We will have a Popinjay shoot at October Muster in less than a week!
The popinjay was a sport, and a way for militias to practice shooting. A beautiful image of such a shoot is in the watercolour album of a Dutch artist named Adriaen van de Venne:
(source: Adriaen van de Venne’s Album, Martin Royalton-Kisch, British Museum, 1988)
This picture shows three men shooting with guns at the popinjay. The prize went to the man who shot the last of the popinjay off the pole, using target guns (doelroeren). The bird is made of wood, and the man who shot the last piece off was declared “king”.
We will not be using guns, but boffer arrows, so that no-one gets hurt, either by ammunition gone astray, or flaming wooden bird bits falling to the ground.
Master Robert Bedingfield has declared for this muster that all who wish to shoot with the bow shall demonstrate their skill by hitting the popinjay. There will be a prize of a quarter angel for the first person to shoot our popinjay hard enough to make it spin, and a couple of other small prizes to those with the most interesting hits upon the bird.