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Old School Customs

Formerly, at Harrow, a silver arrow was annually shot for by the scholars; a notice of which custom occurs in the "Gent. Mag. "(1731, Vol. I. 351):—"Thursday, Aug. 5, according to an ancient custom, a silver arrow, value 3, was shot for at the butts on Harrow-on-the-Hill by six youths of the Free School, in archery habits." The competitors were attired in fancy dresses, and the " Harrow Calendar" informs us that one of these dresses is still preserved in the school library, being nearly a hundred years old. It seems that whoever shot within the three circles which surrounded the bull's-eye was saluted with a concert of French horns; and "he who first shot twelve times nearest the mark was proclaimed victor, and marched back in triumph from the butts to the town at the head of a procession of boys carrying the silver arrow." This custom was abolished in the year 1771.

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2256—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 29, 1882, p.122