every man having a man-child...of the age of seven years and above, till he shall come to the age of seventeen years, a bow and two shafts to induce and learn them to bring them up in shooting...." 

1542 The Muster Roll for Litton Cheney records 39 archers with a bow and having from 4 arrows up to a full sheaf of arrows.

1569 The Muster Roll for Litton records only 2 archers (William Rutter and John Bucket). Two men were Harquebuzers (medieval guns) and three were Billmen (medieval weapon).

Sum of all the able men within the sayd hundred 35 wherof harquebuzers 4, archers 5, pykemen 6, byllmen 20. Also there is within the sayd hundred: corselettes 24 whereof money for 16, curriers 4 money for all, harq 1 money for yt, murrions 5 money for all, jacks 4, pykes 30, bowes 50, shefes 50, bylles 103.

1863 Pymore Archery Club in existence.

1980's Beaminster Bowmen

1990's Bride Valley Club

2009 Bride Valley Junior Archers formed.


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