Arthur the best Archer

I am posting this under curiosities as it intrigues me. I knew that Henry VIII had an older brother – he married Catherine of Braganza who had been his late brother’s wife, but I don’t think I knew his name. There is much in the following which has elements of the Arthurian legend. Intriguing… Again from Sports & Pastimes of the English, and follows from the article I posted yesterday which explains the Duke of Shoreditch title.

Kings and princes have been celebrated for their skill in archery, and among those of our own country may be placed king Henry VII who in his youth was partial to this exercise, and therefore it is said of him in an old poem, written in praise of the princess Elizabeth, afterward queen to Henry VII

See where he shoteth at the butts,

And with him are lords three;

He wealth a gown of velvet blacke,

And is cited above the knee.

He also amused himself with the bow after he had obtained the crown, as we find from an account of his expenditures, where the following memorandums occur: “Lost to my lord Morging at buttes six shillings and eightpence;” and again, “Paid to sir Edward Boroughe thirteen shillings and fourpence, which the king lost at buttes with his crossbow.”Both the sons of king Henry followed his example, and were excellent archers; and especially the eldest, prince Arthur, who used frequently to visit the society of London bowmen at Mile-end, where they usually met, and practiced with them. From his experiences in handling the bow, every good shooter was called by his name. The captain also of the fraternity was honoured with the title of Prince Arthur, and the other archers were styled his knights. The title of Prince aArthur seems to have been superseded by the creation of the “Duke of Shoreditch”.

After the death of prince Arthur, his brother Henry continued to honour the meeting at mile-end with his presence. We have seen already that he was exceedingly fond of archery,… at the time of his coming to the crown, “he shot as strong, and as great a length as any of his garde.”

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3 thoughts on “Arthur the best Archer

    • I mentioned this the other day to some friends. None knew Henry had a brother. He and his daughter are so dominant in our history only people who read Welsh tudor history know about the rest of the family. I have a vague idea that sweating sickness was malaria.

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      • I don’t think the sweating sickness was malaria – there were major outbreaks and the French called it English Sweat. Fernand Braudel makes quite a thing of it in Civilisation & capitalism in the Long Duree as I recall

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