1833.3

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Creation Wars Begin! English Author Takes on Strutt Theories on the Origins of Cricket and "Bat-and-Ball"

Salience Noteworthy
City/State/Country: England
Game Bat-Ball, Club-ball, Tip-cat, Cat and Dog
Age of Players Unknown
Text

David Block reports that in an 1833 book's short passage on cricket, "the author [William Maxwell] issues a criticism of theories raised by the historian Joseph Strutt in Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, published in 1801.

Maxwell scoffs at Strutt's comments that cricket originated from the ancient game of "club ball," and that the game of trap-ball predated both of these. Maxwell states that cricket is far older than Strutt acknowledged, and adds: 'The game of club-ball appears to be none other than the present, well-known bat-and-ball, which . . . was doubtless anterior to trap-ball. The trap, indeed, carries with it an air of refinement in the 'march of mechanism.' ' Maxwell suggests that a primitive rural game similar to tip-cat was actually the ancestor of cricket, a game that used a single stick for a wicket, another stick for a bat and a short three-inch stick for the ball. He is probably alluding the game of cat and dog, which other historians have credited as one of cricket's progenitors."

Sources

Maxwell, William, The Field Book: or, Sports and Pastimes of the British Islands [London, Effingham Wilson], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 195. 

Query

Does Maxwell show evidence for his interpretation of cricket's progenitors?



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