Bad sports? Puritan attempts to ban games in 17th-century England
Alistair Dougall describes how Puritan attempts to ban games such as football, wrestling and bowling divided the people of England in the 17th century
When London hosted the 2012 Olympics, the nation united behind what David Cameron described as “the greatest show on Earth”. Four hundred years earlier, in 1612, the Cotswolds hosted its own form of olympics, but, not only was it on a vastly smaller scale, it also took place at a time when, far from uniting people, sports and their celebration were hugely divisive.