University of Cambridge

Just some of the English Icons That Have Changed the World

The English Language

Below is a short history of English with a list of Countries that speak English as the official language.

The English language has evolved over the centuries from various influences: from the Celts ( who were the original Britons ), the Germanic Tribes, Anglo Saxons and Scandinavians which invaded during the 3rd Century onwards. Our language is still evolving and as an example the English spoken by Australians is very similar to London Cockney. The Australians even have their own version of Cockney Rhyming slang.

It is amazing that from a small country in size but not in outlook we have given the world so much like Shakespeare and great Leaders like Churchill, Nelson, Wellington, Marlborough who helped defeat various dictators like Cromwell, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler. If the dictators had been successful, they would have changed the world and all our freedoms for ever. This has given me the idea that it would be of interest to the reader on how many countries in the world use English as their official language.

A to Z of English Speaking Countries

Antigua and Barbuda
Australia
Bahamas
Barbados
Beliza
Botswana
Brunei
Cameroon
Canada
Dominica
Ethiopia
Fiji
Gambia
Ghana
Grenada
Guyana
India
Ireland
Israel
Jamaica
Kenya
Kiribati
Lesotho
Liberia
Malawi
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Micronesia
Namibia
Nauru
New Zealand
Nigeria
Pakistan
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Rwanda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu
Uganda
United Kingdom
United States
Vanuatu
Zambia
Zimbabwe (Originally called Rhodesia)

Magna Carta

As might be expected, the text of Magna Carta of 1215 bears many traces of haste, and is clearly the product of much bargaining and many hands. Most of its clauses deal with specific, and often long-standing, grievances rather than with general principles of law. Some of the grievances are self-explanatory: others can be understood only in the context of the feudal society in which they arose. Of a few clauses, the precise meaning is still a matter of argument.

Radar – England

Radar Development work in 1937 led to “beamed radar” for airborne sets and for Coastal Defense (CD) radar that operated on 1.5 m wavelength. The CD system was also called the Chain Home Low (CHL). The CHL used a rotating antenna, which rotated at 1-2.3 rpm and had a range of 160 km with an azimuth accuracy of 1.5 degrees. The Navy used a similar set to the CHL. Called the type 281; it was tested on the HMS Dido in October of 1940 and the HMS Prince of Wales in January of 1941. Over 59 sets were produced during the war. This set could operated on a wavelength of 50 cm and it could locate ships up to a distance of 20 km. Without Radar during the Battle of Britain GB would have lost the battle and been invaded shortly afterwards.

World’s First Computer England 1943

Colossus was built for the code-breakers at Bletchley Park by Tommy Flowers and his team of post office engineers in 1943. Using standard post office equipment, Tommy Flowers developed a machine that could work at 5000 characters a second, four times faster than anything built before. He went on to develop Colossus Mark 2, which could work at five time faster than the original Colossus.

The computer was as big as a room – 5 metres long, 3 metres deep and 2.5 metres high – and weighed over a ton. Colossus worked by ‘reading’, through a photoelectric system, a teleprinter tape containing the letters of the coded message. It read 5,000 letters a second.

All possible combinations of the coded message were checked with the cypher key generated by Colossus. A teleprinter typed out the results of Colossus’s search, revealing the settings which had been used by the Germans to send their messages. Ten Colossus Mark 2s were eventually built. A complete Mark 2 Colossus machine has recently been rebuilt and is on display at Bletchley Park.

The information revealed by the code-breakers at Bletchley Park was called ULTRA. ULTRA was so secret that only those who needed to know about it – like the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill – were told of its existence. The use of this first computer helped in the organising of the D-DAy Landings. If we hadn’t had Colossus’s then the war could have lasted longer or been lost.

The Railways – England

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of history of steam Locomotives I thought it may be of interest to write an article about the history of the earliest steam locomotive. The first full scale working railway steam locomotive was built by Richard Trevithick in the United Kingdom on 21st  February 1804 when the world’s first railway journey took place as Trevithick’s unnamed steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway of the Penydarren ironworks, near Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales.

This is different from the first Steam Engine which was first invented in 1653 by Edward Somerset (1601 –  1667)  was an English nobleman.

On Christmas Eve 1801 in West Cornwall, England an engineer called Richard Trevithick took his new steam car, ( or the “Puffing Devil” as it became known) out for its first test run. After a number of years research, Trevithick had developed a high-pressure engine powered by steam. His vehicle was no more than a boiler on 4-wheels but it took Trevithick and a number of his friends half a mile up a hill. The vehicle’s principle feature was a cylindrical horizontal boiler and a single horizontal cylinder let into it. The piston propelled back and forth in the cylinder by pressure from the steam. This was linked by piston rod and connecting rod to a crankshaft bearing a large flywheel.

The vehicle was used for several journeys until it turned over on the unsuitable trails that were used for pack horses in Cornwall at that time. After having been righted, Trevithick and crew drove it back to Camborne and retired to a hostelry. The water level dropped in the boiler and the fusible plug melted, sending a jet of steam into the furnace where it blew embers all around, setting fire to the surroundings and the wooden parts of the engine.

In 1802 a steam-powered coach designed by British engineer Richard Trevithick journeyed more than 160 km from Cornwall to London.

The “Puffing Dragon” was the world’s first passenger car. Despite the disaster of losing his first vehicle, undeterred, Trevithick built a 3-wheeled steam carriage but this time complete with seats and a real carriage like appearance. In 1803, he drove it through London’s Oxford Street on demonstration runs and reached speeds of 8-9 mph (13 – 14 km/h). Despite the runs, nobody was interested and so when he ran out of funds, he sold the power unit to a local Miller. Trevithick’s vehicle was the first self-propelled carriage in the capital and in essence the first London bus.

Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were also pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation. Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, did not “run away with” the customer as horses sometimes did. They travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages (24 mph over four miles and an average of 12 mph over longer distances). They could run at a half to a third of the cost of horse-drawn carriages. Their brakes did not lock and drag like horse-drawn transport (a phenomenon that increased damage to roads).

According to engineers, steam carriages caused one-third the damage to the road surface as that caused by the action of horses’ feet. Indeed, the wide tires of the steam carriages (designed for better traction) caused virtually no damage to the streets, whereas the narrow wheels of the horse-drawn carriages (designed to reduce the effort required of horses) tended to cause rutting.

However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the Turnpike Acts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically-propelled vehicles altogether from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on “road locomotives” of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country.

In 1865 the Locomotives Act of that year (the famous Red Flag Act) further reduced the speed limits to 4 mph in the country and just 2 mph in towns and cities, additionally requiring a man bearing a red flag to precede every vehicle. At the same time, the act gave local authorities the power to specify the hours during which any such vehicle might use the roads. The sole exceptions were street trams which from 1879 onwards were authorised under licence from the Board of Trade.

First Manned Flight – England -1849

Britains history is made up of many famous engineers all through their history. This has made me decide to write about one of the the most famous English Engineers called the “Father of Aviation” Sir George Cayley who flew the first manned flight in Brompton, England in 1849.

Sir George Cayley, 6th Baronet (27 December 1773 – 15 December 1857) was a prolific English Engineer, one of the most important people in the history of aeronautics. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight.

In 1799 he set forth concept of the modern aeroplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control. Often known as “the father of Aerodynamics”, he was a pioneer of aeronautical engineering. Is called the “Father of Aviation” and designer of the first successful glider to carry a human being aloft, he discovered and identified the four aerodynamic forces of flight — weight, lift, drag and thrust — which are in effect on any flight vehicle. Modern aeroplane design is based on those discoveries including cambered wings. He is credited with the first major breakthrough in heavier-than-air flight and he worked over half a century before the development of powered flight. He designed the first actual model of an aeroplane and also diagrammed the elements of vertical flight.

By 1804 Sir George Cayley had built his first model gliders which appeared similar to modern aircraft: a pair of large monoplane wings towards the front, with a smaller tailplane at the back comprising horizontal stabilisers and a vertical wing.

In 1809 Sir George Cayley was quoted as saying, “I feel perfectly confident that we shall be able to transport ourselves and families, and their goods and chattels, more securely by air than by water, and with a velocity of from 20 to 100 miles per hour.”

By 1810 Sir George Cayley had published his now-classic three-part treatise “On Aerial Navigation” which stated that lift, propulsion and control were the three requisite elements to successful flight, apparently the first person to so realize and so state.

By 1816 Sir George Cayley had turned his attention to lighter-than-air machines and designed a streamlined airship with a semi-rigid structure. He also suggested using separate gas bags to limit an airship’s lifting gas loss due to damage. In 1837 Cayley designed a streamlined airship to be powered by a steam engine.

1832 to 1835 Sir George Cayley had served for the whig party as member of parliament for Scarborough, and helped found the Royal Polytechnic Institution (now University of Westminster), serving as its chairman for many years. He was a founding member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and was a distant cousin of the mathematician Arthur Cayley.

Around 1843 Sir George Cayley was the first to suggest the idea for a convertiplane, an idea which was published in a paper written that same year.

During some point prior to 1849 Sir George Cayley designed and built a biplane powered with “flappers” in which an unknown ten-year-old boy flew.

During 1853 Sir George Cayley with the continued assistance of his grandson George John Cayley and his resident engineer Thomas Vick, he developed a larger scale glider (also probably fitted with “flappers”) which flew across Brompton Dale.

Later during 1853 the first adult aviator has been claimed to be either Cayley’s coachman. One source (Gibbs-Smith) has suggested that it was John Appleby, a Cayley employee — however there is no definitive evidence to fully identify the pilot. The Plane Cayley built was a triplane glider (a glider with three horizontal wing structures) that carried his coachman 900 feet (275 meters) across Brompton Dale in the north of England before crashing. It was the first recorded flight by an adult in an aircraft.

An obscure entry in volume IX of the 8th Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1855 is the most contemporaneous account with any authority regarding the event. A 2007 biography of Cayley (Richard Dee’s The Man Who Discovered Flight: George Cayley and the First Airplane) claims the first pilot was Cayley’s grandson George John Cayley (1826-1878). Dee’s book also reports the re-discovery of a series doodles from Cayley’s school exercise book which suggest that Cayley’s first designs concerning a lift-generating inclined plane may have been made as early as 1793.

A replica of the 1853 machine was flown at the original site in Brompton Dale in 1974 and in the mid 1980s by Derek Piggott. The glider is currently on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Another replica flew there in 2003, first piloted by Allan McWhirter and later by Richard Branson.

In 1857 Sir George Cayley died in Scarborough. There is a memorial to his life at Hull University at the Scarborough Campus.

First Powered Car – England 1801

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of history of steam buses I thought it may be of interest to write an article about the English history of the earliest steam Cars and Busses.

On Christmas Eve 1801 in West Cornwal (UK) an engineer called Richard Trevithick took his new steam car, ( or the “Puffing Devil” as it became known) out for its first test run. After a number of years research, Trevithick had developed a high-pressure engine powered by steam. His vehicle was no more than a boiler on 4-wheels but it took Trevithick and a number of his friends half a mile up a hill. The vehicle’s principle feature was a cylindrical horizontal boiler and a single horizontal cylinder let into it. The piston propelled back and forth in the cylinder by pressure from the steam. This was linked by piston rod and connecting rod to a crankshaft bearing a large flywheel.

The vehicle was used for several journeys until it turned over on the unsuitable trails that were used for pack horses in Cornwall at that time. After having been righted, Trevithick and crew drove it back to Camborne and retired to a hostelry.

The water level dropped in the boiler and the fusible plug melted, sending a jet of steam into the furnace where it blew embers all around, setting fire to the surroundings and the wooden parts of the engine.

First Powered Bus – England 1802

In 1802 a steam-powered coach designed by British engineer Richard Trevithick journeyed more than 160 km from Cornwall to London.

The “Puffing Dragon” was the world’s first passenger car. Despite the disaster of losing his first vehicle, undeterred, Trevithick built a 3-wheeled steam carriage but this time complete with seats and a real carriage like appearance. In 1803, he drove it through London’s Oxford Street on demonstration runs and reached speeds of 8-9 mph (13 – 14 km/h). Despite the runs, nobody was interested and so when he ran out of funds, he sold the power unit to a local Miller. Trevithick’s vehicle was the first self-propelled carriage in the capital and in essence the first London bus.

Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were also pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation. Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, did not “run away with” the customer as horses sometimes did. They travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages (24 mph over four miles and an average of 12 mph over longer distances). They could run at a half to a third of the cost of horse-drawn carriages. Their brakes did not lock and drag like horse-drawn transport (a phenomenon that increased damage to roads).

According to engineers, steam carriages caused one-third the damage to the road surface as that caused by the action of horses’ feet. Indeed, the wide tires of the steam carriages (designed for better traction) caused virtually no damage to the streets, whereas the narrow wheels of the horse-drawn carriages (designed to reduce the effort required of horses) tended to cause rutting.

However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the Turnpike Acts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically-propelled vehicles altogether from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on “road locomotives” of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country.

In 1865 the Locomotives Act of that year (the famous Red Flag Act) further reduced the speed limits to 4 mph in the country and just 2 mph in towns and cities, additionally requiring a man bearing a red flag to precede every vehicle. At the same time, the act gave local authorities the power to specify the hours during which any such vehicle might use the roads. The sole exceptions were street trams which from 1879 onwards were authorised under licence from the Board of Trade.

World Wide Web

I have decided to writet The British inventor of the World Wide Web.

A graduate of Oxford University, Tim Berners-Lee ( born 8 June 1955 ) invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at Cern, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URL’s, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread. He is also a Professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK.

On December 25,1990 he implemented the first successful communication between an HTTP client and server via the Internet with the help of_Robert Cailliau and a young student staff at CERN whose name is unknown. In terms of the technology that enables all forms of data communication (web,email,instant_messaging,digital phone, etc) between all the connected computer systems of the world.

The first Web site built was at CERN, and was first put on line on 6 August 1991.

The Internet and Transmission Control Protocols were initially developed in 1973 and published in 1974. There ensued about 10 years of hard work, resulting in the roll out of Internet in 1983. Prior to that, a number of demonstrations were made of the technology – such as the first three-network interconnection demonstrated in November 1977 linking SATNET, PRNET and ARPANET in a path leading from Menlo Park, CA to University College London and back to USC/ISI in Marina del Rey, CA.

Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web’s continued development. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation and is a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is a director of The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI),[4] and a member of the advisory board of the MIT Centre for Collective Intelligence In April 2009, he was elected as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences based in Washington, D.C.

Sports – Football/Soccer – England 997AD

Our national game is Football which It is believed was first played over a 1,000 years ago in English villages up and down the country. There are stories that villager’s played against villager’s and the aim of the game was to get the ball passed the opposing village boundary line. The rules included kicking, punching, scratching the opposition over and above the kicking of the ball.

1280 AD – Earliest form of ball kicking

The earliest recorded form of ball kicking was recorded in England in 1280 AD at Ulgham near Ashington in Northumberland. A player was killed by running into an opposing players dagger.

1314 AD – The first banning of Football

In 1314, comes the earliest reference to a game called football when Nicholas de Farndone Lord Mayor of the City of London issued a decree on behalf of King Edward II banning football. It was written in the French used by the English upper classes at the time. A translation reads: “For as much as there is great noise in the city caused by hustling over large foot balls in the fields of the public from which many evils might arise which God forbid: we command and forbid on behalf of the king, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city in the future.”

1409 AD – First banning of betting on Football

In 1409 King Henry IV of England gives us the first documented use of the English word “football” when issued a proclamation forbidding the levying of money for “foteball”.

1481 AD – Earliest description of Football Game At the end of the 15th century comes the earliest description of a football game. This account in Latin of a football game contains a number of features of modern football and comes from Cawston, Nottinghamshire, England. It is included in a manuscript collection of the miracles of King Henry VI of England. Although the precise date is uncertain it certainly comes from between 1481 and 1500. This is the first account of an exclusively “kicking game” and the first description of dribbling. “The game at which they had met for common recreation is called by some the foot-ball game. It is one in which young men, in country sport, propel a huge ball not by throwing it into the air but by striking it and rolling it along the ground, and that not with their hands but with their feet… kicking in opposite directions” The chronicler gives the earliest reference to a football field, stating that: “The boundaries have been marked and the game had started.

1526 AD – First Football Boots In 1526 comes the first record of a pair of football boots occurs when Henry VIII of England ordered a pair from the Great Wardrobe in 1526. Unfortunately these are no longer in existence.

1581 AD – First organised Team Sport In 1581 comes the earliest account of football as an organised team sport. Richard Mulcaster, a student at Eton College in the early 16th century and later headmaster at other English schools provides the earliest references to teams (“sides” and “parties”), positions (“standings”), a referee (“judge over the parties”) and a coach “(trayning maister)”. Mulcaster’s “footeball” had evolved from the disordered and violent forms of traditional football:

[s]ome smaller number with such overlooking, sorted into sides and standings, not meeting with their bodies so boisterously to trie their strength: nor shouldring or shuffing one an other so barbarously … may use footeball for as much good to the body, by the chiefe use of the legges.

Mulcaster also confirms that in sixteenth century England football was very popular and widespread: it had attained “greatnes. .. [and was] much used … in all places”

Despite this violence continued to be a problem. For example, the parish archives of North Moreton, Oxfordshire for May 1595 state: “Gunter’s son and ye Gregorys fell together by ye years at football. Old Gunter drew his dagger and both broke their heads, and they died both within a fortnight after.”

1600 AD – First reference to Scoring a Goal

The first direct references to scoring a goal come from England in the 1600s. For example, in John Day’s play ‘The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (performed circa 1600; published 1659): “I’ll play a gole at camp-ball” (an extremely violent variety of football, which was popular in East Anglia. Similarly in a poem in 1613, Michael Drayton refers to “when the Ball to throw, And drive it to the Gole, in squadrons forth they goe”.

1602 AD – First reference to Passing the Ball

 In 1602 the earliest reference to a game involving passing the ball comes from cornish hurling. In particular Carew tells us that: “Then must he cast the ball (named Dealing) to some one of his fellowes”. In this case, however, the pass is by hand, as in rugby football. Although there are other allusions to ball passing in seventeenth century literature, this is the only one which categorically states that the ball was passed to another member of the same team. There are no other explicit references to passing the ball between members of the same team until the 1860s, however, in 1650 English puritan Richard baxter alludes to player to player passing of the ball during a football game in his book Everlasting Rest: “like a Football in the midst of a crowd of Boys, tost about in contention from one to another”.

1608 AD – Outlawing of Football in Cities

Football continued to be outlawed in English cities, for example the Manchester Lete Roll contains a resolution, dated 12 October 1608: “That whereas there hath been heretofore great disorder in our towne of Manchester, and the inhabitants thereof greatly wronged and charged with makinge and amendinge of their glasse windows broken yearlye and spoyled by a companye of lewd and disordered psons vsing that unlawfull exercise of playinge with the ffote-ball in ye streets of ye sd toune breakinge many men’s windowes and glasse at their plesures and other great enormyties. Therefore, wee of this jurye doe order that no manner of psons hereafter shall play or use the footeball in any street within the said toune of Manchester, subpœnd to evye one that shall so use the same for evye time xiid”.

Although football was frequently outlawed in England, it remained popular even with the ruling classes. For example, during the reign of King James I of England James Howelll mentions how Lord Willoughby and Lord Sunderland enjoyed playing football, for example:”Lord Willoughby, and he, with so many of their servants … play’d a match at foot- ball against such a number of Countrymen, where my Lord of Sunderland being busy about the ball, got a bruise in the breast.

1624 AD – First concept of Football Teams

The concept of football teams is mentioned by English Poet Edmund Waller in c1624: He mentions a “a sort [i.e. company]of lusty shepherds try their force at football, care of victory… They ply their feet, and still the restless ball, Toss’d to and fro, is urged by them all”. The last line suggests that playing as a team emerged much earlier in English football than previously thought.

1638 AD – Popularity of Football

Football continued to be popular throughout seventeenth century England. For example in 1634 Davenant is quoted (in Hones Table-Book) as remarking, “I would now make a safe retreat, but methinks Jam stopped by one of your heroic gamea called football; which I conceive (under your favor) not very conveniently civil in the streets, especially in such irregular and narrow roads as Crooked Lane. Yet it argues your courage, much like your military pastime of throwing at cocks, since you have long allowed these two valiant exercises in the streets”. Similarly in 1638 Thomas Randolp suggests this in the following lines from one of his plays: “Madam, you may in time bring down his legs To the just size, now overgrown with playing Too much at foot-ball”.

1660 AD – First Objective study of Football

 In 1660 comes the first objective study of football, given in Francis Willughby’s Book of Sports, written in about 1660. This account is particularly noteworthy as he refers to football by its correct name and is the first to describe the following: goals and a pitch (“a close that has a gate at either end. The gates are called Goals”), tactics (“leaving some of their best players to guard the goal”), scoring (“they that can strike the ball through their opponents’ goal first win”) and the way teams were selected (“the players being equally divided according to their strength and nimbleness”). He is the first to describe a law of football: “They often break one another’s shins when two meet and strike both together against the ball, and therefore there is a law that they must not strike higher than the ball”. His book includes the first (basic) diagram illustrating a modern football pitch.

Football continued to be played in the later seventeenth century, even in cities such as London. The great diarist Samuel Pepys, for example, states in 1665 that in a London street “the streete being full of footballs”

1840’s AD – Codified Football England was the first country in the world to develop codified football, coming about from a desire of its various public schools to compete against each other. Previously, each school had its own rules, which may have dated back to the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. The first attempts to come up with single codes probably began in the 1840s, with various meetings between school representatives attempting to come up with a set of rules with which all would be happy. The first attempt was The Cambridge Rules, created in 1848; others developed their own sets, most notably Sheffield F.C. (1855) and J.C. Thring(1862). These were moulded into one set in 1863 when the Football Association was formed; though some clubs continued to play under the Sheffield Rules 1878, and others dissented to form Rugby Union instead. The 1863 rules of the Football Association provides the first reference in the English Language to the verb to “pass” a ball.

1866 AD – First Player to be Ruled Offside C.W.Alcock became the first footballer ever to be ruled off side on 31 March 1866, confirming that players were probing ways of exploiting the new off side rule right from the start. The offside rule was introduced in 1866 into the Football Association rules. It was almost identical to the one that had been part of the Cambridge Rules.

The early Sheffield Rules were particularly important as their offside system allowed poaching or sneaking and thus demonstrated the use of the forward pass: Players known as “kick throughs” were positioned permanently near the opponents goal to receive these balls. According to C.W. Alcock the Sheffield style gave birth to the modern passing game. The Sheffield Rules of 1862later included both crossbars and half time and free kicks were introduced to their code in 1866.

1867 AD – The Oldest Football Cup in the World

 The Youdan Cup was an association football competition played in Sheffield, England. A local theatre owner Thomas Youdan sponsored the competition and provided the trophy. The trophy itself was made of silver, and although Thomas Youdan awarded a £2 prize to the winner of a competition to design the trophy, it was not completed in time to be presented on the day to the winners.

The format of the competition was drawn up by a committee and played under Sheffield Rules. The first two rounds were on a knock-out basis, however the final was contested between three teams playing each other in turn.

The final was played at Bramell Lane, Sheffield on 5 March 1867 and attracted 3,000 spectators, each paying 3d admission. The game used the concept of ‘rouges’ (a rouge was scored when an attempt at goal, using a goal only 4 yards wide, missed, but would have gone into an 8 yard wide goal: rouges were only considered in the case of a drawn match), and Hallam beat Norfolk and Mackenzie to finish first, while Norfolk beat Mackenzie and finished second. The Runners-up were presented with a two-handed silver goblet encircled with athletic figures that had been purchased with the proceeds of the gate money and had been completed. Sadly Youdan was unable to present it personally as he was ill.

1870 AD – The first International

 England was home to the first ever international football match on the 5 March 1870. The first match ended in a draw and was one of a series of four matches between representatives of England and Scotland at The Oval, London. These matches were arranged by the Football Association, at the time the only national football body in the world.

The origin of these games came in 1870 when CW Alcock challenged homegrown contenders in Scotland against an English eleven. These challenges were issued in Scottish newspapers, including the Glasgow Herald. He received no response to these adverts. One response to Alcock’s challenges illustrates that soccer was eclipsed in Scotland by other codes:

“Mr Alcock’s challenge to meet a Scotch eleven on the borders sounds very well and is doubtless well meant. But it may not be generally well known that Mr Alcock is a very leading supporter of what is called the “association game”…devotees of the “association” rules will find no foemen worthy of their steel in Scotland”.

As a result he was forced to draw upon London-based players with Scottish origins. One notable Scottish player of the 1870 and 1871 games was Smith, a player of Queensn Park FC. This suggests that southern teams were not so isolated from Glasgow players and style of play as originally thought. Alcock was categorical that although most players were London based, this was due to lack of response from north of the border:

“I must join issue with your correspondent in some instances. First, I assert that of whatever the Scotch eleven may have been composed the right to play was open to every Scotchman [Alcock’s italics] whether his lines were cast North or South of the Tweed and that if in the face of the invitations publicly given through the columns of leading journals of Scotland the representative eleven consisted chiefly of Anglo-Scotians … the fault lies on the heads of the players of the north, not on the management who sought the services of all alike impartially. To call the team London Scotchmen contributes nothing. The match was, as announced, to all intents and purposes between England and Scotland”. The first official ( i.e. Currently recognised by FIFA) international match would take place between Scotland and England on November 30th. 1872. This match was played under the Football Association rules.

1871 AD – The F.A.CupThe F.A. Cup was the first nationally organized competition. A knockout cup, it began 1871, with the first winners being the Wanderers. In those days professionalism was banned, and the cup was dominated by service teams or old schoolboys’ teams (such as Old Etonians). In the early 1870s the modern team passing game was invented by the Sheffield FC, Royal Engineers A.F.C. and Scottish players of the era from Queens Park FC. This was the predecessor to the current passing, defensive game which was known as the Combination Game and was spread around the world by British expatriates.

1888 AD – Worlds First Football League

 The new professionals needed more regular competitive football in which they could compete, which led to the creation of the Football league in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor . This was dominated by those clubs who had supported professionalism, and the twelve founding members consisted of six from Lancashire (Blackburn Rovers, Burnely, Bolton Wanderers, Accrington, Everton and preston North End) and six from the Midlands (Aston Villa, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers). No sides from the South or London initially participated.

Preston North End won the first ever Football League championship without losing any of their 22 fixtures, and won the FA Cup to complete the double. They retained their league title the following year but by the turn of the 20th century they had been eclipsed by Aston Villa, who had emulated Preston’s double success in 1897. Other Midlands sides, such as Wolves (1893 FA Cup winners) and West Bromwich Albion (1888 & 1892 FA Cup winners) were also successful during this era, as were Blackburn Rovers, who won five FA Cups in the 1880s and 1890s. In 1892 a second division was added and in 1920 a third division was added.

1891 AD – Creation of Football Net In 1891 Liverpool engineer John Alexander Brodie invented the football net.

1991- Present In 1991 the English Premier league was formed of 20 clubs and with its links to Sky television and the increase in revenues by 2001 The Premier league was the richest league of any kind of sports in the world. At the present day, the league’s TV rights have reached over 2 Billion Pounds. The argument at present is when will technology be used around the goal to confirm problem goals by Video replay.

It always amazes me how from a little Island like England we created and gave the world over 100 sports and games that have dominated the world.

Sports – Cricket – England

Imbued in English culture is a love and Creator of Sports of all kinds. I was born just a few miles from the oldest cricket club in the world – Hambledon Cricket Club in Hampshire, England..

I have a website where I have listed and linked to the 100+ various sports and games created by us Brits.

Our national summer game is Cricket which It is believed was first played over a 1,000 years ago in English villages in an area of england called The Weald which borders Sussex and Kent. The game was played by children for hundreds of years before adults played the game . Its beginning is lost in the mists of history, but bat hitting games were played in Saxon England before the Norman Conquest.

There are stories that villager’s played against villager’s on village greens throughout our history, including up to today. There is nothing like a hot, sunny, summer day with the sound of leather ( The ball ) hitting willow ( The Bat ) in an English village.

What is agreed is that by Tudor times cricket had evolved far enough from club-ball to be recognisable as the game played today; that it was well established in many parts of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; that within a few years it had become a feature of leisure time at a significant number of schools; and – a sure sign of the wide acceptance of any game – that it had become popular enough among young men to earn the disapproval of local magistrates.

Important Known Historical Dates of Cricketing Events

900AD (approx) English Children Play bat and ball games which are the pre-cursors to Cricket.

1550 (approx) Evidence of cricket being played in Guildford, Surrey.
1598 Cricket mentioned in Florio’s Italian-English dictionary.
1610 Reference to “cricketing” between Weald and Upland near Chevening, Kent.

1611 Randle Cotgrave’s French-English dictionary translates the French word “crosse” as a cricket staff. Two youths fined for playing cricket at Sidlesham, Sussex.

1624 Jasper Vinall becomes first man known to be killed playing cricket: hit by a bat while trying to catch the ball – at Horsted Green, Sussex.
1676 First reference to cricket being played abroad, by British residents in Aleppo, Syria.
1694 Two shillings and sixpence paid for a “wagger” (wager) about a cricket match at Lewes.
1697 First reference to “a great match” with 11 players a side for fifty guineas, in Sussex.
1700 Cricket match announced on Clapham Common.

1709 First recorded inter-county match: Kent v Surrey.
1710 First reference to cricket at Cambridge University.
1727 Articles of Agreement written governing the conduct of matches between the teams of the Duke of Richmond and Mr Brodrick of Peperharow, Surrey.
1729 Date of earliest surviving bat, belonging to John Chitty, now in the pavilion at The Oval.
1730 First recorded match at the Artillery Ground, off City Road, central London, still the cricketing home of the Honourable Artillery Company.

1744 Kent beat All England by one wicket at the Artillery Ground.
First known version of the Laws of Cricket, issued by the London Club, formalising the pitch as 22 yards long.
1767 (approx) Foundation of the Hambledon Club in Hampshire, the leading club in England for the next 30 years. ( I used to live just a few miles away from this excellent cricket club).
1769 First recorded century, by John Minshull for Duke of Dorset’s XI v Wrotham.
1771 Width of bat limited to 4 1/4 inches, where it has remained ever since.
1774 LBW law devised.
1776 Earliest known scorecards, at the Vine Club, Sevenoaks, Kent.
1780 The first six-seamed cricket ball, manufactured by Dukes of Penshurst, Kent.
1787 First match at Thomas Lord’s first ground, Dorset Square, Marylebone – White Conduit Club v Middlesex.
Formation of Marylebone Cricket Club by members of the White Conduit Club.
1788 First revision of the Laws of Cricket by MCC.
1794 First recorded inter-schools match: Charterhouse v Westminster.
1795 First recorded case of a dismissal “leg before wicket”.
1806 First Gentlemen v Players match at Lord’s.
1807 First mention of “straight-armed” (i.e. round-arm) bowling: by John Willes of Kent.
1809 Thomas Lord’s second ground opened at North Bank, St John’s Wood.
1811 First recorded women’s county match: Surrey v Hampshire at Ball’s Pond, London.
1814 Lord’s third ground opened on its present site, also in St John’s Wood.
1827 First Oxford v Cambridge match, at Lord’s. A draw.
1828 MCC authorise the bowler to raise his hand level with the elbow.
1833 John Nyren publishes his classic Young Cricketer’s Tutor and The Cricketers of My Time.
1836 First North v South match, for many years regarded as the principal fixture of the season.
1836 (approx) Batting pads invented.
1841 General Lord Hill, commander-in-chief of the British Army, orders that a cricket ground be made an adjunct of every military barracks.
1844 First official international match: Canada v United States.
1845 First match played at The Oval.
1846 The All-England XI, organised by William Clarke, begins playing matches, often against odds, throughout the country.
1849 First Yorkshire v Lancashire match.
1850 Wicket-keeping gloves first used.
1850 John Wisden bowls all ten batsmen in an innings for North v South.
1853 First mention of a champion county: Nottinghamshire.
1858 First recorded instance of a hat being awarded to a bowler taking three wickets with consecutive balls.
1859 First touring team to leave England, captained by George Parr, draws enthusiastic crowds in the US and Canada.
1864 Overhand bowling authorised by MCC.
John Wisden’s The Cricketer’s Almanack first published.
1868 Team of Australian aborigines tour England.
1873 W G Grace becomes the first player to record 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season.
First regulations restricting county qualifications, often regarded as the official start of the County Championship.
1877First Test match: Australia beat England by 45 runs in Melbourne.
1880 First Test in England: a five-wicket win against Australia at The Oval.
1882 Following England’s first defeat by Australia in England, an “obituary notice” to English cricket in the Sporting Times leads to the tradition of The Ashes.
1889 South Africa’s first Test match.
Declarations first authorised, but only on the third day, or in a one-day match.
1890 County Championship officially constituted.
Present Lord’s pavillion opened.
1895 W G Grace scores 1,000 runs in May, and reaches his 100th hundred.
1899 AEJ Collins scores 628 not out in a junior house match at Clifton College, the highest individual score in any match.
Selectors choose England team for home Tests, instead of host club issuing invitations.
1900 Six-ball over becomes the norm, instead of five.
1909 Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC – now the International Cricket Council) set up, with England, Australia and South Africa the original members.
1910 Six runs given for any hit over the boundary, instead of only for a hit out of the ground.
1912 First and only triangular Test series played in England, involving England, Australia and South Africa.
1915 W.G. Grace dies aged 67.
1926 Victoria score 1,107 v New South Wales at Melbourne, the record total for a first-class innings.
1928 West Indies’ first Test match.
AP “Tich” Freeman of Kent and England becomes the only player to take more than 300 first-class wickets in a season: 304.
1930 New Zealand’s first Test match.
Donald Bradman’s first tour of England: he scores 974 runs in the five Ashes Tests, still a record for any Test series.
1931 Stumps made higher (28 inches not 27) and wider (nine inches not eight – this was optional until 1947).
1932 India’s first Test match.
Hedley Verity of Yorkshire takes ten wickets for ten runs v Nottinghamshire, the best innings analysis in first-class cricket.
1932-33 The Bodyline tour of Australia in which England bowl at batsmen’s bodies with a packed leg-side field to neutralise Bradman’s scoring.
1934 Jack Hobbs retires, with 197 centuries and 61,237 runs, both records. First women’s Test: Australia v England at Brisbane.
1935 MCC condemn and outlaw Bodyline.
1947 Denis Compton of Middlesex and England scores a record 3,816 runs in an English season.
1948 First five-day Tests in England.
Bradman concludes Test career with a second-ball duck at The Oval and a batting average of 99.94 – four runs short of 100.
1952 Pakistan’s first Test match.
1953 England regain the Ashes after a 19-year gap, the longest ever.
1956 Jim Laker of England takes 19 wickets for 90 v Australia at Manchester, the best match analysis in first-class cricket.
1957 Declarations authorised at any time.
1960 First tied Test, Australia v West Indies at Brisbane.
1963 Distinction between amateur and professional cricketers abolished in English cricket.
The first major one-day tournament begins in England: the Gillette Cup.
1969 Limited-over Sunday league inaugurated for first-class counties.
1970 Proposed South African tour of England cancelled: South Africa excluded from international cricket because of their government’s apartheid policies.
1971 First one-day international: Australia v England at Melbourne.
1975 First World Cup: West Indies beat Australia in final at Lord’s.
1976 First women’s match at Lord’s, England v Australia.
1977 Centenary Test at Melbourne, with identical result to the first match: Australia beat England by 45 runs.
Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer, signs 51 of the world’s leading players in defiance of the cricketing authorities.
1978 Graham Yallop of Australia wears a protective helmet to bat in a Test match, the first player to do so.
1979 Packer and official cricket agree peace deal.
1980 Eight-ball over abolished in Australia, making the six-ball over universal.
1981 England beat Australia in Leeds Test, after following on with bookmakers offering odds of 500 to 1 against them winning.
1982 Sri Lanka’s first Test match.
1991 South Africa return, with a one-day international in India.
1992 Zimbabwe’s first Test match.
Durham become the first county since Glamorgan in 1921 to attain first class status.
1993 The ICC ceases to be administered by MCC, becoming an independent organisation with its own chief executive.
1994 Brian Lara of Warwickshire becomes the only player to pass 500 in a first class innings: 501 not out v Durham.
2000 County Championship split into two divisions, with promotion and relegation.
The Laws of Cricket revised and rewritten.
2003 Twenty20 Cup, a 20-over-per-side evening tournament, inaugurated in England.
2005 The ICC introduces Powerplays and Supersubs in ODIs, and hosts the inaugural Superseries. 2007 The inaugaral 20/20 World Cup. Also the creation of the Indian 20/20 Premier league. 2010 England reach the 20/20 Cricket Final.

Sports – Lawn Tennis – England

One of our favorite summer games is Lawn Tennis which It is believed a form called Real Tennis was first played over 500 years ago by English Royalty.

Royal interest in Real Tennis began with Henry V (1413–22) but it was Henry VIII (1509–47) who made the biggest impact as a young monarch, playing the game with gusto at Hampton Court on a court he had built in 1530, and on several other courts in his palaces. It is believed that his second wife Anne Boleyn was watching a game of real tennis when she was arrested and that Henry was playing tennis when news was brought to him of her execution. During the reign of James I (1603–25), there were 14 courts in London. Today Real Tennis is still played at Hampton Court including by English Royalty like Prince Edward.

In England, during the 18th century and early 19th century as real tennis bacame less popular, three other racquet sports emerged: Racquets, Squash Racquets and Lawn Tennis (the modern game).

Its establishment as the modern sport can be dated to two separate inventions. Between 1859 and 1865, in Birmingham, England, Major Harry Gem, a solicitor combined elements of the game of rackets and played it on a croquet lawn in Edgbaston. In 1872, he moved to Leamington Spa and in 1874, with two doctors from the Warneford Hospital, founded the world’s first tennis club. The Courier of 23 July 1884 recorded one of the first tennis tournaments, held in the grounds of Shrubland Hall.

In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield devised a similar game for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate of Nantclwyd in Llanelidan, Wales. He based the game on the older Real tennis. At the suggestion of Arthur Balfour, Wingfield named it “lawn tennis,” and patented the game in 1874 with an eight-page rule book titled “Sphairistike or Lawn Ten-nis”, but he failed to succeed in enforcing his patent.

Dates of first Tennis Grand Slams

1877 Wimbledon Championships and played on grass.

1881 US Open Championships and played on grass until in 1977 on clay court

1891 French Open Championships and played on grass until 1912 on clay court.

1905 Australian Open Championship and played on grass until 1988 on hard court.

In 1877 the All England Croquet Club formally changed its name to the All England Croquet Lawn tennis Club and held the first Lawn tennis Championship in July 1877. The referee was Henry Jones who devised the rules for the tournament with the help of a 2 man committee. Players were made to change ends after each set , matches were the best of 5 sets. Twenty two men entered the first championship. The shape of the court changed from hourglass to the modern rectangular. The net

was 5ft high at the posts and in the 3 ft 3in at the centre. The first champion was Spencer Gore.

Sports – Rugby – England

I have a website where I have listed and linked to the 100+ various sports and games created by us Brits. One of our favorite sports is Rugby Football which It is believed was first played in English villages up and down the country. There are stories that villager’s played against villager’s and the aim of the game was to get the ball passed the opposing village boundary line. The rules included kicking, punching, scratching the opposition over and above the running with the ball and kicking of the ball.

While it is true that such games as Rugby did exist for centuries, their may be a kernel of truth to the William Webb Ellis legend that a football match was being played when Web Ellis picked up the ball and created Rugby. As far as most historians can tell, the earliest form of football with much similarity to rugby as we know it today, did originate at Rugby School around Ellis’s time. Whether he was the actual creator of the game or the game simply evolved into something like the modern game during his time is still a point for debate.

Most probable is the slightly different version of the legend that the English Rugby Union relates. According to the English Rugby Union, the type of football played at Rugby School in Ellis’s time was not soccer, but a game with a mixture of both soccer and rugby rules. Handling the ball was prohibited unless the ball was airborne, when the player was permitted to catch it. After catching the ball he would stand still, as did all the other players, and had the option of kicking it wherever he chose, or placing it on the ground and kicking for goal.

It is also very important to remember that in those days at English Public Schools, students often developed their own rules for the games of football they played on the spot as there was very little official refereeing. So it is possible that William Webb Ellis did in fact pick up the ball and run with it during an impromptu game of football, which set an example for others. But one thing does remain, it is highly dubious that rugby originated from soccer as we know it today. It is far more likely, and most historians tend to agree, that both rugby and soccer developed roughly side by side as rules became more formalized and documented.

Whatever the case, the story of William Webb Ellis is too good not to be held on to and cherished. William Webb Ellis has an official headstone on the grounds of Rugby School with the following inscription:

“This stone commemorates the exploit of William Webb Ellis who with a fine disregard for the rules of football, as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game A.D. 1823”

By the 1840s running with the ball had become the norm, and by the 1870s rugby clubs had sprung up all over England and in the colonies. But just as it was during the earliest days at the public schools, different rules were being used by different clubs with no official codification of the rules being laid down. To try and remedy this situation and provide a more uniform set of laws, a meeting was held in January 26, 1871, attended by the representatives of 22 clubs. It was at this meeting that the Rugby Football Union was founded.

The meeting was called by Edwin Ash, then secretary of the Richmond Club. He sent a letter to the newspapers which stated: “Those who play the rugby type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play”.

Following the founding of the Rugby Football Union, a committee was formed consisting of three ex-Rugby School pupils who were invited to formulate a set of laws to help govern and unify the game. By June 1871 they had accomplished their task.

Soon after the Scottish members of the Union challenged the English to a match. This was by all accounts the first international match between England and Scotland, perhaps between anyone, and took place at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh on March 27, 1871, resulting in a win to Scotland.

The “Great Schism” and the Start of Rugby League

The rugby football union at this time believed strongly in maintaining the games amateur status. Despite this commitment, in 1893 reports of some players in the north of England receiving payments for playing reached the RFU, and it attempted to obtain evidence. The Union set up an inquiry into the matter, but was warned that if the club involved was punished, all the chief clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire would secede from the Rugby Football Union.

The inquiry went ahead and the club concerned was suspended. Two general meetings resulted at which the Northern Unions lobbied for the right to pay player “broken time” wages to help cover any lost wages players incurred by skipping work to play in matches. It is important to note that many of the Northern Union clubs had a strong mining and blue collar constituency and lost pay was a serious concern for them. The Northern Union’s request was denied and in August 1895 twenty two of the northern clubs seceded from the Rugby Football Union and formed the Northern Union, later to become known as the Rugby League.

The Rugby League quickly adopted rules to make the game more attractive to spectators in order to draw crowds to help pay the men’s broken time wages. This is where the reduction of players to 13 came into effect as well as the move to a multiple downs style of play. As a result, Rugby League is very distinctive from Rugby Union in both appearance and strategies employed.

Rugby Union Becomes Professional

As the years wore on, the IRB and the Rugby Football Union clung to their amateur roots and traditions tightly, but there were growing cries from around the globe to turn professional. Ironically many of these reasons shadow the reason the Northern Union split away in the first place, namely increased demands on players time as well as increased media attention on the sport and revenues generated as a result. Many felt it was simply unfair to have so much money generated and the players receive none of it in spite of all of their sacrifices for club and country.

Along with this was a growing “hidden professionalism” in Rugby Union. While open air payments were unlikely, it became clear that most players were receiving a number of perks for playing such as houses, cars, and other under the table deals.

Realizing that the sport needed to move to a professional model if it was to remain intact, the IRB and RFU accepted professionals in Rugby Union in August 1995. In 2003 England won the Rugby Union World Cup ( Web Ellis Cup ) for the first time.

Sports – Badmington – England

One of Englands popular games is Badminton which is played by over 1 million people every week. Badminton was originally an English game called “The battledore and shuttlecock Game”, an English game about which there are many references as far back as the 1400’s. As early as 1860, Isaac Spratt, a London toy dealer, published a booklet, Badminton Battledore – a new game, but unfortunately no copy has survived.

The beginnings of Modern Badminton can be traced to mid-18th century British India, where it was created by British military officers stationed there. Early pictures show Englishmen adding a net to the traditional English game of battledore and shuttlecock. Being particularly popular in the British garrison town Poona (now Pune), the game also came to be known as Poona. Initially, balls of wool were preferred by the upper classes in windy or wet conditions, but ultimately the shuttlecock stuck. This game was taken by retired officers back to England where it developed and rules were set out.

The new sport was definitively launched in 1873 at Badminton House, Gloucester, England and owned by the Duke of Beufort ( The same house and grounds used every year for the Badminton Horse Show ). During that time, the game was referred to as “The Game of Badminton,” and the game’s official name became Badminton.

The game uses Shuttlecocks which are made up of nylon and feathers instead of balls. Shuttlecocks have been used in English games since the 8th Century.

Until 1887, the sport was played in England under the rules that prevailed in British India. The Bath Badminton Club standardized the rules and made the game applicable to English ideas. The basic regulations were drawn up in 1887. In 1893, the Badminton Association of England published the first set of rules according to these regulations, similar to today’s rules, and officially launched badminton in a house called “Dunbar” at 6 Waverley Grove, Southsea, Portsmouth, England on September 13 of that year. They also started the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first badminton competition held in the world, in 1899.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) (now known as Badminton World Federation) was established in 1934 with the following countries:

·       Canada

·       Denmark

·       England

·       France

·       Holland

·       Ireland

·       New Zealand

·       Scotland

·       Wales

India joined as an affiliate in 1936. The BWF now governs international badminton and develops the sport globally.

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