Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sports and Games - 18C Bowling, Nine Pins, Quilles, Boules

Bowling, Nine Pins, Quilles, Boules 1710-30 Hanbury Hall from the Bowling Green; group of 10 men playing bowls, garden wall, beyond which are Hanbury Hall & its dependencies

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sports & Games - Medieval Bowling

Bowling taken from medieval manuscripts in Joseph Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes
The pastime of bowling, whether practiced on open greens or in bowling-alleys, was probably an invention from the middle ages. The earliest representation of a game played with bowls occurs in a 13C manuscript, on which 2 small cones are placed upright at a distance from each other; and the task of the players is evidently to bowl at them alternately; the successful candidate being the player who could lay his bowl the nearest to the mark. The French had a similar kind of game, called carreau, from a square stone which, says he, "is laid in level with and at the end of a bowling-alley, and in the midst thereof an upright point set as the mark where at they bowl." Displayed above is a 14C drawing from a MS. Book of Prayers. It represents 2 other bowlers; but they have no apparent object to play at, unless the bowl cast by the 1st may be considered as such by the 2nd, and the game requires him to strike it from its place. Below are 3 people engaged in the pastime of bowling; and they have a small bowl, which serves them as a mark for the direction of their bowl.  The most action is displayed by the middle figure, whose bowl is supposed to be rolling toward the jack.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

17C Elites Celebrating in a Private Garden

Exclusive gardens & garden terraces were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.
1621 Dirck Hals (Dutch Baroque Era painter, 1591-1656) Amusing Party in the Garden

Saturday, January 28, 2017

17C Locals Celebrating at a Local Tavern or Inn Garden

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday taverns in the centuries before more gentrified commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen. 
Adriaen Jansz Van Ostade (1610-1685) Peasants Carousing and Dancing outside an Inn

Friday, January 27, 2017

16C & 17C Elites eating, drinking, making love in a Private Garden

Exclusive gardens & garden terraces were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.
Attributed to Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Music & Dining in a Garden

Thursday, January 26, 2017

17C Sharing news & listening to music & toasting outside a a Local Tavern or Inn

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday taverns in the centuries before more gentrified commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.    
 Adriaen Jansz Van Ostade (1610-1685) Merry Peasants. Music & toasting outside the local tavern.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

17C Elites Making Music on a Private Garden Terrace

Exclusive gardens & garden terraces were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.
1620 Dirck Hals  (Dutch Baroque Era painter, 1591-1656) Music Making on the Terrace. Dogs oblivious to the music.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

17C Dancing Outside a Local Tavern or Inn

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday inns & taverns in the centuries before more dignified commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.  
Pieter Angillis (Flemish, 1685-1734) Figures Dancing outside a local tavern.

Monday, January 23, 2017

17C Elites Drinking & Dancing & Courting in a Private Garden

Exclusive gardens & garden terraces were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.
1610 David Vinckboons (Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1576-ca.1632) The Outdoor Garden Party. They pulled their indoor furniture out into the garden park to celebrate.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sports and Games - Women playing Battledore & Shuttlecock in 1827

Battledore Shuttlecock from 1827 Le Bon Genre #11 Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Sports & Games - 18C Women at Archery

Archery J. H. Wright, Active 1795-1838, Archers, archery 1799. By this period, archery was not limited to defense or hunting game, it had become a sporting pastime for both men & women. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Women Bowling & Playing Nine Pins in the 19C

Women Playing Nine Pins & Bowling in 1822

Here only women were bowling. Historically, Bowls-like many other games-had been outlawed in a British act of 1541 known as the Unlawful Games Act (33 Hen. VIII, c.9), which enacted that:

"no manner of artificer, or craftsman of any handicraft or occupation, husbandman, apprentice, labourer, servant at husbandry, journeyman, or servant of artificer, mariners, fishermen, watermen, or any serving man, shall from the said feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, play at the tables, tennis, dice, cards, bowls, clash, coyting, logating, or any unlawful game."

Anyone found playing unlawful games, except at Christmas, was subject to a 20 shilling fine, and innkeepers were also forbidden from "maintaining" these games. The principle motivation behind the act seems to have been concerns over the state of the nation’s archery skills; as the act was formally titled "An Act for Maintenance of Artillery and Debarring of Unlawful Games," and the fear was that such men were playing games rather than practicing their bowmanship. There were fears at the time that, in the wake of the break with Rome, England could be invaded by Catholic powers in Europe, but that the skill with the bow of the English had badly declined since the glory days of Agincourt; and they could be ill-prepared to repel an attack.

Local authorities–in some places–continued to try and enforce the Unlawful Games Act across the early modern period as many of these games had become closely associated with gambling. When they took place on the grounds of alehouses, they were seen as a potential source of both conflict between gamblers, but also another means by which poor men were wasting money at the local tavern.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Aristocratic Golf & Nine Pins in 17C Moscow

Pendrawing, created in the 17C for Baron Augustine Meyer Berg 1622-1688 (Augustin von Mayerberg.) Meyer Berg collected drawings of the immediate area around the German embassy in Russia. The Mayerberg Album is a collection of drawings and descriptions of the 17C Tsardom of Russia, assembled by Augustin von Mayerberg (also Meyerberg & Meyer Berg), a German baron, who was sent to embassy Muscovy by Emperor Leopold I in February 1661.   They arrived in Moscow May 15/25, 1661, and departed April 26/May 5, 1662.   
Mayerberg wrote 2 Latin accounts of the embassy, both of which have been translated into modern Russian.   Since there are relatively few contemporary drawings of Muscovy by Western artists, the album of drawings compiled under Mayerberg's supervision is still of considerable interest. Muscovy is an alternative name for the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Tsardom of Russia. The drawings are thought to be the work of Johann Rudolf Storn 1642-1663, although Mayerberg also was accompanied on this assignment by a painter Puman.  The drawings are in pen lightly colored in with water colors. 
The ambassadorial residence, was located in the Kitai-Gorod, not far from Red Square.  Details show members of the embassy amusing themselves with their own games--a form of field hockey and nine-pins.  Members of the strel'tsy look on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sports & Games - General History - Ice Skating & Ice Hockey for Women, from Saints to Athletes

Saint Lidwina is a Dutch saint who loved ice skating. This 1498 image of a skating scene is found in the book 'Vita alme virginis Lydwine' written by father Jan Brugman. The print depicts the unfortunate fall of the canonized Lydwina of Schiedam (1380-1433). The story is that in 1395, Lidwina went skating & fell upon the ice with such violence, that she broke a rib in her right side. This was the beginning of her martyrdom. No medical skill could cure her. Gangrene appeared in the wound caused by the fall & spread over her entire body. For years she lay in pain which seemed to increase. From her 15th to her 53rd year, she was sore from head to toe & became greatly emaciated. On Easter-day, 1433, she beheld a vision of Christ coming towards her to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. She then died in sacred peace.


Woodcut from Olaus Magnus. Swedish Olaf Mansson (Swedish historian, 1490-1557) wrote, "Among the Sami, both men & women take part in hunting & fishing." Winter scene from Finmark. Three sami with wooden skis, participating in the hunt. The middle hunter is a woman. There is some confusion about where women first began to ski & skate.  The Dutch believe that ice skates were a Dutch invention.  Scandinavians, however, claim that ice skating was introduced in the Netherlands by their Viking ancestors who visited the European coasts around 800. They think the art of ice skating derived from the Nordic custom to prevent people from sinking in loose snow by binding boards under their boots. This custom should have resulted in both skiing & ice skating.


Hendrick Avercamp (Dutch artist, 1585–1634), Winterlandschap met schaatsers. c 1608 (detail).  This crowded winter scene presents a cross-section of Dutch society enjoying a wide range of winters sports, on the frozen waterways.

Hendrick Avercamp (Dutch artist, 1585–1634), Winterlandschap met schaatsers. c 1608 (detail).

The discovery during the 19C of ancient bone skates in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Danube valley & England suggests that ice skating may be much older than 1,700 years.  A study by Federico Formenti of the University of Oxford suggests that the earliest ice skating happened in southern Finland more than 3000 years ago.


 Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne (Dutch painter, 1589-1662), Autumn 1625 detail

The first skates were flattened bone that was strapped to the bottom of the foot. The oldest pair of skates known date back to about 3000 B.C., found at the bottom of a lake in Switzerland. The skates were made from the leg bones of large animals, holes were bored at each end of the bone & leather straps were used to tie the skates on. An old Dutch word for skate is "schenkel" which means "leg bone."


Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne (Dutch painter, 1589-1662), Winter 1625 detail

In the 13th Century, the Dutch invented steel blades with edges. The Dutch started using wooden platform skates with flat iron bottom runners. The skates were attached to the skater's shoes with leather straps. Poles were used to propel the skater. 


1695 Cornelis Dusart (Dutch artist, 1660-1704) published by Jacob Gole (Dutch, c. 1675 - 1704)

Around 1500, the Dutch added a narrow metal double edged blade, making the poles a thing of the past, as the skater could now push & glide with his feet (called the "Dutch Roll").  In the Netherlands, all classes of people skated. Ice skating was a way people traveled over the canals in the winter months.


La Hollandoise sur les patins after Cornelis Dusart (Dutch artist, 1660-1704)

James II (1633-1701) helped introduce ice skating to the British aristocracy in the late 1600s. In 1742, the Edinburgh Skating Club, the 1st British figure skating club, was formed in Scotland. To gain membership in the club it was necessary for the skater to be able to skate a complete circle on either foot & to jump over one, then two & then 3 hats placed on the ice.  The 1st English instructional book concerning ice skating was published in London in 1772. The book, written by a British artillery lieutenant, Robert Jones, described basic figure skating forms such as circles & figure eights.


Fille de petit bourgeois d'Amsterdam...  Bernard Picart (French engraver, 1673-1733) Ice Skater

Skating in North America came with Dutch settlers to New York . Upon visiting colonial New York, English clergyman Charles Wooley wrote in 1678, "And upon the Ice its admirable to see Men & Women as it were flying upon their Skates from place to place, with Markets upon their Heads & Backs."


A La Mode Romeyn de Hooghe Published by Nicolaes Visscher II c 1682-1702

By the 1730s, images of women getting help from a gentleman to put on their skates become popular in Europe.


Four Ages of Man; L'Adolescence; print Nicolas Lancret (After) Nicolas de Larmessin III (Print made by) Nicolas de Larmessin III (Published by); 1735; Paris.

From 1400 to the 19C, there were 24 winters in which the Thames was recorded to have frozen over at London: 1408, 1435, 1506, 1514, 1537, 1565, 1595, 1608, 1621, 1635, 1649, 1655, 1663, 1666, 1677, 1684, 1695, 1709, 1716, 1740, 1776, 1788, 1795, & 1814. Images of these periods show hundreds of folks on the river, some ice skating. 


  Nicolas Lancret (French painter, 1690-1743) Fastening the Skate.

An eye-witness recorded the London frost of the 1680s: "On the 20th of December, 1683, a very violent frost began, which lasted to the 6th of February...the Thames was so frozen that a great street from the Temple to Southwark was built with shops, and all manner of things sold." John Evelyn (1620-1706) noted, "Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other stairs too and fro, as in the streets, sleds, sliding with skates, bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cooks, tippling and other lewd places, so that it seemed to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water."


Winter by John Simon after Nicolas Lancret, published by Thomas Burford 1758

When the Thames was not frozen over, early Londoners skated on the frozen marshes of Moorfields, just north of the old walled city. Archaeologists working on London's recent Crossrail dig have found medieval ice skates. By the middle of the 18C, skating in Hyde Park in London had become a popular winter pastime.


Samuel Hieronymus Grimm (1734-1794) Skating in Hyde Park


The Pleasures of Skaiting - or, a View in Winter from orig by John Collet pub by Carington Bowles, London c 1780

During the 19C, women began to participate in outdoor sports such as Ice Hockey in public spaces.

1805 - Ice Skating The first known ice skating race for Dutch women is in held in Leeuwarden.

1855 - Hockey The first modern game of ice hockey is played in Kingston, Ontario, using rules similar to today's. 

1875 - Women begin Ice Skating at Wellesley College, which opens with a college gymnasium for exercising and a lake for ice skating.

1891 - Ice Hockey On Feb. 11, two unnamed women's ice hockey teams play a match in Ottawa, Ontario.

1893 - A women's Ice Hockey team is formed in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

1894 - College girls at McGill University in Montreal begin weekly ice hockey games at an indoor rink - with 3 male students on "guard" at the door.


1899 - Two teams of women ice hockey players play a game on the artifical ice at the Ice Palace in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) Winter landscape with skates & drivers for a windmill

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the game to the east coast of Scotland.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

1620 Arent Arentsz (Dutch, 1585-86 - 1631) Skaters on the Amstel 1620-25

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the game to the east coast of Scotland.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

Hendrick Avercamp, 1585-1634 Winter Scene on a Canal with Ice Skating & Golf

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the Dutch game to the east coast of Scotland where it eventually became ice hockey. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

Aert van der Neer, 1604-1677 IJsvermaak buiten de stadswal (ca. 1655)

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the Dutch game to the east coast of Scotland. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

Hendrick Avercamp, 1585-1634 A Scene on the Ice (c 1615)

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the Dutch game to the east coast of Scotland. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

Adriaen van de Velde (Dutch, 1636 - 1672) Golfers on the Ice Near Haarlem 1668. A player using a shaft and lead clubhead, prepares to drive his ball in a point-to-point contest.

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the Dutch game to the east coast of Scotland. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

Hendrick Avercamp, 1585-1634 Winter Landscape with Skaters and Golf

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the Dutch game to the east coast of Scotland.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

Kolf players on ice. (1625) Hendrick Avercamp 1585-1634 When the canals and lakes froze over, many Dutch colf players took to the ice, finding an ideal playing surface and all the space they needed.

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the Dutch game to the east coast of Scotland.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ice Skating & Golf on Ice 17C

 Adriaen van de Velde (Dutch, 1636 - 1672) Golf on Ice outside the City Wall

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."
Kolfing on Stakes', a short putting variant of kolf, also played on ice. Dutch ceramic tile, first-half 17C

Golf on snow or ice and classical golf (and perhaps hockey) may share a common ancestor in the Dutch game of "Kolf", played since the Middle Ages. During the Little Ice Age of the 16C and 17C, it was also played on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes. Evidence for Kolf as a popular winter pastime can be seen in numerous 17C paintings. There is also evidence that golf was practiced on snow and ice in Scotland. There was a very active trade between the Dutch and the ports on the east coast of Scotland from the 14C through 17C. Some scholars suggest that Dutch sailors brought the game to the east coast of Scotland. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

17C Ice Skating in Winter at the Local Canal

Jan Berents (Dutch, about 1679 - after 1733) Winter Landscape with Figures 1723

This miniature scene is cleverly composed to display both a vast sense of space, and a detailed view of life on the frozen canals. In the background, at right, the faraway towers of the Hague are visible. In the middle ground, many skate, & the wealthy take sleigh rides, and line up to buy hot drinks from a vendor. In contrast with this, and the assorted frolicking dogs and children, the foreground features peasants hard at work cutting firewood. Artist Jan Berents also creates atmospheric perspective with the considered placement of trees, flag poles, and church towers. At the base of the image, Berents adds his signature, and a reference to his unusual dual career. 

Although this is a 17C image, ice skating by young men is recorded in London in the 12C. The 1st English mention of ice skating is found in a biography of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas à Beckett written by his former clerk William FitzStephen around 1180, in his "description of the most noble city of London." The account reads: "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the North side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce, some striding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly...some tye bones to their feete, & under their heeles, & shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as birde flyeth in the aire, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime two runne together with poles, & hitting one the other, eyther one or both doe fall, not without hurt; some break their armes, some their legs, but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe against time of warre..."