Thursday, April 03, 2008

14th c. Arms Control

By Statute of 12 Rich. II., 1388, the practice of archery is again commanded, but it is there combined with a prohibition against the bearing of arms in the time of peace by the unauthorized populace:—

"Cap. vi. It is accorded and assented that no Servant of Husbandry, or Labourer, nor Servant or Artificer, nor of Victualler, shall from henceforth bear any Baselard, Sword nor Dagger, upon forfeiture of the same, but in the time of war for defence of the realm of England, and that by the surveying of the Arrayors for the time being, or travailing by the country with their Master, or in their Master's message; But such Servants and Labourers shall have Bows and Arrows, and use the same the Sundays and Holydays, and leave all playing at tennis or foot-ball, and other games called coits, dice, casting of the stone, kailes, and other such importune games. And that the Sheriffs, Mayors, Bailiffs and Constables, shall have power to arrest, and shall arrest, all doers against this Statute, and seise the said Baselards, Swords and Daggers, and keep them till the Sessions of the Justices of Peace, and the same present before the same Justices in their Sessions, together with the names of them that did bear the same. And it is not the King's mind that any prejudice be done to the franchises of Lords, touching the forfeitures due to them."

Hewitt, John Ancient Armour and Weapons in Europe Vol. 2 London 1860 pp 23-24

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