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book of sports

book of sports. Sunday, the one non-working day in the week, was traditionally a time for recreation, but puritan clergy and local officials, equating it with the sabbath, kept it ‘holy’ by banning customary pastimes. This threatened to alienate public sentiment from the established church and to endanger social stability by dividing communities. In 1618, therefore, James I issued a declaration asserting the right of all persons to engage in ‘lawful recreation’ on Sundays after divine service. Charles I reissued this ‘book of sports’ in 1633, thereby further widening the gap between royal government and the ‘godly’.

Roger Lockyer

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