BOWLS, the oldest British outdoor pastime, next to archery, still in vogue.
As the game grew in popularity it came under the ban of king and parliament, both fearing it might jeopardize the practice of archery, then so important in battle; and statutes forbidding it and other sports were enacted in the reigns of Edward III., Richard II.
Archery contests also take place at intervals under the auspices of the Royal Company of Archers.
Whatever may have been the immediate genesis of the myth - and it may well be sought in the heartless forest laws - its vitality was assured by the English love of archery and historical repetition.
Permission was given for dancing, archery, leaping, vaulting and other harmless recreations, and of "having of May games, Whitsun ales and morris dances, and the setting up of May-poles and other sports therewith used, so as the same may be had in due and convenient time without impediment or neglect of divine service, and that women shall have leave to carry rushes to church for the decorating of it."
But when the Hundred Years' War brought a real national conflict between England and France, when archery became of supreme importance, and a large proportion even of the cavalry were mercenary soldiers, then the exigencies of serious warfare swept away much of that outward display and those class-conventions on which chivalry had always rested.
From the remains of fortifications there he argues that the Hyksos were uncivilized desert people, skilled in the use of the bow, and must thus have destroyed by their archery the Egyptian armies trained to fight hand-tohand; further;, that their hordes were centered in Syria, but were driven thence by a superior force in the East to take refuge in the islands and became a sea-power--whence the strange description "Hellenic" in Manetho, which most editors have corrected to CtXAoi, "others."
They were defeated by English archery, as usual, at Homildon hill: Murdoch and Douglas were captured.
Yeomen were bidden to practise archery, to which they much preferred football and golf.
In Hawaii there was a peculiar system of marriage Wrestling and boxing, a kind of hockey and football, canoe and foot races, walking-matches, swimming, archery, cockfighting, fishing-matches and pigeon-catching are among their pastimes.
In the 4th century their place was taken by ten sophronistae (one for each tribe), who, as the name implies, took special interest in the morals of those under them, their military training being in the hands of experts, of whom the chief were the hoplomachus, the acontistes, the toxotes and the aphetes (instructors respectively in the use of arms, javelin-throwing, archery and the use of artillery engines).