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Croquet: the Queen of Sports and Pastimes

Posted in games, Historical articles, History on Wednesday, 19 February 2014

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A Fight to a Finish; Victorian children playing croquet

Croquet appears to have developed from the Restoration game of paille-maille or Pall Mall, which historians believe was brought to England from the French court where the exiled Stuarts bided their time during the Interregnum. It was during the Victorian era, however, that the game became popular, and indeed in the 1860s became something of a craze among the middle and upper classes. A set of rules was published in 1856, and just over a decade later plans were made for the All Comers’ Croquet Tournament of 1868, in which same year the All England Croquet Club was founded in a South London suburb more associated with lawn tennis – Wimbledon.

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