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The English Urban RenaissanceCulture and Society in the Provincial Town 1660-1770$
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Peter Borsay

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202554

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202554.001.0001

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(p.173) 7 Sport
The English Urban Renaissance

Peter Borsay

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses a popular physical recreation: sports. Several sports became popular during the Renaissance. Bat and ball sports, animal sports, and horse-racing all gained popularity during this time. One of the most popular sports during the 17th and early 18th centuries was bowling. Several bowling-green houses were built and could be found in almost every city. Animal sports also became a popular leisure for gentlemen during this period. Cock-fighting grew in popularity also during this time. Aside from cock-fighting, horse-racing gained its popularity primarily as an animal sport for the elites and aristocrats. Indeed, horse-racing was the most rapidly developing and commercially oriented physical recreation during the 18th century.

Keywords:   physical recreation, sports, ball sports, animal sports, horse-racing, recreation, cock-fighting, bowling

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