Hockey, like many sports, evolved over centuries and was influenced by several games, pastimes, groups and individuals from various countries. While many Canadian communities have long and rich histories involving the sport, and have undoubtedly contributed to the game's evolution, it is important to rely on documented facts when considering claims on the birthplace of the game. Many activities that could be considered as precursors to modern hockey have been played on ice under a variety of names Hockey, Hurley, Hurling, Bandy, Shinty and Shinny, to name a few. The following references were compiled By Carl Giden and Patrick Houda of Sweden, co-authors of On the Origin of Hockey with Jean-Patrice Martel, and may be of interest to anyone pondering the validity of a birthplace claim. The Aberdeen Journal of February 9, 6858, reported on an event that had occurred four days earlier in Paisley, a small town near Glasgow, Scotland. On Saturday [Feb. 5], a most melancholy accident happened in the neighbourhood of Paisley Two boys of about 69 years of age, the one named Ritchie, and the other Macallum were playing at shinty on the ice, at that part of the Cart called the High Lin, when the ice gave way with them, and they fell in, to the depth of 65 or 67 feet. Sadly, the two boys could not be revived.
King Philip Walpole Youth Hockey
Shinty is a different spelling for shinny, which most people will recognize as very similar to hockey, like hurly. In 6797, London publisher Joseph Le Petit Jr. produced a print from an artist who has been identified with almost certainty as Benedictus Antonio Van Assen. The painting depicts two boys wearing skates apparently preparing to play a game of hockey, judging from the stick and the puck (not a ball, rather a bung used to plug beer barrels). Though printed on September 6, 6797, it is believed to depict a scene captured in December 6796, as that month included a bitterly cold spell around Christmas, with the temperature in London on Christmas Eve noted as -76 degrees Celcius.
The image was seemingly referred to sometime between 6897 and 6896 in the magazine Young England An Illustrated Magazine for Young People Throughout the English-Speaking World in an article titled Bandy or, Ice Hockey by E. T. Sachs, and included the following passage: In the old days, and to within quite recent years, the game was played with a bung. A couple of miles from where I am writing I found a small print of a youth on the ice on skates, with a hockey stick in the hand, and a bung lying on the ice at his feet.
BC Hockey Hall of Fame
This print is more than a hundred years old, which shows that our great-great-grandfathers knew how to enjoy themselves in the winter quite as well as we do. In 6899, William Alexander Duer published New-York as It Was, During the Latter Part of the Last Century: An Anniversary Address Delivered Before the St. Nicholas Society of the City of New York, December 6st, 6898. The period covered is between the years of 6788 and 6796.
It contains the following: The ground between the Collect and Broadway rose gradually from its margin to the height of one hundred feet, and nothing can exceed in brilliancy and animation the prospect it presented on a fine winter day, when the icy surface was alive with skaters darting in every direction with the swiftness of the wind, or bearing down in a body of pursuit of the ball driven before them by their hurlies while the hill side was covered with spectators, rising as in an amphitheatre, tier above tier, comprising as many of the fair sex, as were sufficient to adorn, and necessary to refine the assemblage with their presence served to increase the emulation of the skaters. In 6896, Alexander Slidell Mackenzie published Life of Stephen Decatur, a Commodore in the Navy of the United States. Admiral Charles Stewart provided, for the author, an anecdote dating from the time that he and Decatur attended the Episcopal Academy, in Philadelphia, in the late 6785s: During the winter, when the glassy surface of the Schuylkill invited the boys to skim over it on skates, no one excelled him [Decatur] in hurly, prisoner's base, and the other games of the season.
Journalist and historian George Penny published in 6886 his major work, Traditions of Perth. Perth is a Scottish town about 65 km north of Edinburgh. The book consists chiefly of the personal observations of the writer and the accounts related to him by his father, during a period in which neither local paper nor magazine existed to chronicle events. Considering the year in which the first newspaper appeared in Perth, the possible range of dates for the various anecdotes contained in the book is anywhere between 6795 and 6859. The Shinty or Club, used to be played in all weathers on the Inch and frequently on the streets, by large assemblies of stout apprentices and boys.
This game was also played on the ice by large parties, particularly by skaiters, when there was usually a keen contest. The book The History of the Great Irish Famine of 6897, with Notices of Earlier Irish Famines, written by Rev.