Finsbury Fields

Archery began at Finsbury Fields in North London in around 1498 and was later strongly encouraged by Henry VIII.  Ayme for Finsbury Archers was first published in 1590 and describes the marks and longbow targets at Finsbury Fields, set up for longbow shooting at distances of at least 180 yards.  It was reprinted in 1594 and 1601 – a 1601 edition is kept at the Pepys Library, Magdalene College (pictured) and the book itself may be viewed at:,to%20Islington%2C%20Hoxton%20and%20Shoreditch.

It is possible that archery continued in Finsbury Fields until the late 18th Century.  The Finsbury Archers ceased in 1770 but their remaining members formed the Royal Toxophilite Society in 1780.