Filed under 15th century history

Turkish Archery in London

This is from Sports and Pastimes of England, with a rare personal anecdote on a sport which had apparently all but died out by then: I remember about 4 or 5 years back [ie since 1800] at a meeting of the society of archers, in their ground near Bedford Square, the Turkish ambassador paid them … Continue reading

Feats in archery

This is some more from Sports and Pastimes of England, published in 1800. If the metrical romances and ballads of the former ages may be depended upon, the strength of our English archers in drawing the bow, and their skill in directing the arrow to its mark were justly objects of admiration… Adam Bell, Clum of … Continue reading

Naming Supernatural Beasts

This is a fine selection of strange beasts, from 1584. How many names can you recognise? Odd they are called ‘bugs’. This is from Hobgoblin & Sweet Puck Fairy Names & Natures by Gillian Edwards Our mother’s maids have so frayed us with Bull-beggars, Spirits, Witches, Urchins, Elves, Hags, Faeries, Satyrs, Pans, Faunes, Sylens, Kit-wi-the-Canstick, Tritons, … Continue reading

A Poem on Sprites, From 1600

This is a small piece from Hobgoblin & Sweet Puck Fairy Names & Natures by Gillian Edwards In old wives’ dais, that in old time did live (To those odd tales much credit men did give) Great store of goblins, fairies, bugs, night-mares, Yea, far more sprites did haunt in divers places Than there be women … Continue reading

Folklore Meets Bunga Bunga

Folklore Meets Bunga Bunga

This is a gem from a great book, A Field Guide to the Little People by Nancy Arrowsmith with George Morse. It’s one of the most useful books for anyone interested in folklore as it details the little folk, their behaviour, and where they can be found. This is my favourite one, the Barabao, which is … Continue reading

Ladies and Hawking

This is from Sports and Pastimes of England, published in 1801. It seems ladies were not only allowed to practice hawking, but some may have been rather good at it: Ladies not only accompanied the gentlemen in pursuit of this diversion, but often practiced it themselves; and, if we may believe a contemporary writer, in … Continue reading

Aristocracy and Hawking

Aristocracy and Hawking

One of he great Indy films of England last century was ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’, based on both animals and people having a fixed hierarchy. This is the full list, from Sports and Pastimes of the People of England: The eagle, the vulture, and the merlun, for an emperor The ger-faulcon, and the tercel … Continue reading

Extincting Wolves in England & Wales

This is from Sports and Pastimes of he People of England, published in 1801. My previous post listed a lot of animals of the hunt, but wolves were absent, apparently because they were already hunted to extinction. It is generally admitted that Edgar gave up the fine of gold and silver imposed by his uncle … Continue reading

Naming the Beasts of the Hunt

This is from Sports and Pastimes of he People of England, published in 1801. Twice or Twety, grand huntsman to Edward II divides animals to be hunted into 3 groups: The first class contains four, which may be properly called beasts for hunting; namely, the hare, the hart, the wolf, and the wild boar. The … Continue reading

The Sanctuary of St John of Beverley

This is from Highways & Byways in Yorkshire, The kindness of St. John towards all criminals was not exercised only in his church, but extended for a full mile into the open country on every side;and evil men, however stained with blood, even if it were the blood of priests, could not be seized by … Continue reading