ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Female Poacher Saves King Henry VIII

Updated on November 7, 2013

The King Hunts

One of Henry V!!!'s major recreations was hunting. It got him into the fresh air, away from the crowds who followed the King almost everywhere, was always interesting, and it allowed the King to exercise horsemanship. Many of the London Parks were originally the King's private hunting grounds. Other land owners enjoyed hunting, and discouraged poachers by hanging them.

Sometimes Henry and his current lady hunted together, with only a few attendants. They could picnic and enjoy the outdoors.

A Curious Incident

In Alison Weir's "Henry VIII King and Court" there is an interesting passage about an incident in July 1528.

"Whilst hunting in nearby Sutton Chase, the King tracked down a rare boar, but it turned viciously on him and his life was saved only by the timely intervention of a local girl who, being fortuitously nearby with her bow and arrow, shot the beast dead."

A "chase" was a private park for hunting. So what was a local girl doing in the park? And why was she there with a bow and arrow capable of killing a savage boar?

She was obviously a good shot, and strong enough to draw a longbow. It was the longbow that won Crecy and Agincourt for the English. It took years of practice to become an excellent shot with a longbow. In many parts of England it was compulsory for all males to practice with the longbow every Sunday. And many localities had to provide hundreds or thousands of arrows each year, which were stored in the Royal armories including the Tower of London.

Alison Weir - Excellent Books

Commoner Saves King

Described as "a local girl", she was obviously not anyone important. One would expect a young man who saved the life of a King to be enriched and possibly knighted. For a young woman the feat is even more extraordinary.

For a young woman to carry a longbow is surprising. For a young woman to be good with the longbow is very surprising. But what was a young woman and her longbow doing in a private hunting ground?

From the lack of fuss or reward, one suspects she was a poacher, and not a lass out for a lonely stroll. Lets face it, going for a walk with a longbow could lead to accusation of poaching. She was lucky not to be hanged.

Historical Significance

At the time, Ann Boleyn was playing hard to get. Henry's application for nullity from Queen Katherine was under consideration by the Pope, but until the Pope approved it the couple were still married. Mary was the only legitimate heir. Elizabeth and Edward were not thought of. The only other possible heir was Henry's illegitimate son the Duke of Richmond.

The Reformation had not yet happened in England, so our schism with the Catholic Church need not have happened. Mary or her illegitimate half brother would have become monarch. Assuming it to be Mary, then Queen Katherine would have been Regent. The history of Europe would have been different.

And name of the young woman who changed the face of history is not known.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Charles James profile imageAUTHOR

      Charles James 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      In England so far as I am aware the longbow was standard. It may be that there was a shorter longbow for boys to train on, which a girl could have used. I have not heard of a female archer this early.

      The short answer is that I do not know.

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      Damned comment program timed me out!

      I was saying that...from Odysseus of Ithaca to Native American Indians, shorter bows were used quite effectively.

      It would seem unlikely that a furtive poacher would use a weapon as cumbersome and noticeable as a longbow while hunting in forest or field.

      If you come upon any arcane info on such matters I'd love to hear it.

      Meanwhile, thanks for another fine piece of writing.


    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      What an interesting historical tidbit! Thanks for sharing.

      I wonder, with longbows spanning 5 feet or more in length, if shorter bows would have been used for archery activities other than tournaments and warfare. Throughout history more compact bows have served archers well, from Ode

    • CASE1WORKER profile image


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Well that is new on me and like you say, something that could have changed the course of history!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)