Block:English Baseball 1890s

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English Baseball 1890s (92 entries)

Contents

English Baseball in Berkshire on June 19 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, June 19, 1890
Location Berkshire
Data

“Base ball” was among the various games and entertainments made available to students of the St. John's Sunday Schools of Newbury, Berkshire, at their annual treat. A local newspaper reported that “Upon their arrival at the meadow, the children were entertained with various games including cricket, base ball, swings, etc., while egg and spoon, wheelbarrow, donkey, consolation, hopping, foot races, etc., and tugs of war, were also provided, prizes being awarded.”

Sources

Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser, June 19, 1890, p. 5

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire/Berkshire on June 25 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, June 25, 1890
Location Buckinghamshire/Berkshire
Data

“Base-ball” was among the entertainments offered to families attending the annual fete of the Great Western Railway Temperance Union of Maidenhead, Berkshire, held in the lovely nearby Buckinghamshire village of Bourne End. A newspaper report mentioned some of the activities of the day, including “a steam circus (galloping horses), shooting galleries, a bottle-smashing saloon, cocoa-nut enclosures, Aunt Sally, a toy stall, and 'all the fun of the fair,' while there was ample room for games at cricket, base-ball, &c.”

Sources

Maidenhead Advertiser, June 25, 1890, p 4.

English Baseball in Norfolk on June 27 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, June 27, 1890
Location Norfolk
Data

“Baseball' was part of the entertainment for hundreds of children attending the Sun Lane Sunday School of Norwich, Norfolk, as they celebrated their annual treat in a nearby park. According to a local newspaper: “On arriving at the park the children soon dispersed, and amused themselves at cricket, baseball, and other sports until four o'clock, when the junior portion of the school partook of tea.”

Sources

Eastern Evening News (Norwich), June 27, 1890, p. 3

English Baseball in East Sussex on July 15 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, July 15, 1890
Location East Sussex
Data

A newspaper reported that “baseball” was among the amusements enjoyed by volunteer soldiers of the Nos. 1 and 6 batteries of the Brighton Artillery on an excursion to the village of Ringmer in East Sussex. “Upon arrival in Ringmer, arms were piled, and the amateur soldiers engaged in cricket, baseball, &c., or patronised the “Aunt Sallys,” shooting galleries, and other adjuncts of a rural festivity, which had been provided by the enterprise of a caterer from Crawley.”

Sources

Sussex Agricultural Express, July 15, 1890, p. 3

English Baseball in Kent, Surrey on July 19 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 19, 1890
Location Kent, Surrey
Data

“Base ball” was one of many amusements made available to employees of a large firm on a summer's day outing provided for them by their employer, Mr. Alderman Allder of Croydon, Surrey. The gathering was held on the grounds of a country residence in Edenbridge in nearby Kent, where a newspaper reported that “every amusement conceivable was here supplied, swings, lawn tennis, cricket, base ball, cocoanuts, quoits, and many other games being indulged in by the company.”

Notes

Croydon was then in Surrey but is now part of London. The article does not mention the nature of Mr. Allder's business. The game of “cocoanuts” mentioned in the article is somewhat obscure, and apparently involved players throwing objects (balls? rocks?) at cocoanuts attached to stakes from a distance of thirty feet and trying to get them to fall into small baskets underneath.

Sources

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter, July 19, 1890, p. 8

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire/Berkshire on July 22 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, July 22, 1890
Location Buckinghamshire/Berkshire
Data

“Base ball” was one of the games offered to students of the Primitive Methodist Sunday School of Maidenhead, Berkshire, at their annual treat held on the grounds of Taplow Court, Buckinghamshire. A newspaper reported that “the youngsters emptied their pockets of spare cash at some of the stalls, which were laden with toys, fruits, sweets, and refreshments . . . while others patronised Peter Cooley's cocoa nuts, &c. After dinner, French Tag, Base Ball, Cricket, and other games were indulged in.”

Sources

Maidenhead Advertiser, July 22, 1890, p 5.

English Baseball in Lancashire on July 23 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, July 23, 1890
Location Lancashire
Data

"Base ball" was played at an annual outing to a country hotel by staff members of several newspapers from Burnley and other towns in Lancashire, as well as some from West Yorkshire: "Some wandered along the banks of the Ribble and Calder, other patronised the bowling green, while the remainder disported themselves in a variety of games--including football, cricket, and base ball--in a field kindly placed at their disposal by the host and hostess."

Sources

Burnley Express, July 23, 1890, p. 2

English Baseball in Monmouthshire on August 2 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Location Monmouthshire
Data

A group of youngsters played “base ball” and other amusements at the annual summer treat of the Band of Hope in Monmouth, the county town of Monmouthshire, Wales, located two miles from the English border. A newspaper reported that “various amusements were provided, and at 4:30 the children sat down to tea which was very much enjoyed. After tea, races, swings, base ball and other games attracted attention, an amusing feature being a tug of war between 10 boys and 10 girls, the latter succeeding in pulling the boys over twice out of three times and thereby became the victors.”

Sources

Monmouthshire Beacon, Aug. 2, 1890, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 13 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, August 13, 1890
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base ball” was among the sports enjoyed at the annual summer treat for children attending the Sunday school of the Primitive Methodist Chapel of Hadleigh, Suffolk. According to a newspaper report, “Notwithstanding the intense heat, cricket, base ball, and all kinds of outdoor sports were freely engaged in, and an American trapeze set up for the occasion was largely patronised.”

Sources

Suffolk and Essex Free Press, Aug. 13, 1890, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 16 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Location Suffolk
Data

The game of “baste ball” was one of the amusements offered to young members of the Band of Hope of Framlingham, Suffolk, at their annual treat. A newspaper article began as follows: “On Wednesday afternoon the annual treat was held by permission of Mr. Jas. Maulden, at Hill Farm, in a pasture studded with fine elm trees, which afforded shelter from the sun and good arms on which to fix swings. The weather was delightfully fine for the event; and the afternoon was passed in cricket, football, swinging, trap-and-bat, baste ball, &c.”

Sources

Framlingham Weekly News, Aug. 16, 1890, p. 4

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 23 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste ball” was again a featured game at the annual treat for students attending the Sunday School connected with the Free Methodist Church of Framlingham, Suffolk. According to the newspaper report, “At 1:30 the children assembled at the schoolroom and marched in procession to a meadow kindly lent by Jas. Scott, Esq., of Fairfield House, where cricket, swinging, baste ball, trap ball, and football were engaged in with youthful zest.”

Sources

Framlingham Weekly News, Aug. 23, 1890, p. 4

English Baseball in East Sussex on September 6 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Location East Sussex
Data

“Baseball” was among the pastimes enjoyed by members of the Church of England Temperance Society of Newhaven, East Sussex, at an outing to the nearby hamlet of Bishop Stone. A newspaper reported that “the field was reached at about three o'clock, where stoolball, cricket, swinging, baseball, and other games were indulged in until five o'clock, when the company, numbering about 80, sat down to an excellent tea prepared by Mr. S. Stone. After tea the games were resumed until dusk, when the party returned to Newhaven by road, a very enjoyable time having been spent.”

Sources

Sussex Agricultural Express, Sept. 6, 1890, p. 6

English Baseball in Aberdeenshire on September 6 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Location Aberdeenshire
Data

It was reported that "base ball" was played at the annual picnic of 200 students of the Established Church Sabbath School of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: "A very pleasant afternoon was spent in running, jumping, base ball, and other games, for which prizes were liberally given by the Rev. Mr. Johnstone and others."

Notes

English baseball in Scotland; or, perhaps, Scottish baseball?

Sources

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, Sept. 6, 1890, P. 6

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on September 17 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, September 17, 1890
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Baseball” was identified in a brief newspaper report as one of the amusements enjoyed by children of the Congregational Sunday School of Chalfont St. Giles, a village in the Chiltern district of southeastern Buckinghamshire, at their end of summer treat. The paper said that “games, consisting of cricket, baseball, etc. were most heartily enjoyed.”

Sources

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Sep. 17, 1890, p. 8

English Baseball in Sussex on September 17 1890

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, September 17, 1890
Location Sussex
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the highlights of what a local newspaper described as an”excursion of blanchisseuses,” (which I've learned is the French term for washer women). The paper reported that 46 employees of the Beach Laundry of Eastbourne, an East Sussex seaside resort town, were treated to an outing in the countryside by their employer. Following dinner “came a series of games in the meadow. Tea was provided at 5:30, after which all engaged in base-ball, dancing, nice walks and long walks.”

Sources

Eastbourne Gazette, Sept. 17, 1890, p. 8

English Baseball in Oxfordshire in 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1891
Location Oxfordshire
Data

A history book mentioned "base ball" in a discussion of ancient hunting rights in the town of Burford in Oxfordshire: "From time immemorial the townsmen had possessed the privilege of hunting in Wychwood Forest on Whit Sunday. The custom, no doubt, originated in the early days of the Church, and when the Sabbath was not so rigorously kept as it is now. So long as Mass was attended in the morning, every one was free, as on other days, to indulge in base ball, football, or any other game."

Sources

History of Burford, by W. J. Monk, Burford (Oxfordshire), 1891, C. W. Swatman, p. 20

English Baseball in London in 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1891
Location London
Data

The "base ball" playing ability of Robert Browning, Senior, the father of the famous poet, was acknowledged in a biography of the son: "Mr. Browning enjoyed splendid physical health. His early love of reading had not precluded a wholesome enjoyment of physical sports; and he was, as a boy. the fastest runner and best base-ball player in his school."

Notes

The author of this biography, Alexandra Leighton Orr, was a friend of the Browning family. It appears that the poet's sister, Sarianna, was Mrs. Orr's source for information about her father, and this lends some credibility to the baseball claim. The senior Browning would have passed his school years in the 1790's.

Sources

Life and Letters of Robert Browning, by Mrs. Sutherland Orr, London, 1891, Smith, Elder, p. 15

English Baseball in Oxfordshire on March 26 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, March 26, 1891
Location Oxfordshire
Data

“Bass-ball” was a traditional local game according to a columnist for a newspaper in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. He wrote: “Our readers will remember that Good Friday used to be the red-letter day in the year's calendar of sport, and marked the opening day of all kinds of out-door amusements. The Kine Croft was alive with townsfolk engaged in games of all descriptions, cricket, quoits, bass-ball, &c., each claiming its large quota of devotees. In those times football was not, much less the ubiquitous cycle, and winter was then a true period of hybernation as regards sport.”

Sources

Berks and Oxon Advertiser (Wallingford), March 26, 1891, p. 4

English Baseball in Oxfordshire on June 6 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 6, 1891
Location Oxfordshire
Data

“Base ball,” not football, protested one of the boys accused of playing the latter game in George-street in Oxford, and who were summoned to court in response to complaints leveled against them. “They pleaded not guilty,” according to a newspaper report. The arresting policeman said they “were playing with a small ball,” and “one of the boys said they were playing base ball,” the newspaper added. Nevertheless, they were found to have abused “the privileges of the streets,” and were fined.

Sources

Oxford Times, June 6, 1891, p. 7

English Baseball in Norfolk on July 2 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, July 2, 1891
Location Norfolk
Data

A game of “base ball” was part of the entertainment at the annual fete for young members of the Band of Hope and Gospel Temperance Society of Sheringham, a seaside town in Norfolk. After tea and photographs, a newspaper reported that “the various sports and games provided for the young people were then entered into with much zest. A cricket match was played between the Upper and Lower Sheringham members, the former winning easily. Races, tugs of war, scrambles for nuts and sweets, base ball, &c., were heartily enjoyed.”

Sources

Eastern Daily Press (Norwich), July 2, 1891, p. 5

English Baseball in East Sussex on July 3 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 3, 1891
Location East Sussex
Data

“Baseball” was among the games enjoyed by the youthful members of the Young Recruits Lodge of the Independent Order of Grand Templars (IOGT) at their annual retreat in Newhaven, East Sussex. According to a newspaper: “The members, numbering about 80, met on the green in front of Mrs. Williams' (superintendent) at two o'clock and proceeded to the hill above the workhouse, where cricket, baseball, bat and trap, and other games were indulged in until teatime.”

Sources

Sussex Agricultural Express, July 3, 1891, P. 5

English Baseball in East Sussex on July 17 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 17, 1891
Location East Sussex
Data

A newspaper reported that “baseball” was among the games enjoyed by several hundred children at the annual treat of the Wesleyan Sunday School of Lewes, East Sussex, before a big storm sent them all to seek shelter. “The sun was now shining splendidly, and the sky gave no warning of the subsequent storm which so militated against the enjoyment of the young folk. The children were soon engaged in various games—cricket, baseball, stoolball, see-saw, &c. The weather had in the meanwhile, however, entirely changed. Black, ominous clouds filled the skies, and the children had scarcely finished tea before the threatened rain descended in torrents, and the little ones fled in all directions for shelter.”

Sources

Sussex Agricultural Express, July 17 1891, P. 5

English Baseball in Lincolnshire on July 18 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 18, 1891
Location Lincolnshire
Data

“Base-ball” was named as one of the pastimes enjoyed at the annual outdoor feast for students attending the National Sunday School in the village of Waltham, Lincolnshire: “From the church, the children marched with their many-coloured banners to the Rectory grounds, where they sat down under canvas to a well-provided tea . . . Tea over, groups were formed for various games, and cricket, jumping, base-ball, &c., were freely indulged in.”

Sources

Grantham (Lincoln-shire) Journal, July 18, 1891, p. 8

English Baseball in Herts on July 25 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 25, 1891
Location Herts
Data

“Base ball” was one of the amusements enjoyed at the annual festival of the Marlowes Wesleyan Sabbaths School of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. According to a newspaper report, the teachers and scholars met at the school and then marched in procession to a nearby park, “where various games of cricket, bat and trap, base ball, swings, etc. were very heartily engaged in.”

Sources

Hemel Hempstead Gazette and West Herts Advertiser, July 25, 1891, p. 4

English Baseball in Chesire on August 1 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 1, 1891
Location Chesire
Data

“Base ball” was among the games enjoyed by some 200 people attending the annual Astbury Garden Party held in the village of Newbold Astbury in the county of Cheshire. According to a newspaper report, “The beautiful grounds and gardens of the Rectory were thrown open and were greatly appreciated. Various games were also provided, including jumping, football, bowling, base ball, croquet, swings, and also old Aunt Sally, all of which were heartily indulged in, and were the cause of much pleasurable pastime and amusement.”

Notes

Cheshire was a little far afield for English baseball, but in this context and this early, American baseball was unlikely.

Sources

Congleton & Macclesfield Mercury, and Cheshire General Advertiser, Aug. 1, 1891, p. 8

English Baseball in Surrey on August 15 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 15, 1891
Location Surrey
Data

“Baseball” was among the games played at the annual treat for students of the Marshall Road Sunday School of Sutton, Surrey, which was held at nearby Cheam Park. A newspaper reported that after the children arrived at the park, “the various amusements provided were entered into with great gusto, the swings, roundabouts, &c., coming in for a large share of patronage. At 12:30 a substantial luncheon was provided for the children, which they heartily enjoyed. In the afternoon the superintendent, Mr. Carpenter, and several of the friends of the scholars indulged in cricket, baseball, &c. until five o'clock when tea was provided for both scholars and friends.”

Notes

Sutton was then in Surrey but is now part of London. It is interesting to note that apparently, in this instance, baseball was not played by the students themselves but by the superintendent and “friends” of the scholars, who, presumably, were adults or older boys who had previously attended the school. This admits to the small possibility that the baseball played may have been American-style.

Sources

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter, Aug. 15, 1891, p. 8

English Baseball in Banffshire on September 22 1891

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, September 22, 1891
Location Banffshire
Data

“Base ball” was among the pastimes made available to 420 students of the Established Church Sabbath School of the town of Keith, Banffshire, at their annual picnic. A newspaper reported that “the weather was delightful, and every meas possible were provided for the enjoyment of the youngsters, who were all keenly alive to take advantage of same, and to make the best of the few hours allotted for their sports. Prizes were liberally given to competitors in games of football, cricket, racing, jumping, and base ball.”

Notes

Keith is a small town in northeastern Scotland that was located in the former historic county of Banffshire, but since 1975 has been part of the Moray council area. The baseball played on this occasion was likely some form of English baseball, given the nature of the event and the youth of the players.

Sources

Elgin Courant and Morayshire Advertiser, Sept. 22, 1891, p. 5

English Baseball in London/Midlands in 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1892
Location London/Midlands
Data

A novel for young readers fleetingly mentioned "baseball' in the context of a domestic scene: "They felt somehow as if the mistress of the house was blaming them for their large appetites, there was a hint of reproach in the tone with which she said, 'More meat, Tom?' so that even that rather reckless youth felt glad to have finished and to scuffle off to the fields for a game of baseball."

Notes

The novel was set "back some hundred years" in a fictitious Midlands village named "King's Marston."

Sources

Many a Year Ago, by Mrs. Herbert Martin, London, 1892, Ward and Downey, pp. 18-19

English Baseball in West Midlands on January 20 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, January 20, 1892
Location West Midlands
Data

The word "base-ball" was mentioned in a poem eulogizing the late Prince Albert Victor, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, that appeared in a Coventry, West Midlands, newspaper. Entitled "The Death of the Duke," the poem began with these lines: "'The Duke is dead!' So ran the cheerless Tidings round the whole domain---entering Hall and cot, and laying its heavy Burden upon us all. Rude boys---alas! Accustomed to street cries--yet mindless Of the due import of that they told to-day--- Tossed the sad intelligence from each to Each---as though they played at base-ball Mid sunshine..............”

Notes

The Duke of Clarence was the eldest son of Albert, Prince of Wales and grandson of Queen Victoria and, as such, second in line to the British throne. He died of influenza at the age of 28 only six days before this poem was published. It is not clear why the author of the poem chose to use a baseball metaphor, and whether he intended it to refer to the English or American version of the game.

Sources

Coventry Evening Telegram, Jan. 20, 1892, p. 3

English Baseball in Durham on May 3 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, May 3, 1892
Location Durham
Data

The term “base ball” was used analogously in a review of the New Alhambra Theatre that appeared in a newspaper in the North Sea town of Hartlepool in County Durham. The pertinent sentence reads as follows: “Mr. Macdonald opened the second half of the programme, and made way for the Avringny Trio, jugglers of no mean ability, who flung round lighted torches with all the ease of children playing at base ball.”

Sources

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, May 3, 1892, p. 4

English Baseball in Aberdeenshire on June 2 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, June 2, 1892
Location Aberdeenshire
Data

“Baseball” was one of the amusements enjoyed at the annual picnic of the Ravenscraig Lodge of the International Order of Good Templars of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, that was held in the small, nearby village of Inverguie. According to a newspaper report, “A most enjoyable day was spent. Some of the party had a game at cricket; others played football, baseball, with other games and amusements of various kinds.”

Sources

Aberdeen Journal, June 2nd, 1892, p. 3

English Baseball in East Sussex on June 3 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, June 3, 1892
Location East Sussex
Data

“Baseball” was among the the games played at the annual outing of the juvenile branch of the Nottingham Unity of the Ancient Order of Oddfellows of Newhaven, East Sussex, held at the seaside town of Seaford. A newspaper reported that: “about 30 members and a number of adult friends proceeded to a field near the beach, where cricket, baseball and other games were indulged in until tea time. Tea was capitally served in the field, and after it the games were resumed, and races for various prizes took place.”

Sources

Sussex Agricultural Express, June 3, 1892, P. 5

English Baseball in North London on July 14 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, July 14, 1892
Location North London
Data

“Base ball” was one of the entertainments offered to girls attending the Islington-area (North London) centers of the Sunday Evening Recreative Class Society on their summer outing to New Southgate. The party was about 40 in number, and according to newspaper coverage, “after tea, and down to the time fixed for departure, various games were indulged in, including lawn tennis, base ball, &c.”

Sources

Islington Gazette, July 14, 1892, p. 3

English Baseball in Hertfordshire on August 6 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 6, 1892
Location Hertfordshire
Data

“Base-ball” was part of bank holiday festivities in the town of Harpenden, Hertfordshire. A brief notice in a local newspaper read as follows: “BANK HOLIDAY. Owing to the large number of holiday makers visiting Harpenden on Monday, the common presented quite an animated appearance. Cricket, base-ball, and various other games were started, and the visitors appeared to enjoy themselves.”

Sources

Herts Advertiser (St. Albans), Aug. 6, 1892, p. 8

English Baseball in Suffolk on September 3 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 3, 1892
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baste-ball was played at the annual treat for students of the Free Methodist Sunday School of Framlingham, Suffolk. A newspaper reported that “swinging beneath fine spreading elms, cricket, football, baste-ball, trap-ball, racing, &c. filled up a very pleasant afternoon and evening.”

Sources

Framlingham Weekly News, Sept. 3, 1892, p. 4

English Baseball in London on September 16 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, September 16, 1892
Location London
Data

“Baseball” was named in a newspaper article as one of the games played in Petersham Park, located in the town of Richmond, Greater London.This observation was made because the park was the destination of a day-long excursion by boy and girl students of the Hendon Congregational Sunday School of Hendon, a northwest suburb of London: “Petersham Park is a portion of Richmond Park, and is admirably adapted for a school excursion. It contains some very fine old trees. It is level on the Petersham side, and here boat-swings, cricket, baseball, skipping, etc. can be indulged in.”

Notes

This was most likely English baseball given the young age of the party. Petersham Park is located only eight miles from the site of the earliest recorded outdoor baseball game played in 1749 at Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

Sources

Middlesex Courier, Sept. 16, 1892, p. 2

English Baseball in Kent on November 25 1892

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, November 25, 1892
Location Kent
Data

A clergyman suggested that “baseball” was among the games played by Edward VI, the “boy king” who ruled England in the mid-16th century. A Kent newspaper published a series of lectures given by the Reverend George J. Blore on the subject of the English Reformation. In one of them, the reverend alluded to a diary kept by the young Edward VI: “...he recorded his experiences in a curiously methodical journal, where he entered with equally matter of fact brevity great matters of State, and the games of baseball got up for his amusement.”

Notes

If this mind-boggling assertion of 16th century baseball seems too good to be true, be assured that it is. Edward VI, the young, highly intelligent son of Henry VII did, indeed, keep a detailed journal during his short life (he died from pneumonia at the age of 15). The journal entries that Rev. Blore interpreted as baseball were entered by Edward on two days in the year 1550. The first, on March 31st, read: “A chaleng made by me that I, with 16 of my chaumbre, shuld runne at base, shote, and rune at ring with any 17 of my servauntes, gentlemen in the court.” The outcome of the challenge was revealed the next day, April 1st: “The first day of the chaleng at base, or running, the King wane.” Plainly, these entries make reference to the game of prisoner's base, not baseball. Reverend Blore would not be the first nor the last to get the two confused.

Sources

Kent & Sussex Courier (Tunbridge Wells), Nov. 25, 1892, p. 6

English Baseball in Hampshire on April 13 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, April 13, 1893
Location Hampshire
Data

A letter to the editor complaining about “baseball” play in Portsmouth was summarized in a newspaper column. “'FELLOW SUFFERER' writes to emphasise the necessity of official notice being taken of the prevalent annoyance of Portsmouth householders by boys playing baseball in the streets, and breaking windows and committing other damage.”

Sources

Portsmouth Evening News, April 13, 1893, p. 3

English Baseball in Suffolk on June 10 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 10, 1893
Location Suffolk
Data

"Base ball" was one of the games enjoyed at the annual ride and gathering by members of the Ipswich (Suffolk) Bicycle Club at Orwell Park, a property of its president, Capt. E.G. Pretyman, located on the banks of the river Orwell in the village of Nacton. "After allaying their thirst, the cyclists dispersed through the grounds; some indulging in cricket, others in base ball, bowls, &c."

Notes

Suffolk was one of the last bastions of English baseball.

Sources

Ipswich Journal, and Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire Advertiser, June 10, 1893, p. 6

English Baseball in Cambridgeshire on July 8 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 8, 1893
Location Cambridgeshire
Data

“Baseball” was one of the activities enjoyed by adults attending the annual Baptist School Festival in Gamlingay, a village in south Cambridgeshire. A newspaper reported that after the children separated for races and sweets, “the friends amused themselves with the round tag, baseball, Captain and round games, and had a lively and busy time of it keeping up the fun till the field was cleared at 10 p.m.”

Sources

Ampthill & District News (Bedfordshire), July 8, 1893, p. 5

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 2 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, August 2, 1893
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base-ball” was enjoyed by 40 to 50 youngsters attending the annual summer outing of the Chiltern House School of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. A newspaper account reported that “after tea, various sports were indulged in, such as racing, jumping, base-ball, etc.”

Sources

Buckingham Examiner, Aug. 2, 1893, p. 2

English Baseball in Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire on August 12 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 12, 1893
Location Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire
Data

“Base ball” was one of the games enjoyed by members of the Luton Industrial Co-operative Society of Luton, Bedfordshire, at a picnic held a three-hour carriage ride away in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire. A newspaper reported that “cricket, base ball, French tag, and other sports were engaged in till seven, when a start was made for home, which was reached soon after ten.”

Sources

Herts Advertiser (St. Albans), Aug. 12, 1893, p. 7

English Baseball in Suffolk on August 19 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 19, 1893
Location Suffolk
Data

"Baseball" was again played at Orwell Park in Nacton, Suffolk, this time at the first annual outing of about 100 children belonging to the Ipswich Junior Foresters of the Ancient Order of Foresters, of whom Capt. E.G. Pretyman was an honorable member: "On arrival at Orwell Park a good dinner was served, after which the boys adjourned for the afternoon amusements, which consisted of cricket, football, baseball, swings, etc."

Sources

Ipswich Journal, and Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire Advertiser, Aug. 19, 1893, p. 3

English Baseball in Surrey on August 26 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 26, 1893
Location Surrey
Data

A newspaper reported that “baseball” was played on the grounds of Burstow Hall in the village of Burstow, Surrey on an outing by members of the Horley (Surrey) branch of the Y.W.C.A. “Tea was partaken of in the open at five o'clock, and afterwards, until seven o'clock, the beautiful grounds were inspected and games of cricket, baseball, &c. indulged in”

Sources

Surrey Mirror, Aug. 26, 1893, p. 5

English Baseball in Suffolk on December 9 1893

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, December 9, 1893
Location Suffolk
Data

The game of "base-ball" was mentioned in a newspaper column complaining about the fencing off and posting of "no trespassing" signs by the town council at the "Old Recreation Ground," a popular play field on the banks of the river Orwell in Ipswich, Suffolk: "For several years past the youngsters have here, unchecked by frown of officious caretaker in brass buttons, indulged in the hearty enjoyment of their games of cricket, football, base-ball, and many other healthful pastimes which are the delight of every true juvenile Briton. Here were no trees to damage, no grass on which they might not tread, no flowers to pluck, no seats to damage, and consequently they were left entirely alone, unable to do any kind of mischief, as there was nothing they could possibly harm. No wonder, then, that when the schools were closed this patch of ground became a perfect elysium to the liberated youngsters."

Notes

Even at this very late date, describing baseball as a pastime that is a delight of every true juvenile Briton makes it evident that this is a reference to the original English form of the game.

Sources

Ipswich Journal, and Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire Advertiser, Dec. 9, 1893, p. 5

English Baseball in London in 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1894
Location London
Data

A “base-ball” court in an 18th century London debtors' prison received mention in a novel by Henrietta Kiddie, a well-known and prolific 19th century Scottish writer. In the story, the eponymous wellborn heroine visits her debtor husband in one of the dank prisons of Southwark, in London. The story continues: “She knew every grimly solid piece of furniture in the receiving room; which was at least spacious enough for the various incongruous groups that were wont to be congregated there; she could have made her progress unguided, as she went—the tall, nodding feathers in her beaver hat adding to her height, her train drawn through her pocket-hole—smilingly picking her way in her high heeled shoes past the base-ball court and the skittle ground, acknowledging the humble salutations made to her with the unwearying affability of one born to state and condescension.”

Sources

Lady Jean's Vagaries, anon. (Henrietta Keddie), London, 1894, Richard Bentley and Son, p. 142

English Baseball in Northumberland on March 31 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, March 31, 1894
Location Northumberland
Data

“Baseball” was among the games played at the annual outdoor gathering of students and teachers of the “North Seaton Weseylan (sic) Sunday School” at a field in the village of North Seaton, Northumberland: “They met at the school, where the children were presented by their teachers with two oranges each, after which they marched to the above field, where the fun started. The smaller scholars ran races for nuts and sweets, given by their teachers, and the girls contested by skipping for their share. Some amused themselves with the football, and some with the game of baseball, also some with kissing-ring.”

Sources

Morpeth (Northum- berland) Herald, March 31, 1894, p. 3

English Baseball in Northumberland on May 19 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, May 19, 1894
Location Northumberland
Data

A newspaper reported that “base-ball” was listed on the advance program for the upcoming North of England Temperance Festival to be held on the Town Moor in Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland: “...it appears there will be military sports, open sports, kite contests, games for the deaf and dumb, base-ball, children's games, cricket, other sports, and public meetings.

Sources

Newcastle Courant, May 19, 1894, p. 8

English Baseball in Suffolk on June 9 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 9, 1894
Location Suffolk
Data

"Base ball" was again played at the annual ride of the Ipswich (Suffolk) Bicycle Club that included a leisurely outing at Orwell Park: "A cricket match was played, when Mr. Smith's side beat Mr. Pepplewell's side by five runs and five wickets. Bowls, lawn tennis, and base ball were also freely indulged in, and an exceptionally jolly afternoon was spent."

Sources

Ipswich Journal, and Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire Advertiser, June 9, 1894, p. 3

English Baseball in West Sussex on June 30 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 30, 1894
Location West Sussex
Data

“Base ball” was among the amusements enjoyed by members of the Juvenile Temple of “Try Again” Lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars of Littlehampton, West Sussex, at their annual outing held at the tea gardens in the village of Goring. A newspaper reported that: “After indulging in various amusements, including cricket, base ball, etc., the party partook of tea, and commenced the return journey, a very enjoyable day having been spent.”

Sources

Sussex Agricultural Express, June 30, 1894, P. 6

English Baseball in Cambridgeshire on July 7 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 7, 1894
Location Cambridgeshire
Data

“Base ball” was again played by adults attending the annual festival for Baptist Sunday Schools in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire. According to a newspaper report, “In the evening the children scrambled for nuts, sweets, and biscuits, and ran races for prizes while their elders indulged in round tag, base ball, and other popular games until dark.”

Sources

Ampthill & District News (Bedfordshire), July 7, 1894, p. 8

English Baseball in Sussex on July 26 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, July 26, 1894
Location Sussex
Data

“Base ball” was among the sports chosen by some newspaper employees of the Brighton Gazette of East Sussex who were participating their annual “wayzgoose,” which is a traditional outing unique to printers. According to a report in their own newspaper, “a party of about twenty took advantages of a trio of conveyances and journeyed to Arundel (West Sussex). It proved a most pleasant drive through beautiful scenery, which was much enjoyed, while a comfortable tea was partaken of at the 'Black Rabbit,' on the Arun bank. Others of the company preferred to play quoits, cricket, bat and trap, or base ball.”

Sources

Brighton Gazette, July 26, 1894, p. 6

English Baseball in Hampshire on July 26 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, July 26, 1894
Location Hampshire
Data

A newspaper reported that “baseball” was played at the second annual outing to the village of Finchdean, Hampshire, for employees of the Paragon Bakery of Portsmouth and their families. “The party proceeded to Finchdean in a brake, and, the weather being fine, an enjoyable holiday was spent. Cricket, baseball, and other games were played, and tea was served at the George Inn.”

Sources

Portsmouth Evening News, July 26, 1894, p. 2

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on July 27 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 27, 1894
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the entertainments for students attending the Congregational Sunday School of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, at their annual treat. According to a newspaper report, after traveling to a park, “cake was distributed amongst the children, who then made off for play. All kinds of diversion could be indulged in. Some played cricket, others base-ball, etc.”

Sources

South Bucks Standard (Wycombe), July 27, 1894, p. 3

English Baseball in Hampshire on August 4 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 4, 1894
Location Hampshire
Data

“Base ball” was enjoyed members of the “Mothers' Meeting,” a group of mothers who supervised the Girls' Friendly Society of Hannington, a village in Hampshire between Basingstoke and Newbury. The Mothers had been invited to tea at the local Rectory to honor them for their work on the day following a similar event that had been held for the children in their care, including students of the local Sunday and Day Schools. At the children's event, the amusements included rounders, tug-of-war and races. However, at the adult event, a newspaper reported that, following their tea, “'the Mothers' entered with the greatest zest into some of the old games of their childhood—base ball, oranges-and-lemons, &c., and enjoyed them even more than their little ones had done the day before.”

Notes

Clear distinction between rounders and English baseball.

Sources

Hants and Berks Gazette and Middlesex and Surrey Journal, Aug. 4, 1894, p. 6

English Baseball in Bedfordshire on August 17 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, August 17, 1894
Location Bedfordshire
Data

“Base ball” was one of the activities enjoyed by members of the Wesleyan Mutual Improvement Society of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, at a “rambling picnic.” A newspaper report stated that “all kinds of games were indulged in, including base-ball, blind man's buff, tugs of war, &c.”

Sources

Luton Times and Advertiser, Aug. 17, 1894, p. 5

English Baseball in BedfordshireBucks on September 21 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, September 21, 1894
Location BedfordshireBucks
Data

It was reported that “base ball” was among the amusements offered at the annual outing for members of the choir of the Park Street Baptist Chapel of Luton, Bedfordshire. For their outing they traveled more than three hours to Aston Clinton, the lavish residence of Lord Battersea who had gained the property from his late father-in-law, Baron Anthony de Rothschild: “After partaking of a luncheon in the pavilion, . . . the party enjoyed themselves by playing cricket, base ball, &c., and rambling through the grounds.”

Sources

Luton Times and Advertiser, Sept. 21, 1894, p. 5

English Baseball in Sutherland (Scottish Highlands) on September 25 1894

Block Game English Baseball
Date Tuesday, September 25, 1894
Location Sutherland (Scottish Highlands)
Data

“Base-ball,” surprisingly, was one of the games played by students attending the Free Church Sabbath Schools of Rogart, a small village in the Scottish Highlands, at their annual summer treat. According to a report in an Inverness newspaper, “After tea, all set off to the glebe, where a most pleasant afternoon was spent in skipping, playing base-ball, running exercises, and other games.”

Notes

English baseball so far north is unusual, but still it is unlikely that this was an American-style game.

Sources

Inverness Courier, Sept. 25, 1894, p. 5

English Baseball in Hampshire, West Sussex on April 13 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, April 13, 1895
Location Hampshire, West Sussex
Data

“Base ball” was played by men and women of several bicycling clubs from Portsmouth, Hampshire, who enjoyed a day's excursion to the village of Rowland Castle on the Hampshire-West Sussex border. “Altogether there could not have been fewer than 100 wheelmen at the village,” reported a newspaper, “and the place was en fete in the afternoon when base ball and other games were held on The Green.”

Sources

Portsmouth Evening News, April 13, 1895, p. 3

English Baseball in Nottinghamshire on May 18 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, May 18, 1895
Location Nottinghamshire
Data

A newspaper reported that “base-ball” was played at the annual treat for students of the Board School of Cropwell Bishop, a village in Notttinghamshire. Journeying to the grounds of a local stately home that had been lent to them for the occasion, “the young people quickly commenced their various games of cricket, skipping, base-ball, &c.”

Sources

Grantham (Lincoln-shire) Journal, May 18, 1895, p. 3

English Baseball in Suffolk/Norfolk on June 15 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 15, 1895
Location Suffolk/Norfolk
Data

“Base ball” was one of several games enjoyed by employees of the King Street Old Brewery of Norwich, Norfolk, on their annual outing which this year took them by river boat, first to the small village of Bramerton about five miles south of Norwich, and then on to historic Coldham Hall in Suffolk. According to a newspaper report: “Here various games were indulged in, including cricket, base ball, tug of war, and walking the greasy pole for a pig.”

Sources

Eastern Evening News (Norwich), June 15, 1895, p. 4

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on June 19 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, June 19, 1895
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Baseball” was listed as one of the activities enjoyed by children attending the Congregational Sunday School of Burnham, a small village in southern Buckinghamshire, at their annual treat held in the nearby woodland of Burnham Beeches. A newspaper reported that “soon after their arrival various diversions were entered into—cricket, baseball, French tag &c.”

Sources

Maidenhead Advertiser, June 19, 1895, p 8.

English Baseball in Hampshire on June 20 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, June 20, 1895
Location Hampshire
Data

“Baseball” was played at an excursion by members of the Portsmouth police force, along with friends and family to the number of 300, to the village of Brockenhurst, Hampshire, in the New Forest area. “Tea was served early in the afternoon, the tables being laid in a large marquee in the park; and here, under the shade of the majestic trees beautifying Mr. Morant's estate, the policemen and their friends afterwards engaged in various sports, cricket, baseball, and races for the children included in the programme.”

Sources

Portsmouth Evening News, June 20, 1895, p. 2

English Baseball in East Yorkshire on June 24 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Monday, June 24, 1895
Location East Yorkshire
Data

“Base ball” was among the games played at a grand outing to Weldon Dale in East Yorkshire that was provided for the students of the Hull Deaf and Dumb Institution: “Here, after the luncheon had been partaken of on the slopes commanding views of the Humber and the Lincolnshire coast, cricket, base ball, tennis, and other exercises were heartily indulged in until about 3.30, when the whole party left the Dale.”

Sources

Hull Daily Mail, June 24, 1895, p. 3

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire on July 17 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, July 17, 1895
Location Buckinghamshire, Berkshire
Data

“Baseball” was one of the games played by children attending the “Brethren” Sunday school of Maidenhead, Berkshire, on a half-day outing to the Burnham Beeches woodland in nearby Bucks. A newspaper reported that “About eighty children and friends started arriving in conveyances at about 1 o'clock, and arriving at the Beeches various games, including cricket, baseball, skipping, &c., were indulged in, after which tea was provided.”

Notes

The “Brethren” could refer to any one of several religious organizations that adopted that title.

Sources

Maidenhead Advertiser, July 17, 1895, p 3.

English Baseball in Berkshire on July 24 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, July 24, 1895
Location Berkshire
Data

“Base-ball” was played at a summer treat hosted for the more than 600 students of the St Luke's Sunday Schools of Maidenhead, Berkshire. After marching through town to the Crauford College meadow, the children played a variety of games and then had tea. Afterwards, according to a newspaper report, “cricket, base-ball, racing, &c., occupied the evening till about 8 p.m., and the playing of 'God save the Queen' brought a most successful school treat to a close.”

Sources

Maidenhead Advertiser, July 24, 1895, p 8.

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 3 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 3, 1895
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

A newspaper reported that “baseball” was one of the games enjoyed at the annual treat of the St. Paul's Church Sunday School of West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire: “A short service was held at St. Paul's, and on leaving the church various games—cricket, baseball, &c.--were indulged in till the drum called the children to tea.”

Sources

Bucks Herald, Aug. 3, 1895, p. 8

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 10 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 10, 1895
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

“Base-ball” and rounders were played by some of the many visitors to a day-long event in Seer Green, a village in south Buckinghamshire, an event that was primarily focused on an exhibition of flowers, vegetables, needlework and knitting. A newspaper reported that “Cricket, base-ball and rounders, and other games were freely indulged in during the afternoon, while later in the evening a successful series of athletic sports were carried out.”

Sources

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette. Aug. 10, 1895, p. 5

English Baseball in Kent on September 6 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, September 6, 1895
Location Kent
Data

“Base ball” was one of the amusements enjoyed by members of the Conservative Associations of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, Kent, held at The Home Farm in Colebrook Park just outside of Tunbridge Wells. Following a cricket match between the two clubs, a newspaper reported that: “Many of the visitors indulged in rounders, base ball, and quoits, while others preferred a stroll through the hop garden, and inspected the crop which appeared to be thriving remarkably well.”

Sources

Kent & Sussex Courier (Tunbridge Wells), Sept. 6, 1895, p. 8

English Baseball in Wales on November 29 1895

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, November 29, 1895
Location Wales
Data

An indication that “base ball” was played historically against walls in Wales was conveyed in a Gloucestershire newspaper column that related a story about a Methodist Englishman bicycling in Wales on a Sunday who found an otherwise Sabbath-observing Welshman willing to repair his broken bicycle. The columnist went on to write: “The above true anecdote reminds me of a fact that was impressed on my memory last summer that in 'ye olden times' Welshmen were not so straight-laced as regards Sunday observance, as instanced by the fact that churchyards still show that the sacred edifice was used as the wall against which base ball or fives were played; and that in the walls of old fabrics are to be found niches into which a football would be put during divine services, but as soon as the service was over there was generally a rush among the young men for the ball—the game being played in the churchyard.”

Sources

Stroud News and Gloucestershire Advertiser, Nov. 29, 1895, p. 4

English Baseball in Berkshire on July 11 1896

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 11, 1896
Location Berkshire
Data

“Baseball” was one of the entertainments offered children of the Carey Sunday School of Reading, Berkshire, at their annual summer outing. A newspaper reported that “useful prizes were given to the scholars for racing, &c. Others indulged in donkey rides, cricket, football, baseball and other amusements.”

Sources

Reading Observer, July 11, 1896, p. 5

English Baseball in Oxfordshire on July 23 1896

Block Game English Baseball
Date Thursday, July 23, 1896
Location Oxfordshire
Data

“Baseball” was among the entertainments offered to students of the Wesleyan Sunday School of Hook Norton, an Oxfordshire village near the Cotswolds, at their annual treat. Tea was provided upon the lawn, according to a newspaper report, and then following some hymns and speeches, the students “returned to the field where racing, pony rides, swings, baseball, cricket, and (notwithstanding the heat) football were vigorously pursued, closing with an amusing tug of war”

Notes

Given the context, this was more likely English baseball than American

Sources

Banbury Advertiser, July 23, 1896, p. 5

English Baseball in West Sussex/Surrey on July 7 1897

Block Game English Baseball
Date Wednesday, July 7, 1897
Location West Sussex/Surrey
Data

A “base-ball” match between teams made up of men of the 1st Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, was part of a sports day held at the “North Camp,” a locale that may have been in either Sussex or Surrey (see note). The day's program included a series of running and specialty races, and then, according to a newspaper report, “during an interval Messrs. Brewer and Bott game some clever examples of step-dancing. A base-ball match took place between Officers and Sergeants, the teams being composed as follows: Officers.--Captain Crawford, Lieutenants Griffin, David, Crawley-Boevey, Richards, Bazett, and Surgeon-Captain Winter, A.M.S. Sergeants.--Colour-Sergeants Willis, Wayman, Sergeants Plews, Weston, G. Kemp, Eldgridge, and Brewer. The latter team won after a close and exciting game by seven points to five.”

Notes

The location of this match is unclear. The article states it took place at the “North Camp,” which research suggests was part of the Aldershot military encampment in Surrey. Yet other indications in the article, including its headline, seem to place the activity in Broadwater, a village near Worthing on the West Sussex coast. It is more likely that the type of baseball being played here was of the original English variety rather than American, given that the score was tallied by points rather than runs, and that the teams were comprised of seven players each. And whether the venue was in Surrey or Sussex, it fell within the traditional territory of English baseball.

Sources

Worthing Gazette (West Sussex), July 7, 1897, p. 3

English Baseball in Wiltshire on August 7 1897

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 7, 1897
Location Wiltshire
Data

“Base-ball” was played at the annual treat for sunday school students of the Wesleyan Chapels of Swindon, Wiltshire. After marching to a nearby park, the children “enjoyed themselves with swinging, cricket, base-ball, and other suitable games.”

Sources

Swindon Advertiser and North Wilts Chronicle, Aug. 7, 1897, p. 4

English Baseball in London in 1898

Block Game English Baseball
Date 1898
Location London
Data

“Base-ball” was recommended as one of the games suitable for girls by the author of a handbook on rescue work directed at “missionaries, superintendents of homes, committees, clergy, and others.” Within his section on activities for girls, he wrote: “In summer-time it is well in the evenings, when circumstances favour it, to let them have games in the garden such as Base-ball, Oranges and Lemons, Tick, Puss in the Corner, Nuts in May, etc., after the work is done.”

Sources

Hints on Rescue Work, by Arthur J.S. Maddison, Reformatory and Rescue Union, London, 1898, pp. 159-160

English Baseball in Surrey on June 18 1898

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 18, 1898
Location Surrey
Data

“Base ball” was played by holiday makers of every age when members of the Kingston Total Abstinence Society enjoyed a summer outing to St. Ann's Hill in Chertsey, Surrey. After traveling from Kingston in a large char-a-banc, the party arrived at the lovely hilltop park and promptly sat down for a tea. In the words of a writer covering the event: “Whether due to the exhilarating effect of the atmosphere or to the influence of the beverage just partaken of, after tea nearly all of the company from about three score years downwards became suddenly imbued with the taste for base ball and other games, keeping them alive till after 7 o'clock.”

Notes

At the time, Kingston-on-Thames was in Surrey; now it is part of greater London. The location of St. Ann's Hill was just five miles west of Walton-on-Thames where Prince Frederick played baseball nearly 150 years earlier.

Sources

Surrey Comet, June 18, 1898, p. 3

English Baseball in London on July 16 1898

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 16, 1898
Location London
Data

“Baseball” was one of the games played by some of the 450 children participating in the Providence Sunday School Festival in the Uxbridge area of far northwest London. A newspaper report described the roundabouts and swings that had been erected for the youngsters, then added: “Besides these never-failing amusements, for they were full all day, there were games of all sorts, including cricket, baseball, &c.”

Sources

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette. July 16, 1898, p. 4

English Baseball in Suffolk on September 2 1898

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, September 2, 1898
Location Suffolk
Data

“Baseball” was mentioned in a nostalgic poem published in a Diss, Norfolk, newspaper about an aging workman returning to the location of his childhood home in the north Suffolk village of Redgrave and wallowing in sadness both because the signs of his boyhood had largely disappeared and yet the plight of working people had not improved. It's title is “Doggerel Lines by the Son of a Labourer,” and this is the first stanza: “Now 64 years from my own native home, Had a wish to visit once more The haunts of my childhood, I longed to roam Recalling the days of yore; I know all the places, and names can tell Where we played at the close of each day, Baseball, prison bars, and cricket as well, Quite green in my mind now I'm grey.”

Notes

Given that this is a reminiscence of some 50 years earlier, there is no doubt the reference is to English baseball.

Sources

Diss (Norfolk) Express, Sept. 2, 1898, p. 5

English Baseball in London on September 3 1898

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 3, 1898
Location London
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the pastimes played by the young people of the Hackney Wick Wesleyan Band of Hope of Hackney (northeast London) on their annual excursion to Hainault retreat. A newspaper reported that after arriving at their destination, “donkey rides, swings, etc. were then indulged in.” This was followed by a tea and “a ramble through the woods.” During the evening, the story continued, “nearly 30 prizes were competed for in running, skipping, three-legged and other races, the elder ones indulging in base-ball.”

Notes

The late date and the London location might imply American baseball, but the fact the participants were children suggests the strong possibility they were playing the English game.

Sources

Shoreditch (Hackney) Observer, Sept. 3, 1898, p. 3

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on June 24 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 24, 1899
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

It was reported that "baseball" was enjoyed by students of the Baptist Sunday School of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, at their annual treat: "On the following day (Monday), the annual treat was given to the scholars in a field kindly lent by Mr. T. Bailey. The scholars met early in the afternoon, and at once commenced the day's enjoyment with baseball and other games."

Sources

Bucks Herald, June 24, 1899, p.6

English Baseball in Hertfordshire on June 24 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, June 24, 1899
Location Hertfordshire
Data

“Base ball” was enjoyed by students of the Union Chapel Sunday-school of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, at their annual outing. A newspaper noted that “Racing, cricket, base ball, and numerous other pastimes were participated in, till the tea-bell found their appetites whetted.”

Sources

Herts Advertiser (St. Albans), June 24, 1899, p. 8

English Baseball in Hampshire on July 1 1899 (2)

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 1, 1899
Location Hampshire
Data

“Baseball” was one of the amusements enjoyed by children attending the Sunday School connected to the All Saints Church of Fleet, a town in eastern Hampshire, at their annual summer outing to nearby Odiham Woods. A newspaper reported that “on arrival all were regaled with refreshments, after which they soon dispersed, some to find enjoyment in the various glades and shady nooks so abundant there, some to enjoy a game of cricket, some to the swings which had been quickly fastened up, while games of baseball &c., were indulged in by others.”

Sources

Hants and Berks Gazette and Middlesex and Surrey Journal, July 1, 1899, p. 5

English Baseball in Hampshire on July 1 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 1, 1899
Location Hampshire
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the games enjoyed by members and friends of the Independent Order of Good Templars of Basingstoke, Hampshire, at their summer outing. According to a newspaper report, the party consisted of 45 adults and 30 children, and that “cricket, base-ball, and other amusements were freely indulged in during the afternoon and evening.”

Sources

Hants and Berks Gazette and Middlesex and Surrey Journal, July 1, 1899, p. 5

English Baseball in East Sussex on July 14 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 14, 1899
Location East Sussex
Data

“Base ball” was part of a “mixed game” played by members of the Lewes (East Sussex) Cyclist Club as part of a day's outing to the village of Newick, also in East Sussex. After enjoying a strawberry tea and hearing some remarks from a club officer in a marquee set up in a meadow behind the King's Head public house, “a move was then made, and various amusements indulged in, which included a mixed game of cricket, base ball, twos and threes, &c. Soon after 8.0. (sic) p.m., machines were out out and a start made for home.”

Notes

“Twos and threes” is a sort of tag game with players arranged in circles. It goes by several other names, including round tag, tersy (tarsy), and thursa.

Sources

Sussex Agricultural Express, July 14, 1899, p. 4

English Baseball in Suffolk on July 14 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 14, 1899
Location Suffolk
Data

A “base-ball” game made for a nice diversion for members of the Ipswich (Suffolk) Cruisers Cycling Club in the middle of their round-trip day outing to the village of Scole on the Suffolk-Norfolk border. A newspaper reported that after the party arrived at their midpoint in Scole and enjoyed a “substantial tea,” they “adjourned to the courtyard [of an inn], sides being picked for a game of base-ball.”

Notes

This being Suffolk, the game was probably English baseball

Sources

Diss (Norfolk) Express, July 14, 1899, p. 4

English Baseball in Suffolk on July 14 1899 (2)

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 14, 1899
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base ball” was among the amusements offered to youngsters at the united and annual treat held by the Diss Friends' Sunday School in conjunction with the Roydon and Diss Heywood Young People's Meeting at a farm near Diss, Norfolk. A newspaper reported that after the groups met up at the farm, “hearty cheers were given as the field games were entered upon, which included swings, cricket, base ball, football, high jumping, racking balloons, scrambling, &c.”

Sources

Diss (Norfolk) Express, July 14, 1899, p. 4

English Baseball in Kent on July 14 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Friday, July 14, 1899
Location Kent
Data

“Base-ball” was one of the games played at a high school charity “Strawberry Fete” held in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to benefit the Children's Country Holiday Fund that enabled poor London children to spend a fortnight in the countryside. Held on the grounds of a hotel, “a large table loaded with strawberries and cream was under the trees in the centre of the ground, and ices could not be made fast enough to supply the demand, Base-ball and rounders were played very energetically by the High School girls; potato, egg and spoon, sum, and needle and thread races, open to all comers, were very popular, and afforded much amusement to the visitors.”

Notes

An example of English baseball and rounders played side by side. Interestingly, this entry and the one below comprise two strawberry-themed events held on the same day.

Sources

Kent & Sussex Courier (Tunbridge Wells), July 14, 1899, p. 5

English Baseball in Norfolk on July 29 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, July 29, 1899
Location Norfolk
Data

“Base-ball” was among the games played at a united outdoor gathering of the Bands of Hope of Stow Bardolph, a village in eastern Norfolk. According to a report in a local newspaper, “sports and amusements, including cricket, a scramble for nuts and sweets, swings, base-ball, and other games, were enjoyed until the hour for tea arrived, at 4 p.m.”

Sources

Thetford & Watton Times, July 29, 1899, p. 4

English Baseball in West Sussex Hampshire on July 31 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Monday, July 31, 1899
Location West Sussex Hampshire
Data

A “base ball” match was the featured game at an outing of employees of Mr. W. Beuttell, whose gas fitting business was located in the Landport district of Portsmouth, Hampshire. The employees were driven in a “char-a-banc” (sic), an early motorized vehicle, to the coastal village of Bosham in West Sussex. After having their tea in a hotel, “the party adjourned to a spacious meadow opposite, where games were indulged in including a match at base ball between married and single.”

Sources

Portsmouth Evening News, July 31, 1899, p. 3

English Baseball in Buckinghamshire on August 26 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, August 26, 1899
Location Buckinghamshire
Data

"Base ball" was one of the amusements enjoyed by members of the Band of Hope (affiliated with the Baptist Church of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire) at their annual treat: "After an excellent tea, games were freely indulged in, such as base ball, bat and trap, &c., the older folk apparently enjoying the fun quite as much as the youngsters."

Sources

Bucks Herald, Aug. 26, 1899, p. 6

English Baseball in Suffolk on September 2 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 2, 1899
Location Suffolk
Data

“Base-ball” and other games were played at the annual Church Sunday School treat in the village of Ousden, located in west Suffolk. According to a newspaper report, “after the distribution of prizes, which consisted of Church services, hymn and prayer books, as well as other suitable books, the children adjourned for games of cricket, base-ball, tug-of-war, and other sports.”

Sources

Bury Free Press, Sept. 2, 1899, p. 7

English Baseball in Berkshire on September 30 1899

Block Game English Baseball
Date Saturday, September 30, 1899
Location Berkshire
Data

“Baseball” was one of the pastimes offered to a large party of guests entertained by Lord and Lady Edward Spencer-Churchill at their estate, Queensmead, in the royal town of Windsor, Berkshire. This seemingly democratic gathering included--according to a local newspaper report—policemen, postmen, porters, telegraph boys, and others, as well as their wives. The paper reported that “the visitors arrived shortly after three o'clock, and foregathered on the lawn, where numerous games were indulged in. There were plenty of easy chairs for those who did not care to play at either tennis, cricket, baseball, etc.”

Notes

American baseball is a possibility here, although Windsor was smack in the middle of traditional English baseball territory.

Sources

Windsor and Eton Express, Sept. 30, 1899, p. 5