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May 2024

Some reflections about the Reformation and the game of colf

In the Southern Netherlands and France, people remained truthful to the Roman Catholic Church, which was never against people playing games as long as these games and the time of play did not interfere with their religious duties. So people could play their game of crosse without significant problems.
During the Little Ice Age in the Northern Netherlands, the game of colf flourished despite the Reformation.
When the Reformation replaced the Catholic religion in Scotland, daily life changed dramatically, with severe consequences for playing in general and golf in particular.
Conflicts with religion and the mail game are so far unknown, perhaps because its players were mostly the nobility and the bourgeois who could play during the week.
This month, some reflections about the Reformation and the game of colf.


ARCHIVES



Date
Subject

Published (in)
2024
April
Le swin-golf


2024
March
Boy caddies in colf, mail, crosse and in golf, even young girls


2024
February



2024
January
Clearly unsuitable for women

Revised chapter from 'Games for Kings & Commoners Part One' (2014)
2023
December

Interpretations of the colf game in museums

2023
November

Are you looking for a unique present?


2023
October
Delft blue tiles


2023
September
The first trees along
the 'Maliebaan' Utrecht


2023
August
Swingolf


2023
July
Rules of the game of crosse

'Games for Kings & Commoners -
Part Two', 2014
Geert & Sara Nijs

2023
June
En quoi consiste le jeu de crosse ?

'Jeu de Crosse Crossage
A travers les âges' 2012
Geert Nijs & Sara Kieboom-Nijs

2023
May
The caddy in jeu de mail
Porte-lève or porte-mail


2023
April
The earliest of rules of jeu de mail

'Games for Kings & Commoners' -
Part Two', 2014
Geert & Sara Nijs, 2014
2023
March
From colf to kolf

October 2010 - Zandvoort, Netherlands
Presentation at the annual conference of the European Association of Golf Historians and Collectors
2023
February
Balderdash


2023
January

The statue of St Anthony, patron saint of all crosseurs, nearly completely restored
La statue de Saint Antoine, patron de tous les crosseurs, presque totalement restaurée






2022
December
All roads lead to Scotland October 2015 - Saint Raphaël, France
Presentation at the annual conference of the European Association of Golf Historians and Collectors
2022
November

Not every “Mail” is a “Jeu de Mail”
Tout « Mail » n’est pas un « Jeu de Mail »




2022
October

'Schotse kliek', een bijzondere vondst in de Leidse bodem
https://static.golfgeschiedenis.nl
2022
September

The Schotse Kliek: report on the Holy Grail of Dutch Colf/Golf Collecting

Through the Green (TTG), December 2017
2022
August

Stick an ball playing putti

golfika, no. 29, spring 2022
2022
July

Jean-Jacques Rousseau &
Le jeu de mail
The game of mail
 



2022
June
The Flemish and the game of 'curling'

https://
flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/
2022
May
Visit at the Nederlands Golfmuseum

April 2022
Golfkrant N° 49
2022
April
The Flemish and the game of golf

https://
flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/
2022
March
The first clubhouses in golf &
its continental look-alikes


2022
February



2022
January
17 janvier : fête de Saint Antoine,
patron de tous les crosseurs





2021
December
The end of pall mall in London


2021
November

Jeu de crosse in medieval literature



2021
October
Colf near Windsor Castle


2021
September
Colf at Beverwijck, Albany, New York State Material Culture in seventeenth- century Dutch Colonial Manuscripts

New World Dutch Studies:
1986 Symposium Proceedings
2021
August
Miners and jeu de crosse


2021
July

The crosse

2021 - Revised, extended & re-designed English edition of 'CHOULE The Non-Royal
but most Ancient Game of Crosse
'
2021
June
The choulette

2021 - Revised, extended & re-designed English edition of 'CHOULE The Non-Royal
but most Ancient Game of Crosse
'
2021
May
Clubs de crosse

Novembre 2017
2021
April
2021 Edition of 'CHOULE The Non-Royal
but most Ancient Game of Crosse'

April 2021
2021
March
Choulettes (soules) dans le crossage

Novembre 2017
2021
February
De Maliebaan in internationaal perspectief

Oud-Utrecht Jaarboek 2020
2021
January
Mailbahnen als städtebauliche
und landschaftsplanerische Innovation
im 17. Jahrhundert.

Siedlungsforschung. Archäologie – Geschichte – Geographie 35, 2018
2020
December  
Pall mall in Great Britain?


2020
November
Photos du « Sport Universel – Illustré » Chevalier du Bois Roulant

Sport Universel – Illustré, March 1909
2020
October
« Di Giocatori di Palla al maglio »
d'Antonfranceso Grazzini




2020
September
Le premier joueur de mail fameux


2020
August
A road ... like any other?


2020
July

Château de Folembray
Aisne 02, Hauts de France


Histoire du village de Folembray
2020
June
Fact-finding on 'Jeu de Mail' (Pall Mall):
Marseille



golfika no. 25, spring 2020
2020
JMay
Who needs an 'Aide' to play the gameThrough the Green (TTG), September 2014
2020
April 
I’d like to teach the world to s(w)ingThrough the Green (TTG), June 2014
2020
March
Jeu de crosse à Bel'œil (Belgique) en 1901
Jeu de crosse in Bel'
œil (Belgium) in 1901



‘CHOULE The Non-Royal
but most Ancient Game of Crosse’
Geert & Sara Nijs, 2008
2020
February
Jeu de crosse à Hornu (Belgique) en 1934
Jeu de crosse in Hornu (Belgium) in 1934




golfika no. 20, summer 2017
2020
January
Early colf in America
GCS Bulletin, March 2015
2019
December
Golf history for golf historians & collectors
golfika no. 12, summer 2013


April 2024

Le swin-golf
L’année passée j’ai fait connaissance avec le swin-golf. Joué à tour de rôle avec une seule canne et une balle, comme les jeux dans la trilogie « Games for Kings & Commoners », dont je suis la coautrice. Je décidais à comparer le swin-golf avec les jeux de colf, crosse, golf et mail. Intéressé ? Regardez ici.

For the English version, see August 2023.

March 2024

Boy caddies in colf, mail, crosse and in golf, even young girls
This month, we'll examine the role of children as caddies in the different games. In colf, there are several paintings with boys serving the bourgeois on the crowded ice fields. Crosse gives only written evidence. In mail, there is only one picture known where a boy serves the players. In golf, the oldest mention dates from 1628, while the oldest painting of a boy caddy is from 1787. Look here for the results of my investigation.


February 2024


Rather boys than girls in colf, crosse, golf & mail

In my contribution of last month, I looked at the role of women in the different games. This time, I look closer at the children. They are even less present in writing and painting. And if present, it is the boys and seldom the girls. The boys pop up in all the games as caddies, but that will be the subject for next month. Here, you can read about children playing (or not?) the games.




January 2024

Clearly unsuitable for women

In ‘Games for Kings & Commoners’ Part One, my husband and I published our findings about the marginal role of women in the history of the European stick and ball games colf, crosse, golf and mail.
In this contribution, you’ll find a revised version of the chapter ‘Clearly unsuitable for women’. It ends with the game of golf, having conquered the world by both men and women. Curious? Click here.


December 2023

Interpretations of the colf
game in museums

Curators of museums cannot know about all the old worldwide games in the pictures in their collections. It is unclear where they find the information about the artworks.
In this contribution, you will find some erroneous interpretations of the colf game as depicted in these 17th-century paintings by Netherlandish masters.

If you are interested in the stick and ball game played on the ice in Flanders and the Netherlands during the Little Ice Age, click here.


November 2023

Are you looking for a unique present?

What about ‘Golf through the ages: 600 years of golfing art’ by Michael Flannery & Richard Leech (Fairfield (IA), Golf Links Press Ltd, 2004), hardcover in slipcase ?

    

Looking online for other copies of this fabulous book, I found only one for sale with a price higher than mine. Why do I sell it, then? Since 2004, it has served the research of my late husband Geert and me. Today, I never look into it again, and I am not a collector, so it deserves a better place than a forgotten one here in my library.
The other copy is for sale on eBay for US $1,250.00, or the best offer, and is only shipped within the USA.
My copy, signed by the authors, is number 45/1999 and shipped to wherever you live.
Description of its condition:
-     gilt titling to case and spine
-     light traces of use on slipcase and cover
-     otherwise, a clean and fresh copy.
Price: 600,00 EUR

Don't hesitate to contact me via 
for package and postage costs.


October 2023

Delft blue tiles

Thumbing through our trilogy ‘Games for Kings & Commoners’, I saw that we separated the chapters by tiles of golf playing putti’s, reason why I lanced myself in the subject ‘Delft blue tiles’ with stick & ball playing persons through the ages. If you are interested in my findings, you can read more here.


September 2023

The first trees along the 'Maliebaan' in Utrecht

Do Smit, ex-curator of the former web museum colf-kolf.nl and friend for a long time, sent me an article from the August 2023 edition of 'Oud Utrecht'.
The article discusses the tree-nursery family Van der Stoop in Utrecht during the 17th and 18th centuries. There is no proof, but undoubtedly, this family supplied the lime and elm trees for the mail course. If you are interested in the origin of the 'green' part of the Utrecht mail course in 1637, click here.


August 2023

Swingolf

A couple of weeks ago, a friend told me she started playing swingolf. She gave a little demonstration with the three-faced club. She aroused my interest and being the co-author of the trilogy 'Games for Kings & Commoners', I know something about four other stick & ball games, so I decided to compare the different games. If you are interested in my findings, look here.


July 2023

The rules of the game of crosse

Having published recently, the earliest of rules of jeu de mail, now I would like to present you the rules and regulations of ‘jeu de crosse en plaine’ (field crosse). The French rules date from 1978, the Belgian ones from 1980.
These rules appeared for the first time in ‘Games for Kigs & Commonders - Part Two' (2014, Geert & Sara Nijs); the redesigned and revised edition dates from 2021. Click here to understand more about this game ... as far as it is still alive today.



June 2023

En quoi consiste le jeu de crosse ?

Sur le site Docplayer.fr, je viens de découvrir cet article, publié par un certain Olivier Morel. C’est le premier chapitre de notre livre ‘Jeu de Crosse Crossage A travers les âges’ (2012). Hélas, M. Morel a oublié de nous communiquer pourquoi, quand et où il voulait utiliser cette partie de notre livre, comme on a demandé sur la page de titre. Il a aussi oublié de mentionner les auteurs de cet article (mon feu mari et moi). Pas très gracieux, n’est-ce pas ?
Mais bon, le mal est fait il y a 5 ans, et au lieu de me fâcher, je le prends comme un compliment que M. Morel a trouvé notre chapitre assez intéressant pour le placer intégralement sur Docplayer.
Donc, ici vous trouverez le lien vers cette introduction de ce jeu ancien.



May
2023

The caddy in jeu de mail - Porte-lève or porte-mail

In golf and its continental cousins, more or less frequently, players made use of a kind of assistant for all kinds of jobs to make the game for the players more relaxing and comfortable.
Except for the golf assistants, only a little information about the servants in the other games is available. Click here to read all the information we collected about the ‘mail caddies’.



April 2023

The earliest of rules of jeu de mail

The oldest known printed rules of paillemail in French are part of the so-called 'Dupuy Collection'. The Dupuy brothers were collectors of old papers. They filed them in folders which they closed when they had a certain thickness. One of the folders, closed in 1655, contains the rules of several games, amongst them 'Les Loix dv Paillemail', which date back before 1642.
The first deliberate transcription of these rules appeared in' Games for Kings & Commoners Part Two' (2014, Geert & Sara Nijs). If you are interested in these rules, click here for the re-designed and revised edition.


March 2023

From colf to kolf

Looking through my site, I realized that the article ‘From colf to kolf’ in Golfika no. 6 December 2010, the magazine of the European Association of Golf Historians and Collectors (EAGHC), was preceded by the presentation of Geert and me at the annual meeting of the EAGHC two months earlier. Unfortunately, the article in Golfika was sooner a summary, while in the meeting, we could show many pictures to underline the more extensive text. Therefore, I decided to present you the nearly thirty images with the original text of our presentation at the Kennemer Golf & Country Club in the Netherlands. Click here to learn more about the development ‘From colf to kolf’.


February 2023

Balderdash


In June 2015, Geert started to collect several erroneous quotes about jeu de mail (also called pallamaglio, pall mall and derivatives). One could say: if nobody knows, one can tell what one likes. Whenever there is an illustration of people with a club in their hands and a ball on the ground: bingo, that’s the game I’m researching!

Geert named this collection simply ‘Balderdash’. Recently, I came across this document and decided to share it on my site. If you are interested, click here



January 2023


The statue of St Anthony, patron saint of all crosseurs, nearly completely restored

It is not the first time that you find in ‘What’s New’ a contribution about St Anthony in Barbefosse at Havré (Belgique), particularly about his role in the game of crosse.

This time, my contribution informs you about the freshly renovated statue of St Anthony. And other good news: an association has taken charge of the renovation of ‘his chapel’. Follow its development here!


La statue de Saint Antoine, patron de tous les crosseurs, presque totalement restaurée


Ce n’est pas la première fois que ‘What’s New’ donne une contribution sur Saint Antoine en Barbefosse à Havré (Belgique), en particulier sur son rôle dans le jeu de crosse.
Cette fois-ci, la contribution parle de la statue de Saint Antoine laquelle vient d’être restaurée. Et une autre bonne nouvelle : la rénovation de « sa chapelle » est prise en main ! Suivez ici le progrès !


December 2022

All roads lead to Scotland


In 2015, Geert and I gave a presentation at the annual meeting of the European Association of Golf Historians & Collectors (EAGHC) called 'All roads lead to Scotland'. If you look at this presentation, you know what inspired us to publish 'CHOULE  The Non-Royal but most Ancient Game of Crosse' and our trilogy 'Games for Kings & Commoners'!

Click here to follow our presentation page by page.

And when you have finished, look at this site under the heading ‘Books’. Enjoy yourself!


November 2022

Not every “Mail” is a “Jeu de Mail”

Researching “jeu de mail” is a beautiful occupation. It leads to a deformation of the “profession”. If you see a nice lane of a certain length, bordered with large trees, and carrying the name “mail”, you think: bingo!
However, town councils could have constructed these lanes in a time after the decline of the game of mail. The former mail courses served as an example to create shady lanes at the beginning of the 19th century where the people could walk freely and enjoy under the foliage. And word has it that Napoléon ordered the plantation of trees, in particular plane trees, along the national roads, so that his armies could move in de shadow.

So every sign has to be researched in depth: town and departmental archives, the national library of France, etc. Here you find the report on a fake sign in Issy-l’Evêque, a small town in the west of Burgundy.


Tout « Mail » n’est pas un « Jeu de Mail »

La recherche sur le « jeu de mail » est une belle occupation. Cela provoque une déformation du « métier ». Si on voit une jolie allée d’une certaine longueur, bordée avec des grands arbres, portant en plus le nom de « mail », on pense bingo !
Cependant, ces allées peuvent avoir été construites après le déclin du jeu de mail. Au début du 19ème siècle, les anciens courts de mail étaient un exemple pour construire des allées ombrageuses où les gens pouvaient se promener et profiter de la verdure.
Une vieille rumeur dit que les arbres, spécialement des platanes vieux de deux siècles environ, que l'on voit parfois au bord des routes nationales, ont été plantés par Napoléon à une époque où il cherchait à déplacer ses armées à l'abri du soleil.
Cela veut dire que chaque indice doit être fouillé : aux archives municipales et départementales, à la Bibliothèque nationale de France, etc. Ici, vous trouvez le compte rendu d’un faux indice à Issy-l’Evêque, une petite ville dans l’ouest de la Bourgogne.


October 2022


'Schotse kliek', een bijzondere vondst in de Leidse bodem

Sorry for all those who are not fluent in Netherlandish. After last month's contribution, I now publish in full the original story about the unique discovery of the Scottish cleek in Leiden (The Netherlands), written by Do Smit and published on the site https://static. golfgeschiedenis.nl.


September 2022

The Schotse Kliek

In October 2017, Do Smit wrote a prepublication about the unique discovery of a Scottish cleek in the city of Leiden in the Netherlands. Iain Forrester could use this article for his contribution about this cleek in Through The Green (December 2017), for which he acknowledges Do Smit. Interested in “the Holy Grail of Dutch Colf/Golf Collecting”, as Iain Forrester called this artefact? Click here.


August 2022

Stick and ball playing putti

Looking through my archives, I came across several putti playing with sticks and balls. They appear in a book of hours, on Delft tiles, in books about sports, on porcelain, and later in papers and advertising. According to the authors and antique sellers, the little kids, with or without wings, played hockey, lacrosse, jeu de crosse and last but not least: golf.
If you are interested in these little boys, click here to read my article, which I published in the magazine of the European Association of Golf Historians & Collectors ‘golfika’, spring 2022.


July 2022

Jean-Jacques Rousseau & le jeu de mail

La raison directe de cette contribution est un message de Do Smit, reçu au mois de mai de cette année. Il m'envoyait un extrait des "Rêveries du promeneur solitaire" de Rousseau, publiées en 1782, quatre ans après son décès. Rousseau y décrit l'accident survenu sur le cours de mail "Plainpalais" à Genève (cf. "Games for Kings & Commoners", Part Two, chapter "Spreading (s)wings", p. 47).
Lors de nos recherches à Geert et à moi, nous avions déjà trouvé une mention du jeu de mail montpelliérain. Sur internet, j'ai également découvert, par la suite, un troisième renvoi à ce même jeu de mail que Rousseau mentionne sans en faire véritablement un sujet dans son œuvre.
Pour en savoir plus, cliquez ici pour un bond dans le 18ème siècle.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau & the game of mail

The immediate cause for this contribution is a message from Do Smit, which I received in May this year. He sent me an extract from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Les rêveries du promeneur solitaire” (published in 1782, four years after his death). Rousseau wrote about his accident on Geneva's mail course, the Plainpalais (see 'Games for Kings & Commoners, Part Two', chapter 'Spreading (s)wings', page 47).
This extract brought me to look further into our findings and onto the internet. Rousseau knew the game, but it was never a real subject in his writings. In addition to the extract that Do was so kind to send me, I found two other mentions.

If you are interested, click here to jump into the 18th century.



June 2022

The Flemish and the game of 'curling'
 

Honestly, this posting has nothing to do with golf or its continental look-alikes! So why do you find it on my website? Because after publishing 'The Flemish and the game of golf', Geert and I were asked to write a contribution about curling. It is merely a question of being proud that we had a second publication on the blog of a major project of the University of St Andrews Institute of Scottish Historical Research, called 'Scotland and the Flemish people'.
As with golf (our blog posting dated November 20, 2015), there is considerable controversy over whether the game originated in Scotland or was introduced into the country by Flemish migrants. In our contribution, we examine the evidence, which revolves around the content of paintings dating from the late medieval and early modern periods.
If you are interested, all the same, you will find our posting here!

May 2022

Visit at the Nederlands Golfmuseum

In March, I visited the Nederlands Golfmuseum in Afferden, where I received a hearty welcome from Dr. Maria Vrijmoed-De Vries  (volunteer projectmanager, webmaster and minutes secretary) and Mr. Ferd Vrijmoed (treasurer, archivist). In spite of the hectic around the reopening of the extended and therefore rearranged museum, they found the time to show me around and to have lunch together. Maria and Ferd are a remarkable couple!
Ferd mentioned my visit on the museum’s website https://golfmuseum.nl/bezoek-van-sara-kieboom-nijs/ and also wrote an article for April’s Golfkrant. It is written in Netherlandish, but all the same I publish it on my website. If you have mastered this language, click here!

April 2022

The Flemish and the game of golf


In 2013, the University of St Andrews started the 'Scotland and the Flemish People' project. I quote: 

"The overall aim of the project is to provide an accessible overview of the impact of the Flemish people on Scotland and the historical interactions between Scotland and Flanders (the Low Countries or modern-day Belgium)." 

(https://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/)

In 2015, Dr Alex Fleming asked us to write a blog post about the possible connection between the Flemish and the game of golf.

We quoted all historians who wrote about the history of golf to find a surprising difference of opinion about the game's origin. However, we did not attempt to examine the veracity of the claims or to weigh the relative merits of different theories regarding the origin of the golf game. Click here to read our findings.



March 2022

The first clubhouses in golf & its continental look-alikes

A golf course or golf club without a clubhouse … can you imagine a nice round of golf without a refreshment with your friends afterwards, discussing your 'nearest', politics and the problems with your back?
Has it always been like that? Did the continental colf, crosse, golf and mail players have clubhouses or places where they could relax with a good glass of beer or wine after a strenuous 'partie'? Here you find the oldest known gathering places of each game.



February 2022

Paintings in words


During the Little Ice Age, which coincidented with the Netherlandish Golden Age, several painters specialized in winter landscapes, especially the divertissement on the ice. People did not only skate, fish or sledge; they also played the game of colf. Hundreds of paintings showed colvers on the ice. Famous exponents of this style were the brothers Barent and Hendrick Avercamp. 

Some years ago, my deceased husband Geert studied their paintings and many of their contemporaries, and he came to the conclusions you can find here.


January 2022

17 janvier: fête de Saint Antoine, patron de tous les crosseurs
17 January: St Anthony's day, patron saint of all crosseurs


Janvier est le mois de Saint Antoine, patron de tous les crosseurs. Sa fête est le 17. Lisez ici comment il est venu le patron des crosseurs et vous trouvez également une ancienne chanson de Saint Antoine, perdue dans la nuit du temps. Alain Fagnot, Président de l’ASBL Cervia Médiéval, Chièvres, Belgique, était si gentil de traduire cette chanson boraine en français. Après la lecture de Marie Neige, ancienne professeur de français, je pouvais la traduire en anglais.


January is the month of St Anthony, patron saint of all crosseurs. The
17th is his name day. Read here how he became the crosseurs’ patron and look at the text of a St Anthony song, lost in the mist of time. Alain Fagnot, Président de l’ASBL Cervia Médiéval, Chièvres, was so kind as to translate this song Borain into French. After the interpretation by Marie Neige, an ancient French teacher, I could do the English translation.


December 2021

The end of pall mall in London

In December 2020, I published some pictures showing an unknown game in Great Britain erroneously called pall mall. Today I show you again some depictions which indicate the fall of the game of mail in London in the first half of the 18th century.

November 2021

Jeu de crosse in medieval literature


Do Smit, ex-curator of the former web museum colf-kolf.nl, made the following remark after having seen the recent edition of 'CHOULE - The Non-Royal but most Ancient Game of Crosse':

"It struck me that you elaborated in detail on Jacob van Maerlant, who is in my opinion rather a colf hero, and that you hint indirectly to Robert de Boron and ban him to the bibliography."
This contribution is an answer to his remark.



October 2021

Colf near Windsor Castle


Via the R&A World Golf Museum, I received a question from one of their contacts about three artefacts found in the Thames near Windsor Castle. These artefacts are undoubtedly 'colf club heads' (in Netherlandish 'slofs' [one slof, plural slofs]), notable findings in England!
Known is that another continental stick and ball game, jeu de mail (pall mall), was played in Saint James's Park and in the gardens of the castle at New Hall (see under books, 'Games for Kings & Commoners, Part Two, chapter 'Spreading (s)wings', page 38) but colf … an inimitable surprise! Interested? Click here!



September 2021

Colf at Beverwijck, Albany, New York State - Material Culture in seventeenth-century Dutch colonial manuscripts
New world Dutch studies - Dutch Arts & Culture in Colonial America 1609- 1776’ (1987)

Although Charles T. Gehring calls the game ‘golf’, he talks about the fightings provoked by the game of ‘colf’. When he describes the stick and balls, and the customs to note the scores, it is clear that ‘colf’ is the item. On this page, you’ll find the part of his article, dealing with the game of colf.



August 2021

Miners and jeu de crosse

Miners have probably played an essential role in the survival of the crosse game in the period 1850 - 1950. Among the more than 150.000 miners, several thousand played the game of crosse regularly on winter Sundays, in the fields and wastelands near the mining compounds.
After the war, the game of crosse began to lose much of its glory. Immediately after the end of the war, the demand for coal increased to rebuild Europe. However, the mining profession had lost much of its attraction to local people. Therefore, the mining companies recruited thousands of workers outside Belgium and France. More than 70% of all coal miners were Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Poles, North Africans, etc. These foreign workers were not interested in the traditional game of crosse.
In this contribution, you can follow the rise and fall of the game of crosse.

 
July 2021

The crosse

This month, you find a chapter about the adaptations to the crosse clubs, necessary to handle the new choulettes, developed to get more distance in the field. Interested? Click here.



June 2021

The choulette

Both in our book 'CHOULE The Non-Royal but most Ancient Game of Crosse' (2008) and the publication' Games for Kings & Commoners' (2011), we dealt thoroughly with the 'choulettes' (balls) and 'crosses' (clubs) in the crosse game. In the meantime, we received additional information about the development of choulettes and the necessary adaptation of the crosse clubs in Belgium. Most of the 'advanced knowledge' came from Freddy Gallez, an 'ancient' crosse player from an even more ancient crosse family in the Borinage. Click here if uou are interested in the Belgian development of the balls in the game of crosse
.


May 2021

Clubs de crosse

En mars, j’ai publié l’article sur le développement en Belgique au niveau des choulettes, ce mois-ci vous trouverez l’adaptation des clubs de crosse, conséquence du nouveau matériel utilisé pour les balles. Aussi cet article est écrit en étroite collaboration avec Freddy Gallez.



April 2021

2021 Edition of 'CHOULE The Non-Royal but most Ancient Game of Crosse'

Having sold the last copy of the book 'CHOULE', I decided on a revised edition. In the period 2008 up to 2018, Geert and I made several notes for improvement.
I chose not to update the introduction and the afterword.
Geert wrote the texts, and in these chapters, you find the reasons why over the years, we published our books.
Furthermore, in this extended edition the rules and regulations of the different variants of the crosse game found a place.

Click here if you are interested in this revised, extended and re-designed edition.


March 2021

Choulettes (soules) dans le crossage

Dans notre livre « CHOULE – The Non-Royal but most Ancient Game of Crosse » (2008) comme dans l’ouvrage « Games for Kings & Commoners » (2011) nous avons donné des descriptions approfondies des choulettes (balles) et des crosses (bâtons) dans le jeu de crosse ou le crossage. Entretemps nous avons rencontré quelques personnes bien informées sur le jeu dans le Hainaut belge. Les informations supplémentaires sur le développement des soules et par conséquent sur l’adaptation des bâtons de crosse, nous ont poussés à écrire de nouveau sur ce sujet.

Cliquez ici pour lire l’article dans lequel on partage les observations de Freddy Gallez, ancien crosseur belge.


February 2021

De maliebaan in internationaal perspectief
Oud-Utrecht Jaarboek 2020

Last month, I published the paper 'Mailbahnen als städtebauliche und landschaftsplanerische Innovation im 17. Jahrhundert.', written by Volkmar Eidloth and Hans Renes (2018). They have continued their research which resulted in the paper 'De Maliebaan in internationaal perspectief', published in 'Oud-Utrecht Jaarboek 2020'. The preceding paper was in German, this one is in Netherlandish. So if you are well up on this language,


January 2021

Mailbahnen als städtebauliche und landschaftsplanerische Innovation im 17. Jahrhundert
Siedlungsforschung. Archäologie – Geschichte – Geographie 35, 2018

In December 2019, I made mention of an article of two scientists, Volkmar Eidloth and Hans Renes. In their introduction, they wrote about our trilogy 'Games for Kings & Commoners' as being a true gold mine. These words encouraged me to pick up the 'jeu de mail' (pall mall) findings of my deceased husband Geert and me instead of putting them under a big pile of paper. By now, I found out that it is not as easy as that, but it is a beautiful occupation in this time, where we live from one lockdown into the other. Here you can find the article of Volkmar Eidloth and Hans Renes.



December 2020

Pall Mall in Great Britain?

My husband Geert and I published in 2011 a chapter about 'Pall Mall in Great Britain' in 'Games for Kings & Commoners' (pages 125-137). One of our illustrations was a picture from the 'Chambers Book of Days', as it is popularly called. The depiction visualises King Charles II (1630-1685) during a 'round of jeu de mail (pall mall). 

In this article, I present some other nineteenth-century illustrators, who more or less copied the goal – or even the game? – as depicted in 'Chambers Book of Days', although changing each time the clubs used.



November 2020

Photos du « Sport Universel – Illustré », March 1909 : Chevalier du Bois Roulant

Dans le magazine « Le Sport Universel – Illustré », Paul Hamelle a écrit un article sur le jeu de mail à Montpellier. En mars 1909, sous le nom « Tartarin Sportsman », il remplit trois pages sur le jeu. Fortement intéressant sont surtout les photos lesquelles ont illustrées son article, intitulé « Chevalier du Bois Roulant = Les Petits Jeux de Tartarin ».  Pour les photos, cliquez ici.



October 2020

« Di Giocatori di Palla al maglio » d'Antonfranceso Grazzini
Au 16ème siècle, le jeu de mail était si populaire en Italie, que plusieurs écrivains et poètes le choisi comme sujet de leurs écritures. Le plus vieil ouvrage, que j’ai trouvé, date de 1552 quand Angelo de gl’Oldradi écrivit « Capitolo del Pallamaglio ». Dans un sens satirique, Oldradi décrivit le jeu et sa popularité, en proposant une prohibition. En 1553/1554, il y avait Bartolomeo Ricci qui composa une lettre sur le jeu. Il donnait une description du matériel et du jeu d’une façon assez technique.
Pour le ‘What’s New’ de ce mois, je vous propose le poème « Di Giocatori di Palla al maglio », un poème de Antonfrancesco Grazzini, surnommé Il Lasca, lequel fait partie des « Rimes », édité en 1559 pour la première fois.
Malheureusement, l’italien de cette époque n’est pas facile, raison de plus pour être heureuse que Valerio Vittorini, Professeur d’italien, a trouvé le temps pour faire la traduction de ce poème, un hymne au jeu.


September 2020

Le premier joueur de mail fameux

Sant'Anastasia est une ville italienne, située dans la ville métropolitaine de Naples en Italie.
Une fête y était donnée tous les ans en l’honneur de la Madonna dell’Arco. Ainsi, le lundi de Pâques 1450, la tradition locale rapporte qu'un jeune homme, irrité d'avoir perdu au jeu de mail, jure contre la Madone et lui lance une boule au visage. Aussitôt l'effigie de la Madone se met à saigner de la joue gauche. La foule crie au miracle et, furieuse, demande réparation au jeune joueur de mail qui est emmené devant le comte de Sarno, représentant la justice. Le jeune homme est condamné à la pendaison. Il est pendu à un tilleul, mais l'arbre se ratatine, jusqu'à ce que le jeune joueur soit sauvé devant les yeux de la foule ahurie. Depuis ce miracle, ce lieu n'a cessé d'attirer les foules.
Cette fois, ma contribution porte surtout sur les conséquences de l’acte de folie de ce jeune joueur du jeu de mail.
Huguette Rossi-Kazmierczak a été très gentille de faire une traduction du texte, écrit originellement en italien.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

August 2020

A road ... like any other?

Surfing on the internet for new traces of mail alleys, especially in France, I sometimes come across unknown courses in other countries, where I am not particularly searching. To analyse the over 300 traces found in France is already a “hell of a job” for one person. But whenever I discover a mail course, of course, I take notes; it would be a pity to let such an alley disappear in the mist of time ...
In this contribution, I share with you the information I found about the imperial mail alley at Laxenburg in Austria.


July 2020

Château de Folembray, Aisne 02, Hauts de France

Le château royal de Folembray fut bâti dans le style renaissance sous François 1er entre 1540 et 1552. Incendié en 1552 par les troupes impériales de Marie, reine de Hongrie, partiellement reconstruit par Henri II, le château n'est plus qu'un rendez-vous de chasse qu'occupe Henri IV, roi de France de 1589 à 1610. Sur une gravure de 1626, on voit bien un jeu de mail.

                                                                                                                                                                                               

June 2020

Fact-finding on 'Jeu de Mail' (Pall Mall): Marseille
golfika no. 25, spring 2020

Round the turn of the 17th century, jeu de mail courses were constructed in castle gardens and in towns and villages all over France. These 'boulevards' with a length of 500 to 1,000 metres had only one 'hole'.

There was also the better-known cross-country variant as played in and around Montpellier until the Second World War. This contribution tells about the two public mail courses in Marseille.
                                                                                                                                                                                       

May 2020

Who needs an ‘Aide’ to play the game
Through the Green (TTG), the magazine of the British Golf Collector’s Society, September 2014

Following its publication in 'Games for Kings & Commoners – Part Two' (July 2014), Geert and I published in TTG this chapter about caddies and alike in the continental golf-like games.

In all games, assistants made the game for the players more relaxing and comfortable, but not much is written about the 'verseurs' in jeu de crosse, the 'porte-lèves', 'porte-mails' in mail or about the 'ballemerkers' in colf. Here you can read the result of our research carried out on this aspect of the games.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    

April 2020

I’d like to teach the world to s(w)ing
Through the Green (TTG), the magazine of the British Golf Collector’s Society, June 2014

After having looked through earlier Golfikas, the magazine of the European Association of Golf Historians & Collectors, The Bulletin of the Golf Collectors Society, this time it is TTG's turn.
Preceding its publication in 'Games for Kings & Commoners – Part Two' (July 2014), Geert and I published this chapter in TTG. We have been looking at the teaching methods in the continental golf-like games.
If one wants to improve one's performance on the golf course, there are professionals and facilities to practice what the teacher has told. There are books and magazines, and today's club and ball makers continue to invent new equipment. Not much is known about the 'coaching' of colf, crosse and mail players in the early days of these games; this is all we found.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     

March 2020

Jeu de crosse à Bel’œil (Belgique) en 1901 / Jeu de crosse in Bel’œil (Belgium) in 1901
‘CHOULE – The Non-Royal but most Ancient Game of Crosse’, Geert & Sara Nijs, 2008


On reste dans les anciennes affiches du jeu de crosse.  Cette fois l’affiche annonçant la « Grande Lutte au Jeu de Crosse » dans la ville de Bel’œil en 1901 (avec l’aimable autorisation d’André Auquier, journaliste dans le Borinage, qui nous a quittés au début de l’année 2007). On ne sait rien de ces champions de crosse qui participèrent à ce tournoi. Malheureusement, on ignore qui a gagné le tournoi.
Pour donner une idée de la valeur de la cagnotte de 150 francs, il est intéressant de la comparer au salaire d’un ouvrier de l’époque, qui n’était que de 3 francs par jour.


Here is another old poster, announcing the ‘Great Crosse Match’ in the city of Bel’œil in 1901 (by courtesy of André Auquier, journalist in the Borinage, who has passed away in 2007). Regrettably nothing is known about these top crosseurs who played in this tournament, or who the winners were.
To get an impression of the value of the jackpot it is interesting to make a comparison with the wages of, for example, a labourer, being 3 francs per day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

February 2020

Jeu de crosse à Hornu (Belgique) en 1934 / Jeu de crosse in Hornu (Belgium) in 1934
golfika no. 20, summer 2017


Une ancienne affiche a été retrouvée et publiée dans le magazine
« golfika ». Concernant le jeu de crosse, il n'y a pas beaucoup de telles publications conservées ; vous les trouverez ici.
Si vous ne comprenez pas tout de ce règlement de police, je vous invite à lire ce résumé du livre
« Jeu de Crosse Crossage - A travers les âges ». Bonne lecture !


An old poster has been found and published in the 'golfika' magazine. It is rather exceptional to come across this type of publications; you'll find it here.
If you don't quite understand the 'Police regulations', I invite you to read this article 'JEU DE CROSSE - The non-royal but most ancient game of 'crosse'
, published in the very first 'golfika'. Happy reading!
                                                                                                                                         

January 2020

Early Colf in America
GCS Bulletin, march 2015

When thumbing through earlier GCS Bulletins, published by the Golf Collectors Society, today the Golf Heritage Society, I came across our article about 'Early Colf in America'. The first references to Netherlandish settlers playing colf date from 1650. When in 1667, the Netherlanders were defeated in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the British took over, which was the end of colf in the Americas. Click here if you want to go into the past.


December 2019

Golf History for Golf Historians & Collectors
golfika no. 12, summer 2013

Thumbing through the earlier Golfikas, I found an article about Geert and I discovered this fascinating hobby,which became over the years a nearly full-time pursuit.  

From 2008 on, we published five books. Finally, the 2011 publication of 'Games for Kings & Commoners' (click on the green link above) resulted in a trilogy when followed by Part Two (2014) and Part Three (2015).

Then we decided to concentrate on 'jeu de mail' (pall mall); we gathered quite some information until September 2018, when regrettably, Geert passed away. 

Recently, I decided that it is time to pick up our research instead of putting it under a big pile of paper. Immediate cause was an article of two scientists, Volkmar Eidloth and Hans Renes, in ‘Siedlungsforschung. Archäologie – Geschichte – Geographie 35, 2018, Mailbahnen als städtebauliche und landschaftsplanerische Innovation im 17. Jahrhundert.' (available on the internet in 2021). In their introduction, they called our trilogy 'Games for Kings & Commoners' as being a true gold mine. 

I realized that I have another gold mine; however, still unexploited. I hope to publish this 'mine' in the years to come, for it can help anyone looking for information about jeu de mail.

I am sure that Geert is looking down with pride from the happy 'golfing' grounds!

                                                                                                                                                                         

foot


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