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The Tower of London Shoot between the Bowyers and Fletchers

The Butts

Every year, usually in July, an annual informal archer competition is held between the Worshipful Company of Fletchers and the Worshipful Company of Bowyers at the Tower of London.

In the past the Fletchers held an internal archery competition at the Artillery Ground in front of Armoury House the Mess of the Honourable Artillery Company. This arrangement was proving to be unacceptable and C1985 the Master Fletcher approached Major General Pat Maclellan the then Governor of the Tower of London a liveryman of the Company. He suggested that the shoot take place in the east moat of the Tower of London. The format of the evening was Pimms in the moat followed by the archery competition. The party then moved to the Officers' Mess of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers for supper after which all were invited to watch the Ceremony of the Keys.

After a few years C1991 the Clerk to the Fletchers Mr John Owen-Ward, who was also Clerk to the Bowyers Company suggested the event be opened up to allow Members of the Bowyers' Company to attend and establish an annual inter Company competition. This was accepted and the competition was established as an annual event following the form already agreed.

Presentation of the prize to the Master Fletcher

The then Governor of the Tower, Major General C Tyler CB, presented a small replica of the Arrow box used to bury Ann Boleyn as a prize to be awarded to the Company that scored the maximum number of points to be known as the Governor's Trophy.

In recent years the event has been marked by appalling weather. The shoot is however preceded by Pimms. Towards the end of the shooting canapés are served. Afterwards the party retires to the Royal Regiment of Fusilier's Officer's Mess, situated in the Tower for dinner at which the winners are presented with the prize which consists of a miniature arrow box of the kind used to bury Anne Boleyn after her beheading.

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