Block:English Baseball 1860s

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English Baseball 1860s (65 entries)

Contents

English Baseball in Norfolk on June 2 1860

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 2, 1860
Location Norfolk
Data

“Base ball” was one of the games played at a Whitsuntide treat hosted in Carrow, Norfolk, by J. J. Colman, Esq., for his employees and their families, numbering nearly 1300 people altogether, on the meadows behind Carrow Abbey. A newspaper article reported that: “The young men had a game of cricket, the boys played at base ball and other games. Kissing in the ring appeared to be the favorite sport of the girls and children, while the men smoked their pipes and watched the games in calm enjoyment.”

Notes

The village name “Carrow” no longer exists, with the site and the ancient abbey having been incorporated into Bracondale, a neighborhood of northeast Norwich.

Sources

Norfolk News, June 2, 1860, p. 5

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on June 30 1860

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 30, 1860
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base ball” was again mentioned as one of the amusements enjoyed at the annual rural fête held at Stoke Park to raise funds for the Slough (Buckinghamshire) Literary and Scientific Institution. The festivities proceeded for many hours, notwithstanding unfavorable weather. A newspaper reported that “in the cricket match that was commenced in the morning between the Slough and Egham clubs, the players enjoyed some hours, if not of sunny weather, at least of immunity from the heavy rain which commenced falling between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, the time at which visitors in the greatest numbers poured into the park. . .Those engaged in trap and base ball seldom deserted their posts, while the swings provided for the juvenile portion of the crowd were unoccupied only during the heaviest showers.”

Sources

Windsor and Eton Express, June 30, 1860, p. 3

English Baseball in Herts, Bedfordshire on July 14 1860

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 14, 1860
Location Herts, Bedfordshire
Data

“Base-ball” was among the activities enjoyed by members and friends of the Luton (Bedfordshire) Harmonic Society at their annual fête held at Lilley Hoo, a large, commons area in nearby Hertfordshire. A newspaper reported that “the games of cricket and base-ball were carried on with manly spirit, and dancing to the excellent music of the brass band, wound up a very pleasant meeting.”

Notes

The words “manly spirit” suggest that baseball was played by men on this occasion, something not usually noted about English baseball during this time period.

Sources

Luton Times and Advertiser, July 14, 1860, p.4

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 18 1860

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 18, 1860
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

A newspaper reported that "bassball" was one of the games played at the annual festival of the parochial schools of Chesham, Buckinghamshire: "…the meadows were well filled with the townspeople and others from the surrounding neighbourhood, and the usual games such as cricket, football, bassball, and bat-trap, were entered into with great zest and continued till the close of day..."

Sources

Bucks Herald, Aug. 18, 1860, p. 6

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 25 1860

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 25, 1860
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

A newspaper mentioned that "base-ball" was played at the annual feast of the Church Sunday School of Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire: "After partaking of beef and plum pudding, the children adjourned to a meadow kindly lent them by Mr. Gurney, and were soon scattered in every part--some playing cricket, foot-ball, and base-ball; whilst others were racing for handkerchiefs, kindly given by Mrs. Edwards."

Sources

Bucks Herald, Aug. 25, 1860, p. 5

English Baseball in Norfolk on June 15 1861

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 15, 1861
Location Norfolk
Data

“Base” was named as an athletic sport of “olden time” in the introduction to a Norwich, Norfolk, newspaper article giving the results of the local grammar schools sports competitions. “In Olden Time,” the writer stated, “the Athletic Sports of Boyhood were Hockey, Base, Cricket, Camp, Racing, and now and then a little Wrestling. Now-a-days, however, athletic exercises are become as regular an affair of study and practice as any other part of education, and the Gymnasium is once again in active force in public schools.” The article went on to provide the results of various races held on the recent “public day.”

Notes

“Base” as a single word representing baseball was not uncommon in Norfolk, although there is a small possibility this could be a reference to prisoner's base.

Sources

Norwich Mercury, June 15, 1861, p. 5

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 6 1861

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 6, 1861
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

"Base-ball" was played at a Band of Hope meeting in Marlow, Buckinghamshire: "The committee arranged to give juveniles a treat, and the games of trap-ball, base-ball, cricket, swinging, &c. were indulged in until the tea and cake were spread on the grass, when nearly a hundred congregated, and all heartily enjoyed the repast."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, July 6, 1861, p. 4

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 27 1861 (2)

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 27, 1861
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base-ball” was a featured game at the annual treat held for children attending the Wesleyan Sunday School of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. A newspaper reported that as soon as the children arrived at a local park, “they commenced playing at cricket, foot and base-ball, &c., and the usual games resorted to on such occasions.”

Sources

Bucks Chronicle and Bucks Gazetter, July 27, 1861, p. 2 (same issue as above)

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 27 1861

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 27, 1861
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base-ball” was played at the annual tea meeting of the members, friends, and children of the Union Chapel of High Wycombe, a large town in Buckinghamshire. A newspaper reported that “upwards of 200 sat down to tea; after which amusements of cricket, foot and base-ball, &c. were indulged in.”

Sources

Bucks Chronicle and Bucks Gazetter, July 27, 1861, p. 2

English Baseball in Bedfordshire on August 10 1861

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 10, 1861
Location Bedfordshire
Data

Games, including “base ball,” were among the amusements offered to those attending the annual festival of the Temperance Society of Luton, Bedfordshire, held in a meadow at the top of Upper George Street. A newspaper reported on the various activities at the festival, describing a band concert and copious refreshments, and mentioning that “there being plenty of room to engage in all sorts of games, cricket, trap bat, base ball, French tag, and kiss-in-the-ring, were indulged in pretty freely.”

Sources

Bedfordshire Mercury (Bedford), Aug. 10, 1861, p. 5

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on April 26 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, April 26, 1862
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base ball” was among the games enjoyed on a Good Friday outing by 200 boys and girls of the Lower Meeting House schools of Amersham, a town in the Chiltern Hills area of Buckinghamshire. A newspaper reported that “after tea, they adjourned to a meadow close by, where base ball, drop glove, and other innocent amusements were freely entered into, not only by the young but by those advanced in years.”

Sources

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette, Aug. 1, 1863, p. 5

English Baseball in Hampshire on April 26 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, April 26, 1862
Location Hampshire
Data

A newspaper reported "base ball" being part of an outdoors celebration of Good Friday by children from the Tadley Chapel Sabbath and Day Schools in Basingstoke, Hampshire: "The day was fine and the party very much enjoyed the entertainment provided for them; after which they amused themselves at the well-known games of base ball, cricket, &c."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, April 26, 1862, p. 4

English Baseball in Suffolk on June 7 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 7, 1862
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base-ball” was among the pastimes enjoyed on Whit Monday at the annual gala of the Temperance Society of Ipswich, Suffolk, held two miles west of town on the grounds of The Chauntry. According to a newspaper report: “The Rifle Band, under the direction of Mr. Gunning, was in attendance, and to their music not a few 'led the merry dance,' whilst foot-ball, base-ball, cricket, swinging, see-saws, Aunt Sally, and, of course, kissing in the ring--(this being a great occasion for such mutual interchanges)--were going on in different parts.”

Sources

Supplement to The Suffolk Chronicle; or Ipswich General Advertiser & County Express, June 7, 1862, p. 1

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire on July 4 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 4, 1862
Location Buckinghamshire, Berkshire
Data

“Baseball” was played at the annual outing for children of the Wesleyan Sunday School of Cookham, Berkshire, to the woods and greenery of Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire. A newspaper reported that: “After arriving at the Beeches games were started, such as cricket, baseball, swinging, &c. About 4 o'clock an excellent tea was provided..., after which the games were carried on with renewed vigour till about 8 o'clock.”

Sources

South Bucks Free Press and South Oxfordshire Gazette (Wycombe), July 4, 1862, p. 8

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 5 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 5, 1862
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

A planned game of “base-ball,” along with other amusements, was washed out by a rainstorm at the annual rural fête held in Stoke Park to benefit the Slough (Buckinghamshire) Literary and Scientific Institution. A newspaper reported that: “A game of cricket was commenced in the morning between the Mechanics' Institution and the Chalvey clubs, but the rain soon compelled the contestants to retire, and play was not resumed until evening. The games of base-ball, foot-ball, trap-ball and quoits, which were to have been played during the day, on the north front of the mansion, as well as archery, Aunt Sally, and other amusements, in the ground on the south front . . . had likewise to be abandoned to a great extent.”

Sources

Windsor and Eton Express, April 26, 1862, p. 3

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 2 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 2, 1862
Location Suffolk
Data

"Base ball" was played at the annual fête, or “gipsy party,” of the Orwell Works, a large agricultural machinery factory in Ipswich, Suffolk, that employed thousands. A newspaper article described some of the entertainments: “The usual preparation had been made for the amusement of young folks. Round-a-bouts had been improvised out of the works of horse thrashing machines and stout beams; swings were suspended from some of the stoutest trees; and cricket, base-ball and other games were freely indulged in; and that game of games in which both sexes can take part, and which, be it said, seemed to be highly relished—kissing in the ring; whilst for those who felt inclined to 'trip the light fantastic toe,' ground had been staked off and roped off, so that the merry dance could go on without interruption.”

Sources

The Suffolk Chronicle; or Ipswich General Advertiser & County Express, Aug. 2, 1862, p. 9

English Baseball in Surrey on August 9 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 9, 1862
Location Surrey
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the amusements enjoyed by fifty boys and girls at the annual treat for students of the Meadrow Sunday School of Godalming, Surrey. A newspaper, in one weighty sentence, reported that: “The children and their teachers assembled at the school at two o'clock, and immediately repaired to an adjacent meadow, where cricket, trap, base-ball, football, drop handkerchief, kiss-in-the-ring, scrambling for sugarplums, and such like innocent and mirth-provoking amusements, were indulged in to the intense delight of the children, their little faces beaming with happiness, and many of the parents enjoying themselves in seeing the pleasures of the juveniles.”

Sources

West Surrey Times (Guildford), Aug. 9, 1862, p. 3

English Baseball in Suffolk on September 6 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 6, 1862
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the games played at the amalgamated fête hosted by the Odd Fellows and Foresters societies of Ipswich, Suffolk, held at Wherstead Park located two miles south of the city. A newspaper article described some of the activities: “The usual games were early on the move. It was evident that those present determined to make the most of it; and it was pleasant to see the family parties picnicing (sic) under the shadows of the trees, enjoying not only their food with a good relish, but the spectacles around them. Cricket, base-ball, swinging—and, need we add, kissing in the ring, appeared to afford much gratification; and the pleasures of the day were further heightened by the Rifle Band, which played a variety of pieces in its usual capital style.”

Sources

The Suffolk Chronicle; or Ipswich General Advertiser & County Express, Sept. 6, 1862, p. 9

English Baseball in Berkshire on September 6 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 6, 1862
Location Berkshire
Data

"Bass ball" was one of the games played at an afternoon's outing of Sunday school teachers and other friends of the Reading (Berkshire) Sunday School Union: "About 200 assembled during the afternoon, and after taking part in games of cricket, archery, bass ball, throwing the hammer, &c., they were well prepared for the tea which they had bountifully provided for their refreshment."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, Sept. 6, 1862, p. 5

English Baseball in Norfolk on November 15 1862

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, November 15, 1862
Location Norfolk
Data

The word "base-ball" appeared in a speech given by the Sheriff of Norwich, Norfolk, in an awards ceremony for students in the city who had scored highly on competitive examinations. A newspaper reported that the Sheriff urged the boys and girls "to be fairly in earnest in any matter they undertook, whatever it may happen to be. Whether it were in competitive examinations or in their ordinary school lessons, let them not go to work in a half-hearted way. If they were playing a game of cricket or base-ball, they would not say 'thank-you' for a fellow who did not play in earnest, but laid down and took no part in the game; so in their studies let them take care that whatever they took in hand they did it fairly and earnestly."

Sources

The Norfolk News, Eastern Counties Journal, and Norwich, Yarmouth and Lynn Commercial Gazette, Nov. 15, 1862, p. 2

English Baseball in Suffolk on March 21 1863

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, March 21, 1863
Location Suffolk
Data

A newspaper reported that "bass ball" was played in Benhall, Suffolk, as part of that village's celebration of the recent wedding of the Prince of Wales: "After this the men and youths of the parish resorted to a meadow lent by Mr. Tummer, and most heartily did they pitch the wicket, and handle the bat, while others amused themselves with bat, trap and bass ball which continued till the time of the royal salute, which took place at twelve o'clock..."

Sources

Ipswich Journal, Mar. 21, 1863, p. 3

English Baseball in Hampshire on July 11 1863

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 11, 1863
Location Hampshire
Data

“Base ball” was mentioned amid a large display advertisement announcing “A Grand Temperance Demonstration and Annual Festival of the Christchurch Temperance Society.” Christchurch, on England's southern coast, was then part of Hampshire but has since been reassigned to Dorset. The ad specified many activities for the day, among them: “For Juveniles there will be Merry-go-round, Gymnasium, swings, See-Saw, Rounders or Base Ball, Jumping Stocks, Mechanical Models in motion: -Windsor Park, a Railway Train, Musical Bells, &c., &c.”

Sources

Christchurch Times, July 11, 1863, p. 1

English Baseball in Berkshire on July 25 1863

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 25, 1863
Location Berkshire
Data

"Base-ball" was mentioned in a newspaper report of the Baptist Sabbath School's anniversary celebration in Newbury, Berkshire: "The children were highly amused by playing at cricket, base-ball, &c.; tea and cake were provided for them in one of the barns, which was very prettily decorated with flowers and evergreens."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, July 25, 1863, p. 4

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 1 1863 (2)

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 1, 1863
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base ball” was one of the amusements offered to youngsters at the Annual Festival of Parochial Schools of Chesham, Buckinghamshire. A newspaper reported that “various games were indulged in, such as cricket, base ball, bat and trap, drop glove, &c.”

Sources

Uxbridge & Drayton Gazette, Aug. 1, 1863, p. 5

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 1 1863

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 1, 1863
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

It was reported that "base ball" was one of the entertainments offered at the Annual Tea Meeting of the teachers and children of the Primitive Methodist Schools of Wycombe, Buckinghamshire: "The children, in procession, paraded the town at one o'clock, with flags and banners flying, bearing suitable mottos, and headed by the Saxe-horn Band, proceeded to the ground, where, after tea, amusements of foot and base ball, cricket, &c. were entered into."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, Aug. 1, 1863, p. 6

English Baseball in Berkshire on August 29 1863

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 29, 1863
Location Berkshire
Data

A newspaper reported that "base ball" was played at the annual Band of Hope Festival in Reading, Berkshire: "The youthful teetotalers, who numbered several hundred,…then proceeded to a spacious meadow at the rear of the Hospital, where they were soon supplied with an excellent tea, after which, cricket, base ball, French romp, kite flying, and other amusements were indulged until dusk."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, Aug. 29, 1863, p. 5

English Baseball in Surrey on October 3 1863

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, October 3, 1863
Location Surrey
Data

“Base-ball” was played by carpenters in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company at their annual holiday held in the village of Shalford just south of Guildford in Surrey. According to a newspaper report, “The party, numbering about ninety, arrived at the railway station at eleven o'clock, and immediately proceeded to the common, where cricket, trap-bat, base-ball, quoits, Aunt Sally—the old lady's first appearance at Shalford, need we add she was warmly received—and other games were carried on with immense vivacity, till dinner was announced. . .”

Notes

“Aunt Sally” is a game whereupon players attempt to knock a model of an old lady's head off a platform by throwing sticks at it. A modified version is still played to day in some southern English pubs.

Sources

West Surrey Times (Guildford), Oct. 3, 1863, p. 3

English Baseball in Hampshire on June 25 1864

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 25, 1864
Location Hampshire
Data

“Base-ball” was announced as one of the amusements that would be offered to those attending the upcoming Grand Rural Fete to be staged in Christchurch, Hampshire, by the Working Man's Institute. A newspaper advertisement heralded the event, to be staged at the local Pleasure Gardens, Flower Gardens and Park. It announced that “in the Park, the following amusements have been provided—Archery, Cricket, Croquet, Quoits, Football, High Jumping, Merry-go-round, Gymnasium, Swings, See-saw, Rounders or Base-ball, Skittles, Aunt Sally, &c.”

Notes

It is not clear what is meant by the wording “rounders or base-ball,” whether the writer intended to indicate that the words represented two names for the same game, or that attendees could choose between the two.

Sources

Christchurch Times, June 25, 1864, p. 1

English Baseball in Bedfordshire Herts on June 28 1864

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, June 28, 1864
Location Bedfordshire Herts
Data

Water "base ball" was highlighted in a London front-page newspaper advertisement promoting an upcoming swimming competition: "CRYSTAL PALACE.-- Great Swimming Fete and Competition, Monday next, Aug. 24 at four o'clock. Swimming Races 100, 200, 400 yards, and one mile. Aquatic Steeple-chases. Water Base Ball. Pole Walking. Exhibitions of Ornamental Swimming by Professor Beckwith and others."

Sources

Leighton Buzzard Observerer and Linslade Gazette (Bedfordshire), June 28, 1864, p. 3

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 16 1864

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 16, 1864
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

It was reported that "base ball" was played at the school treat of the Sunday and National Day Schools of the village of Lane End in Buckinghamshire: "After tea, a variety of games were introduced, such as cricket, 'Aunt Sally'--which appeared to be the most liberally patronised by the young people--while others found amusement in base ball and various sports."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, July 16, 1864, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on July 19 1864

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, July 19, 1864
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base ball” was one of the games played at an outing for students attending the Wesleyan Sunday School, located in the small village of Wenhaston in northeastern Suffolk. On this occasion, according to a newspaper report, the youngsters were first served a tea, and then “after they had partaken of the good cheer they adjourned to a meadow . . . where they enjoyed themselves in games of cricket, base ball, running, jumping &c., till nearly dusk.”

Sources

The Halesworth Times and East Suffolk Advertiser, July 19, 1864, p. 4

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 20 1864

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 20, 1864
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste ball” was identified as one of the activities enjoyed at the annual “gipsy party” held for the families of workmen of the Orwell Works of Ipswich, Suffolk. A newspaper reported that “various games, such as cricket, baste ball, and the much patronised one of kissing in the ring, &c., were heartily indulged in.”

Sources

The Suffolk Chronicle; or Ipswich General Advertiser & County Express, Aug. 20, 1864, p. 5

English Baseball in East & West Sussex on August 25 1864

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, August 25, 1864
Location East & West Sussex
Data

“Baseball” was played when the fishermen and boatmen of Brighton (East Sussex) and Worthing (West Sussex) along with their families and friends enjoyed their annual excursion to East Grinstead in West Sussex. After arriving by train, the party of 400 attended church and then sat down to a dinner that was followed by various speeches and presentations. According to a newspaper report, “the company then dispersed through the field and town, and all seemed to enjoy themselves greatly. Baseball, cricket, bowls, and a variety of other games were carried on with much vigour, while the elder portion smoked their pipes and were highly amused with the various sports.”

Sources

Brighton Gazette, Aug. 25, 1864, p. 7

English Baseball in Suffolk on June 17 1865

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 17, 1865
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste ball” was named as one of the outdoor games played at a “conversazione” hosted by gentlemen who had taken part in the Reading and Musical Entertainments the previous winter in Framlingham, Suffolk. The newspaper covering the event reported that the guests, comprising sixty male and female friends, first sat down for a tea. Then, “the tables were spread with choice fruits; and speeches, recitations, music and singing, with outdoor games of croquet, baste ball, kissing in the ring, dancing, etc., took place and were heartily entered into.”

Sources

Framlingham Weekly News, June 17, 1865, p. 1

English Baseball in East & West Sussex on June 22 1865

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, June 22, 1865
Location East & West Sussex
Data

It was announced that “brace ball” would be among the entertainments at the upcoming annual picnic of the Brighton (East Sussex) Sacred Harmonic Society to be held in Henfield, a town in nearby West Sussex. According to a newspaper report, “a match of cricket is to be played between the married and single gentlemen. Trap, brace ball, and singing, will form some of the amusements of the day.”

Notes

This is one of four examples where “base ball” was spelled “brace ball.” Henfield was (is) friendly territory for safe haven ball games. It sports one of the oldest cricket clubs (1771) and has been a hotspot for stool-ball since the mid-19th century.

Sources

Brighton Gazette, June 22, 1865, p. 5

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on June 30 1865

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, June 30, 1865
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base ball” was reported to be among the games played at the annual fete for members of the Mechanics Institute of West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The festivities were held on the vicarage grounds where, following a concert by Mr. John Youens and his celebrated Saxhorn Band, “the company now began to assemble and swinging,, trap bat, base ball, drop glove, &c. were the order of the day.”

Sources

South Bucks Free Press and South Oxfordshire Gazette (Wycombe), June 30 1865, p. 2

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 15 1865

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 15, 1865
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

A newspaper reported that “base ball” was among the amusements offered at the annual fete for children of the Wesleyan Sunday Schools of West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. After assembling the children paraded through the village to a private park called Kilson's Meadow (“kindly lent for the occasion by Lady Dashwood”), “where they amused themselves, as children best know how, in swinging, base ball, cricket, &c., until tea was ready.”

Sources

South Bucks Free Press and South Oxfordshire Gazette (Wycombe), July 15, 1865, p. 2

English Baseball in Berkshire on August 26 1865

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 26, 1865
Location Berkshire
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the games enjoyed at the annual fête of the Mechanics' Institution of Maidenhead, Berkshire. The proceeding began with a cricket match followed by dinner at local hotel. Toasts were given, and then, according to a newspaper report, “the company dispersed to the athletic games and sports, which consisted of cricket, quoits, trap, and base-ball, kiss-in-the-ring, &c.”

Sources

Windsor and Eton Express, Aug. 26th, 1865, p. 3

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on September 2 1865

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 2, 1865
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base ball” was among the games played by children of the Church Sunday Schools of West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, at their annual treat. After proceeding the the vicarage grounds and playing for a while, they sat down to a tea. “The usual amusements were then continued, many of the elderly matrons joining with great spirit with the children at base ball, drop glove, &c.”

Sources

South Bucks Free Press and South Oxfordshire Gazette (Wycombe), Sept. 2, 1865, p. 2

English Baseball in London in 1866

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1866
Location London
Data

An strange mention of "base ball" is found in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek magazine article about London's Whitecross Street Prison. The writer describes the place--a debtor's prison--as if it were some sort of hostelry, and characterizes the inmates as "knights." At one point, the warden, or "governor," is explaining the prison's routine to a group of new inmates. Done with this, in a complete non sequitur, he pronounces: "And now gentlemen, I shall wish you good morning, as I am engaged in a match of base-ball."

Notes

Apart from the oddity of the context, it was a bit unusual for an adult male Londoner to identify with baseball in that era.

Sources

"Records of Whitecross Street Prison," appearing in "The Sixpenny Magazine," June, 1866, London, p. 284

English Baseball in Suffolk on May 26 1866

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, May 26, 1866
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base-ball” was among the many amusements offered at the annual fête of the Odd Fellows and Foresters societies of Ipswich, Suffolk, held on the grounds of The Chauntry. The newspaper coverage of the event reported that “here the most popular game was, as usual, 'Kiss in the ring,' which was carried on with untiring energy at several rings during the whole of the afternoon. Dancing, too, was entered into with great gusto . . . whilst in another part of the grounds there were foot races, archery, &c. Besides these more public amusements, in various nooks and corners one came upon family parties engaged in at base-ball and other games, and all appeared to be doing their best to enjoy themselves, and to succeed admirably.”

Sources

The Suffolk Chronicle; or Ipswich General Advertiser & County Express, May 26, 1866, p. 9

English Baseball in Bedfordshire on May 26 1866

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, May 26, 1866
Location Bedfordshire
Data

“Base” balls were among the wares advertised for sale in a newspaper listing by a Luton, Bedfordshire, manufacturer and purveyor of wooden implements for various purposes, including bats, wickets, etc. for cricket, croquet and trap-ball. At the bottom of his display advertisement, after listing his prices for traps and trap bats, and for cricket bats of all sizes, the tradesman, John Spratley, added a final line which read: “All Kinds of Cricket Balls supplied. Also Trap, Tennis, Base and Foot Balls.”

Notes

It is quite startling that an ad for baseballs would appear in an 1866 English newspaper. It is improbable that these baseballs would have been for the American version of the game, as the earliest known appearance anywhere in Britain of that form was in northern Scotland in 1870. it is more likely these balls were for English-style baseball, but even that is surprising since there is no evidence the English game was ever organized or used standardized or commercially manufactured equipment.

Sources

Luton Times and Advertiser, May 26, 1866, p. 2

English Baseball in Cambridgeshire on July 21 1866

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 21, 1866
Location Cambridgeshire
Data

“Bass-ball” was one of the pastimes enjoyed at an outdoors anniversary celebration held for families and friends of members of the Providence Lodge of Ancient Shepherds of Soham, a small town in eastern Cambridgeshire. After an indoor lunch and speeches, a newspaper reported that “the members, accompanied by the Soham band, adjourned to the orchard, and were then joined by their wives, children and friends to the number of about 2000. Rural sports were commenced in great variety, and carried on with much spirit, including pony, mule, and donkey races, jumping in sacks, foot races, hurdle races, aunt sally, &c., concluding with a wheelbarrow race in the river, for all of which good prizes were given. Mr. Wilkerson burnt a variety of coloured fires. Kiss-in-the-ring, bass-ball, and other games were introduced, and the Soham band frequently played some good music.”

Sources

Bury Free Press, July 21, 1866, p. 11

English Baseball in East & West Sussex on July 26 1866

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, July 26, 1866
Location East & West Sussex
Data

“Base ball” was among the many activities on offer to employees of Hannington's Department Store of Brighton, East Sussex, who, along with their families, were treated by their employer to an afternoon's outing at Little Park in Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex. “Arrived on the ground it was found that a large tent had been erected, casks of beer were visible, as were bottles of ginger beer, by the gross, and various other comestibles, evidently intended for the day's consumption,” read a newspaper report of the event. “The 'weed' was freely indulged in, and all parties prepared themselves for the amusements of the day. Some betook themselves to a game at quoits, others to trap and base ball, others fond of 'the gentle art' betook themselves to ponds and lakes in the vicinity and proved themselves apt disciples of Isaak Walton.” This all was followed by cricket matches and various races.

Notes

Hannington's was a major commercial enterprise with more than 200 employees, and was nicknamed “the Harrod's of Brighton.” It closed in 2001 after 200 years of operation. It is unlikely that the “weed” being enjoyed at the event was what the term now conveys, but more likely was cigars or some other form of tobacco.

Sources

Brighton Gazette, July 26, 1866, p. 6

English Baseball in Hampshire on July 28 1866

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 28, 1866
Location Hampshire
Data

"Base-ball" was one of the games played at a festival held at a nearby farm for children of the London-street Congregational Chapel Sunday School of Basingstoke, Hampshire: "Arrived at the meadows, the children lost no time in starting the various out-door games usual on such occasions, such as cricket, base-ball, swinging, jumping, &c., which were kept up with great spirit till about four o'clock, when the children were liberally supplied with plum cake and tea, for which their afternoon's sports had given them excellent appetites."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, July 28, 1866, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on September 8 1866

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste-ball” was among the pastimes enjoyed at the combined annual treat for students of the Wesleyan Sabbath School and the Band of Hope in the market town of Framlingham in coastal Suffolk county. A newspaper reported that, at first, a heavy rain delayed the children's celebration. However, the skies cleared, and “having assembled at the Wesleyan Chapel they marched in procession through the principal streets of the town, flags and banners flying, to the Castle yard, where the afternoon was passed in various games such as swinging, cricket, baste-ball, kissing in the ring, racing, jumping &c. At five they were all regaled with buttered rolls, plum cake and tea.”

Sources

Framlingham Weekly News, Sept. 8, 1866, p. 1

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on June 29 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 29, 1867
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the amusements offered to the boys and girls attending the Slough (Buckinghamshire) British Schools on a “pleasure excursion” to nearby Langley Park. According to a newspaper report, “upon their arrival at the park the children amused themselves by cricket, kiss-in-the-ring, base-ball, and other congenial sports, and were afterwards regaled with a bountiful supply of tea, cake, &c.”

Sources

Windsor and Eton Express, June 29, 1867, p. 3

English Baseball in Berkshire on July 11 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, July 11, 1867
Location Berkshire
Data

“Base ball” was listed as one of the activities enjoyed by youthful members of the Band of Hope of Newbury, Berkshire, at their annual open air festival. A newspaper reported that “The afternoon and evening of the day were spent in various field sports, amongst which cricket and other amusements and sports such as football, base ball, sliding and swinging, kiss-in-the-ring, &c., seemed to find plenty of votaries amongst the juveniles present, and throughout the day the meadow presented a continued scene of mirth and activity.”

Sources

Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser, July 11, 1867, p. 4

English Baseball in Hampshire on July 13 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 13, 1867
Location Hampshire
Data

A newspaper reported that "base ball" was played on an excursion to Netley, Hampshire, by 170 students, parents and friends of the British School in Basingstoke: "Having rested and partaken of their dinners, the children proceeded with their sports--the girls to croquet, base ball, &c., and the boys to cricket and other games usual on such occasions."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, July 13, 1867, p. 5

English Baseball in Cambridgeshire on July 27 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 27, 1867
Location Cambridgeshire
Data

“Base” was listed as one of the games enjoyed by children and teachers attending the Independent Sunday School Festival of Soham, a small town in eastern Cambridgeshire. A newspaper reported that “French tag, base, jolly miller, and other games were freely indulged in, and all present appeared heartily to enjoy the amusements.”

Notes

“Base” in this context was almost certainly baseball.

Sources

Bury Free Press, July 27, 1867, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 3 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 3, 1867
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste-ball” was enjoyed along with other amusements at the annual amalgamated festival of the Independent Wesleyan Sunday School and the Band of Hope of Framlingham, Suffolk. The children marched from the Wesleyan Chapel to a nearby meadow where, according to a newspaper report, “the afternoon was passed in youthful games, viz., cricket, football (kindly lent by the Rev. A.C. Daymond), swinging, trap-ball, baste-ball, racing, kissing-in-the-ring, scrambling for nuts, apples, &c.”

Sources

The Suffolk Chronicle; or Weekly General Advertiser and County Express, Aug. 3, 1867, p. 8

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 6 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, August 6, 1867
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base ball” was one of the entertainments available to the large crowds in attendance at the Parochial Schools Festival of Chesham, a market town in Buckinghamshire. A newspaper reported that “Cricket, base ball, drop glove, and various other games were kept up in different parts of the Grove, and the bells of the church rang out their merry peals at intervals during the day.”

Sources

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette, Aug. 6, 1867, p. 4

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 17 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 17, 1867
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base ball” was one of the featured amusements made available to those attending the Berkhampstead and Chesham Temperance Societies Festival held in a large field near Chesham, Buckinghamshire. According to a local newspaper, “On arriving at the meadows, the usual out-door games, such as cricket, football, base ball, drop glove, French tag, and other games, including croquet, were resorted to by those who delight in such amusements.”

Sources

Uxbridge & Drayton Gazette, Aug. 17, 1867, p. 8

English Baseball in London on August 20 1867

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, August 20, 1867
Location London
Data

“Base ball” was one of the attractions for the large crowds in attendance at the Uxbridge Mutual Improvement Society's rural holiday held at Cowley House near Uxbridge in far west London. According to newspaper coverage, “Games were numerous and had many votaries; whilst some preferred the mutilation of 'Ancient Sarah,' in erring attempts to frustrate her imitative enjoyment of a tobaccoless pipe, others played at trap bat or base ball, or tried their abilities at archery, generally missing the targets with great precision, and wondering more and more at the dexterity of the William Tell that had been a favourite hero of their youth.”

Notes

The game “Ancient Sarah” appears to be a variant of the better-known Aunt Sally.

Sources

Uxbridge & Drayton Gazette, Aug. 20, 1867, p. 5

English Baseball in London on July 18 1868

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 18, 1868
Location London
Data

“Base ball” was again to be featured at the annual rural fête staged by the Uxbridge Muitual Improvement Society of West London. A local newspaper reported that “bands will parade the streets, and march in procession to the grounds, where Aunt Sally, bat and trap, base ball, archery, quoits, and other pastimes will be provided and a quadrille band has been specially engaged to enhance the pleasures of the dance.”

Sources

Uxbridge & Drayton Gazette, July 18, 1868, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on July 25 1868

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 25, 1868
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste ball' was named as one of the amusements enjoyed at the annual picnic of the Church of England Young Men's Christian Association held in Woolverstone Park near Ipswich, Suffolk. A newspaper article reported that 200 members and friends of the society traveled to the park by a steamboat engaged for the occasion, and that “cricket, croquet, baste ball, and other sports had been provided, and a very pleasant afternoon was spent.”

Sources

The Suffolk Chronicle; or Ipswich General Advertiser & County Express, July 25, 1868, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 22 1868

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste ball” was one of the many enjoyments made available to attendees of the annual “out” of the Framlingham, Suffolk, Mutual Improvement Society. The newspaper covering the event reported that “the grounds were thrown open to the public, at a charge per head, at 2:30 and several hundreds entered and roamed over the pretty park, and entered with zest into the following games, which were provided by the committee, “viz. Cricket, quoits, archery, croquet, swinging, red-white-and-blue, foot and baste ball, &c.”

Sources

Framlingham Weekly News, Aug. 22, 1868, p. 4

English Baseball in London on October 24 1868

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, October 24, 1868
Location London
Data

The fact that "base-ball" was originally English was briefly acknowledged in a journal column of short news blurbs entitled "Our Weekly Gossip": "The English cricketers are reported to have taken to the 'American game' of base ball. This game was English before it was American. 'Multa renascentur (apud Unitedstatesienses) quæ jam cecidere (apud nos).'"

Notes

The Latin roughly translates to: “many things grow again among the Americans that have already fallen to us.” This was an unusually early commentary from an English source that baseball originated in that country.

Sources

The Athenæum, Journal of English and Foreign Literature, Science and Fine Arts, Oct. 24, 1868, p. 536

English Baseball in Norfolk on March 27 1869

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, March 27, 1869
Location Norfolk
Data

"Base ball" seems to have been a criminal activity in Norfolk, according to a newspaper report of court proceedings: "Robert Gay and James Rix, of Thorpe St.Andrews, laborers, were summoned . . . for playing a certain game called 'base ball,' with a stick and ball, on the Norwich and Yarmouth turnpike road, to the annoyance and obstruction of passengers on that highway, on Sunday afternoon, the 14th inst. The case having been proved, police-constable Hardingham, of Thorpe, said he had repeatedly cautioned the defendants and other young men of their playing 'base ball,' and their general bad conduct on Sunday afternoon, but to no effect. The defendants, who denied the offence (sic), were were each fined 7s. 6d., and the costs 13s. 6d.”

Notes

Thorpe St. Andrews is a suburb of Norwich. Other than the Gutsmuths book, this is the only known example where a reference to what appears to be traditional English baseball included the mention of a bat.

Sources

Norfolk News, March 27, 1869, p. 2

English Baseball in Hampshire, Berkshire on June 26 1869

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 26, 1869
Location Hampshire, Berkshire
Data

A newspaper reported that “base ball” was among the amusements enjoyed by students of the British School of Reading, Berkshire, on their annual outing, with this year's destination being the grounds of Netley Abbey on the south coast of Hampshire near Southampton. After a train journey, the children “marched to the Abbey, and having explored the ruins there proceeded to the grounds where cricket, football, running, jumping, base ball, and various other games amused them until time for tea.”

Sources

Berkshire Chronicle, June 26, 1869, p. 5

English Baseball in Kent on July 10 1869

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 10, 1869
Location Kent
Data

A game called "base" was among the recreations offered at the annual treat held for children of the various schools in the Holy Trinity parish of Tunbridge Wells, Kent. After marching from their schools to the grounds of a local churchman's estate, the children enjoyed a tea, and then, afterwards, “all kinds of games were indulged in by the youngsters—cricket, base, racing, scrambling, kiss-in-the-ring, &c., &c.”

Notes

“Base,” in this instance, is almost certainly baseball, given that prisoner's base was rarely played by this late date and was invariably identified as “prisoner's base” or “prison bars.”

Sources

Maidstone Telegraph, July 10, 1869, p. 7

English Baseball in Bedfordshire on July 17 1869

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Location Bedfordshire
Data

“Base ball” was one of the games enjoyed by students and their parents of the Church Sunday School of Woburn, Bedfordshire, at their annual holiday and treat. According to a newspaper article, the children marched from the school to a nearby farm where they were served a tea. “Tea being over they dispersed to join in various juvenile games, also racing for a number of useful and amusing articles. While they were thus amused, a great number of visitors and parents of the children sat down to tea, afterwhich (sic) they also dispersed, some to watch the children, others to join in various games, such as base ball, French romp, &c.”

Sources

Croydon's Weekly Standard (Newport Pagnell, Bucks), July 17, 1869, p. 4

English Baseball in Suffolk on July 24 1869

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base-ball” was among the games played at the annual treat for children attending the Sunday school connected to the Nicholas-street Chapel of Ipswich, Suffolk. A newspaper reported that 400 students “betook themselves to various sports, such as cricket, foot-ball, base-ball, swings, and racing for pocket- handkerchiefs, braces, &c. Tea took place about five, after which they returned to their games.”

Sources

The Suffolk Chronicle; or Ipswich General Advertiser & County Express, July 24, 1869, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on July 24 1869 (2)

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste-ball” was one of the amusements enjoyed by youngsters of the Framlingham (Suffolk) Band of Hope at the celebration of their annual festival. Each child was given a bun before they set off to rural Letheringham Mills where they would spend the day. According to a newspaper report, “after being presented with another bun, they dispersed and with their attendants spent the afternoon in various games in a meadow near to the watermill. The games included swinging, cricket, croquet, baste-ball, trap ball, bathing, boating, kissing-in-the-ring, up-and-down, racing in sacks, scrambling, &c. About five o'clock, the whole company sat down under the shady willow tree beside the running stream and enjoyed a good tea.”

Sources

Framlingham Weekly News, July 24, 1869, p. 4

English Baseball in Hampshire on July 24 1869

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Location Hampshire
Data

"Base-ball" was again played at another annual festival of the London-street Sunday School of Basingstoke (see above): "The children, to the number of about 320,…soon commenced the usual games, including swinging, jumping, base-ball, croquet, &c."

Sources

Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald, and Berks County Paper, July 24, 1869, p. 4