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1533.1 Skelton Poem Traces Cricket to Flemish Immigrants?

"O lodre of Ipocrites/ Nowe shut vpp your wickets,/ And clappe to your clickettes/ A! Farewell, kings for crekettes!"

"The Image of Ipocrisie" (1533) attributed to John Skelton. This verse is interpreted as showing no sympathy to Flemish weavers who settled in southern and eastern England, bringing at least the rudiments of cricket with them. Heiner Gillmeister and John Campbell noted publicly in June 2009 that this is relevant evidence of cricket's non-English origin. Note: the first written reference to cricket was nearly 70 years in the future in 1533. Contributed by Beth Hise, January 12, 2010. Query: are cricket historians accepting this poem as valid evidence of cricket's roots?

Year
1533
Item
1533.1
Edit

1540.1 A Pitcher, a Catcher and a Batter in a Golf History Book?

Cary Smith [ZinnBeck@aol.com] has noted an alluring illustration in a 1540 publication, and we seek additional input on it. In a posting to the 19CBB listserve in March 2008, Cary wrote:

"On the British Library web site in the turning pages section there is a book called the Golf Book, but it is labeled as 'Flemish Masters in Miniature.' On page seven of the book there is a small grisalle border at the bottom. It looks like what today would be considered a pitcher, catcher, and batter. The book is from 1540. To access the web site you will need to have Flash running. If on a Macintosh that is intel based you will need to click the Rosetta button in the info window of your web browser." Note: can you help us interpret this artwork?

The URL is http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/ttp/ttpbooks.html.

Year
1540
Item
1540.1
Edit

1550.1 No English Reference Claimed for the Word "Cricket" Found Before 1550

"The medieval origin of the national game of the English is beyond doubt, but not so its Island roots. There would have been ample opportunity for it to figure on the lists of banned games set out by their kings, but there is no written mention of it before 1550. It is, of course, not impossible that its forerunner was one of the many ball games played with unidentifiable rules, as for instance club ball."

From an unidentified photocopy in the "Origins of Baseball" file at the Giamatti Center at Cooperstown. Note: the inconsistencies among the preceding cricket entries [see #1478.1,] need to be resolved . . . . or at least addressed.

Year
1550
Item
1550.1
Edit

1550c.2 Cricket Play Recalled at Southern England School

[Cf #1598.3 below.] A 1598 trial in the Surrey town of Guildford includes a statement by John Derrick, then aged 59. According to a 1950 history of Guildford's Royal Grammar School, "[H]e stated that he had known the [disputed] ground for fifty years or more and that 'when he was a scholar in the free school of Guildford, he and several of his fellows did run and play there at cricket and other plays.' This is believed to be the first recorded mention of cricket."

Brown, J. F., The Story of the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, 1950, page 6. Note: it would be interesting to see the original reference, and to know how 1550 was chosen as the reported year of play.

Circa
1550
Item
1550c.2
Edit

1555c.1 English Poet Condones Students' Yens "To Tosse the Ball, To Rene Base, Like Men of War"

"To shote, to bowle, or caste the barre,

To play tenise, or tosse the ball,

Or to rene base, like men of war,

Shall hurt thy study naught at all."

Crowley, Robert, "The Scholar's Lesson," circa 1555, in J. M. Cowper, The Select Works of Robert Crowley [N. Truber, London, 1872], page 73. Submitted by John Bowman, 7/16/2004. Citation from Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, see pages 230 and 312.

Circa
1555
Item
1555c.1
Edit

1562.1 Cricket Forerunner an "Unlawful Game?"

"The Malden Corporation Court Book of 1562 contains a charge against John Porter alias Brown, and a servant, for 'playing an unlawful game called "clycett."'"

Brookes, Christopher, English Cricket: the Game and its Players Through the Ages (Newton Abbot, 1978), page 16, as cited in Bateman, Anthony,"'More Mighty than the Bat, the Pen . . . ;' Culture, Hegemony, and the Literaturisaton of Cricket," Sport in History, v. 23, 1 (Summer 2003), page 29.

Year
1562
Item
1562.1
Edit

1564.1 Formal Complaint in Surrey: Stoolball is Played on Sunday

Game:

Stoolball

"1564 - complaints were made to the justices sitting at the midsummer session, at Malden, Surrey, that the constable (himself possibly an enthusiast with the stool and ball) suffered stoolball to be played on Sunday."

M. S. Russell-Goggs, "Stoolball in Sussex," The Sussex County Magazine, volume 2, no. 7 (July 1928), page 318. Surrey is the adjoining county to Sussex. Note: we need to locate the full citations for this and all other Russell-Goggs references.

Year
1564
Item
1564.1
Edit

1567.1 English Translation of Horace Refers to "the Stoole Ball"

Game:

Stoolball

"The stoole ball, top, or camping ball/If suche one should assaye/As hath no mannour skill therein,/Amongste a mightye croude,/Theye all would screeke unto the frye/And laugh at hym aloude."

Drant, Thomas, Horace His Arte of Poetrie, Pistles, and Satyrs Englished, and to the Earle of Ormounte, [London], per David Block, page 166. There is no implication that Horace himself refers to a stool ball.

Year
1567
Item
1567.1
Edit

1570c.1 Five Indicted for Stoolball Play on Sunday

"A few years later [than 1564], at the Easter Sessions in the same town [Malden, Surrey], one Edward Anderkyn and four others were indicted for playing stoolball on Sunday."

M. S. Russell-Goggs, "Stoolball in Sussex," The Sussex County Magazine, volume 2, no. 7 (July 1928), page 318. Surrey is the adjoining county to Sussex. Note: we need to locate the full citations for this and all other Russell-Goggs references.

Circa
1570
Item
1570c.1
Edit

1575.1 Gascoigne's Poem "The Fruits of War" Refers to Tut-ball

Gascoigne, George, The Posies of George Gascoigne Esquire, Corrected, perfected, and augmented by the Authour [London, Richard Smith], per Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 166. The key lines: "Yet have I shot at master Bellums butte/And throwen his ball although I toucht no tutte."

Year
1575
Item
1575.1
Edit

1583.1 Pre-teens Risk Dungeon Time For Selves, or Their Dads, by Playing Ball

Tags:

Bans

"Whereas this a great abuse in a game or games used in the town called "Gede Gadye or the Cat's Pallet, and Typing or hurling the Ball," - that no mannor person shall play at the same games, being above the age of seven years, wither in the churchyard or in any of the streets of this town, upon pain of every person so playing being imprisoned in the Doungeon for the space of two hours; or else every person so offending to pay 6 [pence] for every time. And if they have not [wherewithal] to pay, then the parents or masters of such persons so offending to pay the said 6 [pence] or to suffer the like imprisonment." (Similar language is found in 1579 entry [page 148], but it lacked the name "Typing" and did not mention a ball.)

John Harland, editor, Court Leet Records of the Manor of Manchester in the Sixteenth Century (Chetham Society, 1864), page 156. Accessed 1/27/10 via Google Books search: "court leet" half-bowls. Note: The game gidigadie is not known to us, but the 1864 editor notes elsewhere (page 149, footnote 61) that was "not unlikely" to be tip-cat, and he interprets "typing" as tipping. As later described [see "Tip-Cat" and "Pallet" at http://retrosheet.org/Protoball/Glossary.htm], tip-cat could be played with a cat or a ball, and could involve running among holes as bases. Caveat: we do not yet know what the nature of the proscribed game was in Elizabethan times.

Year
1583
Item
1583.1
Edit

1585c.1 Stoole-ball, Nine Holes Included Among Country Sports

Game:

Stoolball

In a 1600 publication attributed to Samuel Rowlands [died 1588], the fourth of six "Satires," presents a catalog of about 30 pastimes, including "play at stoole-ball," and "play at nine-holes." Other diversions include pitching the barre, foote-ball, play at base, and leap-frog.

Rowlands, Samuel, The Letting of Humour's blood in the head-vein (W. White, London, 1600), as discussed in Brydges, Samuel E., Censura Literaria (Longman, London, 1808), p.279. Virtually the same long verse - but one that carelessly lists stoole-ball twice - is attributed to "Randal Holme of Chester" in an 1817 book: Drake, Nathan, Shakspeare and His Times (Cadell and Davies, London, 1817), pages 246-247. Drake does not suggest a date for this verse. Caveat: Our choice of 1585 as the year of Rowlands' composition is merely speculative. Note: This entry needs to be reconciled with #1630c.1 below.

Circa
1585
Item
1585c.1
Edit

1586.2 Possible Early Rounders Reference?

In his entry for Rounders, W. C. Hazlitt speculates: "It is possible that this is the game which, under the name of rownes (rounds) is mentioned in The English Courtier and the Countrey Gentleman: A Pleasant and Learned Disputation, 1586 [printed by Richard Jones, London]. One source attributes this work of Nicholas Breton. Protoball has not located this book.

Hazlitt, W. C., Faiths and Folklore: A Dictionary of National Beliefs, Superstitions, and Popular Customs (Reeves and Turner, London, 1905), vol. 2, page 527. Note: Can we find this early text and evaluate whether rounders is in fact its subject? Caveat: It would startle most of us to encounter any species of rounders this early; the earliest appearance of the term may be as late as 1828 - see #1828.1 below.

Year
1586
Item
1586.2
Edit

1591.1 Early Spanish-English Dictionary Mentions the "Trapsticke"

Pericule [Percival], Richard, Bibliotheca hispanica: containing a graamar, with a dictionarie in Spanish, English, and Latine, gathered out of diuers good authors: very profitable for the studious of the Spanish toong [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 166. The dictionary's entries include "paleta - a trapsticke" and paletilla - a little trapsticke."

Year
1591
Item
1591.1
Edit

1592.2 Canterbury Stoolballer Bloodies Pious Critic

Tags:

Hazard

Game:

Stoolball

"We present one Bottolph Wappoll, a continual gamester and one of the very lewd behaviour, who being on Mayday last at stoolball in time of Divine service one of our sidesmen came and admonished him to leave off playing and go to church, for which he fell on him and beat him that the blood ran about his ears."

Source: National Stoolball Association, "A Brief History of Stoolball," [author and date unspecified], page 2. The original source is not supplied but is reported to have been a presentation from the parish of St Paul in Canterbury to the Archdeacon of Canterbury. Note: can we find this source?

Year
1592
Item
1592.2
Edit

1592c.1 Moralist Lists Things for Scholars to Avoid, Including Playing "Stoole Ball Among Wenches"

Game:

Stoolball

"Time of recreation is necessary, I graunt, and think as necessary for schollers . . . as it is for any. Yet in my opinion it were not fit for them to play at Stoole-ball among wenches, nor at Mumchance or Maw with idle loose companions; not at trunks in Guile-halls, nor to dance about Maypoles, nor to rufle in alehouses, nor to carowse in tauernes, nor to steale deere, nor to rob orchards. Though who can deny that they may doe these things, yea worse."

Attributed to Dr. Rainoldes in J. P. Collier, ed., The Political Decameron, or Ten Conversations on English Poets and Poetry [Constable and Co., Edinburgh, 1820], page 257. This passage is from the "ninth conversation" and covers low practices during the reigns of Elizabeth and of James I. Note: we need to ascertain the source, date, and context of the original Rainoldes material. It appears that Rainoldes' cited "conversation" with Gager took place in 1592.

Circa
1592
Item
1592c.1
Edit

1598.1 Youth Ball Games Widespread at London Schools.

"After dinner all the youthes go into the fields to play at the bal…. The schollers of euery schoole haue their ball, or baston, in their hands: the auncient and wealthy men of the Citie come foorth on horsebacke to see the sport of young men."

Stow, John, Survey of London [first published in 1598]. David Block [page 166] gives the full title as A Survey of London: Contayning the Originall, Antiquity, Increase, Modern Estate, and Description of that Citie: written in the yeare 1598 [London]. Block adds that the term "baston" is described by the OED as a "cudgel, club, bat or truncheon."

Year
1598
Item
1598.1
Edit

1598.2 Italian-English Dictionary Includes Cat, Trap

Florio, John, A world of wordes or Most copious, and exact dictionarie in Italian and English [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 167. This dictionary defines lippa as "a cat or trap as children use to play with."

1598.3 - First Known Appearance of the Term "Cricket"

[Cf #1550c.2 above.] A 1598 trial in the Surrey town of Guildford includes a statement by John Derrick, then aged 59. According to a 1950 history of Guildford's Royal Grammar School, "[H]e stated that he had known the [disputed] ground for fifty years or more and that 'when he was a scholar in the free school of Guildford, he and several of his fellows did run and play there at cricket and other plays.' This is believed to be the first recorded mention of cricket."

Brown, J. F., The Story of the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, 1950, page 6. Note: it would be interesting to see the original reference, and to know how 1550 was chosen as the reported year of play.

Year
1598
Item
1598.2
Edit

1600c.2 Shakespeare Mentions Rounders? Pretty Doubtful

Tags:

Famous

Game:

Rounders

"Shakespeare mentions games of "base" and "rounders. Lovett, Old Boston Boys, page 126."

Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809. Caveat: We have not yet confirmed that Lovett or Shakespeare used the term "rounders." Gomme [page 80], among others, identifies the Bard's use of "base" in Cymbeline as a reference to prisoner's base, which is not a ball game. John Bowman, email of 5/21/2008, reports that his concordance of all of Shakespeare's words shows has no listing for "rounders" . . . nor for "stoolball," for that matter [see #1612c.1, below], 'tho that may because Shakespeare's authorship of Two Noble Kinsmen is not universally accepted by scholars..

Circa
1600
Item
1600c.2
Edit

1610.1 Very Early Cricket Match

A match is thought to have been played between the men of North Downs and men of the Weald.

Contributed by Beth Hise January 12, 2010. Beth is in pursuit of the original source of this claim. North Downs is in Surrey, about 4 miles NE of Guildford, where early uses of both "cricket" and "base-ball" are found. It is about 30 miles SW of London. The Weald is apparently an old term for the county of Kent, which is SW of London.

Year
1610
Item
1610.1
Edit
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