The National Badminton Museum has discovered through the Newspaper.com website, an article in the Wednesday 23 December 1863 Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, which had published part of an article called “Life in a Country House” from the December 1863 Cornhill Magazine. The Cornhill Magazine was a monthly Victorian literary journal. The relevant part to the game of badminton is “If the weather be such as to introduce you to remain within doors, your co-operation will be sought for the 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.”
The present-day game of badminton developed from this much older game of ‘battledore and shuttlecock’. Badminton was being played in at least 1863 and may be a few years before that.
Many Badminton historians and coaching books have said that badminton started in 1873. The National Badminton Museum has managed to purchase for its reference library a Cornhill Magazine book July to December 1863. This book has the complete article of “Life in a Country House”.
The old battledore which has the inscriptions handwritten in ink on its parchment face.
Photos: – Geoff Hinder.