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ing from the situation and rank in life of the respective parties.
The Antiquities of the Common People cannot, therefore, be studied without acquiring some useful knowledge of Mankind,—and it may be truly said in this instance that, by the chemical process of Philosophy, even Wisdom máy be extracted from the Follies and Superstitions of our Forefathers.? :
To account for the renewed Popularity which has attended this subject, we must principally look to the little sketches of Manners carelessly introduced, which, as illustrating the ruder ages,
and pourtraying the progress of Society, are become interesting topics of research to all who profess to have an accomplished education.
In treating of the renown of the City of London, FITZ-STEPHEN describes it as being happy, even in the Sports and Pastimes which were there used.
6 Utterson's Early Popular Poetry, vol. i. p. 10. 7 Brand's Observations on Popular Antiquities, vol. i.
To perpetuate, then, the remembrance of those ancient Customs which in
every age have been cherished with so much delight, must be allowed to be an' harmless amusement,-especially, when Education has so securely taught us to discriminate between Innocence and Superstition. And as the variety of old Usages generally impart some degree of useful Knowledge, I have ventured to collect them, - independent of those affections for them connected with our Infancy, and which call upon us to secure from oblivion those festive Manners which constituted the great charm of a Country Life, and which, alas ! are now so fast sinking away
THE cultivation of Archery in England was an early and favourite policy of it's Rulers, and the glory which attended the use of the Bow, has shed a lustre over those pages of our history, which must
always be perused with an excusable pride. Although Archery does not now hold rank in military discipline, yet to exclude it from martial affairs, were to reflect upon the prudence and consideration of those laws that were specially made for it's encouragement. And the victories of Crecy and of Agincourt will never allow the memories of those brave warriors to perish, who so well knew how to render the Bow triumphant.
Considered also as a Pastime, the pleasure of the Bow is a manly and graceful exercise, and conduces equally to the preservation of health and to the improvement of strength and agility.
The only expedient which was employed to support the military spirit during the age of Henry the Eighth was, the reviving and extending of some old laws enacted for the encouragement of Archery, on which the defence of the Kingdom was supposed much to depend. Every man was ordered to have a Bow,-Butts were ordered to be erected in every parish,
And every Bowyer was ordered, for each Bow of yew which he made, to make two of elm or wich for the service of the common people.
: Ascham declares, that if he were of authority, he would counsel all the Gentlemen and Yeomen of England, not to change the shooting in the Long Bow with any other weapon, how good soever it might seem to be," but that still according to the “olde wont of England, youth should use
it for the most honest pastime in Peace, “ that men might handle it as a most sure
weapon in War.."9
And CAMDEN ' impressed with similar sentiments observes, that, among the English artillery, Archery challengeth the preeminence, as peculiar to our Nation. · In 1570, CATHARINE HANSON gave a piece of ground, called “ The Common Acre,” at Andover, for the recreation of the inhabitants of that Town. In the reign of Queen ELIZABETH, a lease for 21 years
8 Hume's Hist. of England, vol. iv. p. 270. 9 Preface to his Toxophilus, in 1544.
of this Acre was granted to WilLIAM Gold, at the rent of 4s., on condition that he should keep a pair of Butts for men to shoot at, and permit all persons to take their pastime there.
This ground is now used as a place of recreation for the inhabitants of the Town, —and no profit is derived from it.10
In 1603, ROBERT ANBIE devised certain premises in Selby, in the County of York, for maintaining a Chime of Bells, repairing the Church windows, and as to one rood of land, “ for providing Butts for
There are few Pastimes in which men delight, that have not their literary advocates, who endeavour to persuade their readers that their Diversions are attended with more pleasing effects than those of
Among the Recreations which thus ho
Rep. xiv. p. 357 : 1 Rep. x. p. 745.