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Knattleikr (...?), 673/4 - 735

Knattleikr is a Viking Ball Game.

During several of our recent feasts, we have attempted to recreate the Viking era ball game called knattleikr. While the game is mentioned in the stories, (such as the Icelandic family sagas), the sources are silent about the details of the game. No examples of the playing equipment are known to survive. No listing of the rules has survived. In the stories, usually all that's mentioned is the fact that people played the game, that players had disputes, and frequently, that blood was spilled.
Since no hard information survives about the game, any attempt to recreate it is pure conjecture. Some authors have compared the game to various modern games, including hockey, rugby, lacrosse, and cricket, all of which seem very different from one another.
Manuscripts from well after the Viking age describe rules for ball games and illustrate the play (image). But nothing suggests these games derive from knattleikr.
We decided to start with the existing sources, the Sagas of Icelanders, and to try to recreate something that matched the descriptions in the sagas as best we could. We surprised ourselves with how enjoyable the game turned out to be, and we are pleased to present our conjectures for the benefit of other Viking age re-enactors who might want to give it a try.
The most complete descriptions of the game in the sagas are: Grettis saga (Gr.s.) chapter 15; Gísla saga (G.s.) chapters 15 and 18; Egils saga (E.s.) chapter 40, and Eyrbyggja saga (Ey.s.) chapter 43. From these sources, we conclude:
The bat was such that it could broken in anger, and that it could be mended on the spot (G.s. ch18). The word used in the stories is tré, meaning tree, but used for many wooden objects. However, in one instance (Gr.s. ch15), the word used is knattgildra, which has the sense of "ball catch" or "ball trap". Perhaps the bat had some element or elements that allowed it to catch or hold or carry the ball.
The ball was hard enough that when thrown in anger at another player, it could cause a bleeding injury (Gr.s. ch15). And if thrown with enough force, it could knock over another player (G.s. ch15). Loose balls bounced a long way over the ice (Gr.s. ch15).
The playing field was usually near a pond. Some modern scholars have suggested that the game was played on the surface of a frozen pond. Ice certainly figures prominently in the stories (G.s. ch18, Gr.s. ch15). Gull-Þóris saga (chapter 2) specifically states the game was played on the ice at Berufjörður (á Berufjarðarísi), and Þórðar saga hreðu (ch.3) says that games were played on the ice at Miðfjörður (á Miðfjarðarísi) between the farms of Reykir and Óss because the fjord froze easily there. (That location might be more accurately described as the estuary where the river meets the fjord.)
The people of Dýrafjörður played knattleikr at Seftjörn (G.s. ch15), the small pond next to the fjord shown to the right. (In Gísli's time, the pond was probably larger, since the weeds filling in the pond would have been harvested regularly.) However, the game was played in summer, when it is unlikely the pond was frozen.
Later in the saga (G.s. ch18), games were held at Seftjörn in the winter. Þorsteinn brought Börkur down on the ice. However, the "ice" is actually svell, a word that implies uneven or lumpy ice and is usually applied to ice that has formed on land, rather than over a body of water.
In this winter photo of Seftjörn, the pond lays buried beneath the snow in the foreground. The body of water is Dýrafjörður, located behind the snow covered pond. It's unlikely any kind of game was played on a pond as snowy as this one.
The Breiðavík people played (Ey.s. ch43) below the mountain Öxl, south of the farm Knörr.
Egill, a slave, was given instructions to go to the games festival and kill one of the Breiðavík men. Egill waited in the mountain pass (left) above the games field where he could see the activities at the festival. When the cooking fires were lit, and smoke obscured the pass, Egill went down to cooking sheds to complete his assignment. However, before he could kill anyone, he tripped over his shoelace and was captured.
Egill, a slave, was given instructions to go to the games festival and kill one of the Breiðavík men. Egill waited in the mountain pass (left) above the games field where he could see the activities at the festival. When the cooking fires were lit, and smoke obscured the pass, Egill went down to cooking sheds to complete his assignment. However, before he could kill anyone, he tripped over his shoelace and was captured.
The next morning, he was led back to the mountain pass and killed there.
From his hiding place in the pass, Egill had an excellent view of the games field south of Knörr (right). Several ponds exist there today where the game could have been played.
However, the games festival was held on Winter Nights (veturnætur), the beginning of the winter in the Norse calendar. This was a time for sacrifices, game festivals, and weddings, and it occurred in mid-October.
In October, the mean temperature in that part of Iceland is above freezing, so it seems unlikely that ice had formed on the ponds. The photo to the left shows the likely location of the game fields near Knörr on a recent Winter Nights. While the surrounding mountains are freshly dusted with snow, the playing fields show no signs of ice or snow.
In chapter 4 of Vopnfirðinga saga, it is said that games were played here at Hagi in Vopnafjörður in the winter. Other than the Hofsá river barely visible in the distance, there don't seem to be any bodies of water that would freeze to create a playing surface for the game. Yet the slopes that surround three sides of the playing field would have provided excellent seating for the spectators.
In another case (E.s. ch40), it is said that knattleikr was played on the flatland Hvítárvellir (right) adjacent to the river Hvítá. Although the game was played in winter, ice is not mentioned in the story.
The games were regional (E.s. ch 40), so it seems likely that players from several dozen or even many dozens of farms participated. That implies several dozen players might be on the field simultaneously (rather than hundreds, or a small handful).
The games were viewed by many spectators (G.s.ch18). The women spectators sat on the slope just behind the pond Seftjörn seen in the photo to the left (G.s.ch18).
Games could last for days (Ey.s. ch.43), although one day games are also mentioned (Gr.s. ch15).
Players were divided into two teams (Gr.s. ch15). English translations suggest that players were lined up with opposing players facing each other, although I wonder if that's reading more information into the original than is really there ("Síðan var skipað mönnum til leiks.", Gr.s. ch15). There is the sense that certain players on one side played against certain other players on the opposing team (G.s. ch18, E.s. ch40). Players were matched on the basis of strength (Ey.s. ch.43, G.s. ch18).
The play involved hitting the ball, catching the ball, and running with the ball while opposing players chased the runner (Gr.s. ch15). When the ball was hit, it traveled through the air, rather than on the ground (Gr.s. ch15). Players were held and tackled while the ball was in play (G.s. ch15). During the game, the ball could go out of play (G.s. ch15).
Almost certainly, the bat was made from wood. We used modern hardwood dowels (right), 1 to 1.5in in diameter (2.5 to 4cm) and 4ft long (120cm). Not only were they well suited for hitting the ball, but very useful for tripping and checking an opposing player. However, there was nothing about them that would allow them to trap a ball, as suggested in Gr.s. ch15.
A bat similar to a modern cricket bat or a hurley stick has been suggested, but it seems unlikely that a either could be broken in anger and mended on the spot, as described in the stories. A smaller version of a cricket bat might work.
It has been suggested that a shepherd's staff was used as a bat, as was commonly done in later medieval games. I am unconvinced for several reasons, including the fact that different words are used in the sagas for those two items (tré vs. stafr)
The saga description suggests a hard ball, perhaps made from wood or hard leather. We tried both a wooden ball and a wool felt ball (left), as well as a modern hurling ball, called a sliotar.
Before the game, we tried the wooden ball with limited success; the bat didn't connect with the ball well enough to hit it any distance. Subsequent batting practice after the game showed that it was possible to hit a wooden ball the length of the field with the bats we used. However, I would be reluctant to catch a wooden ball hit with that speed. For most of the game, we used the wool felt ball, although it's hard to believe that a felt ball could be thrown with enough force to knock someone over.
For those who don't mind using more modern equipment, I'd suggest trying a tennis ball, or a slightly larger ball, such as a child's hard sponge rubber play ball.
We originally used two teams of six players, since we had prepared only twelve bats for playing. Subsequently, we've had more players on the field during our games.
Our playing field was near a pond, but we played on an adjacent grassy field. I remain unconvinced that the game was played on ice. The saga evidence is inconsistent, and the thought of playing on ice is unappealing to anyone who has worn medieval turnshoes in winter. They're very slippery on smooth surfaces like ice. (It has been suggested that the bottoms of the shoes were tarred then dipped in sand in order to provide traction on ice, but I know of no evidence to support this suggestion.)
The approximate size of our playing field was a rectangle 40 by 15 paces, although larger teams would have required a larger field. While the ends of the field were well defined for scoring, the sides were only loosely defined (on one side, by spectators, and on the other by a wet, muddy area too slippery to play on while wearing medieval
Two opposing teams face each other in lines. Each player has a bat. One ball is used. Each play begins with one team in possession of the ball. One member of that team throws the ball at the opposing team. Using their bats, the opposing team tries to hit the ball back to the first team before the ball touches the ground. If the ball is hit successfully, both teams attempt to take possession of the ball. The team that takes possession of the ball attempts to carry the ball down the field, through the opposing team, to the end of the field to score. The ball may be passed from one player to another. The opposing team may obstruct the player with the ball by tackling, tripping, or other means, using arms, legs, bats, or whatever may be at hand. The ball remains in play even if dropped, stolen, or intercepted, so if the opposing team captures the ball, they are free to run it to their end of the field and score.
Play stops only when: a score is made; or the ball goes out of bounds; or the player possessing the ball is so thoroughly smothered by opposing players that he has no options for further play.
If when the ball is first thrown, the opposing team fails to hit the ball before it touches the ground, or if they hit it out of bounds, play stops and the ball is returned to the first team to start a new play.
If the ball is in play and goes out of bounds, possession of the ball is taken from the team that last touched the ball, and given to the other team to start a new play.
If the ball is in play, and the team possessing the ball fails to score, the ball is given to the other team to start a new play.
The team who has scored the most number of times when the game ends is declared the winner. The game ends when only one player remains standing, or when all the ale has been consumed.
The game was enjoyable and challenging on several levels. It provided great entertainment for spectators. In addition, it matched the play described in the sagas on several key points.
It scarcely needs mentioning that the game is dangerous, and opportunity abounds for serious injury, especially while chasing and tackling people holding bats. We remind potential players about the law in Grágás, the medieval Icelandic lawbook, which states that a man may leave a game at any time he pleases, thus he himself is responsible for any unintentional injuries he may suffer.
Some updates
We've used these rules and equipment at several of our feasts, and we continue to find the game extremely enjoyable.
Students at a local university have started playing knattleikr on a regular, organized basis using these rules.
The first annual New England intercollegiate knattleikr competition (left) was held in April, 2007.
The sagas tell of sveinaleikr, a ball and bat game for children (Egils saga chapter 40). It's not clear how that game differed from the game for adults. The stories say it could be just as bloody.
Although children greatly enjoy playing knattleikr using the rules we devised, it is a rough game, and caution is advised. The game can be made slightly safer for children by requiring that the bats be dropped once the ball is in play.
Even that modification was not sufficient for one of our younger players (right), although I think it was exhaustion, rather than injury, that caused him to fall.
More recently, knattleikr was played at Víkingadagur (Viking Day) held by Minjasafn Austurlands in east Iceland. We started a game of knattleikr for adults, using the rules outlined on this page (left, explaining the rules). The game was very well received by the adults, who played vigorously.
The children seemed hesitant to join in the game, perhaps because it was too vigorous. So we set up a game of sveinaleikr for them, which ended up being no less rough and tumble (right, a pileup). A great time was had by both young and old.
Other conjectures
About a century before me, the Icelandic scholar Dr. Björn Bjarnason (left) took a similar approach to reconstruct knattleikr. Only recently did I learn of his research and book, Íþróttir fornmanna á norðurlöndum, first published in 1908. While there are similarities, his conclusions differ from mine in significant ways.
Björn believed that the game was played on a marked field, and that opposing players were matched in pairs. There was one ball and one bat, and the man that started the game carried the bat and could be called the defender. During the game, men could strike at the ball, grab the ball, throw the ball, or carry the ball, and opposing players chased after it in a run. Since wrestling and scuffles often played a role in the game, the strongest players were considered the best players. A win occurred when the ball was brought over the line of the opponents.
About a century before me, the Icelandic scholar Dr. Björn Bjarnason (left) took a similar approach to reconstruct knattleikr. Only recently did I learn of his research and book, Íþróttir fornmanna á norðurlöndum, first published in 1908. While there are similarities, his conclusions differ from mine in significant ways.
Björn believed that the game was played on a marked field, and that opposing players were matched in pairs. There was one ball and one bat, and the man that started the game carried the bat and could be called the defender. During the game, men could strike at the ball, grab the ball, throw the ball, or carry the ball, and opposing players chased after it in a run. Since wrestling and scuffles often played a role in the game, the strongest players were considered the best players. A win occurred when the ball was brought over the line of the opponents.
About a century before me, the Icelandic scholar Dr. Björn Bjarnason (left) took a similar approach to reconstruct knattleikr. Only recently did I learn of his research and book, Íþróttir fornmanna á norðurlöndum, first published in 1908. While there are similarities, his conclusions differ from mine in significant ways.
Björn believed that the game was played on a marked field, and that opposing players were matched in pairs. There was one ball and one bat, and the man that started the game carried the bat and could be called the defender. During the game, men could strike at the ball, grab the ball, throw the ball, or carry the ball, and opposing players chased after it in a run. Since wrestling and scuffles often played a role in the game, the strongest players were considered the best players. A win occurred when the ball was brought over the line of the opponents.
A Postscript
Egils saga (ch 40) says that young Egill (age 12) played knattleikr at Sandvík. Today, Sandvík (right) is a residential district in Borgarnes. When I visited, I saw many children playing, riding bicycles, and skating on in-line skates, but I did not see a single game of knattleikr in progress.

About the image
Life of Cuthbert by the Venerable Bede
Bede’s Life of Cuthbert tells the story of Cuthbert (c.635-687), an early Christian monk who became Prior and Bishop of Lindisfarne.

Cuthbert lived at a time of great religious change. Following the spread of Christianity to England in c600, Roman and Irish (or Insular) traditions emerged with different practices that often placed them in disagreement. The most divisive issue concerned the date upon which Easter was celebrated with each tradition regularly observing different days. In 664 the Synod of Whitby resolved the dispute for Northumbria in favour of the Roman church.

Despite having been educated in the Irish tradition, Cuthbert accepted this decision and led a quiet and contemplative life on Farne, preaching and working miracles. Following his death, the cult of Saint Cuthbert developed with reports of miracles caused by his body and relics. During this time, four accounts of his life were also written including three by the Venerable Bede (673/4-735), a monk and historian whose notable works include the Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

Whilst Bede wrote a Life of Cuthbert in both verse and prose, Univ’s MS 165 contains an example of the prose work. It was probably produced in the first half of the twelfth century and is divided into 46 chronological chapters beginning with Cuthbert as a child and ending with his death and the miracles that followed.
The manuscript contains several painted initials (see Figure II [fol. 6r]) and each chapter is illustrated by a series of miniatures. In Figure I [fol. 5v], you can see the prophesy of Cuthbert’s bishopric which was given by a boy with whom Cuthbert had been playing as a child. In Figure III [fol. 60v), you can see the moment at which Cuthbert’s body was discovered uncorrupted nine years after his death.

This is the earliest known depiction of a European ball game, one of batting and fielding, illustrating a batter striking a pitched, leather-covered ball with a short crosse.

Bibliography
Alexander, J. J. G. & Temple, E. (1985). Illuminated Manuscripts in Oxford College Libraries, the University Archives and the Taylor Institution. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Bede. (1887). The life of St. Cuthbert (J. Stevenson. Trans.). London: Burns & Oates, Ltd. ; New York; Catholic Publication Society Co.
Campbell, J. (2008). Bede (673/4–735), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1922
Colgrave, B. (1940). Two lives of Saint Cuthbert: a life by an anonymous monk of Lindisfarne and Bede’s prose life: texts, translation, and notes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[Durham University] [2013]. Lindisfarne Gospels Durham: one amazing book, one incredible journey: exhibition Guide. [Durham: Durham University].
Rollason, D. & Dobson, R. B. (2004). Cuthbert [St Cuthbert] (c.635–687), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6976

Sources
• Geert & Sara Nijs
• http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/daily_living/text/knattleikr.htm, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knattleikr
• Do Smit

Oxford University College (ms. 165), Oxford, England (ms. 165)

Literature
• Golf throuch the ages by Michael Flannery, page xi. January 2004
• Geert & Sara Nijs, Games for Kings & Commoners, Part Three, p. 85. ISBN 978-2-9540069-3-2

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Scan-110107-0001.jpg

Unknown, 13e eeuw

Afbeelding uit een liturgische kalender (psalter) van de Abdij van Fecamp in Normandië, Frankrijk. Deze afbeelding staat bij de maand november.

Psalter of the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy, November scene. 13th century.

Literatuur
• Serendipity of Early Golf van Robin Bargmann, pagina 117. 2010. ISBN 978-90-816364-1-4

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Speculum_Doctrinale.jpg

Unknown, na 1250

Afbeelding uit 'Speculum doctrinale' van Vincent van Beauvais uit ca. 1250 (fol. 149 recto).

Het betreft een van de oudste 'stok-met-bal-spel'-afbeeldingen die bekend zijn. De spelers spelen een onbekend spel en dragen daarbij een jas die tot over de knieën reikt.

In bezit van abdijkerk Ter Doest bij Brugge, België; bewaard in de Stadsbibliotheek te Brugge (Ms 251)

Bijzonderheden 1
Tweede helft van de 13e eeuw, 339 perkamenten folio's met voor- en achteraan een papieren schutblad; 34,7 x 26 cm; schrijfspiegel 26,5 x 17,4 cm; 2 kolommen van 42 regels; samengesteld uit 28 katernen van 6 gevouwen bladen, gevolgd door 2 gevouwen bladen waarvan het laatste folio is weggesneden; littera textualis; koptitels in rood en blauw; rubrieken; rode en blauwe lombarden voorzien van penwerk in de andere kleur; gehistoriseerde initialen en randversieringen bij het begin van de verschillende libri (f. 1r, 24r, 54v, 112v, 149r, 191r, 22v, 254v en 299v); eigendomsmerk van Ter Doest (f. 339r); leder op hout.

Dit 'Speculum doctrinale' is het tweede deel van het 'Speculum Maius' dat ca. 1250 door de franse dominicaan Vincentius van Beauvais (overleden 1264), met de medewerking van zijn confraters werd samengesteld. Het eerste en derde deel zijn respectievelijk het 'Speculum Naturale' en het 'Speculum Historiale'; dit laatste deel lag ten grondslag aan Jakob van Maerlant's 'Spieghel Historiael'.
De gehistoriseerde initiaal aan de aanvang van het hoofdstuk 'De practica scoentia et eius inventare' toont ons een leraar die aanwijzingen geeft aan een houthakker (...?) en aan een landbouwer (deze laatste met spade in de hand). Vanuit deze initiaal vertrekt een stijve veelkleurige band die via zogenoemde knopen om de hoeken bijna rondom de hele bladzijde loopt. Volkomen los van de in het boek behandelde materie bracht de verluchter op dit marginaal decor allerlei voorstellingen aan: realistische voorstelling van het slachten van een dier, een stok-met-balspel met kennelijke strijd om de bal (een soort hockey?), een touwtjespringend kind, spel met een hoepel, een stakkmolen; links beneden merkt men een fantastisch personnage op, half mens, half dier; tenslotte schilderde de verluchter in de rechtermarge een dame die met behulp van een bezem en hark (blijkbaar de eerste) viool speelt. Dit handschrift dat vooral voor de zoëven vermelde marginalia interessant is behoort stilistisch toe tot een uitgebreide groep van handschriften uit het laatste kwart van de 13de eeuw, die in het huidige Noord-Frankrijk (Douai?) werden geproduceerd. De voornaamste vertegenwoordiger van deze groep is Brussel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek 9391.
Verantwoording: Brugge, Stadsbibliotheek, 251. RVDP

Bijzonderheden 2
... De illustraties van de handschriften verdienen alle aandacht. De term miniatuur heeft ten onrechte de betekenis gekregen van 'kleine afbeelding', maar de illustraties in middeleeuwse handschriften zijn niet per definitie kleiner dan die in een hedendaags boek. Het woord miniatuur is dan ook niet afgeleid van minor-klein, maar van minium, dat menie of rode inkt betekent. Titels, beginletters, paragraaftekens werden door de vroegste miniatores aangebracht in rood. ...
Roelof van Gelder in het Cultureel Supplement van NRC Handelsblad, 14 augustus 1981. Artikel naar aanleiding van de tentoonstelling 'Vlaamse kunst op perkament' tot 18 oktober 1981 in het Groothusemuseum te Brugge.

Bron: Do Smit, Stichting NGA Early Golf

Literatuur
• Geert & Sara Nijs, Games for Kings & Commoners, Part Three, p. 69. ISBN 978-2-9540069-3-2. 2015

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Flannery-xx-13e.jpg

With stick and ball playing women, 1280-1290

Met stok en bal spelende vrouwen in een geïllustreerd muziekblad (gregoriaans) van Chansonniers de Montpellier uit 1280-1290.

De naam van het spel 'guichet' (= interpretatie in huidige literatuur) veranderde tot 'wicket' in het Engels. Het betreft hier de voorloper van het huidige 'cricket'.

Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Montpellier, Frankrijk

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smithfield_decretals.jpg

Unknown, 13th-14th century

Two men face off in a bully, their inverted crosses touching the ground with a ball between them. The playing field is delineated by two trees, one of which is occupied by a giant bird.

Genesis Figures and Crucifixion, ca. 1320. Illuminated English manuscript

British Museum, London, England
Detailed record for Royal 10EIV:
Author - Edited by Raymund of Peñafort, with gloss of Bernard of Parma
Title - Calendarium, Decretals of Gregory IX with glossa ordinaria (the Smithfield Decretals)
Origin - France, S. (Toulouse?)
Date - Last quarter of the 13th century or 1st quarter of the 14th century
Language - Latin
Script - Gothic
Decoration - 5 miniatures in colours and gold, with full or partial borders deorated with foliate and interlace patterns, at the beginning of each book. Foliate initials in colours and gold at the beginning of each book. 'Champ' initials in gold on blue and rose grounds with penwork decoration in white. Initials in red with pen-flourished decoration in purple or blue, or in blue with pen-flourished decoration in red. Line-fillers in brown ink highlighted in yellow.
Dimensions in mm - 450 x 280 (370 x 245)
Official foliation - ff. A + 314 (+ 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves ar the beginning and at the end; f. A is a medieval parchment flyleaf)
Form - Parchment codex
Binding - Post-1600. Royal Library binding of brown leather with the arms of George II and a date of 1757.
Provenance - The text dedicated to the University of Paris (f. 4).
John Batayle, a canon of St Bartholomew's at Smithfield, mentioned among other canons in a clerical subsidy roll of 1379 and named in a will of 1382, made by John Chyshull, another canon of St Bartholomew's (see Bovey 2002), probably illuminated for him: the Batayle arms (ff. 3v, 4r, 43v, 47v, 65v, 66r, 75v, 90v, 178v, 179v, 180).
The Augustinian priory of St Bartholomew's at Smithfield: inscribed, 'Liber domus sancti barthomomei in smyth fylde', 15th century (f. 1v).
The Old Roal Library (the English Royal Library): Henrician title 'Decretales' and Westminster inventory number 'no 1059' (f. 1), acquired by the Upper Library ar Westminster after the inventory of 1542; in the catalogue of the library of St James's Palace (see [Edward Bernard], Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae (Oxford: Sheldonian, '1697', but 1698?), no. 8377, 8378, 8380. or 8388).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes - Part I: the text and gloss written in Southern France, perhaps in Toulouse: lemmata underlined in yellow, with the decoration left unfinished.
Catchwords and bifolium signatures; numerous corrections.
Part II: the Calendarium illuminated and added on a separate quire at the beginning of the manuscript (ff. 1v-3v); marginal decoration and scenes in the lower margins added by a different artist, probably on the request of John Batayle, a canon of St Bartholomew's at Smithfield (his arms: see provenance) (see Bovey 200 and 2002).

Literature
• Golf throuch the ages by Michael Flannery, page 101. January 2004
• Geert & Sara Nijs, Games for Kings & Commoners, Part Three, p. 84. ISBN 978-2-9540069-3-2. 2015

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Scan-110206-0013.jpg

Unknown, 1320-1330

At the top of the right margin is a man's head, his neck protruding from a small cache of balls. Below him is the torso of a crosse player holding a crook, with a black ball (the 'bille' or 'boule') centred in the curved head. A red-clad figure below him, hands open, waits to field the ball.

Illuminated Manuscript Psalter, Ghent, 1320-1330.

Bodleian Library (Ms. Douce 6 [bound with Ms. Douce 5 in a two part volume], folio 148 recto), University of Oxford, England

Literature
• Golf throuch the ages by Michael Flannery, page 100. January 2004

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Flannery-51-1372_.jpg

Unknown (Inconnu), 1372

Jeune Français jouant à la crosse (French boy playing crosse), Barthélemey l'Anglais (Barthélemy de Glanville), Le Livre des Proprietés des Choses, (also Le Proprietaire des Choses), 1372

Translated from Latin by Jehan Corbichon at the behest of King Charles of France (1338 - 1380).

The image was used to illustrate Jeunesse (Youth), the schoolboy shown with a crosse and ball, the ball game associated with his age group. The shape and weight of the clubhead permitted long elevated drives of the large wooden ball.

Bibliothèque Nationale (ms. French 22532, folio 84), Paris, France

Literature
• Golf though the ages by Michael Flannery, page 51. January 2004

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P1060499.jpg

Iovenes, last decade 13th century

Detail from an illumination of iovenes (= youth), depicting a boy sitting on a hummock surrounded by the playing equipment of his 'customary' games.

Li Ars d'amour, de vertu et de boneuté. Jehan le Bel, Flanders, last decade of the thirteenth century. Vellum manuscript, 35,5 x 24cm.

Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I (ms. 9543, folio 23 verso), Brussels, Belgium

Literature
• Golf though the ages by Michael Flannery, page 196. January 2004

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P1060495.jpg

Fighting boys with sticks and balls, early 15th century

Vechtende jongens met speelstokken en ballen als detail in de ondermarge van blad 154 recto van een vijftiende eeuws gebedenboek uit de Koninklijke Bibliotheek te Den Haag.

Perkament, 184 fol. 138 x 103 mm (80 x 60 mm).
Rode leren band uit de 18e eeuw met goudstempeling.
Voorin gedrukte ex librissen van 'Dominicus Ladisl. Franc. Baro de Gottignies', Messire Lancelot Ignace Joseph Baron de Gottignies" en "Madame Van Huerne De Puyenbeke née De Schietere De Lophem". '
Fol. 14v, marge: niet-geïdentificeerd wapen; fol. 112v, marge: wapen van de familie De Gottignies
8 miniaturen, 3 margevoorstellingen, gedecoreerde initialen, randversiering, initialen met penwerk

Koninklijke Bibliotheek, inv.nr. 133 D 10, f 154r (alleen ter inzage)

Bron: Do Smit

Literature
• Golf though the ages by Michael Flannery, page 191. January 2004
• Games for Kings & Commoners, Part Two, p. 179. 2014. ISBN 2978-2-9540069-2-5 (choullaetclava@orange.fr)
• Verslag Koninklijke Bibliotheek (1866-) 1896, p. 11-12 nr 10

Details in english
Contents - Prayer Book
Place of origin - Diocese Liège (Limburg?); c 1450-1500
Material - Vellum, ff. 184, 138 x 103 (80 x 60) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida. Binding: 18th-century red leather, gilt
Decoration - 8 full-page miniatures (90/85 x 57 mm) with border decoration, 3 illustrations in the margin; decorated initials with border decoration (ff. 15r, 34r, 43r, 68r, 90r, etc.);
penwork initials with pen-flourishes (ff. 35v, 37r, 39r, 61v, 62r)
Provenance - Purchased in 1896 from Techener, Paris. From the collection of L.F. baron de Gottignies
Annotation - Liège calendar

Click for large image

bodleian_oxford.jpg

Ancient stick and ball game, 1400-1410

Two men play an ancient form of golf.

Anonymous French Master, Paris, 1400-1410

From a M.S. in the Douce Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Bron: Pius Muskens, Do Smit

Click for large image

Ander_1410.jpg

Unknown, 1400-1410

Oudst bekende afbeelding van een ongehinderde 'full swing'. Het hier afgebeelde spel is onbekend.

Anonieme Franse meester. Parijs 1400-1410.

Bodleian Library, Oxford

Literature
• Golf through the ages by Michael Flannery. January 2004

Click for large image

Scan-110207-0005.jpg

Hybrid with crosse, ca. 1410

Bas de page depicting a full-bearded hybrid in a red cap with a crosse in ons hand following a dog with a ball between his jaws on a rope lead.

Illuminated manuscript. French, probably Paris from about 1410.

Bodleian Library (ms. Douce 62, folio 47 verso), Oxford, England

Literatuur
• Golf through the ages by Michael Flannery, page 116. January 2004