List of Famous Archers - Historical and Fictional

Archery was an important skill in many civilizations and some of them even considered it an art. People skillful in archery were honored and remembered even if they were only a part of a myth, legend or a fantasy. Here are some of them:

  • Minamoto no Tametomo (1139 - 1170) was a samurai who fought in the Hōgen Rebellion of 1156. He is a historic person but a part of many legends. It is said that he sunk an entire Taira ship with a single arrow an than his left hand was 15cm longer than his right which allowed him to draw the bow longer and make more powerful shots.
  • Nasu no Yoichi (1169 - 1232) was a samurai who fought on the side of the Minamoto clan in the Genpei War between 1180 and 1185. When at the Battle of Yashima the Heike were defeated in battle they fled to their boats. Minamoto clan chased them on horses but was stopped by the sea. While waiting for the right wind, Heike placed a fan on the mast of their ship as a challenge for Minamoto archers. Nasu no Yoichi shot the fan with a first arrow standing on his horse in the sea.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jack Churchill (also known as a “Fighting Jack Churchill” and “Mad Jack”) was a British soldier who fought throughout the Second World War armed with a longbow and a Scottish sword. He used to say that “any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.” When he ambushed a German patrol near L'Epinette, France, along with his regiment, he gave a signal to attack by shooting the enemy sergeant with an arrow.
  • Fred Bear (1902 - 1988) was an American bow hunter, bow manufacturer, author, and television host and is considered as a pioneer in the bow-hunting. He was also the first president of Detroit Archers - Michigan's oldest archery club.
Picture Of Minamoto Tametomo
  • Horace A. Ford (1822 - 1880) was an archer from Unite Kingdom and is considered as one of the greatest target archers of all time. Starting from 1849 he won eleven consecutive championships, and his high score of 1271 remained a record for over 70 years.
  • Robin Hood - a character from the English legends and probably combination of several historical figures was a highly skilled archer.
  • Yue Fei (1103 - 1142) was a military general in China. On his first competition hi won the first place by shooting a succession of nine arrows through the bullseye of a target 240 paces away. On his next competition he, already known as a great archer, defeats all competitors.
  • Artemis is an Ancient Greek goddess of of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness and protector of young girls and was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.
  • Skaði is a goddess of bow hunting from Norse Mythology. She travels on skis, wields a bow, and hunts wild animals.
  • Princess Merida is a character from the movie Brave. She has a great skill in archery, and is one of the most skilled archers of her kingdom.
  • William Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland but we don’t know for sure if he really existed. Legend says that, in the 14th century, he was arrested for defiance against the Austrian occupiers and sentenced to shoot the apple of the head of his son. If he misses both of them would be executed. He shot it with the first bold from his crossbow.
  • Legolas Greenleaf is an elf from the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Master marksman and archer he shot down a "fell beast" - a “Nazgûl-bird”, in the dark with one shot (among other things.)
Picture Of Minamoto Tametomo
Picture Of William Tell Archer
Picture Of Nasuno Yoichi
Picture Of Robin Hood Archer