sports

Tourists provided little evidence of Welsh sports.

Quoits, fives, bowling and quintain (gwyntyn, a form of jousting) were certainly practiced in Wales during the 18th century, but rarely mentioned.

Boxing, cock-fighting, bull bating and hare coursing were also very rarely mentioned.

see: Robert, P., (1760-1819), The Cambrian Popular Antiquities : or, An account of some traditions, customs, and superstitions, of Wales, with observations as to their orgin, &c. &c. (London : 1815)

1806
Christopher Lewellyn, informed me, that when he was a young man, the Abbey was the village Fives Court, – a game much in vogue in this part of the kingdom, and the body of the church for playing Coits [quoits]. Before it was removed to its now situation, the effigy of the knight was placed across the nave, and it served as a stop to the Coits when they pitched them. He was many years older than any person I have met with in the neighbourhood, (95)
Heath, Charles, Historical and descriptive accounts of the ancient and present state of Tintern Abbey, p. 73, (p. 72 in 1810 edition)

1809-1811
{Some criticism of cock fighting, bull bating and hare hunting.}
{but hare hunting is spoken of with respect while the others, with boxing, cudgel playing and wrestling are criticised, as are Sunday recreations.}
Games
{Boxing etc. not specifically described but comments on the benefits of being trained in it and following the rules}
Other games: ‘Quoits and skittles I have sometimes though not often observed but Fives may be termed almost a national pursuit’ {for boys and men}. ‘To this sport the churchyard is commonly resorted to, and on this account it is that the windows of the churches are seen to be so frequently secured with shutters. Bowling is pretty generally known, but it is not now much practiced, as most of the greens seen by me have been in a very neglected condition.’
Hall, Edmund Hyde, 1760s?-1824 (He was in the register of admissions to the Middle Temple in 1788), A Description of Caernarvonshire (1809-1811), University College of North Wales, Bangor, Penrhyn add. ms. 2942; Jones, E Gwynne, (ed.), A Description of Caernarvonshire, Transaction of the Caernarfonshire Historical Society, (1952), pp. 315-318

31.5.1819 Aber
‘Whitsun Monday, all the country folks had made a holiday and here in spite of the rain I was entertained with quoits and wrestling before the window of our dining room.’
Jones, Jenkin, (Captain, R.N.), Tour in England and Wales, May – June, 1819, NLW, MS785A, p. 114

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