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Game Bittle-Bat
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Location Sussex, England
Regions Britain
Eras 1800s
Invented No

Bittle-Bat appears to be another name for stoolball as played in the County of Sussex.  The as no evidence that this game is related to Bittle-Battle, also listed in this Glossary, which some see referred to in the hjistoric Domesday Book of 1086.

[A] In fact, Gomme [1894, ] describes Bittle-Battle as “the Sussex game of ‘Stoolball.,’ but does not link it to the Domesday Book.

[B] Similarly, Andrew Lusted reports that an 1875 source lists bittle-battle as "another word for stoolball," 

[C] Andrew Lusted also finds an 1864 newspaper account that makes a similar but weaker claim: "Among the many [Seaford] pastimes were bittle-battle, bell in the ring, . . . "

[D] W. W. Grantham, an energetic popularizer of Stoolball in the 20th Century, refers to a 1909 history of bittle-bat (later called stoolball).  That author wrote: "The game is an old one. It is mentioned in Domesday Book as Bittle Bat, and the present name of Stoolball is supposed to have originated from milkmaids playing it with their stools.”







[A.] Gomme, Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Volume 1 (Dover Press,  New York, 1964 -- orig. 1898), page 34.

[B] Lusted, Andrew, Girls Just Wanted to Have Fun, 2013, page 3, citing Rev'd W. D. Parish, Dictionary of the Sussex Dialect, 1875.

[C] Lusted, op. cit., page 28.  The source is the Sussex Advertiser, June 21, 1864.

[D] W. W. Grantham, Stoolball Illustrated and How to Play It [[[add date]].  He draws on Mary G. Campion, "The Game of Stoolball," The Country Home, (January 1909), pp 153ff. 


Thanks to David Block for helping disentangle this somewhat complicated story. 

Strutt does not name this game in his great survey, but does describe two forms of stoolball in some detail. 

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