Articles and Agreements

Governing the Annual Exercise of the Shooting at the Targets for the Antient Scorton Silver Arrow, The Thirsk Bowmen Insignia & other Trophies.

Agreed 2011, amended 2012
As established in 1673 and updated in 1823
& incorporating the 1970 ‘Notes for the Guidance of Competitors’


The original articles from 1673, the 1823 revision and the Guidance Notes for Competitors produced in 1970 are all available to view via the Scorton website.

1. Upon the Day appointed for the “Annual Exercise of Shooting at the Targets for the Antient Scorton Silver Arrow”, all Persons concerned, shall repair to the place appointed by the Captain of the Archers for that present year, which place shall always be within the County of York (the boundaries of the Ridings of Yorkshire, as they existed before 1974 and as in 1673) by Ten of the clock in the morning, when and where the Lieutenant shall sound the Bugle to bring the assembled Gentlemen to order. A written record shall be taken of those intending to shoot and they shall be known as “The Society of Archers”. Lots shall be drawn to identify the Target Number and Order of Shooting. Shooting will commence at Ten Thirty in the morning.

2. The total expenses of the Meeting shall be borne equally by all Gentlemen entered for the Meeting. Every Gentleman intending to shoot at this Meeting shall pay to the Captain for the Year, before the date of the Meeting, a non-refundable deposit, the sum of which shall from time to time be concluded and agreed upon by the major part of the Gentlemen present at a Meeting.

3. The Meeting is open to Gentlemen Archers of not less than 21 years of age, shooting the longbow, recurve bow or other traditional bow. At the Captain’s discretion non-residents of the British Isles may compete, but any Trophy won by them must remain in the hands of the Trustees until the next Meeting.

4. Adequate numbers of targets shall be provided by the Captain, according as they shall think necessary for the number of Gentlemen intending to shoot. Each target shall have five circles aptly distinguished with colours, Gold, Red, Blue, Black and White, and within the Gold shall be an inner circle of three inches diameter, coloured Black, and hereinafter referred to as the Black Spot.

5. The said Targets shall be set, in pairs, in some open and plain field, upon stands, breast high from the ground, each being distant from the other One Hundred and Two to One Hundred and Five Yards, to permit shooting at a distance of One Hundred Yards, at which distance all the Gentlemen shall stand and shoot two shafts and shall shoot in such order and manner for a period of Two hours before Luncheon and Two hours after Luncheon.

6. The Captain and Lieutenant shall have the privilege of shooting first in order that they may be given the opportunity of retaining their titles.

7. Such Gentleman as shall first pierce or break the Inner Gold (Black Spot) or any part thereof with his Arrow shall have the Silver Arrow and shall be esteemed and adjudged Captain of the Archers and shall have and enjoy all privileges due & belonging to that Office during the Year ensuing.
Also he that in like manner pierceth the Red Circle on the target shall have the Lieutenants Bugle and shall be esteemed and adjudged Lieutenant
Provided always, in explanation of this Article, that should there be two or more arrows in the ‘Black Spot’ from the same end, the Gentleman who shot that nearest the centre shall have the Silver Arrow from the rest, and shall be esteemed and adjudged Captain of the Archers, and shall have and enjoy all the privileges due and belonging to that Office subject to such regulations as are contained in that Article. And that this explanation shall extend to, and be observed with respect to the Lieutenants Silver Bugle.

8. Should the Captaincy be won by a Gentleman who has already won the Lieutenancy, the Lieutenancy is then awarded to the Gentleman who obtained the Second Red.

9. At their next annual Meeting for shooting at the Targets, the Captain and all other trophy holders shall & must bring in the said Silver Arrow and all other Trophies to be shot for in manner and form above said. The same to be done and performed yearly about Whitsuntide to and by all successive Captains.

10. The Captain is entitled to receive 10/- from the Pool on returning the Arrow the following year, and the Lieutenant is entitled to receive 5/- for the returning of the Silver Bugle. Be it noted there is no record of any Captain having claimed this money since the inception of the Competition. At the Assembly, the Captain shall announce that the Silver Arrow is returned and ready to be competed for on the day.

11. On the winning of the Captaincy and the Lieutenancy, the present Captain and Lieutenant should proceed to the Winners Targets to witness, confirm, and congratulate the Captain Elect and Lieutenant Elect.

12. Captains and Lieutenants are allowed to provide themselves with Commemorative Badges at their own expense from the Society through the Clerk. The winner of the ‘Lieutenants Silver Bugle’ should add a silver link with his name and year engraved upon it

13. A Gentleman shooting with the Longbow or Barebow, obtaining two ‘golds’ at one end shall receive one shilling from each Gentleman competitor, to be collected by the Judge. A Gentleman shooting any other type of permitted bow, obtaining two inner golds ‘Black Spots’ at one end shall receive one shilling from each Gentleman competitor, to be collected by the Judge.

14. All the Company of Archers shall on the day of Shooting at the Targets as above said, dine with the Captain and Lieutenant during the interval, and if any of them shall refuse or neglect so to do in dining with them, shall be excluded from the Meeting and Prize List and Records. They shall pay their share of the expenses of the Meeting and shall lose and forfeit the privilege of shooting in the after luncheon session.

15. All Gentlemen taking Luncheon with the Captain and Lieutenant shall be required to wear a Jacket or Blazer and Tie or Cravat.

16. The annual meeting is held after the Luncheon. Only those who have shot the bow with the Captain in the morning session may stay and attend the meeting. The Captain should act as Chairman but may appoint another to fulfil this role on his behalf for the purposed of the meeting if so desired. It is usual for the Lieutenant to read the Minutes of the last meeting which are signed by the Captain after agreement by those present. The Clerk shall make notes of the meeting to assist the Captain.

17. At the end of the Meeting the Captain-Elect becomes Captain for the ensuing year and is responsible for selecting the date and venue for the next Meeting, which must be within the County of York (the boundaries of the Ridings of Yorkshire, as they existed before 1974 and as in 1673), and, assisted by the Lieutenant, must make all arrangements.

18. The immediate past Captain, Captain, Captain Elect and Clerk are Trustees responsible for the safe custody of the Arrow and the Trophies.

19. A Council of Captains may be called upon to decide upon such matters of an urgent nature, which cannot be referred or left to the meeting in the following year, or any matter referred to it by the annual meeting. The Council of Captains shall be made up from the current Captain and such Past Captains who attended the meeting in the previous year, or who sent in written apologies for that said meeting. The Clerk, and Deputy Clerk, to the Captains shall support and assist the Captain and Council of Captains in matters related to the running of the Annual Meeting.

20. When a vacancy, for Clerk or Deputy Clerk, exists, the Council of Captains shall make recommendations to the meeting upon the appointment of a suitable candidate. The Gentlemen present at the meeting will consider the recommendation and confirm it or otherwise. The appointments of the Clerk and Deputy Clerk may be terminated at any time by resignation, or a recommendation from the Council of Captains, supported by the majority of gentlemen present at a meeting, or by a direct vote of “No Confidence” by the majority of members present at a meeting. There shall be no right of appeal following termination of office by such means described.

21. Alterations and Additions may be from time to time made by the major part of the Gentlemen duly assembled at any Annual shooting for the Silver Arrow but that they shall not be altered in respect and unless public Notice, by advertisement, of an intention to propose such alteration or repeal be given at the same time with the Notice for such Annual Meeting.

22. Any Gentleman wishing to propose any alteration or addition to these Articles or Agreements, or other items of business, must first submit their proposal in writing to the Clerk of the Captains, prior to the 1st March of the year of the Annual Meeting at which they wish to raise the draft proposal. Where time permits, the Captain will notify Gentlemen entered to shoot in that year, of the proposal. The draft proposal will be heard at the meeting, introduced by the Proposer, but discussion on the proposal itself should not be necessary. A vote will be taken on the Draft Proposal in principle, and if agreed by the majority of the Gentlemen present, the Proposal along with any supporting material or documentation will then go forward to be circulated by Notice to all Gentlemen who enter the Annual shoot the following year, for due consideration. At the following years meeting, a formal vote will be taken to decide the outcome of the proposal as made. No amendments or changes will be permitted to the original proposal as first notified.

23. For as much as the Exercise of Archery is lawful, laudable, healthful and innocent, & to the end that God’s Holy name may not be dishonoured by any of the Gentlemen present, it is agreed and hereby declared, that if any one of them shall that Day curse or swear in the hearing of any of that Company and the same proved before the Captain and Lieutenant, He shall forthwith pay down One Shilling & so proportionally for every Oath, to be distributed by the Captain to the use of the poor of that place or Township where they then shoot, and in case of refusal or neglect to pay the same, then such party to be excluded from shooting any more till payment is made as above said.

24. Should any dispute arise during the shoot respecting the Prizes, the same to be determined by a Majority of the Gentlemen present at the said shoot. It shall be the duty of the Judge(s) to determine any such majority.

25. The conduct of the meeting should be such that shooting shall commence for the 2 hours after luncheon as promptly as possible and without undue delay.

26. All of the Trophies, presented which should at all times remain within the British Isles, are and remain at all times, the sole property of The Society of Archers, and are placed in the care and safe keeping of the Trophy winner until the following Meeting at which they shall be returned, to be competed for again.

27. The Scorton Trophies, to be presented, are:-
The Antient Scorton Silver Arrow (Captain) For the First arrow in the Black Spot.
The Scorton Silver Bugle (Lieutenant) For the First arrow in the Red.
The Horn Spoon For the Worst White at the last end.
The Ben Hird Sword For the Most Hits by a Longbowman.
The Wooden Ladle For the Highest Score by a Longbowman

28. Only Gentlemen born or resident in Yorkshire are eligible to compete for the ‘Thirsk Insignia’, as follows:-
The Silver Arrow and
Gold Embroidered Belt For the Highest Score
The Silver Bugle For the Greatest Number of Hits
The Silver Medal For the Best Gold

29. The following ‘Subscription’ Trophies are also for competition:-
‘Premier’ Gold Medal (Captain of Numbers) For Most Hits.
Gold Medal For Highest Score.
Phillips Silver Cup For Best Gold

30. All Trophies are transferable except the Phillips Silver Cup, which is transferable until won by the same Gentleman for three successive years.

31. No Gentlemen may be awarded more than one Trophy from each group of Trophies.

32. From within the costs of the Meeting, the Captain shall allocate 10/- for each Gentleman entered into a Pool, from which the Gentleman receives back or adds to on the following scale:-

First hit in the Inner Gold (Captain Elect)…………………….10/-
First hit in the Red (Lieutenant Elect)…………………………..5/-
For each hit in the gold the archer receives 2/- and 1/- for each Red, Blue or Black, but pays 1/- forfeit to the Pool for each hit in the White.

33. If the Pool runs out, the Captain calls for another contribution from each Gentleman.

34 Any balance remaining in the Pool at the end of the Meeting is awarded to the Winner of the Horn Spoon.

35. From within the costs of the Meeting, the Captain shall allocate 10/- for each Gentleman entered, to a Sweepstake for “Best Gold” and 5/- to a Sweepstake for “Most Golds”.

The Sweepstake prizes are as follows for both sweeps:-
First Prize 50% of Sweepstake.
Second Prize 30% of Sweepstake.
Third Prize 20% of Sweepstake.

The Antient Silver Arrow