Page:Views in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Northamptonshire.djvu/80

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46
DESCRIPTION OF THE SCENERY, &c.

Probably so called from the archers frequently exercising themselves here in shooting with the bow[1], is eight miles from London on the high road to Dover. It was in former times a place of much danger and dread to travellers from the narrowness of the road over it, and the many lurking-places afforded to thieves by the woods and coppices with which the hill was covered: many robberies were committed here even at noonday. In the year 1737 a new road was laid out much wider than the old one; the greater part of the wood has also been cleared off, and the above disorders have since been in a considerable degree prevented.

  1. It is said that King Henry the Eighth and his queen Catharine came to this place from Greenwich on a May-day, and were received by a body of 200 archers in green habits, headed by a captain who personated Robin Hood; and that after the bowmen had exhibited their dexterity before the king, his majesty and his train were conducted into the wood, and entertained in green arbours and booths with venison and wine, and all the parade of gallantry so peculiar to the age.