Foote Ball in Period

The following are quotes and illustrations concerning the game now known as soccer. I had hoped to work this into a coherent article but thought I'd post it "as is" for now and polish it up later.

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries "foote-ball" was a primitive game that involved a ball and scoring. Not much else about it was regulated. There was certainly no central authority such as the modern F.A. in England.

Rugby and Association Football developed out of this tradition that includes the Shrove Tuesday type games still played in England today.

John Florio, queen Anna's New World of words, 1611

Calcio, as Calce. Also a kind of play vsed in Spaine and Italie like vnto the play at Ballone.

Ban on Football at Oxford, Laudian Code (Statutes of Oxford University), 1636

It is enacted that scholars of all conditions shall abstain from every kind of game in which there is a money stake, as for instance, the games of dibs dice and cards, and also ball-play in the private yards and greens of the townsmen. Also, they must refrain from every kind of sport or exercise, whence danger, wrong or inconvenience may arise to others, from hunting wild animals with hounds of any kind, ferrets, nets or toils; and also from all parade and display of guns and cross-bows, and, again, from the use of hawks for fowling. In like manner, no scholars of any condition (and least of all graduates) are to play foot-ball within the University or its precinct.

Philip Stubbes, The Anatomie of Abuses: Contayning A DISCOVERIE, OR BRIEFE Summarie of such Notable Vices and Imperfections, as now raigne in many Christian Countreyes..., London, 1583 (Reprinted in facsimile by Da Capo Press, New York, 1972

"Playing at Foot-ball

Any excercise which withdraweth us from godlines, either upon the sabaoth, or any other day els, is wicked & to be forbiden . . . as concerning football playing: I protest unto you, it may rather be called a friendly kinde of fight, then a play or recreation. A bloody and murthering practice, then a felowly sport or pastime.

For: doth not every one lye in waight for his adversarie, seeking to overthrowe him & to picke him on his nose, though it be uppon hard stones, in ditch or dale, in valley or hil, or whatever place soever it be, hee careth not so he have him down. And he that can serve the most of this fashion, he is counted the only felow, and who but he? so that by this meanes, sometimes their necks are broken, sometimes their backs, sometime their legs, sometime thier armes, sometime one part thrust out of ioynt[joint], sometime an other, sometime the noses gush out with blood, sometime thier eyes start out: and sometimes hurt in one place, sometimes in another. But whosoever scapeth away the best goeth not scotfree, but is either sore wounded, craised and bruised, so as he dyeth of it, or else scapeth very hardly: and no mervaile, for they have the fleights [sp?] to meet one betwixt two, to dashe him against the hart with thier elbowes, to hit him under the short ribbes with their griped fists, and with thier knees to catch him upon the hip, and to pick him on his neck, with a hundered such murdering devices"

[Stubbes also denounces dancing, the theatre and reading of "wicked" books.]

Michael Dalton, The Countrey Iustice, London, 1618 (Reprinted in facsimile by Walter J. Johnson, Inc, Norwood NJ, 1975) - p.48

"Games unlawfull.

Every Iustice of peace may as well within Liberties, as without, enter into any common house or place, where any playing at dice, Tables,, or other unlawfull game, now invented, or hereafter to bee invented, shalbe suspected to bee used; And may arrest the keepers of such places and imprison them....

Also he may arrest and imprison the players there, til they be bound by themselves, or with sureties, no more to play at, or haunt any of the said places or games."

Henry Peacham, Minerva Britanna or a Garden of Heroical Devises..., London, 1612 (Reprinted by Da Capo Press, New York, 1971) "THE country Swaines, at footeball heere are Seene,

Which each gapes after, for to get a blow,

The while some one, away runnes with it cleane,

It meetes another, at the goale below.

Who never stirrd, one catcheth heere a fall,

And there one's maimd who never saw the ball.

From later sources and these it is clear that "passing" as we know it today was virtually unheard of. The object seems to have been that one of your players, "away runnes with it cleane" while you run interference.

For reenactment purposes this means that passing should probably be outlawed.

M. Claudius Paradin, The Heroical Devises of M. Claudius Paradin Canon of Bealeu. Whereunto are added the Lord Gabriel Symeons and others, London, 1591 (as reproduced in The English Emblem Tradition, Peter M. Daly ed., University of Toronto Press, 1993 "Devises

Concussus surgo.

[When struck I rise]

Being smaller, I mount aloft.

The Admirall Cabotius [Philippe Chabot, Admiral of France] alwais used for his armes, a round circle or globe like a ball, (that I may so tearme it) swelling with wind, with this inscription, I shaken and tost, doe arise, which sufficiently unfoldeth this simbole.

Gervase Markham, Country Contentments: Or The Husbandmans Recreations, London, 1631 - p.58

...Baloone... The other strong and mooving sport in the open fields, with a great Ball of double Leather fild with winde, and so driven too and fro withe the strength of a mans Arme arm'd in a Bracer of Wood, eyther of which actions must be learnt by the Eye and practise, not the eare or Reading.

J.W. Clark,"Football in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries", from the Cambridge Review, 1909 - p.307 Quote from the University registry:

29 Octobris 1632 It is ordered and decreed by Mr Vicechancellor and the Heads of Colledges and others then present. All Schollers and Students of those severall Colledges which have places to play att footeball within the precincts of theire owne Colledge shall not play att footeball in any other places, but such only as are within the precincts of theire owne severall Colledges. And that such Schollers and Students of other Colledges which have noe private places within the precincts of theire owne Colledges to play in, shall play only in the places hereafter named and noe other viz: The Schollers and Students of Gonvill and Caius Colledge only upon the backside of King's Colledge. etc.

Regulations issued by Roger Goade, Provost of King's College and Vice-Chancellor, 1595:

That the hurtfull and unschollerlike exercise of Footeball and meetings tendinge to that ende doe from henceforth utterly cease (except within places severall to the Colledges, and that for them only that be of the same Colledge) without noyse or outcry, under payne therein heretofore provided.

Richard Mulcaster, Positions Wherein Those Primitive Circumstances Be Examined, Which Are Necessarie for the Training up of Children..., London, 1581, (Reprinted by Da Capo Press, New York, 1971 undr the title "The Training Up Of Children") pp. 104-105 From Chapter 27, "Of the Ball."

(The handball, the footeball, the armeball.)

...the Footeball play, which could not possibly have growne to this greatnes, that it is now at, nor have bene so much used, as it is in all places, if it had not had great helpes, both to health and strength, and to me the abuse of it is a sufficient argument, that it hath a right use: which being revoked to his primative will both helpe, strength, and comfort nature: though as it is now commonly used, with thronging of a rude multitude, with burtsing of shinnes, & breaking of legges. it be neither civil, neither worthy the name of any traine to health. Wherin any man may evidently see the use of the trayning maister. For if one stand by, which can judge of the play, and is judge over the parties, & hath authoritie to commande in the place, all those inconveniences have bene, I know, & wilbe I am sure very lightly redressed, nay they will never entermedle in the matter, neither shall there be complaint, where ther is no cause.

From regulations concerning football in Kendal, 1641. R.S. Ferguson (ed.), The Boke off Kirkbie Kendall (Cumberland & Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archaelogical Society, extra series, VII, 1892), 170-1.

Item, it is ordered that whosoever do play football in the street and break any windows shall forfeit upon view thereof by the mayor or one of the aldermen in the ward where the fault is committed the sum of 12d for every time every party, and 3s 4d for every window by the same broken and to be committed till it be paid. The constable is to look to it to present it presently at every court day.