Toxophilite became established in the language as the name for a late 18th-century English archery society. The word derives from Greek toxon, which referred to both a bow and arrow, and philos, meaning “loving.” Today, toxophilite is a rarely used word but often occurs in vocabulary games and puzzles and in spelling bees. A more ubiquitous descendant of toxon is “toxic.” Toxic is an anglicization of Latin’s word for “poison,” toxicum, which originally meant “poison for arrows” and is a borrowing from Greek toxikon, meaning “arrow.” from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toxophilite
In episode six of season one of Victoria (on PBS Masterpiece theatre), archery shows up as a plot device. The boys are discussing Duchess Harriet and Prince Ernest calls her a toxophilite to his brother Prince Albert.
I would guess this episode takes place in the year 1841. In episode seven, Prince Albert rides a locomotive which was likely 1841. In 1840-1841, George Hagar Hansard released The Book of Archery in London.
Although Merriam associates toxophile with English shooting clubs, it was most likely introduced by Roger Ascham in his 1545 book named Toxophilus with this introduction/explanation/apology:
I trust no man will be offended with this little book, except it be some flet-
chers and bowyers, thinking hereby that many that love shooting shall be
taught to refuse such naughty wares as they would utter. Honest fletchers
and bowyers do not so, and they be unhonest, ought rather to amend
themselves for doing ill. than be angry with me for saying well…. And
this little book I trust, shall please and profit both parts: for good bows
and shafts shall be better known to the commodity of all shooters, and good
shooting may perchance be the more occupied to the profit of all
bowyers and fletchers. And thus I pray God that all fletchers get-
ing their living truly, and all archers using shooting
honestly, and all manner of men that favour artillery,
may live continually in health and merriness
obeying their Prince as they should,
and loving God as they ought, to
whom all things be all
honour and glory for
Underneath the Easton logo are two arrows. Easton has been making arrows since 1922. They also made all sorts of aluminum products like lacrosse sticks, hockey sticks, and baseball bats. I talked with an accountant with the Easton Family Foundation. He said they divested of their interest in everything but arrows. You can still find these other products with the Easton name, but it is probably just a licensing deal. The Easton corporation bought Hoyt and then used the funds from the sell offs to fund the non profit Easton Foundation.
Created by Jim Easton, CEO of Jas. D. Easton, Inc., the Foundations support the building and/or operation of outdoor and indoor archery facilities at city parks, schools, universities and sports complexes throughout the U.S. In addition to these facilities, the Foundations provide programs to train aspiring archers, trainers, coaches and administrators.
The first Easton Sports Development Foundation was created in 1984 with the mission to introduce this lifetime activity and historic Olympic-style sport of archery to more people in Southern California. The success of that effort led to the formation in 2006 of a second Easton foundation, Easton Sports Development Foundation II.
The archery centers are true hubs of USA Archery. There are three now, formerly four.
December 14, 2016
After much consideration, the Easton Foundations has decided to discontinue its archery program at the Easton Van Nuys Archery Center. The archery center, located at 15026 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys, CA will close permanently on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.
According to Caren Sawyer, Executive Director, the Easton Foundations’ headquarters will remain in this location after the closure, but will likely move to another location in 2017. The Foundation will also continue to operate its three state-of-the-art facilities in Chula Vista, Calif., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Newberry, Fla.
We are in the midst of the 2016 Olympic archery events. There is plenty of coverage of those events and the dominance of the Korean women. Instead of more of the same, I was intrigued by the 1908 Olympics.
The selection process for the 1908 Summer Olympics consisted of four bids, and saw Rome selected ahead of London, Berlin and Milan. The selection was made at the 6th IOC Session in London in 1904.
Italian authorities were preparing to hold the games when Mount Vesuvius erupted on 7 April 1906, devastating the city of Naples. Funds were diverted to the reconstruction of Naples, so a new venue was required. London was selected for the first time to hold the Games which were held at White City alongside the Franco-British Exhibition, at the time the more noteworthy event.
With less than two years to plan and execute, England created The Great Stadium (later White City Stadium) at Shepherd’s Bush.
What was unusual to our modern ears is that this venue would be the location of many concurrent sporting events: Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Diving, Field Hockey, Football, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Rugby, Swimming, Tug of war, Water polo, and Wrestling. Shepherd’s Bush was 26.2 miles from Windsor Castle and this became the modern distance of the marathon.
Discus would be taking place while track cycling was in the background and probably some swimming events too. This spectacular venue stood until 1985 when it was demolished.
The 1908 Olympics included many sports which would be demonstrations or competitions never to be seen again including tug-of-war, pistol duel with wax bullets, racquets (a British version of squash), and jeu de paume (a game related to handball).
Women first competed in the Olympic Games in 1900, playing tennis and occasionally on some of the boats for sailing events. In St Louis for the 1904 Olympics, women had their own archery events, and were again present in 1908. Three female swimming and diving events were introduced in 1912 and five athletics disciplines were added in 1928.
All of the 25 women who competed in archery were from England. There were 36 women participating in this Olympics.
The style is derived from England Imperial Rounds which is outdoors with five zones of scoring: 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1. The women shot a “Double National” version of the Imperial Round. The National includes four rounds at 60 yards and two rounds at 50 yards. In the Double National, arrows were shot in ends of three. Two rounds of 24 ends totaled 144 arrows. The competition was held on Friday, 17 July and Saturday, 18 July, with one round each day. Each round consisted of 48 arrows over 16 ends at 60 yards and 24 arrows over 8 ends at 50 yards. The highest score for the National is nine points * 72 arrows for 648 points. A double national is 1,296 points for perfection.
Sybil Fenton Newall (17 October 1854 – 24 June 1929), best known as Queenie Newall, was an English archer who won the gold medal at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. She was 53 years old at the time, still the oldest female gold medal winner at the Olympic Games. Great Britain did not win another women’s archery medal at the Olympics until 2004.
The expected winner of the women’s archery, Alice Legh, chose not to compete and so Queenie’s main rival was Lottie Dod who was a sporting all-rounder.
On the first day of the Archery competition the weather in White City Stadium was so poor that the event was stopped at one point. On the close of the first day Queenie was behind Dod by ten points. The second day’s weather was much improved and Queenie overtook Dod, eventually winning with a score of 688 points, 46 points ahead of Dod who finished in the silver medal position. The victory made Queenie the oldest woman to win an Olympic medal, at the age of 53 years and 275 days.
After the 1908 Olympics, no female British archer won an Olympic medal until Alison Williamson won the bronze in the women’s individual competition at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Lottie Dod was the silver medalist
The runner-up, Charlotte “Lottie” Dod, was one of the most remarkable sportswomen of her, or any other, generation. She had won the Wimbledon tennis singles on five occasions, taken the British Ladies golf crown four years earlier, represented England at hockey, and was of the highest standard at skating and tobogganing.
Charlotte’s brother William won the men’s archery Olympic gold medal on the same day. Not surprisingly, it was revealed that they were descendants of the man who commanded the victorious British archers at the battle of Agincourt nearly 500 years before.
Mrs Beatrice Hill-Lowe was the bronze medal winner.