Roger Ascham and Toxophilus

Roger Ascham (1515 – 1568) was tutor to two of King Henry VIII’s children: the future King Edward VI and the future Queen Elizabeth I.  As well as being an expert on classical languages, he also studied archery and wrote ‘Toxophilus: The Schole or Partitions of Shootinge’, which was published in 1544.  This fascinating book contains a wealth of detail on all aspects of archery, including making bows and arrows.  A whole chapter is devoted to the arrow, with lots of detail on arrowheads, feathers, suitable types of wood for making arrows and so on.  Toxophilus is still referred to today for guidance.

Image reproduced by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of St John’s College, Cambridge