The print shown here was first published in September 1794 as the
cover page for 'The Sporting Magazine' or 'Monthly Calendar of the
Transactions of the Turf, The Chace, and every other Diversion
Interesting to the Man of Pleasure and Enterprise,' to give it it's
The Royal Surrey Bowmen were founded on St Georges Day 1790 with
H.R.H. The Duke of Clarence as Patron. The club disbanded during the
Napoleonic Wars and was reformed in 1937. The original venue for the
club was the 'Everglades', Epsom Downs, and the present club is
still based in the vicinity. A snake has appeared on all club
records, and is thought to have originated because of the adders
natural habitat in the Everglades. The club motto "LABOR IPSE
VOLUPTAS" (Labour Itself is Pleasure) has been used since 1790.
A copy of the original club constitution can be seen in the
British Museum. The club also holds the original hand written
minutes of the meeting held on August 29th 1937 at which 'it was
decided to form an Archery Club with the title "The Surrey Bowmen"
reviving the name of the ancient Archery club now extinct'. Those
present were Messers Oscar Lundberg, Harold A. Titcomb, A. H. Mole,
M.J. Griffith, J.T. Jones and DR. C.H. Bulcock. Mr Titcomb
generously promised £25.00 towards the expenses of forming and
equipping the club.
The club holds much correspondence from the early years of the
reformed club, such as the challenge to an archery competition
issued to the 'United Bowmen of Philadelphia' in 1938. The proposal
was written in old English on vellum. Not to be outdone, the reply
accepting the challenge was returned in the form of an embroidered
scroll. The club still regularly shoots a postal match against the
'United Bowmen of Philadelphia', and the embroidered scroll is one
of the many trophies
awarded to members of Surrey Bowmen at club shoots each year.
Some time before 1939 Surrey Bowmen held their shoots at
'Tattenham Corner Stables', Epsom Downs, where on one shoot Lady
Sybil Grant (Daughter of the Fifth Earl of Rosebery) was the 'Lady
Paramount'. Lady Sybil granted Surrey Bowmen the right to shoot in
perpetuity on the land that is now owned by United Racecourses on
For more information on the history of the Surrey Bowmen club
trophies click here.
any other information about Surrey Bowmen please contact us.
Local Archery article by Linda Jackson for the Epsom & Ewell History Explorer click here.