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the date is evidently 1461. And we fhall fee, however faulty it may be with respect to the drawing, or defective in point of tafte, the mechanical part of the execution of it has by no means the appearance of being one of the first productions of the graver. We have alfo feveral other engravings, evidently the works of the fame mafter, and concerning which the fame obfervations may be justly made. Befides, the impreffions are fo neatly taken from the plates, and the engravings fo clearly printed in every part, that, according to all appearance, they could not be executed in a much better manner in the prefent day, with all the conveniences which the copper-plate printers now poffefs, and the additional knowledge they muft neceffarily have acquired, in the course of more than three centuries. Hence we may fairly conclude, that, if they were not the first fpecimens of the engraver's workmanship, they were much lefs the first efforts of the copper plate printer's ability. Not that plates being badly printed is any certain proof of their antiquity; but we can hardly imagine, that the firft attempts to take impreffions from engravings fhould immediately have arrived at perfection, and that at a time when we cannot fuppofe them to have been aware of every circumítance neceffary to infure fuc. cefs; efpecially when we find it no eafy matter, in the prefent day, at all times, to procure good impref fions from our plates.
The artist to whom we owe this fingular curiofity was, without doubt, a goldfmith. And indeed, it is certain, that the art of engraving plates, for the purpofe of printing, firft originated with thofe ingenious mechanics, or elfe with the engravers, who executed the brafs
plates for the monuments; but as I have faid before, I do by no means fuppofe, that this print is the first fpecimen of engraving, even if we fhould allow its author to have been the inventor of the art. There are other plates, fome of which I fhall fpccify hereafter, that, I think, bear evident marks of priority, particularly thofe of the mafter, who used the Gothic initials F. and S. feparated by a very fingular mark, and. who is called by abbé Marolles, Francois Stofs, or Stoltzhirs; but upon what authority does not appear.
"Martin Schoen, a painter, engraver, and goldfmith, who was born at Culmback, and refided chiefly at Colmar, is faid, with great appearance of truth, to have worked from 1460 to 1486, in which year he died. This artist was apparently the difciple of Stoltzhirs; for he followed his ftyle of engrav. ing, and copied from him a fet of prints, reprefenting the paffion of our Saviour. So that, allowing Stoltzhirs to have preceded his dif ciple only ten years, this carries the era of the art back to 1450, without having any recourfe to the fabulous relation of fome authors upon this fubject, who speak of one Luprecht Ruft, as the mafter of Martin Schoen, absurdly declaring, that he was an engraver on wood. Admitting therefore, that fuch an artist really did exist, it is by no means reafonable to fuppofe, that he fhould teach the art of engraving on copper to another, when he was not, according to their own account, acquainted with it himfelf. Martin Schoen never engraved on wood, as far as I have heard; but his works on copper, it is well known, are very confiderable.
"Ifrael van Mechelen, or Meckenen, whofe engravings are as multifa
multifarious as thofe of Martin Schoen's, was born at Mecheln, a fmall village near Bocholt, where he chiefly refided. The latter is a town fituated upon the banks of the Aa, in the bishoprick of Munfter, 1 in Weftphalia. He died, A. D. 1523. According to the tradition of the inhabitants of Bocholt, the father of this artist was a goldfmith, and his baptifmal name was Ifrael. Hence M. Heineken concludes, that he alfo was an engraver, and that a great part of the prints, attributed to the fon, belong to him. "An attentive examination (concludes that author) will make it appear, that all these prints are not by the fame hand. I am almoft certain, that Ifrael the father engraved feveral, thofe efpecially which have the greatest marks of antiquity, and are executed in a rude style, approaching nearest to the work of the goldfmith."" Nor (adds he) will I deny, but that the fon may have commenced originally as a goldfmith, by armorial bearings, foliages, croffes, and other ornamental works. But as he was a painter as well as an engraver, and a man of tolerable abilities in the art of defign, confidering the time in which he lived, it is not at all astonishing, that among the prints produced by his graver, we fhould find fome by no means wanting in merit." How far thefe obfervations may be confidered as just by the experienced collector, I cannot pretend to fay. for my own part, I fee no reason to divide the works of this artist; nor can I find, upon ftrict examination, any other difference in the prints, which I have feen at tributed to him, than what one might reasonably expect to find in the works of any one man, who with his own hand performed fo great a number of engravings. Of
courfe, his moft early productions are the rudeft, and manifeft the least skill; but all of them are equally defective in point of drawing, efpecially when he attempted to exprefs the naked parts of the figure.
"It is certainly true, that the manner of engraving, adopted by Martin Schoen, differed exceedingly from that of Ifrael van Mechelen. The works of the former are more firm and determined, and, upon the whole, greatly fuperior. Let any one take the trouble of examining the print reprefenting St. Anthony carried into the air by the demons, which was firft engraved by Martin Schoen, and afterwards copied by Ifrael, and the question will be rea dily decided in favour of the former, without adding the anecdote, recorded by Vafari, that Michael Angelo was fo pleafed with this engraving, which is truly a masterpiece of Schoen's, that he copied it in colours. The inferiority of If rael van Mechelen, when compared to Martin Schoen as an artist, is by no means any proof of his priority in point of time. The only advantage which M. Heineken gains by making the father of van Mechelen an artift, as well as himself, is a greater length of time for the execution of thofe works attributed to him; and upon this fuppofition he fays, "I place the engravings of the two Ifraels between the years 1450 and 1503." The fon was certainly a more modern artist than Martin Schoen; and we have a print by him, which bears fo late a date as 1502. He was contemporary with Albert Durer; and fome have fuppofed, that he visited that artist at Nuremberg. Sandrart at tributes to Ifrael van Mechelen the invention of engraving, and tells us, that his first prints were executed
lifts are depicted with St. Jerom, and three other faints. Upon the defk of St. Jerom, who is feated and writing, is the date 1466. There are feveral copies of this plate, and one of them by Ifrael van Mechelen, apparently not greatly posterior to the original, which probably was executed by the fame mader as the print, dated 1461, mentioned already in the present chapter.
cuted about the year 1450. If this account. indeed be true, it must make much in favour of M. Heineken's conjecture, concerning the engravings of the father; but the argument at prefent unfortunately wants fufficient proof to be admitted as abfolutely conclufive; and, until fome more fatisfactory account fhall be produced, I cannot help declaring, that I am of a different opinion. The earliest dated print which I have feen by Ifrael van Mechelen, is in the collection of Dr. Monro. It represents the Virgin and Child with four angels. The engraving is rude, and coarser than the works of that artist are in general; and the date is 1480. He engraved, however, I believe, fomething earlier than this period. In the fame collection is preferved a circular print, where the Deity appears furrounded by an ornamental border, in which the fymbolical reprefentations of the four Evange
"What has been faid will, I doubt not, fufficiently prove, that there is the greatest eafon to believe, that the art of taking impreffions from engraved plates was prac tifed in Germany before it reached Italy; efpecially if we agree with Vafari, who exprefly declares it did not appear in that country before the year 1460; when, on the other hand, we may, I think, with the greatest juftice, place it at leaft ten years earlier among the Ger mans,"
Company, by which the powers they had received from Henry the Eighth were confiderably extended.
Charles the First feems, from the dedication of a treatise, entitled, "The Bowman's Glory," to have been himself an archer; and in the eighth year of his reign he iffued a commiffion to the chancellor, lord mayor, and feveral of the privy-council, to prevent the fields near London being fo inclosed, as "to interrupt the neceffary and profitable exercife of fhooting," as alfo to lower the mounds where they prevented the view from one mark to another.
"The fame commiffion directs that bridges should be thrown over the dykes, and that all shooting marks which had been removed, fhould be restored.
"Charles the Firft likewife iffued two proclamations for the promotion of archery, the laft of which recommends the use of the bow and pike together.
"Catherine of Portugal (queen to Charles the Second) feems to have been much pleafed with the
fight at leaft of this exercife; for in 1676, by the contributions of fir Edward Hungerford and others, a filver badge for the marshal of the fraternity was made, weighing twenty-five ounces, and reprefenting an archer drawing the long-bow (in the proper manner) to his ear, with the following infeription: Regina Catherine Sagittarii. The fupporters are two bowmen with the arms of England and Portugal.
"In 1682 there was a moft magnificent cavalcade and entertainment given by the Finfbury archers, when they bestowed the titles of duke of Shoreditch, marquis of Itlington, &c. upon the moft deferving. Charles the Sccond was prefent upon this occafion, but the day being rainy, he was obliged foon to leave the field.
"I do not find any thing relative to the fate of archery during the fhort reign of James the Se cond; but it continued after this to be used for a manly exercife, as appears by the following epitaph on the fouth fide of Clerkenwell church, which is ftill very legible.
Sir William Wood lies very near this stone,
Long did he live the honour of the bow,
There is a very good portrait of this famous archer, belonging to the Artillery Company, at a public-houfe which looks into the Artillery Ground.
Obiit Sept. 4. A. D. 1691. æt. 82.
"Archery, however, did not entirely die with fir William Wood; for in 1696, a widow (named Mrs. Elizabeth Shakerley) left by her will thirty-five pounds to be diftributed
ftruck at a distance by flings, the bow ufed by the ancients, or the crofs-bow; to all which the Englifh long-bow was infinitely fupe
buted in prizes to this fraternity. Poffibly the had attended the Finsbury archers, from the fame curiofity which Ovid afcribes to Penelope.
"In the fucceeding reign of queen Anne, I have been informed by general Oglethorpe, that together with the duke of Rutland, and feveral others of confiderable rank, he ufed frequently to fhoot in the neighbourhood of London. I do not prefume to guefs the general's age, but he must be advanced in years, as he was aid-de-camp to prince Eugene of Savoy, and ftill continues to handle his bow in fuch a manner, that there is little doubt but that he would diftinguish himfelf in this manly exercife.
"I do not find in the archives of the company any memoranda of confequence during the reign of George the First; but till the year 1753 targets were erected in the Finfbury fields, during the Eafter and Whit fun holidays, when the best fhooter was ftyled captain for the enfuing year, and the fecond, lieutenant. - Of thefe there are only two now furviving, viz. Mr. Benjamin Poole and Mr. Philip Confiable, who have frequently obtained thefe titles. The former of thefe is now rather aged and infirm, but the latter hath been fo obliging as to fhew me most of their marks in the Fins bury fields, as well as to communicate feveral anecdotes and obfervations relative to archery.
"Having now deduced the hiftory of the long-bow even to the prefent times, when it ceafes to be ufed by the chartered company, I fhall now endeavour to fuggeft the reafons, why this military weapon was fo decifive in the battles of precoding centuries.
"Before the introduction of firearms the enemy could only be
"As for flings, they never have been used in the more northern parts of Europe by armies in the field: for which as there must have been fome fundamental reafons, I will venture to fuggeft two, though poffibly there may be many others.
It thould feem, in the first place, that flingers cannot advance in a compact body, on account of the fpace to be occupied by this weapon in its rotatory motion; and in the fecond place, that the weight of the ftones to be carried muft neceffarily impede the flingers greatly in their movements.
"The bow of the ancients, as reprefented in all their reliefs, was a mere toy compared with that of our anceftors; it was therefore chiefly ufed by the Parthian, who'e attacks (like thofe of the prefent Arabs) were defultory.
"As for the cross-bow, it is of a moft inconvenient form for carri age, even with the modern improvements; and, in cafe of rain, could not be eafily fecured from the weather. After the firft fhot moreover it could not be recharged under a confiderable time, whilst the bolts were alfo heavy and cumbersome.
"The English long-bow, on the other hand, together with the quiver of arrows, was eafily carried by the archer, as easily fecured from rain, and recharged almost instantaneoufly. It is not therefore extraordinary, that troops, who folely ufed this moft effectual weapon, fhould generally obtain the victory, even when oppofed to much more
"But it may be urged, that thefe loffes having been experienced by