THE GAME OF BATTLEDORE AND SHUTTLECOCK.
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We know that the game of badminton evolved from the older game of Battledore and Shuttlecock because of an article called ‘Life in a Country House’ in the December 1863 Cornhill magazine. The Cornhill Magazine was a monthly Victorian literary journal. The relevant part to the game of badminton was “If the weather be such as to introduce you to remain within doors, your co-operation will be sought for a game at pool, badminton (which is battledore and shuttlecock played with sides, across a string suspended some 5 feet from the ground), and similar amusements.”
We know the game of ‘battledore and shuttlecock’ was played at Badminton House as early as 1830 because they still have in their possession two old battledores which have inscriptions handwritten in ink on their parchment faces. The oldest reads: ‘Kept with Lady Somerset on Saturday January 12th 1830 to 2117 with… (unreadable)’. The second says: ‘Lady Henrietta Somerset in February 1845 kept up with Beth Mitchell 2018.’
One thing we did notice in the National Badminton Museum, looking through the old press reports from the 1860s/1870s, was that the words ‘battledore and shuttlecock’ were used many times by the legal profession and politicians when describing that something had been passed backwards and forwards many times.