sum per annum as compensation for certain building and repairing charges
at one time undertaken by the Society.
The original grant of wine to the crossbowmen from the Royal cellars,
for use at their fetes, has been exchanged for a sum of money, out of the
interest of which gold and silver medals are provided as prizes.
Wine from the Royal cellars is still supplied to the members for their
banquet and ball.
The ' Bogenschiitzen ' competitions take place every year and are held
in the week falling at the end of July or beginning of August, the meeting
commencing on a Monday and terminating on or before the following Saturday.
The Bird at which the Crossbowmen Shoot
The target at which the members of the Society shoot with their crossbows
consists of a large and gaily coloured figure of a bird, made of wood and
somewhat resembling the Imperial Eagle of Germany.
The bird is 13 ft. in length from head to tail and 8 ft. in breadth
across its extended wings. Its weight is 200 Lb. It is fixed to the top
of a mast 136 ft. in height.
The mast is laid on the ground and the bird is bolted to its smaller
end. The mast is then raised into an upright position by a large number
of men pulling the ropes attached to it. To secure the mast from falling,
it is fixed into an immense framework in the form of a trestle, fig. 114,
p. 176. It is also further secured by ropes fastened to posts driven into
The bird is composed of numerous pieces of various shapes and dimensions.
About fifty of these pieces have distinctive names and the crossbowman
who brings one down is paid in accordance with its value as a prize.
For example he receives 6s. for the sceptre or the orb, a medal for
the silvered ball in the crown, 4s. for the beak, 12s. for a wing joint
and other sums for different feathers.
A gold medal is given to the member who detaches the top feather on
the right-hand or left-hand side of the tail.
Pieces of thick glass (' Kleinode ' or 'jewels ') are inserted in various
parts of the bird, three of which are in the tail and one in each wing.
Each ' jewel ' has its name engraved on its reverse side so that it
can easily be assigned to the marksman who knocks it off.1
1 Besides the more valuable prizes (which are
given for the special parts of the bird), a small sum of money is paid
for every fragment of the bird that is knocked off. All such pieces are
paid for in proportion to their weight, none being recognised that weigh
less than 20 grammes.