Chronology:Balslaen

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1660c.3 New Netherland (Later NYC) Bans "Balslaen" on the Sabbath

Tags:

Bans

Location:

Manhattan?

Game:

Balslaen

Age of Players:

Unknown

(summarizing rules of the Sabbath in the New Netherland colony)

" . . . exercises and amusement, drinking {themselves} drunk, frequenting taverns or taphouses, dancing, playing cards, ticktacken {backgammon}, balslaen {literally: "hitting the ball"}, clossen {bowling}, kegelen {nine pins}, going boating, traveling with barges, carts, or wagons, before, between, or during the Holy worship."

Note: one translator used the term "cricket" for "balslaen."

Sources:

Jaap Jacobs, The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-Century America (Cornell U. Press: Ithaca, 2009), p. 244.

Pam Bakker, who reported this find, notes that Jacobs' sources include:  B. Fernow (ed.) and E. B. O'Callahan (trans.), The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini (7 vols, New York 1897, 2nd ed. Baltimore 1976, 1:24-26); also Ch. T. Gehring (trans. and ed.), Laws and Writs of Appeal 1647-1663 (New Netherland Documents Series, vol. 16, part 1) (Syracuse 1991 and this on p. 71); and thirdly E. B. O'Callagham (trans.) Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, 1636-1674 (Albany 1868 on p. 259).   

See her full find below under Supplemental Text.

 

Comment:

(Jacobs) says that unfortunately "balslaen" has been translated as cricket but it simply means hitting the ball.

Query:

Can we determine whether 17th-century balslaen was a batting/baserunning game, or was it in the field-hockey, or handball, or golf, families of games?

Was "New Netherland" confined to the Manhattan area or did it extend northward into the Hudson River valley?

Is "circa 1660" a defensible approximation for this find?

Was balslaen played in Holland?  Could it have influenced English ballplaying, including cricket and English base ball??

 

Circa
1660
Item
1660c.3
Edit
Source Text


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