History of English Lawn Tennis – 1413 AD

History of English Lawn Tennis – 1413 AD

Royal interest in Real Tennis began with Henry V (1413–22) but it was Henry VIII (1509–47) who made the biggest impact as a immature monarch, playing the game with propensity at Hampton Court on a justice he had built in 1530, and on several other courts in his palaces. It is believed that his second mother Anne Boleyn was examination a game of real tennis when she was arrested and that Henry was playing tennis when news was brought to him of her execution. During the power of James I (1603–25), there were 14 courts in London.Today Real Tennis is still played at Hampton Court including by English Royalty like Prince Edward.

In England, during the 18th century and early 19th century as real tennis bacame less popular, 3 other racquet sports emerged: Racquets, Squash Racquets and Lawn Tennis (the complicated game).

Its establishment as the complicated sport can be antiquated to two separate inventions. Between 1859 and 1865, in Birmingham, England, Major Harry Gem, a barrister combined elements of the game of rackets and played it on a croquet weed in Edgbaston. In 1872, he changed to Leamington Spa and in 1874, with two doctors from the Warneford Hospital, founded the world’s first tennis club. The Courier of 23 Jul 1884 available one of the first tennis tournaments, held in the drift of Shrubland Hall.

In Dec 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield devised a similar game for the entertainment of his guest at a grassed area celebration on his estate of Nantclwyd in Llanelidan, Wales. He based the game on the comparison Real tennis. At the idea of Arthur Balfour, Wingfield declared it “lawn tennis,” and law the game in 1874 with an eight-page rule book patrician “Sphairistike or Lawn Ten-nis”, but he failed to attain in enforcing his patent.

Dates of first Tennis Grand Slams

1877 Wimbledon UK Championships and is played on grass.

1881 US Open Championships and played on weed until in 1977 on clay court.

1891 French Open Championships and played on weed until 1912 on clay court.

1905 Australian Open Championship and played on weed until 1988 on hard court.

In 1877 the All England Croquet Club rigourously changed its name to the All England Croquet Lawn tennis Club and held the first Lawn tennis Championship in Jul 1877. The arbitrate was Henry Jones who devised the manners for the contest with the help of a 2 man committee. Players were made to change ends after each set , matches were the best of 5 sets. Twenty two men entered the first championship.

The figure of the justice changed from hourglass to the complicated rectangular. The net was 5ft tall at the posts and in the 3 ft 3in at the centre. The first champion was Spencer Gore.It always amazes me how from a little Island like England we combined and gave the world over 100 sports and games that have dominated the world. My family tree has been traced back to the early Kings of England from the 7th. Century AD. This has given me an interest in English story and the sports England have created.

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