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Northampton MA Prohibits Downtown Ballplaying (and Stone-Throwing)
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"Both the meeting-house and the Court House suffered considerable damage, especially to their windows by ball playing in the streets, consequently in 1791, a by-law was enacted by which 'foot ball, hand ball, bat ball and or any other game of ball was prohibited within ten rods of the Court House easterly or twenty rods of the Meeting House southwesterly, neither shall they throw any stones at or over the said Meeting House on a penalty of 5s, one half to go to the complainant and the rest to the town.'"
J. R. Trumbull, History of Northampton, Volume II (Northampton, 1902), page 529. Contributed by John Bowman, May 9, 2009. Note: It is interesting that neither base-ball nor wicket is named in a town that is not so far from Pittsfield [see 1791.1]. Query: do we have any notion what "bat ball" was?
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