Chapter 242 – Forest Flowers Banned

Malcolm Anderson, Iain Falcon, and I retire to the drawing-room, where I decant Kilnave whisky into three crystal tumblers. Light dances through the crisscrossed mosaic lines as we raise our glasses and toast the 1872 Open Championship.

“What’s Malcolm’s new job?” enquired Iain.

“Malcolm is a journalist. We met at Kennington Oval in February, where England again tried to organise an international football match.”

“And the rest they say is history.”, laughed Malcolm.

“We have played football on these lands for over five hundred years.”, I continued.

“How do you know this?” asked Iain.

“James I of Scotland decreed in 1424, ‘king forbiddis that na man play at the fut ball under the payne of iiij’. The ban meant anyone caught playing football would be fined four pence. The King wanted archers for his army; however people were missing military practice, preferring to play football instead.”

“The Football Act of 1424 is the first time football is mentioned in law, anywhere in the world, and in 1457, James II added golf to the list of banned sports.”, said Malcolm.

“Golf is understood as a Scottish game. This game flourishes under the leadership of its clubs, creating open championships, and we must learn from them.”, I said.

“Football is my new world. People need to read all about it.”, said Malcolm.

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