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Sports and Pastimes of Scotland
Chapter VII. Archery, Football, Golf

Now like themselves again the archers raise
The Bow, in brave array, and claim our lays.
Ailan Ramsay.

—Some, with many a merry shout,
In riot, revelry, and rout,
Pursued the foot-ball play.
Lay of Last Minstrel.

It is, indeed, a goodly sight to see
Those red-coat champions marshalled for the fray,
Driving the ball o'er bunker, rut, and lea,
And clearing, with impetuous "hove," the way,
Enlivening still the game with laugh and say,
Whilst trotting club-men follow fast behind,
Prepared with ready hand the lees to lay,
With nicest eye the devious ball to find,
And of the going game each player to remind.
Lines on Golf.


WHILST the Scottish Government was hounding out the peasantry to the wolf-hunt, it was waging war against the popular pastimes of football and golf. The crusade was instigated by the highest patriotic motives. During their oft-renewed strife with England, the Scots found good cause to dread the superiority of their " auld enemies" in the use of the long bow ; and yet this was a weapon which the Lowland infantry persistently neglected for the spear. It was the terribly-incessant "arrowy shower " of the English that routed the Scottish army at Halidon Hill—a scene of ruin and death which the dramatic page of Sir Walter has so vividly depicted:

King Edward—See it descending now, the fatal hail-shower,
The storm of England's wrath—sure, swift, resistless,
Which no mail-coat can brook. Brave English hearts
how close they shoot together;—as one eye
Had aim'd five thousand shafts—as if one hand
Had loosed five thousand how-strings
Percy—The thick volley
Darkens the air, and hides the sun from us.

But the Lowland Scots never took kindly to the bow, as a weapon of warfare; and history relates what their huddled masses of spearmen suffered at Flodden, where "fell England's arrow-flight like rain." In the Highlands, however, the bow found favour with the Clan-warriors, who brought it into the field of battle after the middle of the seventeenth century. According to an Ossianic verse, the Highland archer could only be properly equipped with arms the materials of which were thus obtained:

Bow of the yew of Essrakin,
Feather froni the eagle of Lochtreig,
Yellow wax of Balenageloin,
And an (arrow) head from the smith MacPeteran."

Or, as otherwise stated, the Highland bows were made of the yews of Glenure, which were esteemed the best for the purpose; the shafts were fabricated of the wood of Esragoin forest, in Lorn, and feathered with the plumage of the eagle. Highland archers often displayed an accuracy in transfixing the stag in the height of his headlong career, which would have done honour to the merry men of Sherwood. An old narrative of the Battle of Glcnlivat or Bairinnes, which was fought on the 3rd October 1594, mentions that there were so many archers present that it the charge, for the space of a full quarter of an hour, daylight was palpably eclipsed with the continual cloud of darts and arrows that hung over the place, the same as Lucan reports of the battle of Pharsalia."

When Charles I. was mustering soldiers for the French war, in 1627, he requested the Laird of Glenurchy, Black Duncan of the Cowl, to assist in levying a body of 200 Celtic archers, having heard great praise of their skill. At that time, a strong body of Highland bowmen, commanded by Alexander M'Naughton of that Ilk, and accompanied by a number of the Clan Mackinnon, with harpers and pipers, embarked for France to bear part in the war. Again, when the same monarch visited Scotland, for his coronation, in June 1633, a Missive was despatched by the Scottish Privy Council, on the 29th of that month, to Black Duncan's son, Sir Cohn, in reference to his Majesty's intended progress to Perth, which city he entered, in royal state, on the 8th July. " Whereas," said the letter, "the Kings Majesty is most solicit and desirous that the time of his being at Perth there may be a show and muster of Highlandmen, in their country habit and best order; for the better performance whereof, these are to entreat and desire you to single out and convene a number of your friends, followers, and dependers, men personable for stature, and in their best array and equipage, with trews, bows, dorlochs (dirks), and others their ordinary weapons and furniture, and to send them to the said burgh of Perth upon Monday the 8th day of July next, whereby his Majesty may receive contentment, the country credit, and yourself thanks." It is to be presumed that the party of tartaned archers duly appeared at the pageants in the Fair City.

At the commencement of the Civil War in England the Earl of Essex issued a precept, dated in November 1643, for stirring up all well-affected people by benevolence towards the raising of a company of archers for the service of Parliament. "Nothing doubting," he said, "but that success will attend the USC of that honourable and ancient weapon," the bow, heretofore found of good use in this kingdom." But it is believed that the last time Archers appeared in English warfare was in September 1645, at the last siege of Devizes by the Parliamentarians. In Scotland, the slender force with which Montrose won the battle of Tibbermuir included a body of Highland archers; and doubtless the bow played its part on the other fields of his fame. It was used in a conflict between the Clans of Breadalbane and Glencoe, after the Restoration and about 1664, Lochiel had 300 archers in the battle which he fought with the Macintoshes. So much for the Highland archery.

In the fifteenth century the Scottish Government strove with commendable energy to promote the toxophilite art amongst the people; and as the Lowlanders were passionately fond of football and golf, it was determined to suppress these sports in the interest of the valued bow. Here, again, England afforded a precedent—Edward III. having issued an edict in 1349 prohibitory of football and some other amusements, with a similar purpose in view. Accordingly, in 1424, when James I. had just returned from his captivity at Windsor, a statute was passed, enacting that na man play at the fute-ball, under the paine of fiftie shillings;" and another that "all men busk them to be archers fra they be twelve yeir of age," under the penalty of 'a wedder a man," and that bow-butts or targets be set up beside every parish kirk. The young monarch, richly endowed with poetic genius, invoked the powers of satire in support of law ; and his poem of Christ's Kirk on the Green " ridicules with great force of humour the unskilfulness of his subjects in shooting with the bow.

James II., in 1457, instituted provincial military musters, called Weapons chawings, and the universal practice of archery, and ordered "that the fute-ball and golfe be utterly cried downe and not to be used." Again, in 1491, James IV. denounced " fute-ball, golfe, or other sik unprofitable sports," and renewed the previous acts in favour of archery. Despite, however, the national importance of the object, the Lowland Scots were very slack in their obedience. Yet, in the year 1534, at a match between several Scottish and English bowmen, the former bore the bell! This event is detailed with great precision by Lindsay of Pitscottic. The Lord William Howard had reached Scotland, as envoy from Henry VIII., bringing with him the Order of the Garter with which to invest James V. who was then two and twenty. In Howard's train were three-score horsemen, "wailled," or picked, "gentlemen for all kind of pastime, at shooting, leaping, wrestling, running, and casting of the stone." The Scots competed with, and almost invariably beat them, which so highly mortified King Henry's sister, Margaret, the Queen Dowager of Scotland, who was a votaress of the bow herself, that she gave a special chance to her countrymen of redeeming their honour as archers. She took ane wager of archery upon the Englishmen's hands," says Pitscottie, "contrair (against) the King her son, and any half-dozen Scotsmen, either noblemen, gentlemen, or yeomen, that so many Englishmen should shoot against them at rovers, butts, or prick-bonnet. The King, hearing of this bonspiel of his mother, was well content. So there was laid an hundred crowns and aim tun of wine pandit (pledged) on every side. The ground was chosen in St. Andrews. The Scots archers was three landed gentlemen and three yeomen, to wit, David Wemyss of that Ilk, David Arnott of that Ilk, and Mr. John Weddcrburn, vicar of Dundee: the yeomen was John Thomson in Leith, Stephen Tabroner, and Alexander I3aiIIic, who was anc piper; and (they) shot wondrous near, and won the wager from the Englishmen; and thereafter went into the town, and made a banquet to the King and the Queen, and the English Ambassador, with the whole two hundred crowns and the two tuns of wine. Albeit that the Englishmen confessed that the Scotsmen should have been freed of the payment of that banquet, which was so gorgeous that it was of no less avail (value) than the said gold and wine extended to.

Strangely enough, at the very juncture when fire-arms were beginning to change the whole system of warfare, the English government evinced much anxiety for the encouragement of archery, and resuscitated the old man- dates against games supposed to be inimical thereto. Moreover, it was in 1545, that Roger Ascham published his Toxop1i/us, arguing that stylI, according to the ouldc wont of England, youth should use" the bow "for the most honest pastyme in peace, that men myght handle it as a moost sure weapon in warre." But we nee-1 not smile at Ascham's advocacy of what the musket was fast relegating to the category of the obsolete in military equipment, when we find a notable general of last century —John, Earl of Craufu rd—gravely recoin mending the adoption of archery in the British army as "an advantage to these nations, for, in the former wars between France and England, the English had generally the superiority, chiefly by their being stronger men, and better skilled in archery."

Franklin, too, advocated the same thing, in a letter to Major General Lee, dated 11th February, 1776, upon six reasons :-

1. Because a man may shoot as truly with a bow as with a common musket.
2. Ile can discharge four arrows in the time of charging and discharging one bullet.
3. His object is not taken from his view by the smoke of his own side.
4. A flight of arrows seen coming upon them terrifies and disturbs the enemy's attention to his business.
5. An arrow sticking in any part of a man, puts him hors de combat till it is extracted.
6. Bows and arrows are more easily provided everywhere than muskets and ammunition.

Further, Moore tells us that the ill-fated Lord Edward Fitzgerald had a notion that for the purpose of training troops to be good marksmen, fire-arms might be dispensed with, and the expense of ammunition which target-practice required be saved. "having observed, while in America, that the Indians, who are almost all expert marksmen, have obtained this accuracy of aim by the use of the bow and arrow while young, he was of opinion that among the means of training a people to national warfare, the same economical practice might be adopted,—the habit of aiming at a mark with any missile, whether bow or sling, being sure to establish that sort of sympathy between the hand and eye which enables the execution of the one to follow instantly the direction of the other, and this precision of aim once acquired, being, with little difficulty, transferable to the use of the musket or rifle." The biographer acids, however, that it was "somewhat questionable" whether Lord Edward had any "serious notions" of adopting such a suggestion "in his system of military organization for Ireland."

The statutes for the promotion of archery may have habituated the Low-country Scots to the use of the bow but the weapon being seemingly unadapted to their military genius, they, in general, never attained such proficiency with it in the battle-field as distinguished the countrymen of Robin Hood and Little John, yet after its supersedence in warfare, it was voluntarily retained throughout Scotland for purposes of recreation. It was much in vogue, during the earlier years of the seventeenth century, among the better classes of society: and King James' Declaration of Sports, which was promulgated at Edinburgh in June, 1618, included archery among the "lawful recreations of the people" on Sundays. In this way the bow-butts, which had been set up at every rural parish kirk and in the greenfields adjoining the towns, still continued serviceable. The civic authorities of Perth had formerly appropriated for the toxopholite exercises of the citizens, an ample area of ground, lying on the west of the city, and called indifferently the Bow-butts and the Playfleld. But afterwards a portion of the lands on the north side of the town, once belonging to the Dominican Monastery, was forcibly acquired for the like uses. During a considerable period the citizens of Perth appear to have been very fond of archery, and ultimately their principal butts were in the South Inch. The local poet, Henry Adamson, in his .3fuses Titrenodie, a metrical history of Perth, published posthumously in 1638, makes one of his interlocutors, old George Ruthven, the physician, lament the recent decline of archery in the Fair City, which had once been highly renowned by the feats of her sons.

How can I choose but mourne? when I think on
Our games Olympic-like in times agone.
Chiefly wherein our cunning we did try,
And matchless skill in noble archerie.
In these our days when archers did abound
In Perth, then fatuous for such pastimes found
Among the first, for archers we were known,
And for that art our skill was loudly blown
What lime Perth's credit did stand with the best
And bravest archers this land hath possesst.
We spar'd nor games nor paines for to report
To Perth the worship, by such noble sport
Witness the links of Leith, where Cowper,
Grahame, And Stewart won the prize, and brought it home;
And in these games did offer ten to three,
There to contend Quorum ,pars magna fui.

The butts in the South Inch proved, a temptation to Sabbath-breakers—and the Kirk-Session record shows how, on one occasion in 1589, when the ports were closed, in time of sermon, a keen archer clambered over the wall of the Greyfriars Burying ground to get into the Inch for his pastime. The distance betwixt the butts is said to have measured above 500 fathoms! The young boys of the Fair City seem to have been regularly, trained to archery; for the Town Council, in 1624, issued an order concerning tf children going about weekly with their bows and arrows, as use and wont."

The students of Edinburgh University did not neglect the bow. About the end of the sixteenth century, the City Magistrates agreed to "repair the bounds of Mure Lands," now called \Varrender Place, for the practice of archery; and on the 4th July, 1673, the Treasurer of the College received orders from the Town Council to put up, at the town's expense, "a pair of butts in the College for the Colleginers' recreation." More will be said about Edinburgh archery in the sequel.

At Stirling, the toxopholite art was long held in estimation, but seems to have declined for some time until the last quarter of the seventeenth century. On the 15th April, 1676, -'the Magistrates and Council received ane Supplication under the hand of Captain Robert Johnston and other gentlemen, Archers within the said burgh, mentioning that the sport of Archery was almost decayed within this kingdom, yet that other royal burghs were rediviving the same again, humbly entreating there- fore that the said Magistrates and Council would give out anc Prize to be shot for, as they should think fit : which Supplication being considered by the said Magistrates and Council, they ordain ane Prize to be shot for to the value of £24. Scots, yearly, during their pleasure, and the time of the shooting therefor to be appointed by them.' In 1678, they gave a silver arrow, value £24. Scots; and in 1679, 168o, and I681, a silver bow and arrow of the same value.

Kilwinning, an ancient burgh of the west, famous in the annals of Scottish Masonry, is equally famous in those of Scottish Archery. From about 1483, Kilwinning began to hold an annual meeting for competition with the bow. Every year in June the archers assembled for "Shooting at the Papingo"—a wooden painted parrot stuck on the end of a pole, and placed 120 feet high on the bartisan of the Kirk. He who struck this mark was honoured with the title of" Captain of the Papingo" for a year, and latterly had his name inscribed on a medal which was then attachcd to a silver arrow. The rcadcr of Virgil will remember that at the funeral games instituted by iEneas, when in Sicily, to celebrate his father's memory, the archers contended by shooting at a pigeon tied on the top of a mast.

--------Æneas orders, for the close,
The strife of archers with contending bows.
The mast, Sergesthus' shatter'd galley bore,
With his own hand he raises on the shore
A flutt'ring dove upon the top they tie,
The living mark at which their arrows fly.

One of the archers who missed-

------ Miss'd so narrow, that he cut the cord
Which fastend by the foot the fluttring bird.
The captive thus releas'd, away she flies,
And beats with clapping wings the yielding skies.

But another Sagittarius, more skilful, brought down the clove as she flew. Thus, the Ilurlingham pigeon-shooters can plead classic precedent for their "sport." At Kilwinning, till 16S8, the prize was a sash of parti-coloured Persian; but that year a piece of plate was substituted and this again gave way, in 1723, to a silver arrow. The 387th anniversary of these ancient sports was celebrated in 1870.

The parishioners of Rattray, in eastern Perthshire, formerly possessed a silver arrow, which was said to have been gifted by James VI , as a prize at the butts. It was last shot for in 1727, when it was won by Lord Nairn and on the 22nd of August that year, his Lordship granted a bond, binding himself to produce the said arrow with its four tablets appended, if it should be required by a challenge, and that if no challenge was given within three months, he should then deliver the arrow to the keeping of the principal heritor of the parish. The trophy has since been lost.

At the Bow-butts of St. Andrews, the local archers belch competitions from 1618 to 1751. The prizes were three silver arrows, and the winners' names were engraved on silver medals attached. These relics are still shown among the curiosities of the University. The great Marquis of Montrose, while studying at St. Andrews, gained an archery prize in 1628, and his medal, bearing his inscription, still hangs at the second arrow. Subsequently the same arrow was gained by his fellow-student and future rival, the Marquis of Argyle. The sports fell into abeyance during the national convulsions, but were revived after the Restoration. At an archery match in 1687, Mungo Graham, the Laird of Gorthy (Perthshire), won the second arrow ; and his medal was attached to the prize, inscribed with his name and armorial device, the crest of the latter being the two arms and hands of a man holding up a human skull, encircled with two branches of a palm-tree, and over the head the coronet of a Marquis—the motto being Sepulto vircsco (I grow green when buried). This crest recalls the incident of Gorthy's grandfather having removed Montrose's head from the spike of Edinburgh Tolboothj The latest medal on the third arrow is that of the Earl of Elgin, 1751. A number of gentlemen revived the old sport in 1833; but finding scant encouragement, their association broke up after a few years. Their arrow is also preserved in the College.

The burgh of Peebles has a silver arrow, which seems to have been decorated with green ribbons on the day of competition, and its oldest medal is dated 1628. The Burgh Accounts between the years 1627 and 1629 contain the following Curious entries

The Peebles arrow was lost from 1675 till 1780, when it was found concealed in the wall of the old Council-house. The silver arrow of Selkirk was also lost from 1674 till 1818.

About the time when Edinburgh College got the "pair of butts" (namely, in 1673), archery was rising into great popularity in the Scottish capital. Many noblemen and gentlemen formed a company of archers, which in 1677 was honoured with the recognition of the Scottish Privy Council, who also gave £20 to procure a prize for competitian. The Marquis of Athole was Captain General of the Company, and the meetings were frequent until the Revolution, when an interval of some years ensued. But the accession of Queen Anne inspired the Society with new life. In 1703, they obtained a Charter under the great seal constituting them as the "Royal Company of Scottish Archers," reviving, in their behalf, the old laws in favour of archery, empowering them to appoint their commanding officers, "and to meet and go forth under their officers' conduct in military form, in manner of weapon-shawing, as often as they should think convenient," and prohibiting the civil magistrate from giving them any interruption ; which rights and privileges they were to hold in free blench of Her Majesty and her successors, paying therefor an annual acknowledgment of a pair of barbed arrows. The membership was wholly composed of Jacobites, and it is very probable that the party aimed at forming, "under a pretext of sports and recreations, a military corps, which, as occasion offered, might assemble under authority of law," and be ready to support the interest of the Chevalier de St. George. In fact, the Company did not hesitate to engross in their Minute- Book a declaration that they remembered, on his birthday, an exiled prince Their first military parade was in 1714, when the illness of Queen Anne and the dissensions of the Ministry excited the hopes and fears of political parties to the highest pitch. The Company's uniform was tartan, lined with white, and trimmed with green and white ribbons; a white sash, with green tassels; and a blue bonnet, with a St. Andrew's Cross. They carried two standards fluttering in the breeze. The first bore, on one side, Mars and Cupid encircled in a wreath of thistles, with this motto—"In peace and war:" and on the other, a yew tree with two archers, encircled as before, and the motto—"Dal gloria vires." The second flag displayed, on one side, the lion rampant, gules, on a field or, encircled with a wreath, surmounted by a thistle and crown, with the motto—"Nemo me impune lacesset;" and on the other, St. Andrew and his cross, on a field argent, and at the top of a crown, with the motto—"Dulce pro palna penicu lam." About fifty noblemen and gentlemen, under the aged Earl of Croniarty, marched in array to Leith Links, and there competed for their prize. But the accession of the family of Hanover and the failure of Mar's rebellion damped the ardour of the Archers, and they had no parade for the next nine years. After the insurrection of 1715, the officers of State regarded the Society with so much suspicion that their meetings were watched by spies. The Archers, in course of time, had three prizes: 1st, a silver arrow given by the town of Mussel- burgh, and to which medals were hung: 2nd, a silver arrow, presented by the city of Edinburgh in 1709: and 3rd, a punch-bowl, said to be of Scottish silver, valued at £50 which was made at the cost of the Company about 1720. The Musselburgh arrow was first gained by the Earl of Haddington, but the records of the burgh do not mention the year. The first year specified in the books is 1601, since which the arrow was contended for annually, with few exceptions, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and more - the Magistrates of Musselburgh being in the habit of presenting the Corn- puny on each occasion with as much claret as could he carried on a coal riddle and in 1679, the Magistrates, to obtain a fuller attendance of the Company than had become usual, agreed to present the successful competitor that year with a silver bowl in the form of a mussel-shell. And we must not forget that Allan Ramsay, the poet, was a warm admirer of a body whose political leanings coincided with his own, and frequently attuned his lyre in praise of the Archers.

Most likely on account of being involved in the odium of Jacobitism, the Society fell into a declining state for many years, until, the old leaven having been purged out by the utter extinguishment of all hope of a Stuart restoration, a better era opened. In 1776, the Company, then consisting of about 300 members, built a hail, near the Meadows, for their meetings, at the cost of £1200. But we must pass rapidly over their subsequent history. In 1822, when George IV. visited Edinburgh, the Archers acted as the royal body-guard : and the King gave them a dress uniform, and conferred on their Captain-General a gold stick. In terms of their charter, they delivered to His Majesty through the Earl of Hopetoun, their Captain- General, a pair of barbed arrows—the shafts being composed of snakewood and the barbs of silver—each bearing the inscription, To his Majesty King George IV. Reddendo of Royal Company of Archers. Holyrood, August, 1822." When William IV. came to the throne, the Captain-General received a gold stick, the two officers next in command a silver stick each, and the Councillors ebony sticks. The uniform was also changed: and in 1832 the King sent down a splendid pair of colours. The Archers again acted as the body-guard of royalty when Queen Victoria came to Edinburgh in 1842. To this day the Archers form one of the old institutions of the grey metropolis of the North."

The bow, our readers will smile to be told, has been pressed into the service of the duellist. An Edinburgh paper of the time has recorded that on the moth of February, 1791, two gentlemen met in the Meadows there, equipped with bows and arrows, to decide a point of honour. They were accompanied by seconds, and had a surgeon in attendance, in case their Indian artillery should by any chance prove effective. After a harmless exchange of three shots, the parties retired, the point of honour, doubtless, being thus satisfactorily arranged. If (remarks the writer) similar weapons were always employed in duelling, this amusement would speedily become unfashionable, seeing that the seconds would run quite as great, if not a greater, risk, than the principals.

After the general disuse of the bow in war, King James VI., about 1617, presented a toy silver gun to the town of Dumfries, which the Seven Trades of the burgh were to compete for annually with the musket. This gun is a silver tube, like the barrel of a pistol, and about ten inches long. It has standard marks stamped on it, and according to tradition was originally mounted on a carriage with wheels, all of silver ; but of these no vestige remains. Near the touch-hole the letters PM are engraved on the barrel, supposed to be the initials of the Provost of Dumfries at the time when this ceremony was first instituted. This, however, is mere conjecture such records of the Corporations as were prior to the reign of Charles I. have suffered so much by decay, that they are no longer legible ; and after that period, the only mention of the Silver Gun in them is an occasional memorandum of its having been shot for agreeably to the institution." The royal donor's behest was observed, with general punctuality, for nearly two centuries and throughout the long reign of George III. the prize was invariably shot for, on the 4th of June, being the King's birthday. John Mayne's poem of The Siller Gun, which will be freshly remembered by all lovers of Scottish poetry, embodies a laughter-moving picture of the mecting and its worthies a century back :-

For loyal feats, and trophies won,
Dumfries shall live till time be done!
Ae simmer's morning, wi the sun,
The Seven Trades there,
Forgather'd, for their Siller Gun
To shoot ance mair!"

After many blunders and mischances of a host of competitors, the prize was finally von by William M'Nish, a Knight of the Thimble.

His winsome wife, wha lang had miss',l him,
Press'd through the crowd, caeess'd and klss'cl him
Less furthy dames (who could resist them?)
Th' example take
And some held up his bairns, and bless'd them,
For daddy's sake.

In William's hat, wi' ribbons bound,
The Gunny was wi laurel crowned
And, while in triumph ower the ground
They bore him tenty,
Ills health in streams o' punch gaed round,
'Lang life and plenty plenty!'

Wi' loud applause, frae man and woman,
His fame spread like a spate wide foamin'
Warse deeds hae gi'en to many a Roman
Immortal fame
But prodigies are grown sae common,
They've tint the name!"

The Notes to the poem state further that the silver gun is at all times deposited among the archives of the Dumfries Corporations. When a clay was fixed and a mandate issued for the gathering, all the freemen of the Trades were obliged to appear in arms at the time and place appointed by the Convener. If any individual refused to appear, he was subjected to a fine of £40 Scots, equal to £3 6s. 3d. sterling, and till payment thereof, interdicted from voting in any of the Corporation affairs. But for a long time the "gunny has lain undisturbed in its repository.

A similar prize belongs to the burgh of Kirkcudbright, and is said to have been the gift of James VI. to the Corporations of that place. It is about seven inches long, and marked "T M.0 1587 ;" which letters arc supposed to be the initials of Sir Thomas M'Clellan, Laird of Bombie, and Provost of Kirkcudbright in 1587. The last competition is said to have been in the summer of 1781.


Acts of Parliament failed to put down the proscribed games of Football and Golf in Scotland. We have seen that James IV., in 1491, denounced both games, "or other such unprofitable sports," yet we find the same monarch's precept and example, in that respect, sadly at variance ; for the Lord High Treasurer notes in his Accounts, on 22nd April, 1497 —"Item, given to James Dog to buy footballs to the Kin,', 2S." Previous to the Reformation, Football was a Sunday sport, which even ecclesiastics joined in—the Parson in Sir David Lyndsay's Satire of the Three Estates being made to boast—

Though I preach not, I can play at the cauhe:
I wot there is not ane ainang you all
Male feirlie can play at the Foot-ball."

Even after the Reformation, the Kirk was frequently scandalized by football-playing, in various quarters, on the Sabbath. Thus, we find from the Perth Kirk Session Records that, in February, 1591-2, about a dozen of men, with the heir of Luncarty at the head of them, confessed "that on the Sunday of the Fast, in time of preaching, afternoon, they were playing at football in the Meadow Inch of the Muirton," a little north of the city. There are two other instances, preserved by tradition, of the same sort of Sabbath desecration in Perthshire, although of later dates, which may here be adduced :-

It is related that sometime in the seventeenth century, the minister of Blairgovrie was a Mr. John Ross, a gentleman of unwonted muscular strength, which he often exercised in seeking to restrain his parishioners from the evil of their ways, as he was always ready with a cuff or a blow to enforce his precepts and admonitions. The young men of the parish were fond of playing at the football on the Sabbaths, between the forenoon and afternoon diets of worship, heedless of the stern dehortations of their worthy pastor. One Sunday, Mr. Ross suddenly appeared at the beginning of the game, and sticking his staff upright in the ground, divested himself of his coat, which he hung upon it, saying, "Stand you there, as minister o' Blair, while I, John Ross, get a game at the ba!" To the amazement of the players, he immediately mingled in the contest; but instead of kicking the ball, he struck right and left with his heavy boots, until he sent one fellow after another limping out of the melee, and in a few minutes there was nobody in the field to oppose him. Invariably after this, when the minister came to the play-ground, the game was stopped, and in the end Sabbath football was abandoned.

In the parish of Monzie, "the parishioners were in the practice of assembling upon the Green of Monzie, on the Sabbath mornings, to play at football." On such occasions, Mr. William Chalnier, the first Presbyterian minister of the parish after the Revolution, who was ordained in July, 1691, experiencing "great difficulty in inducing his people to attend church, occasionally took part with them in this amusement by thus gaining their affections, he prevailed on them to accompany him to the house of prayer, and there listen to his instructions."

Football was the chief pastime on the Border, where it often occasioned broil and bloodshed amongst its moss- trooping patrons. "Such games," says Pitcairn, in his Criminal Trials, "were often taken advantage of for the perpetration of deeds of violence ; at least, they were frequently terminated by violence and bloodshed, through the feuds of neighbouring clans or districts." One Sunday, in the month of June, t600, Sir John Carmichael of that Ilk, Warden of the Middle Marches of Scotland, was present at a great football match, and on his return borne was waylaid and murdered by a party of Armstrongs, who bore him a deadly grudge. On another day, a gathering of the Scottish Borderers, at the town of Kelso, held ostensibly for a friendly game at football, became the prelude to a marauding excursion into England. The mischief attendant on the boisterous game has been aptly characterised in a quatrain preserved in the Maitland MS. :-

Brissit brawnis, and broken banes,
Strife, discord, and waistit wanis,
Crooked in eld, sync halt withal,
These are the beauties of the Foot-ball."

And to the same effect speaks old Sir Richard Maitland, in his poem of "Solace in Age"

"When young men comes frae the green,
Wha playing at football had been,
Wi' broken spaul;;
I thank my God I want my e'en,
And am sae auld."

Football shared in the antipathies of James VI., who thus writes concerning it in his Basi/ikon Doron, which was intended for the instruction of his son, Prince Henry: "I think exercises of the body most commendable to be used by a young Prince, in such honest games and pastimes as may further ability and maintain health.

But from this count I debar all rough and violent exercise, as the foot-ball ; meeter for laming, than making able the users thereof." The British Solomon's unfortunate mother evinced no such dislike to the pastime; for we are told by Sir Francis Knollys, that when, on her flight into England, she stopped at Carlisle, "about twenty of her retinue played at football before her the space of two hours, very strongly, nimbly, and skilfully, without any foul play offered."

In the time of the poet Gay—as we see from his Trivia; or, The Art of walking the Streets of London— the apprentices of the metropolis, always a roystering and pugnacious fraternity, were in the constant habit of playing at football along the Strand, although there were then open fields in the vicinity to which they could have betaken themselves, instead of confusing and obstructing a great public thoroughfare. But long before Gay's time, the little Scottish burgh of Peebles was annoyed by the game being played in the High Street ; and on 20th December, 1570, "the Bailies, Council, and community ordains that there be na playing at the Foot-ball in the Hie Gait in times coming, under the pain of ilk person funding playing 8s., and cutting cutting of the balk" Jedburgh also was subjected for a time to the like nuisance, as will be afterwards noticed.

As with the Reformation and Covenanting ministers, so with the Commonwealth men, the Football was "cried down." On the t ith March, 1659, the second-year students at the College of Edinburgh venturing to play their usual game on the Burgh-muir, were visited with the pains of discipline. Sir David Hume of Crossrig refusing to submit to punishment, was forthwith expelled. But the speedy Restoration of the " merry monarch" changed all this.

At Rattray, in eastern Perthshire, a game of Ball appears to have been stateclly played in the parish churchyard. Among the papers of the Craighall family is an Obligation, dated in 1684, by the four last winners of the Silver Ball and Tablets attached thereto, that they should be forthcoming to any four challengers, six days before the playing in the churchyard of Rattray, also the chief heritor to be Keeper of said Ball, and to be produced under a penalty.

In a poem evincing much of the broad humour and manners-painting genius of our first James, the Rev. John Skinner, author of "Tullochgoruni," commemorates the Christmas Ba'ing" at Monymusk, Aberdeenshire:-

The hurry-hurry now began,
Was right weel worth the seeing,
Wi' routs and raps frae man to man,
Some getting, and some gieing
And a' the tricks of fit and ban',
That ever was in being;
Sometimes the ha' a yirdlins ran,
Sometimes in air was fleeing,
Fu' hdgh that day.
has ne'er in Monyniuss been seen
Sue mony weel-beft skins
Of a' the hawmen there was nane
But had twa bleedy shins.
Wi' strenzied shouders nsony ens
Dree'd penance for their sins
And what was warst, scouis'd hame at e'en,
May be to hungry inns,
And cauld that day."

At the present day, the game of Football has experienced a sudden and extraordinary revival in Scotland but how long the furore may last is rather problematical in times of constant change. Apropos of a presentation Of £115 and a gold watch and chain to a football champion in the Vale of Leven, in the summer of 1890, the Christian Leader remarks that "Scotsmen seem now in the way of achieving greatness with their feet instead of their heads."


As with Football, so with Golf, both of which games were denounced by James IV., we find the royal precept and example antagonistic ; for the Lord High Treasurer's Accounts contain the following entry, of date 3rd February, 1503-4: "Item, to the King, to play at the golf with the Earl of Bothwell, 42s."

It is impossible to say whether Golf was ever popular throughout the Scottish Lowlands. At all events, it has been localised time out of mind in those east-coast provinces which alone possess the most suitable ground for its practice. But there is no reason to consider golf as being an exclusively Scottish game. It was known, in some fashion or other, to the ancient Romans. With them the ball (which was made of leather stuffed with feathers) was termed paganica, because the peasantry were fond of the amusement. Strutt's researches prove that golf was played in England long ago, though its recent revival in that quarter of the island has been taken for its original introduction.

In the reign of Edward III. the Latin name cambuca was applied to this pastime, and it derived the denomination, no doubt, from the crooked club or bat with which it was played the bat was also called a bandy, from its being bent, and hence the game itself is frequently written in English bandy-ball.

It should seem that golf was a fashionable game among the nobility at the commencement of the seventeenth century, and it was one of the exercises with which Prince Henry, eldest son to James I., occasionally amused himself, as we learn from the following anecdote recorded by a person who was present "At another time playing at golf, a play not unlike to palemaille, whilst his schoolmaster stood talking with another, and marked not his highness warning to stand farther off, the prince thinking he had gone aside, lifted up his goflf club to strike the ball: meantyme one standing by said to bins, 'beware that you hit not master Newton:.' wherewith he drawing back his hand, said, 'Had I done so, I had but raid my debt.'"

A pastime called stow-ball is frequently mentioned by the writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which, I presume, was a species of golf, at least it appears to have been played with the same kind of ball. in Littleton's Latin and English Dictionary, under the word paganica, the golf- ball and the stow-ball are the same Golf seems to have become part of the athletic exercises practised at Scottish parochial schools and colleges immediately after the Reformation. The fascinating ecclesiastical diarist, James Mclvill, tells us that, at Montrose, in the "happie and golden tyme" of his boyhood— about 1566—he and his schoolmates "were teached" by their master to handle the bow for archeric, the club for goff, the batons for fencing, also to rin, to swoom, to svarsell, to prove pratticks, everie ane hauling his matche and agonist bathe in our lessons and play."When he went to St. Andrews, he says—"For archerie and golf, I had bow, arrosc, glub and bals." In 1627, the young James Graham, afterwards the great Marquis of Montrose, entered as a student in the same university, and soon shone as an adept in golf, archery, etc. His accounts of expenditure comprise many items, such as the following:-

On 4th April, 1603, James VI. conferred the appointment of "Mr. Fledger, Bower, Club-maker, and Speirmaker to his Hienes, als weill for gayme as weir," on William Mayne, Bower and Burgess of Edinburgh, during all the days of his lifetime. Afterwards, in 16iS, his Majesty, "understanding that thair is no small quantitie of gold and silver transported zeirlie out of his Hienes' kingdome of Scotland for bying of golf ballis, usit in that kingdome for recreatioun of his Majestic's subjectis, and his Hienes being earnestlie dealt with by James Melvill, ill favours of Williame Berwick and his associate, who onlie makis, or can mak golf ballis within the said kingdome for the present, and were the inbringeris off the said trade thair " and seeing that the said three parties undertook "to furnische the said kingdome with better golf ballis, and at ane moir easie rate then have been sauld there these manic zeiris bypast," the king granted them a patent for the native manufacture of these articles for the space of twenty-one years, to the exclusion of all other dealers under the condition that "the saids patentaris exceid not the pryce of four schillingis money of this realme for everic ane of the saidis golfc ballis as for th pryce thairof;" and power was given "to the said James, by himself, his deputies, and servantis, in his name, to seirch, seik, and apprehend all sik golf ballis as sal be maid or sauld within his Flicnes said kingdome vtherways then according to the trew meaning of his Majestic's grant, and to eschict the saymn." This letter of patent is dated at Salisbury, 5th August, 1618.

The Town Council of Aberdeen, on 11th May, 1642, it licence and tollerance to John Dickson of making Gouff balls within this burgh during the Council's pleasure, and his gude carriage and behaviour allenarly, in respect there is not such ane tradesman in this burgh, and that he has produced ane testificate from the town of Leith of his bygane gude life and conversation amongst them."

The Kirk-Session records of Perth bear witness that Golf had its share with Football and other out-door games in promoting Sabbath desecration :-

1599, November 19. —John Gardner, James Bowman, Lawrence Chalmers, and Lawrence Cudbert, young boys, confess that they were playing at the Golf in the North inch, in time of the preaching alter noon on the Sabbath.

1604, January 2.—The visitors report that good order was kept the last Sabbaths, except that they found some young boys playing at the gosvf in the North !nch in the time of preaching afternoon, who were warned titers by the officiars to conspear before the Session this day.

Kings have been the enemies of golf, and kings have been its eager patrons. Both Charles I. and James II. enjoyed the pastime in their Scottish kingdom. During the former monarch's visit to Edinburgh, in 1641, he frequently played golf on the Links of Leith with his Scottish courtiers, most of whom, though loaded with his favours, were secretly disloyal to his cause. In the middle of a busy game, Charles received news of the outbreak of the Irish Rebcllion. The club dropped from his hand, and, calling his coach, he drove back to the city, whence he hastened his departure to the south. James II., while Duke of York, and resident in Holyrood Palace as Royal Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament, wielded the club with apparent zest on the breezy links, and by a show of affability, which was perhaps foreign to his narrow, morose nature, acquired much reputation with the populace. It is said that the Duke, on one occasion, had a match with two English noblemen, for heavy stakes, when he assumed as his partner a poor cobbler, but famous golfer, named John Paterson, along with whom he von the victory. The skilful son of St. Crispin was presented with the full amount of the stakes, which enabled him to build for himself a substantial dwelling-house in the Canongate of Edinburgh, and the celebrated Jacobite wit, Dr. Pitcairn, furnished it with a Latin over-door inscription to perpetuate the owner's name and fame. The Caledonian Mercury of April 6, 1724, reported "a solemn match at golf," which was played on Leith Links, for twenty guineas, between the Hon. Alexander Elphinstone, one of the sons of Lord Balmerino (and younger brother of the Lord Balmerino, who lost his head on Tower Hill in 1746), and the notorious Captain John Porteous of the Edinburgh Town Guard. It attracted a very numerous and aristocratic assemblage of spectators, including the Duke of Hamilton and the Earl of Morton. The match was won by Mr. Elphinstone. Ten years thence he fought a duel with a Lieutenant Swift on the same spot, and killed him; and we know what fate overtook Porteous after the lapse of a dozen of years.

Many eminent Scotsmen have been keen votaries of golf. President Forbes, of Culloden, notes in his Journal of date 1st November, 1728 :-"This day, after a very hard Pull, I got the better of my son at the gouf on i\Iusselburgh Links. If he was as good at any other thing as he is at that, there would be some hopes of him." The President was so ardent a golfer that he was known sometimes to take a turn of the Links of Leith in the dead of winter, when they were sheeted with snow and ice. Nor was he singular in his enthusiasm. Stories are told of an "Auld Reekie" wight, who frequently pro- longed his rounds of Bruntsfield Links till night overtook him, when he would continue the game, on a circumscribed scale, by the feeble aid of a lantern; and his neglected spouse strove in vain to shame him home by sending bun sometimes his supper and sometimes his nightcap It is also related of two Edinburgh devotees of the game, that they used to carry it on, after darkness overtook them, by the expedient of rubbing their balls with phosphorus, until one of the players burned his fingers severely with the hot substance! Even the fishwives of Fisherrow used to recreate themselves at golf; as well as football, on particular holidays. Their well known parish minister, that shrewd auld earle" (as Sir Walter Scott called him), the Rev. Dr. Carlyle of Inveresk, was a crack golfer in his day, and when in London, in 1758, astonished the Cockneys with his skill. This, as we learn from his Autobiography, was on his visit to Garrick's house, in company with Dr. Robertson, John Home, and some other gentlemen.

Garrick was so friendly to John home, that he gave a dinner to his friends and companions, at his house at Hampton, which he did but seldom. He had told us to bring golf clubs and balls, that we might play at that game at Molesly Hurst. We accordingly set out in good time, six of us in a landau. As we passed through Kensington, the Coldstreans Regiment were changing guard, and, on seeing our clubs, they gave its three cheers in honour of a diversion peculiar to Scotland : so much does the remembrance of one's native country dilate the heart, when one has been some time absent. The same sentiment made its open our purses, and give our countrymen wherewithal to drink the Land o' Cakes." Garrick met us by the way, so impatient he seemed to be for his company.

Immediately after we arrived, we crossed the river to the golfing ground, which was very good. None of the company could play but John home and myself, and Parson Black, front Aberdeen.

Garrick had built a handsome temple, with a statue of Shakespeare in it, in his lower garden, on the banks of the Thames, which was separated from the upper one by a high-road, under which there was an archway which united the two gardens. Garrick, in compliment to Home, had ordered the wine to be carried to this temple, where we were to drink it, under the shade of the copy of that statue to which Horne had addressed his pathetic verses on the rejection of his play. The poet and the actor were equally gay, and well pleased with each other, on this occasion, with much respect on the one hand, and a total oblivion of animosity on the other for vanity is a passion that is easy to be entreated, and unites freely with all the best affections. Having observed a green mount in the garden, opposite the archway, I said to our landlord, that while the servants were preparing the collation in the temple, I would surprise him with a stroke at the golf, as I should drive a ball through his archway into the Thames once in three strokes. I had measured the distance with my eye in walking about the garden, and accordingly, at the second stroke, matte the ball alight its the mouth of the archway, and roll down the green slope into the river. This was so dexterous, that he was quite surprised, and begged the club of me by which such a feat hail been performed. We passed a very agreeable afternoon and it is hard to say which were happier, the landlord and landlady, or the guests.

In 1810, the Musselburgh Golf Club "resolved to present by subscription a new creel and shawl to the best female golfer who plays oil annual occasion oil 1st January next old style (12th January, new), to be intimated to the fish ladies by the officer of the Club. Two of the best Barcelona handkerchiefs to be added to the above premium of the creel."

Of curious matches, one or two examples may be given. We learn from the biographical matter in Kay's Edinburgh Portraits that "in 1798 bets were taken in the Burgess Golfing Society" of the Scottish metropolis, that no two members could be found capable of driving a ball over the spire of St. Giles's steeple. The late Mr. Sceales of Leith, and the present Mr. Smellie, printer, were selected to perform this formidable undertaking. They were allowed to use six balls each. The balls passed considerably higher than the weather-cock, and were found nearly opposite the Advocate's Close. The bet was decided early in the morning, the parties taking their station at the south-east corner of Parliament Square. The feat is described as one of easy performance. The required elevation was obtained by a barrel-stave suitably fixed ; and the height of the steeple, which is one hundred and sixty-one feet, together with the distance from the base of the church, were found to be much less than a good stroke of the club." A similar feat was performed in 1828, by driving balls over the Melville Monument in St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh—the height of pillar and statue being 150 feet. In the same year, "Captain Hope challenges Mr. Sanderson," both of the Musselburgh Club, "for a watch, the Captain to shoot with a how and arrow, and Mr. Sanderson to use a club and ball, lie being allowed to tee the ball at every stroke"—which match was easily von by the challenger.

The Edinburgh Company of Golfers was formed, it is believed, before 1744, in which year the city presented them with a silver club, to be played for annually; and at St. Andrews the first Golfing Society or Club was instituted in 1754.

The recent growth of golf in England has been very remarkable. "Fifteen years ago devotees of the game were comparatively few in South Britain, and those who affected it journeyed in their holidays far afield, to Westward Ho! or St. Andrews, or similar centres of the game, to enjoy themselves. When once watering-places began to compete with each other in the production of "links" to enhance their attractions, a run began on the game, and the north-country monopoly of it became endangered. During the last three or four seasons the spread has been even more rapid, and for want of better grounds the meadow and pasture inclosures which adjoin many a country house that does not boast a literal park, have been pressed into the service."

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