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The first Archery Law was passed in 1252 when all Englishmen between the ages of 15 to 60 were ordered to equip themselves with a bow and arrows.


The second Archery Law of 1363 made it obligatory for Englishmen to practise their archery skills every Sunday. This rule did not, of course, apply to Scotland as this was pre-1707. So it was that every Englishman in those days was acutely aware of the need to be prepared to defend his country.


Defence was high on the political and social agenda in those days. Roll forward 750 years and that lesson is long forgotten. Defence never features in any election manifesto. There are no votes in defence – but there should be. We face far more subtle and dangerous threats now than we did then, so get out your longbows and start practicing.


Malcolm Farrow

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