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Developed as a sport from the use of the bow and arrow in hunting and warfare. The English and Welsh longbow dominated the battlefield from the 11th to the 15th cent., and governments frequently forbade other sports, particularly football, in order to encourage archery practice. When guns developed and the bow became redundant as a weapon, the sport was maintained. The Company of Archers, founded in Edinburgh in 1676, eventually became a royal bodyguard. The Royal Toxophilite Society was established in 1781.

Subjects: History.

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