Block:English Baseball 1800 - 1849

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English Baseball


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18001800 - 1849Yes

English Baseball 1800-1849 (28 entries)

Contents

Oxfordshire Churchwarden Encourages "base-ball" for Girls in 1816

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1816
Location Oxfordshire
Data

“Base-ball,” as an outdoor means of recreation for girls, was praised by an English churchwarden in a manuscript history of the Oxfordshire village of Watlington. The writer, John Badcock, made his point despite having it almost swallowed within an unusually convoluted sentence: “It is contrary to reason and common sense to expect that the most sober-minded, if wholly restrained from a game of cricket, or some other amusement--& the other sex from base-ball, or some recreation peculiar to themselves, & exclusively their own, would fill up every leisure hour of a fine summer's evening better, or perhaps so well, in any other way.” Mr. Badcock went on to argue that the lord of the manor, or some other landowner, should take a section of otherwise unusable land and create appropriate playing fields for boys and girls.

Sources

An Historical & Descriptive Account of Watlington, Oxfordshire, by John Badcock (1816), handwritten manuscript in the collection of the Oxfordshire History Centre, PAR279/9/MS/1, (former reference: MSS.D.D.Par.Wat-lington c.11)

Jane Austen Character Embraces "base ball" In Northanger Abbey: 1818

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1818
Location London/Hampshire
Data

Jane Austen employed the term "base ball" in a description of her character Catherine Morland in the novel Northanger Abbey: "It was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had by nature nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, base ball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books."

Notes

It is believed that Austen initially drafted the work that would become Northanger Abbey in the years 1798 and 1799, but it was not published until after her death (in conjunction with Persuasion). Austen in her younger days often visited her mother's first cousin, Cassandra Cooke, who also used the term baseball in her writings. In addition, one of Austen's childhood playmates in rural Hampshire County was Mary Russell, the mother of writer Mary Russell Mitford who also mentioned baseball in her works.

Sources

Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, by Jane Austen, London, 1818, John Murray, Vol. I, p. 7

"Base-ball" Cited in 1819 Science Textbook for Girls

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1819
Location London
Data

Use of the term "base-ball" in a physics text tailored toward female students. In the book, a student named Emily offers an example to explain the principle of inertia: "In playing at base-ball I am obliged to use my strength to give a rapid motion to the ball; and when I have to catch it, I am sure I feel the resistance it makes to being stopped."

Notes

Jane Haldimand Marcet was a groundbreaking author who wrote a series of highly popular physics, chemistry, and economics text books aimed at female students that were up-to-date and on the mark with their subject matter, yet also easy to read.

Sources

Conversations on Natural Philosophy; by Mrs. Marcet (Jane Haldimand Marcet); London; 1819; Longman, Rees, Orme and Brown, p. 13

"Base Ball" Named as "old-fashioned" in 1821 Book

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1821
Location London
Data

The game of "Base Ball" is itemized among a footnoted list of additional amusements for young children in a book devoted to their education: "A few others, old-fashioned, it is true, but ever interesting to childhood, may be added. Blind man's buff; Puss in the corner; Questions and Commands; Forfeits; My Lady's Toilette; Hunt the Slipper; Prison Bars; Base Ball; Hide and Seek; Cross Questions; and Riddles; but these last should be selected with great care for tender and innocent minds.”

Notes

Elsewhere in the book, on page 213, the author comments that the game of "bat and ball" is an appropriate sport for little boys and girls.

Sources

Early Education; or, The Management of Children Considered with a View to Their Future Character, by Miss (Elizabeth) Appleton, London, 1821, G. and W.B. Whittaker, p. 384

Girls and Boys Play "bass-ball" in 1821 Essay

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1821
Location London
Data

Mention of "bass-ball" in a religious-themed essay entitled "A Game at Skittles" that takes aim at the evils of gambling and liquor: "A village green, with its girls and boys playing at bass-ball, and its grown-up lads at cricket, is one of those English sights which I hope no false refinement will ever banish from among us."

Notes

"Bass-ball" is another of the alternate spellings for baseball used occasionally in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Sources

"A Game at Skittles," (author identified as "Editor K.," published within a larger work entitled The Plain Englishman, Vol. II, London, 1821, Hatchard and Son, p. 267

1823 Glossary Lists "Base-ball" as Local Suffolk Game

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1823
Location Suffolk
Data

A glossary of "lingual localisms" used in the English county of Suffolk names "Base-ball" among a long list of local games: "We have…a great variety of games, active and sedentary…Omitting games so universal as Cricket, Leap-frog, Marbles, etc., we have...Bandy, Bandy-wicket, Base-ball, Bandy-ball, Bubble-hole...Foot ball, Hocky (sic)..." and so on.

Sources

Suffolk Words and Phrases, by Edward Moor, Woodbridge (Suffolk), 1823, J. Loder for R. Hunter, p. 238

Mary Russell Mitford Mentions "baseball" Twice in 1825 Short Story

Block Game English Baseball
Date Sunday, January 9, 1825
Location Berkshire
Data

Mention of the game of "baseball" (twice) in a short story written by Mary Russell Mitford that was variously entitled "A Village Sketch" or "Jack Hatch": "Then comes a sun-burnt gipsy (sic) of six,…her longing eyes fixed on a game of baseball at the corner of the green...;" and, a few paragraphs later: "Then the little damsel gets an admission to the charity-school,...her thoughts fixed on buttonholes and spelling books,...despising dirt, baseball, and all their joys."

Notes

The dating of this item is not straightforward. The story appeared in numerous publications, as well as in the second volume of Miss Mitford's series of village stories entitled Our Village. A manuscript of the story was submitted to publisher Ackermann for inclusion in the 1826 edition of his annual Forget Me Not anthologies of stories and poetry, which was published for sale in the autumn of 1825. Miss Mitford mistakenly dated the letter accompanying the ms., Jan. 26, 1826; she obviously wrote it a year earlier on Jan. 26, 1825. The story appears to have first been printed in the Forget Me Not, followed shortly by several literary journals and Our Village (see below).

Sources

Manuscript of "A Village Sketch" included in a letter from Mary Russell Mitford to the publisher R. Ackermann sent from Three Mile Cross, Berkshire, and dated Jan. 9, 1826 (see notes), in the collection of the Houghton Library, Harvard University

Miss Mitford Mentions "base-ball" Again in 1826 Story

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1826
Location London/Berkshire
Data

Use of the term "base-ball" in a short story written by Mary Russell Mitford entitled "The Tenants of Beechgrove" and published in the second volume of her collection of Berkshire village stories Our Village: "Better than playing with her doll, better even than base-ball, or sliding or romping, does she like to creep of an evening to her father's knee."

Sources

Our Village, Vol. II, by Mary Russell Mitford, London, 1826, Geo. B. Whittaker, p. 28.

Man Identifies Place He Played "bass-ball" in 1826 Novel

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1826
Location Essex, London
Data

“Bass-ball” is mentioned in a four-volume novel concerning the comings, goings and doings of various high-born society types. In one scene a married couple, who have been having an argument while traveling in their coach, approach a stately house, the husband's boyhood home. The wife is sullen and grumpy, but her husband is excited because he has not been there in a long while: “'Is this the house?' said she, determined not to be pleased with any thing. 'Yes: look, Cary—there's where I have played trap-ball and bass-ball many a time.'”

Notes

An amusing review of this book appeared in the Sept. 30, 1826 issue of "The London Literary Gazette; and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, &c.": “We have heard of ladies changing their names, but never before met with a lady who had given up her name for initial letters as Miss M'Leod seems to have done. She dates her preface, however, from a place which sounds extremely matrimonial, viz. Fing-ring-ho Hall, Essex; and we dare hope that E.H.P is as happy as the late Miss M'Leod could wish her to be. So much for the author; and we have little more to say about the book. As drudging critics, we cannot be expected to know aught of Fashionable Life; and we can only guess that the Lords, Ladies, Honourable Mr.'s, Mistresses and Misses, Counts, Baronets and other great folks who figure in these pages, are drawn to the Life.”

Sources

Geraldine Murray, A Tale of Fashionable Life, Vol. III, by E.H.P., late Miss M'Leod, London, 1826, A.K. Newman, pp. 212-213

Girls under 14 Play Baseball at 1826 Eton Festival

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 12, 1826
Location Berkshire
Data

A baseball contest for girls under the age of 14 was one of the competitions at the Eton Brocas Festival, held on the Brocas meadows in Eton, Berkshire, across the Thames from Windsor Palace. A local newspaper in 1826 reported the presence of 200 boys and girls at the festival, but it wasn't until 75 years later that the same paper provided greater detail about the event, having discovered an original window bill that had been circulated to promote the festival. The 1901 followup article reported that the bill specified the amusements to take place at the festival, including: “Girls under 14 years of age to play at Baseball; the Winners to receive 1s. each and a Ribband; the losers a Ribband each.” Gender pay equity seems to have taken hold among the festival planners, because the promised rewards for boys under 14 who participated in the cricket contest were the same as those received by the girls.

Sources

Windsor and Eton Express, Aug. 12, 1826, p. 4; and Windsor and Eton Express, Nov. 9, 1901

Girl in 1827 Short Story Scolded for Playing "Bass Ball"

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1827
Location London/Durham
Data

Mention of "bass-ball" in a short story entitled "The Gipsey (sic) Girl," that appeared in The Amulet, an anthology of stories and poems. In the story a school mistress is scolding a young girl: "You can't say three times three without missing; you'd rather play at bass-ball, or hunt the hedges for wild flowers, than mend your stockings."

Notes

Although dated 1828, this work was published in mid-1827 and was reviewed in the October 13, 1827 issue of "The London Literary Gazette; and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, &c.," p. 657. The story appears to have been set in southern Durham County along the River Tees.

Sources

"The Gipsey (sic) Girl," by A.M.H., appearing in The Amulet: or, Christian and Literary Remembrancer, London, 1828, W. Baynes & Son, p. 423

Surrey Physician Recommends "bass-ball" for Girls in 1827

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1827
Location Surrey, London
Data

The game of "bass-ball" was recommended for girls in a book on education by Surrey physician William Newnham. Following a sentence where he commended cricket and football as suitable activities for boys, the author added: "with regard to girls, these amusements may be advantageously supplanted by bass-ball, battledore and shuttlecock, and similar active and playful pursuits."

Sources

Principles of Physical, Intellectual, Moral and Religious Education, Vol. I, by William Newnham, London, 1827, J. Hatcher and Sons, p. 123

Women's Prowess at Baseball Noted in 1827 Book Review

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, March 24, 1827
Location London
Data

Reference to "base-ball" (or "baseball") appearing in the review of a book about calisthenics for women that appeared in a literary journal. The reviewer criticized the book's Italian author for not being aware of the many athletic activities that English women pursue. Among the games itemized by the unnamed reviewer were "base-ball, a nonsuch (sic) for eyes and arms."

Notes

The word "base-ball" appeared at the end of a line of text and wrapped to the next line, so it is not clear if the writer intended it to be hyphenated or if the hyphen was inserted solely for the wrap.

Sources

Review of A Treatise on Calisthenic (sic) Exercises, Arranged for the Private Tuition of Ladies, by Signor Voarino, appearing in "The London Literary Gazette; and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, &c.", March 24, 1827, London, p. 183

Miss Mitford Cites Girls Playing Baseball in 1828 Story

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1828
Location London/Berkshire
Data

Another reference to "baseball" in the works of Mary Russell Mitford. This one appears in the introduction to her third volume of village stories, Our Village, in which she updates readers to changes in the village: "And yet they have light hearts too, poor urchins; witness Dame Wilson's three sun-burnt ragged boys who with Ben Kirby and a few comrades of lesser note, are bawling and squabbling at marbles on one side of the road; and Master Andrew's four fair-haired girls who are scrambling and squalling at baseball on the other!"

Sources

Our Village, Vol. III, by Mary Russell Mitford, London, 1828, Geo. B. Whittaker, p. 4

Magazine Writer Bemoans Lack of "bass-ball" Venues in 1828

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, July 23, 1828
Location London
Data

The word "bass-ball" is found in an entry from the "Diary for the Month of July," a monthly feature of "The London Magazine." The entry for July 23rd decries the disappearance of playing grounds caused by growing city congestion, stating: "The unhappy boys of the metropolis are sadly off in this particular. Where can they assemble for cricket, or trap-bat, or bass-ball?"

Sources

"Diary for the Month of July," appearing in "The London Magazine," August, 1828, London, p. 117

"Baste Balling" Featured at Village Whitsuntide Fair in 1830

Block Game English Baseball
Date Monday, May 17, 1830
Location Berkshire
Data

"Baste Balling" was listed in a newspaper notice as one of the diversions to be offered at the annual celebration of Whitsuntide in the village of Knowl Hill in Berkshire: "Whitsuntide Amusements...There will be a Cricket Match, at the Seven Stars, Knowl Hill, on Whit-Tuesday; wickets to be pitched at eleven o'clock.--Donkey Racing, Baste Balling for Ribbons, and a great variety of other amusements."

Sources

Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette, May, 17, 1830, p.1

"Base ball" Competition Returns to Village Fair in 1831

Block Game English Baseball
Date Monday, May 23, 1831
Location Berkshire
Data

"Base ball" again was one of the attractions advertised to take place at the Knowl-hill (sic) (Berkshire) recreations: "The Knowl-hill Yearly Recreations will take place on Whit Tuesday, when the lovers of sport will find ample amusement. To commence with a Cricket Match, at 9 o'clock, for ribbons; Base Ball for ditto; Donkey Racing, Running in Sacks, Gingling (sic), Dipping for Eels, Climbing for a Hat, Bowling for a Cheese; a Female Race for a new Gown-piece, and a variety of other Amusements."

Sources

Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette, May, 23, 1831, p.2

"Base-ball" Cited in 1833 Juvenile Story

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1833
Location London
Data

"Base-ball" is mentioned in a story entitled "Robert Wilmot" published as part of a book of similar juvenile stories: "After this they were rather at a loss for a game. They had played at base-ball and leap-frog; and rival coaches, with six horses at full speed, and had been driven several times around the garden, to the imminent risk of box-edgings and the corners of flowerbeds: what were they to do next?"

Sources

"Robert Wilmot," anon., appearing in The Parent's Cabinet of Amusement and Instruction, London, 1833, Smith Elder and Co., p. 106

English Baseball in London/Sussex in 1833

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1833
Location London/Sussex
Data

The word "base-ball" appears in a memoir written by Rev. J. Young. describing a visit to the Sussex countryside of his youth, he recalled: "…my mind turned mechanically to the period when upon the beautiful lawn…I had viewed, with a moment's pleasurable sensation, my friends bounding over the enameled earth, like the fawns by which they were surrounded, while playing at base-ball, and then, retiring..., refreshed themselves with wine and fruit..."

Sources

Literary Recreations; or, Scenes from Real Life, by the Rev. J. Young, London, 1833, Whittaker & Co., p. 291

English Baseball in London/Berkshire in 1835

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1835
Location London/Berkshire
Data

Yet another reference to "base-ball" in the works of Mary Russell Mitford. This one comes in a story called "The Carpenter's Daughter" in volume I of Belford Regis, a further, three-volume collection of Berkshire county stories and sketches. Following a description of a cricket game, she wrote: "What can be prettier than this, unless it be the fellow-group of girls--sisters, I presume, to the boys--who are laughing and screaming round the great oak; then darting to and fro, in a game compounded of hide-and-seek and base-ball. Now tossing the ball high,...now flinging it low along the common, bowling as it were almost within reach of the cricketers."

Notes

Illustrating the irregularity of the era's spelling standards, Miss Mitford's works of the 1820's and 30's spell baseball variously as "baseball" (one word), "base-ball" (hyphenated), and "bass-ball."

Sources

“The Carpenter's Daughter,” appearing in Belford Regis, Vol. I, by Mary Russell Mitford, London, 1835, Richard Bentley, p. 137

English Baseball in Leipzig, Saxony (Germany) in 1837

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1837
Location Leipzig, Saxony (Germany)
Data

The word “base-ball” was briefly defined in an English-German dictionary as “das Ballspiel mit.” The literal translation is “the ballgame with.”

Notes

I'm not sure how to interpret the translation.

Sources

A New and Complete Dictionary of the English and German Languages, Part I, English-German, J. H. Kaltschmidt, Leipsic (Leipzig), 1837, Charles Tauchnitz, P. 53

English Baseball in London on December 7 1839

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, December 7, 1839
Location London
Data

The term "base-ball" was cited in an entry from an British sports encyclopedia (An Encyclopædia of Rural Sports) entitled “Games of the Ball” that was previewed in an Irish newspaper. After describing hand-ball as as an appropriate game for young people of both sexes, the author of the encyclopedia added: "There are few of us of either sex but have engaged in base-ball since our majority; and the gravity of middle age is pleasingly broken in upon by the feats of pat-ball, as we see it practised among our children."

Notes

The earliest edition of the encyclopedia is dated 1840, yet the excerpt taken from it appeared in December, 1839, suggesting that the book was released earlier than its publishing date or that the newspaper received an advance copy. The name “pat-ball” is a generic term for games in which two players strike a ball back and forth between them, and later in the 19th century was applied derogatorily to lawn tennis by some racquets and court tennis players.

Sources

Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier, Dec. 7, 1839, p.4 (excerpted from An Encyclopædia of Rural Sports, by Delabere P. Blaine, London, 1840, Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longmans, p. 131

English Baseball in London/Buckinghamshire on October 23 1841

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, October 23, 1841
Location London/Buckinghamshire
Data

The term "bass-ball" appeared in a magazine column called "Railway Rambles" that was a regular feature of "The Penny Magazine." The article laments recent changes to the pretty, south Buckinghamshire village of Stoke (now called Stoke Poges): "There was a village green some twenty years ago—the prettiest of greens; but now there is a straight road between two hedgerows; and the cheerful spot where the noise of cricket and bass-ball once gladdened the ear on a summer eve is now silent."

Sources

"Railway Rambles," appearing in "The Penny Magazine," Oct. 23, 1841, London, p. 412

English Baseball in Berkshire on September 30 1843

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 30, 1843
Location Berkshire
Data

“Base ball” was played as part of the annual treat for boy and girl students of St. Lawrence's Sunday School in Reading, Berkshire: “The children, above 200 in number, assembled in a meadow adjoining the Forbury, where they amused themselves with cricket, base ball, and other recreations during the afternoon, and were afterwards assembled at the school room in the churchyard and were regaled with buns and tea.”

Sources

Berkshire Chronicle, Sept. 30, 1843, p. 3

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 26 1845

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 26, 1845
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

A newspaper reported that "Base ball" was played at a festival of the South Bucks Friendly Society in High Wycombe: "They there spent the remaining part of the day in the greatest good humour, order, and decorum, some at cricketing, others at trap and bat, base ball, four corners, &c."

Sources

Bucks Herald, July 26, 1845, p. 4

English Baseball in Norfolk on December 11 1847

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, December 11, 1847
Location Norfolk
Data

"Base ball" was remembered at a reunion of former students of the Norwich Free Grammar School who gathered to dine together and to recall their school days of 30 years earlier: "Here was the true English character exhibited, all the frost, and stiffness, and foolery of etiquette gave way before the good old English feeling of boyish reminiscences. Here met again the rival leaders in cricket, camp, hocky (sic), fives, or base ball."

Sources

Norfolk News, Dec. 11, 1847, p. 4

English Baseball in Surrey, London in 1848

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1848
Location Surrey, London
Data

Mention of "base-ball" in a novel by Albert Smith: "...they went over to Bushey (sic) Park, where most of the party from the van had collected. And they were having such games! base-ball, and thread-the-needle, and kiss-in-the-ring, until their laughter might have been heard at Twickenham."

Notes

Bushy Park is the second largest of London's Royal Parks, located in the borough of Richmond upon Thames. It was part of Surrey in the 19th century. Twickenham is a nearby town in the same borough.

Sources

The Struggles and Adventures of Christopher Tadpole at Home and Abroad, by Albert Smith, London, 1848, Richard Bentley, p. 121

English Baseball in Suffolk on September 2 1848

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 2, 1848
Location Suffolk
Data

"Baste ball" was identified as one of the games played at the Boxford National School fete in Boxford, Suffolk: "After the repast the party engaged in various sports, consisting of cricket, baste ball, dancing, &c."

Sources

Ipswich Journal, Sept. 2, 1848