Author Topic: Traditional English Draw  (Read 10863 times)

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Offline agd68

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Traditional English Draw
« on: August 23, 2010, 08:52:05 am »
Hey All.
A fellow archer and I are disagreeing on the grip old English archers used. One says three finger split grip. The other says they only used the first two fingers in a split grip. Does anyone know what style they used ?
Happiness is..
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Offline adb

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 10:01:54 am »
Please define "Old English Archer." If you're referring to medieval archers, like those of the Hundred Year War era, they used a split two finger draw.

Offline spinney

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 09:32:40 am »

Hey guys,

I am a very old English archer and I use 3 fingers split.

Andrew

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 10:20:38 am »
I believe both a three fingered and a two fingered draw were used. Doesn't Ascham talk of the use of three fingers? Also didn't the various French laws concerning the removal of captured English Archer's fingers variously talk of two or three? Could of course be wrong on both accounts but have dredged them up from the old memory.

Legend tells us of the two fingered draw and the two fingered salute to the French after victory to show that the shooting fingers are still intact.

Having thought about my first statement regarding Ascham I decided to dust off my copy of the book and see if my memory was correct so I edited this response and added the following:

Ascham, in Toxophilus book 11 page 101 in the 1990 Simon Archery edition, says:

"And when a man shooteth, the might of his shoot liest on the foremost finger, and on the ringman: for the middle finger which is longest, like a lubber, starteth back, and beareth no weight of the string in a manner at all"

Thus a three fingered draw in which the middle finger does very little work.

Craig
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 11:38:22 am by CraigMBeckett »

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 11:47:31 pm »
I believe both a three fingered and a two fingered draw were used. Doesn't Ascham talk of the use of three fingers? Also didn't the various French laws concerning the removal of captured English Archer's fingers variously talk of two or three? Could of course be wrong on both accounts but have dredged them up from the old memory.

Legend tells us of the two fingered draw and the two fingered salute to the French after victory to show that the shooting fingers are still intact.

Ascham, in Toxophilus book 11 page 101 in the 1990 Simon Archery edition, says:

"And when a man shooteth, the might of his shoot liest on the foremost finger, and on the ringman: for the middle finger which is longest, like a lubber, starteth back, and beareth no weight of the string in a manner at all"

Thus a three fingered draw in which the middle finger does very little work.

Craig





It is clear that the three finger draw was used and the two finger draw as well, mostly with smallbows. Your quote from Ascham is backed up by ‘Lartdarcherie” which tells us thet the string should be taken on the second joint of the forefinger and the firsr joint of the ring finger. This makes it clear that the same finger placement was used in both England and France,

    BTW; the “two fingered salute” might better be classified as urban myth than legend. I believe soccer hooligans get the credit for that one.

                                                                                    Cheers.
                                                                                      Erik

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 01:30:35 am »
Hi Erik,

Quote
  BTW; the “two fingered salute” might better be classified as urban myth than legend. I believe soccer hooligans get the credit for that one.

It was around a long time before soccer hooligans, as we know them today, so they cannot have the credit for it.

I'm not sure you are correct dismissing the two fingered salute to the French after victory to show that the shooting fingers are still intact as a myth. The French definitely had statutes requiring the removal of fingers from the drawing hands of captured English Archers and one can well imagine the taunts that such a law would elicit from the English victors.

Erik, if you have an English translation of "Le livre du Roy Modus et de la Royne Racio" in electronic format I would appreciate a copy, I only have a French version and my school boy French is not really up to it.

Craig.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 02:08:39 am by CraigMBeckett »

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2010, 02:15:02 pm »
Hi Erik,

Quote
  BTW; the “two fingered salute” might better be classified as urban myth than legend. I believe soccer hooligans get the credit for that one.

It was around a long time before soccer hooligans, as we know them today, so they cannot have the credit for it.

I'm not sure you are correct dismissing the two fingered salute to the French after victory to show that the shooting fingers are still intact as a myth. The French definitely had statutes requiring the removal of fingers from the drawing hands of captured English Archers and one can well imagine the taunts that such a law would elicit from the English victors.

Erik, if you have an English translation of "Le livre du Roy Modus et de la Royne Racio" in electronic format I would appreciate a copy, I only have a French version and my school boy French is not really up to it.

Craig.


Please let me know the pre 20th century evidence for the two finger salute as well as French statutes on the subject. My understanding is that English kings warned their archers about Frenchmen or Scots cutting of fingers to give the archers a reason to fight to the death. Actually, archers, not being worth a ransom, would probably be killed if captured anyway. Sorry, I don’t have a copy of Roi Modus but I would appreciate seeing the French description of the bows if you could send it. My daughter is fluently bi-lingual.


                                                                                                         Cheers,
                                                                                                           Erik

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 01:39:05 am »
Hi Erik

Re Roi Modus, I thought you had a copy as you quote it regularly both here and on other pages of the net. There are numerous copies freely available on the net including one from Google books, see http://www.google.com/books?id=gZ4OAAAAQAAJ.

Craig

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 01:50:25 am »
Quote
Please let me know the pre 20th century evidence for the two finger salute as well as French statutes on the subject

Erik I quote from Wikipedia
Quote
Origins

An early recorded use of the 'two-fingered salute' is in the Macclesfield Psalter of c.1330 (in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), being made by a glove in the Psalter’s marginalia.[5]

According to a popular legend the two-fingers salute and/or V sign derives from the gestures of longbowmen fighting in the English army at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War.[5][15] The story claims that the French claimed that they would cut off the arrow-shooting fingers of all the English and Welsh longbowmen after they had won the battle at Agincourt.[16] But the English came out victorious and showed off their two fingers, still intact. Historian Juliet Barker quotes Jean Le Fevre (who fought on the English side at Agincourt) as saying that Henry V included a reference to the French cutting off longbowmen's fingers in his pre-battle speech.[17] If this is correct it confirms that the story was around at the time of Agincourt, although it doesn't necessarily mean that the French practised it, just that Henry found it useful for propaganda, and it does not show that the 'two-fingers salute' is derived from the hypothetical behaviour of English archers at that battle.

The first definitive known reference to the ‘V-sign’ in French is in the works of François Rabelais, a sixteenth-century satirist.[18]

It was not until the start of the 20th century that clear evidence of the use of insulting V sign in England became available, when in 1901 a worker outside Parkgate ironworks in Rotherham used the gesture, (captured on the film), to indicate he did not like being filmed.[19] Peter Opie interviewed children in the 1950s and observed in The Lore And Language Of Schoolchildren that the much older thumbing of the nose (cock-a-snook) had been replaced by the V-sign as the most common insulting gesture used in the playground.[10]

Desmond Morris discussed various possible origins of the V sign in Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, (published 1979) and came to no definite conclusion:

    because of the strong taboo associated with the gesture (its public use has often been heavily penalized). As a result, there is a tendency to shy away from discussing it in detail. It is "known to be dirty" and is passed on from generation to generation by people who simply accept it as a recognized obscenity without bothering to analyse it... Several of the rival claims are equally appealing. The truth is that we will probably never know...
    —Desmond Morris[10]

I it therefore was in use in 1330, I doubt soccer hooligans were around then.

If used in 1901 by a worker outside Parkgate ironworks in Rotherham the gesture is highly unlikely to have been invented then.

Offline jkekoni

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 08:08:28 am »
✌✌ The were hooliganism related to chariot racing in byzantine. So football riots predate football.✌✌

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariot_racing
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 08:14:08 am by jkekoni »

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2010, 07:31:13 am »
jkekoni,

Don't you mean chariot riots predate football?????

By the way, the original "footbal"l game was more of a riot than anything else with hoards of "players" doing almost anything to move the ball towards their opponents goal, so football hooliganism actually predates the game as it is known today.


The hand sign as you show it is actually the victory sign as popularised by Sir Winston Churchill during world war 2.


Craig.

Offline Yeomanbowman

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2010, 03:09:52 pm »
I have seen a few English contemporary depictions of 3-fringered draw.  The Beverly Minster carving of an archer on the choir stalls springs to mind.

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2010, 04:05:02 pm »
Quote
Please let me know the pre 20th century evidence for the two finger salute as well as French statutes on the subject

Erik I quote from Wikipedia

 Craig: I quote from your quote."According to a popular legend the two-fingers salute and/or V sign derives from the gestuit doesn't necessarily mean that the French practised it, just that Henry found it useful for propaganda, and it does not show that the 'two-fingers salute' is derived from the hypothetical behaviour of English archers at that battle."

 I believe there is no record implying that the archers of Agincourt used the “two fingered salute” nor any French statutes about the finger amputations. Nonetheless I am quite impressed by your research. Could you [or anyone else] find this ? What is the source of the report of archers cracking an oyster shell at 80 yards and piercing an open hand at 100 yards ?

 Thank you for the Roi Modus reference. I have relied on the translaion on bowhunting in Hansard’s  ‘Book of Archery’ in archery library.

RE Two or three finger draw. John Gower’s book ‘Vox Clamantis’ was published 1400 in two editions, one showing him drawing a longbow with three fingers, and another showing him drawing a shorter smallbow with two fingers. I think that is the way it usually works.

                                                                            Erik


















Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 06:01:24 pm »
Eric,

Not able so far to find much more, however below is an excerpt from contemporary Burgundian chronicler Jean de Wavrin's (or Jehan de Waurin's) work:

“En oultre leur disoit et remoustrait comment les Francois se vantoient que tous les archiers Anglois qui seroient prins feroient copper trois doitz de la main dextre adfin que de leur trait jamais homme ne cheval ne tuassent. Teles admonitions et pluiseurs autres que toutes ne puis escripe fist lors le roy d’Angleterre a ses gens.”

apparently in English this reads:

“And further he told them and explained how the French were boasting that they would cut off three fingers of the right hand of all the archers that should be taken prisoners to the end that neither man nor horse should ever again be killed with their arrows. Such exhortations and many others, which cannot all be written, the King of England addressed to his men”.

See http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k50254g.image.f8

So contemporary source(s) agree that the archers were told the French would cut off their fingers, so one goes back to the taunts that such a threat (be it true or false) would elicit from the English victors.

Craig.

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Traditional English Draw
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2010, 10:01:09 pm »
Eric,

Not able so far to find much more, however below is an excerpt from contemporary Burgundian chronicler Jean de Wavrin's (or Jehan de Waurin's) work:

“En oultre leur disoit et remoustrait comment les Francois se vantoient que tous les archiers Anglois qui seroient prins feroient copper trois doitz de la main dextre adfin que de leur trait jamais homme ne cheval ne tuassent. Teles admonitions et pluiseurs autres que toutes ne puis escripe fist lors le roy d’Angleterre a ses gens.”

apparently in English this reads:

“And further he told them and explained how the French were boasting that they would cut off three fingers of the right hand of all the archers that should be taken prisoners to the end that neither man nor horse should ever again be killed with their arrows. Such exhortations and many others, which cannot all be written, the King of England addressed to his men”.

See http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k50254g.image.f8

So contemporary source(s) agree that the archers were told the French would cut off their fingers, so one goes back to the taunts that such a threat (be it true or false) would elicit from the English victors.

Craig.

De Wavrin had been in the French ranks at Agincourt and later worked for the English as a captain of Burgundian mercenaries. I consider him a credible witness. As he clearly specifies three fingers, I guess we can throw out the speculative fantasy of the defiant English archers two finger salute. Three finger salute anyone?

                                                                                Erik