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First Bowyers' Lecture 13th September 2007

Court Assistant Dr SJ Rogers JP writes:

Past Master Dr Tim Hardy gave the inaugural Bowyers' Lecture at the Athenaeum on 13 September 2007. Its theme was "The Arms race in the Middle Ages". Dr Hardy spoke about the making of the long bow and how our knowledge of the strength needed to pull it has been enlarged by the discovery of bows in good condition on the Mary Rose.

He explained how the long bow was made and how yew wood was imported from a number of areas on the continent of Europe, even coming from as far afield as what is modern day Turkey. He gave details of the weight and number of arrows that were in the air at any one time at the battles of Crecy and Agincourt. He went on to explore how the archers from England and Wales and their long bows were deployed in these battles.

Dr Hardy is an acknowledged expert on the long bow; he is the author of acclaimed books on the subject and produced a television documentary on the battle of Agincourt that is highly regarded. He acted as a consultant to the Mary Rose team concerning the armaments found in the wreck.

This, the first Bowyers' Lecture, is part of the Company's attempt to place our interest in the long bow into an historical context. It is hoped that such lectures will form part of the Company's regular events.

The The Athenaeum Club

The Master, Mr Richard Model, and Dr Tim Hardy

Dining in the Garden Room

Mr Nigel Szembel and Party

The Athenaeum

The most intellectually elite of all London's Clubs, founded in 1824 in tha apartments of the Royal Society of Somerset House for artists, writers and scientists by John Wilson Croker, the politician and writer who first coined the term 'Conservative' and whom Macaulay detested 'more than cold boiled veal!' It was firest known as the society, taking its present name when it moved to Pall Mall in 1830. (The Athenaeum inn Rome was a university for the study of science and literature founded by the Emperor Hadrian.) The club house was designed by Decimus Burton. John Hennings frieze above the main windows is a reconstruction of that on the Parthenon. Club members anted an ice house instead, but Croker insisted on the frieze:

I'm John Croker I do as I please The ask for an ice house I'll give them a frieze.

Above the entrance porch is EM Bailey's large gilt statue of Athene, Godess of Wisdom, Industry and War (1829). In 1899 the attic storey was added by Collcutt. Past and present members include the majority of Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, Archbishops, Bishops and literary figures.

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