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Queen Elizabeth's Dudley Plays Stoolball at Wotton Hill?

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Famous
Location England
Game Stoolball
Age of Players Adult
Notables Lord Robert Dudley; Queen Elizabeth I

According to a manuscript written in the 1600s, Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester and his "Trayne" "came to Wotton, and thence to Michaelwood Lodge . . . and thence went to Wotton Hill, where hee paid a match at stobball."

Internal evidence places ths event in the fifteenth year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, which would be 1547-48. Elizabeth I named her close associate [once rumored to be her choice as husband] Dudley to became Earl of Leicester in the 1564, and he died in 1588.


Caveat: "Stobbal" is usually used to denote a field game resembling field hockey or golf; thus, this account may not relate to stoolball per se.


The Wotton account was written by John Smyth of Nibley (1567-1640) in his Berkeley Manuscripts [Sir John McLean, ed., Gloucester, Printed by John Bellows, 1883]. Smyth's association with Berkeley Castle began in 1589, and the Manuscripts were written in about 1618, so it is not a first-hand report.

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