Here we go again. The English claim that they invented the game of soccer (called football in the UK) in 1848 when students at Cambridge University formulated the first set of rules.

Not so fast England. According to the UKs Daily Record newspaper experts at the Scottish Foodball Museum at Hampden (Hampden Park near Glasgow is considered the national football stadium of Scotland) have discovered evidence of Scottish noblemen playing football with rules three centuries earlier.

Historic documents in the National Library of Scotland (NLS) describe games taking place in castle courtyards where players were only allowed to use their feet and a manuscript exists that showed King James IV of Scotland paid two shillings for a bag of “fut ballis’ as early ast April 11, 1497.

In fact, a leather football in the photograph above was “found in the 1970’s during an excavation at Stirling Castle in Scotland.  It was found in the bedroom used by Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland.  She was the queen from December of 1542 through July of 1567.  It’s made of deerskin with a pig’s bladder inside to allow for inflation.  It is housed at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling, Scotland.” Quote–East Side FC News Blog.

It is also on record that an argument started over a bad tackle that almost led to a dual to the death between the Earl of Bothwell and George Kieth, Mater of Marischal. Fortunately, King James VI (and first of England) was tipped off and put a stop to it.

The NLS has among its collections a Latin text entitled Vocabula, which proves that football was first played in Scotland. The book was first published in 1636 and authored by Aberdeen schoolteacher David Wedderburn.

Click on the link National Library of Scotland to see the book.

You can also click on Daily Record  to read the  article.

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6 Comments on Scots invented soccer in the1400’s

  1. Harri Yule says:

    your actually wrong on so many levels
    The english officially create the game football because they created the first governing body and the first set of LAWS not rules.
    But the scottish weren’t the first to play it either. The earliest game of football recorded was in 1312 in ashbourne england. It was a game of MOB football the first form of the game. this record was unfortunately destroyed in a fire during the 50’s but evidence of its existence stands.
    The other level you are wrong upon is n who and how you claim the rules were made. In actual fact the FA was formed and the first set of laws drawn up was in a pub in 1863 not 48. The second part is who! it wasnt a group of boys from cambridge admittedly there were boys from that uni present but also members of the public schools Rugby, Eaton, Harrow and charterhouse. aswell as many former members of the schools.

    congratulations on getting schooled by an Englishman! 😀

    and if your only come back is to point out my grammatical errors don’t bother im not interested!

  2. Sandy says:

    Good catch Harry! I’ll still check it out. My only comeback is your last name Yule, also spelled Yuill and part of the Scottish Buchanan clan.

  3. Harri Yule says:

    I am aware go my Scottish Herritage :) didn’t know the clan but do now so are you Scottish?

  4. Harrison Yule says:

    search for royal Shrovetide football in Google and look at the Wikipedia page

  5. Sandy says:

    Scottish/American. One of my ancestors was clan chieftain of the Buchanan clan. Thanks Harri I’ll do the research on Google.

  6. mbradbury says:

    Mr Yule needs to do a lot more research before attempting to ‘correct’ somebody!
    A set of rules for play were drawn up in 1848 which invloved footballers from Cambridge University and Shrewsbury Public School amongst others. These rules are archived at Shrewsbury.Many versions of ‘football’ have been played over the centuries, including Ghenghis Khans warriors using the enemy chieftains head as the ball ! Chinese men played a version of keep-uppy, where the idea was to stand around in a circle and foot juggle the ball so that it never touched the ground. In the 17th century, the Italians played a mob game of ‘Calcio’ where two sides of about 25 men played with enclosed courtyard walls in Florence.Organised football as we would recognise it was being palyed in Scotland and England during the 1850s and 1860s both by commoners and public schools, but when schools tried to play each other they found that each one had its own set and wouldnt budge from them. This led to the 1st attempt (1848) and subsequent attempts to unify the rules across the land, which were almost made obligatory when the FA created the FA Cup in 1871, as you had to use FA rules in order to take part. Try my book “Lost Teams of the Midlands” (Amazon) to read more.

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