Roger Ascham, "The Schole of Shootinge", 1545

Notes on Roger Ascham (1515-1568)

sketch of Roger Ascham
Roger Ascham was an English scholar and didactic writer, famous for his prose style, his promotion of the vernacular, and his theories of education. He acted as Princess Elizabeth's tutor in Greek and Latin between 1548-50, and served in the administrations of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. Ascham was educated not at school, but in the house of Sir Humphry Wingfield, a barrister, and in 1533 Speaker of the House of Commons, as Ascham himself tells us, in the Toxophilus where they were under a tutor named R. Bond. Their sport was archery, and Sir Humphry "himself would at term times bring down from London both bows and shafts and go with them himself to see them shoot". Hence Ascham's earliest English work, the Toxophilus, the importance which he attributed to archery in educational establishments, and probably the reason for archery in the statutes of St Albans, Harrow and other Elizabethan schools.

One of Ascham's favorite pastimes was archery. In 1545 Ascham published the treatise Toxophilus or the Schole or Partitions of Shooting partly in defense of archery against those who found the sport unbefitting a scholar. The work was dedicated to Henry VIII who enjoyed the treatise so much that he granted Ascham a pension: ten pounds a year. Ascham was further honored by being assigned to tutor Prince Edward.

The treatise is comprised of two books, the first entitled "Toxophilus, The Schole of Shootinge conteyned in Two Booikes" having 51 pages (double), the second entitled "The Schole of Shotyng. Toxophilus B., The Seconde Booke of the Schole of Shortyng" having 43 double pages. The images that are available each contain a pair of pages, and are approximately 400 - 500KB in size. Patience is necessary when loading these images.

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complimentary verses by Walter Haddon, dediction to King Henry VII the first book of the school of shooting the second book of the school of shooting

A pdf file of the book is available for download by clicking "The Schole of Shootinge" (pdf file, 4.9MB), sourced from

Copyright © 2003 Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts  (AEMMA)
Released internally: July 23, 2003 / Updated: October 31, 2009