Ayme for Finsbury Archers 1628 AD has now been reprinted by kind permission of the British Library Board by W.C. Books of Whitnash, Warwickshire. It details all the 1628 Finsbury Marks set about the fields of London at that time, together with the rules of play governing the said marks.
Citizens were allowed by law to practice ‘rovers’ as archery was called in those far off days by King Henry VIII at Finsbury Fields and some 190 marks were placed there, all with their own names and measured distances in scores and yards. This allowed archers to maintain their shooting skills for recreation and military requirements. Longbow shooting was in decline due in part to the skill required by an archer, the training required and the interest in other pastimes and sports.
In order to try to encourage its use, James Partridge published the ‘Ayme’ as a guide to assist the general public and archers in the vicinity to continue shooting there. There were some die-hards who kept the bow and some arrows and shot regularly, but these were a select band, meeting three times each year at major events in Millfields and Finsbury Fields.
The book has additional information on Sir William Wood, a renowned archer of the period, together with the history of the Honourable Artillery Company by Fred Lake. Bert Smith brings the Finsbury up to date with memoirs of recent shooting experiences. The book reprinted with many black and white photographs and woodcuts of characters and maps of the fields, brings the Finsbury Archers story up to date.
A must for every member of the marks, roving archer, field archer or traditional archer of today and a history of early archery practices for the modern archer.