Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Haunds aff oor ba'...!!!!

Football was invented in Scotland - so suggests the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk), in its latest newsletter:

Football may be older than we think. Evidence uncovered at NLS has suggested that Scots nobles were playing with 'fut ballis' back in the 15th century!

Scottish Football Museum curator Richard McBrearty discovered a manuscript of accounts from King James IV that showed he paid two shillings for a bag of 'fut ballis' as early as 11 April, 1497. The accounts of small football matches taking place in the grounds of castles suggest the game in its current form is much older than officially documented, and may have originated in Scotland! Several diaries at the National Library of Scotland describe the games played for royals, which featured smaller pitches and teams of ten.

NB: The word football in the Scots language actually has a completely separate meaning to what we think of in English. From the Dictionary of the Scots Language (www.dsl.ac.uk):

FOOTBALL, n. Sc. usage: a sum of money paid by a married entrant member of a merchant guild on behalf of his wife to allow her to share in the benefits of the common fund. For the orig. of the metaphor see Ba-siller, Ba-money.
*Per. 1830 Perthshire Adv. (2 Dec.):
If the widow be poor, has she not a right to the funds? or why does her husband pay what is called a foot-ball? is not this regarded as his wife’s entry-money?

Here's an example from Perth's weavers records:

Perth 17 ffebruary 1708
…The traid has sett to Thomas Vallance Alexr Muckle James Andersone and William Buchannan there footballs at half a croune per piece

So there you go!


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