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Hockey Invented In England ... Not Canada

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08-02-2014, 01:12 AM
  #426
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Except for the fact that we can draw a straight line back through history, from the hockey that is discussed on this site back those guys playing in Montreal in the 1870s. Tracing lines back farther than that seems to remain an exercise in possibilities and influences - not "invention".

Are you saying the game was invented, de novo, in Montreal in the 1870s?

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08-02-2014, 01:19 AM
  #427
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If we were transported back to 1855 Halifax & saw kids skating on a pond with sticks, batting a ball around, and we asked them "whats the name of this game your playing"? How many do you think answer "shinty" or "rickets" & how many do you think would answer with "hockey"?... If we did the same thing today, kids or adults playing on a pond or pickup at a rink, the answers obviously "hockey" & they arent playing full~on Rule Book. Technically in both cases their playing "Shinny Hockey" but so what if they just answer "hockey"?. Loose term. Context. Requires flexibility but regardless, strikes me a moot point to even be discussing.
I feel reasonably confident that, before the "information age", they would certainly have answered "pond hockey" or "shinny", but the 1800s is a loooong way back. To us the distinction might have been whether anyone was "keeping track" of anything (score, time, whatever) or not, or whether there was even an element of "teams" to begin with (though "shinny", aka beer league/pickup hockey, pretty much always separates into teams unless not enough people show up).

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08-02-2014, 01:23 AM
  #428
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Are you saying the game was invented, de novo, in Montreal in the 1870s?
No, that someone could have come up with the idea earlier, but there has to be some kind of direct link to Montreal in the 1870s because Montreal in the 1870s is directly linked to the game whose invention we're trying to investigate. Inspiration and influence AREN'T invention, they precipitate it.

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08-02-2014, 10:04 AM
  #429
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Are you saying the game was invented, de novo, in Montreal in the 1870s?
Moving participation indoors during non daylight conditions, to a rink with lighting defined boundaries and concern for spectator safety, comfort grew ice hockey.

Previously working or studying adults were limited in time during a five and a half to six day work week to a few daylight hours. Indoors adults could play beyond 4PM to roughly 11PM Monday thru Saturday. Also true for various other winter activities. Previously ice skating, ice dancing, curling, etc were very limited activities for adults who worked or studied. Indoor venues offered protection from the elements AND approximately 35-40 hours of extra playing time a week.

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08-02-2014, 11:04 AM
  #430
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Except for the fact that we can draw a straight line back through history, from the hockey that is discussed on this site back those guys playing in Montreal in the 1870s.
We can trace it back, but this absolutely does not mean that the game played today is the same as the game played then. The game has changed over time. Hockey played in Canada in the 1870s bears far more resemblance to hockey played on the ice in England in the 1870s than it does to hockey played in the 1970s.

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
.... yes of of course, agree, but I believe your being far too strict with what was essentially an in~country term for a game that was an amalgamation of various formal sports played casually.
Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying - I'm not suggesting that one of these definitions of hockey is correct and the other is not. They are both correct, but they refer to different things and we cannot pretend that they don't.

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08-02-2014, 11:07 AM
  #431
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
No, that someone could have come up with the idea earlier, but there has to be some kind of direct link to Montreal in the 1870s because Montreal in the 1870s is directly linked to the game whose invention we're trying to investigate. Inspiration and influence AREN'T invention, they precipitate it.
There is a direct link to Montréal, as is even discussed in On the Origin of Hockey. Montréal was not the first place that someone thought to put hockey on ice, but it was the place where it really took as a sport, and took off. There's no denying that.

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08-02-2014, 11:30 AM
  #432
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I've not had the opportunity to read the book. In the interview one of the authors had with the CBC that I linked to earlier, he stated that the game in Nova Scotia "came from England". For those who have read the book, could you explain how the authors describe the process by which a game played at the turn of the 19th century by Irish and Scottish immigrants in Nova Scotia, using Irish and Scottish terminology (and some developed by themselves), "came from England"?

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08-02-2014, 11:58 AM
  #433
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Depends on what you mean by the word hockey. No one seems to want to define the word as they're using it here, and that really hampers discussion when there is more than one possible meaning.
.... not at all. And so I ask you for your definition....

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Im not following you Iain.... you'll have to expand upon that statement & perhaps start by explaining what your definition of "hockey" is?
... replying with...

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
There are at least two: one referring to the general class of games that involve hitting a thing with a stick, another referring to the sport that we now call hockey. It used to be a general term, now it's a specific one. You just have to make sure you know which term you're using.
... and in response...

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Well sure. Shinny Hockey or Hockey. The former casual & general, the latter formal. Wheres the confusion? Its all about context.
... to wit...

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Yes, that's the point. There have been various claims made in this thread about what is and is not hockey. Someone tried to define hockey as "NOT hurling, field hockey, bandy or even shinty". But using the broader definition of hockey, bandy (at least) was hockey. (And if you don't require ice, they are all arguably hockey). It's only the more restrictive definition that we would use for modern hockey that would exclude bandy, and that definition doesn't generally have much relevance to a discussion of the game in the 1870s, where no version of the game would meet a definition of modern hockey.
... absolutely, as per this...

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
.... yes of of course, agree, but I believe your being far too strict with what was essentially an in~country term for a game that was an amalgamation of various formal sports played casually. If we were transported back to 1855 Halifax & saw kids skating on a pond with sticks, batting a ball around, and we asked them "whats the name of this game your playing"? How many do you think answer "shinty" or "rickets" & how many do you think would answer with "hockey"?... If we did the same thing today, kids or adults playing on a pond or pickup at a rink, the answers obviously "hockey" & they arent playing full~on Rule Book. Technically in both cases their playing "Shinny Hockey" but so what if they just answer "hockey"?. Loose term. Context. Requires flexibility but regardless, strikes me a moot point to even be discussing.
... and your follow~up....

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
We can trace it back, but this absolutely does not mean that the game played today is the same as the game played then. The game has changed over time. Hockey played in Canada in the 1870s bears far more resemblance to hockey played on the ice in England in the 1870s than it does to hockey played in the 1970s.


Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying - I'm not suggesting that one of these definitions of hockey is correct and the other is not. They are both correct, but they refer to different things and we cannot pretend that they don't.
First bolded absolutely along with rest of that paragraph agreed. Why re~state the obvious? Already addressed & discussed above. Im not misinterpreting and I agree. "They are both correct, but they refer to different things and we cannot pretend that they dont". So who's pretending they are? Me?... pretty clear Im not. No such nebulous claims from me.... lets move things along please. Everyone "gets" that.

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08-02-2014, 12:52 PM
  #434
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Originally Posted by Uncle Rotter View Post
I've not had the opportunity to read the book. In the interview one of the authors had with the CBC that I linked to earlier, he stated that the game in Nova Scotia "came from England". For those who have read the book, could you explain how the authors describe the process by which a game played at the turn of the 19th century by Irish and Scottish immigrants in Nova Scotia, using Irish and Scottish terminology (and some developed by themselves), "came from England"?
Yes, very curious indeed. Backing up a bit, emigration from Scotland to Northern Ireland had been ongoing for just over 200 years prior to the 18th Century (a story in itself & no need to get into all of that here & now) and between the beginning of the Colonial period and the dawning of the 20th Century, starting in around 1760 over 500,000 Ulster Scots (Irish but with Scottish backgrounds) emigrated to Canada; landing in Halifax Nova Scotia, settling there along with PEI & New Brunswick. Some as well had come up through New Hampshire in the US having already emigrated 40 years earlier, the town there named Londonderry after their forebearers & in Nova Scotia as well, the area in which a large % settled, town established and called Londonderry. In the decades that followed several more massive waves, 1840's huge influx to Canada departing from Belfast with a large % settling in P.E.I.; wave upon wave fanning out across the country.

These were not wealthy individuals, quite the contrary. They were escaping what was or could become generational poverty in a vast majority of the cases. New Horizons, free~land, new lives. They wouldve had absolutely no exposure whatsoever to British sport & the niceities of society (n fact quite the opposite, bootheel on throat) nor ever even traveled to England prior to emigration. They'd obviously either played themselves or were well aware of Irish Hurley, stick & ball on ice games, skating. Its not like they were copying something conceived of & exported from England to Northern Ireland & earlier Scotland, and thats just amongst Ulster Scots, the Irish. There were other waves from Scotland itself heading for Nova Scotia. The argument bound to follow here is that "no, they were playing Hurley, entirely different game"..... Well sorry, disagree, as in not so much. What they were playing in early Nova Scotia they apparently called Rickets & not Hurley, and that they often referred to it as Hockey. Not formal hockey, what we would absolutely recognize today if we traveled back to Long Pond or wherever the game was being played in the Maritimes as Shinny. Also entirely possible to probable to very very likely what we would call Shinny being played in New Hampshire, anywhere that the Ulster Scots, Scots or Irish landed in the New World where conditions permitted. Never mind that they used hand carved short sticks & a ball, never mind if half or all the players were skateless. Pickup hockey. Shinny. Informal.

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08-02-2014, 02:30 PM
  #435
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Yes, very curious indeed. Backing up a bit, emigration from Scotland to Northern Ireland had been ongoing for just over 200 years prior to the 18th Century (a story in itself & no need to get into all of that here & now) and between the beginning of the Colonial period and the dawning of the 20th Century, starting in around 1760 over 500,000 Ulster Scots (Irish but with Scottish backgrounds) emigrated to Canada; landing in Halifax Nova Scotia, settling there along with PEI & New Brunswick. Some as well had come up through New Hampshire in the US having already emigrated 40 years earlier, the town there named Londonderry after their forebearers & in Nova Scotia as well, the area in which a large % settled, town established and called Londonderry. In the decades that followed several more massive waves, 1840's huge influx to Canada departing from Belfast with a large % settling in P.E.I.; wave upon wave fanning out across the country.

These were not wealthy individuals, quite the contrary. They were escaping what was or could become generational poverty in a vast majority of the cases. New Horizons, free~land, new lives. They wouldve had absolutely no exposure whatsoever to British sport & the niceities of society (n fact quite the opposite, bootheel on throat) nor ever even traveled to England prior to emigration. They'd obviously either played themselves or were well aware of Irish Hurley, stick & ball on ice games, skating. Its not like they were copying something conceived of & exported from England to Northern Ireland & earlier Scotland, and thats just amongst Ulster Scots, the Irish. There were other waves from Scotland itself heading for Nova Scotia. The argument bound to follow here is that "no, they were playing Hurley, entirely different game"..... Well sorry, disagree, as in not so much. What they were playing in early Nova Scotia they apparently called Rickets & not Hurley, and that they often referred to it as Hockey. Not formal hockey, what we would absolutely recognize today if we traveled back to Long Pond or wherever the game was being played in the Maritimes as Shinny. Also entirely possible to probable to very very likely what we would call Shinny being played in New Hampshire, anywhere that the Ulster Scots, Scots or Irish landed in the New World where conditions permitted. Never mind that they used hand carved short sticks & a ball, never mind if half or all the players were skateless. Pickup hockey. Shinny. Informal.
You and Uncle Rotter touch on a very important point - the distinction between the Irish, the Scots and the English. People tend to place all under the British or English umbrella when in fact the three groups are very distinct.

In Montreal the Irish and Scots assimilated very easily into the French environment, especially in the East End. The English did not have this facility.

This has to be considered when looking at the provenance of early Montreal hockey players, post 1870. Assuming that a Morgan, McDonald, King, etc was English speaking is not always a safe assumption.

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08-02-2014, 02:59 PM
  #436
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You and Uncle Rotter touch on a very important point - the distinction between the Irish, the Scots and the English. People tend to place all under the British or English umbrella when in fact the three groups are very distinct.

In Montreal the Irish and Scots assimilated very easily into the French environment, especially in the East End. The English did not have this facility.

This has to be considered when looking at the provenance of early Montreal hockey players, post 1870. Assuming that a Morgan, McDonald, King, etc was English speaking is not always a safe assumption.
Oh absolutely. Montreal, Quebec & Ottawa (including the Ottawa Valley region) where names like Tommy Gorman, Paddy Moran, King Clancy etc were not only of Scots/Irish, Ulster Scot or of pure Irish or Scottish descent, they could just as easily be either bilingual or entirely Francophone if after 1-2-3 generations the family hadnt moved out of french enclaves in Quebec (or Lower Canada including Ottawa & environs) and dropped the usage of the english language entirely.

Even to this day 1000's upon 1000's of francophones with Irish or Scots last names, even surnames of a forebearer, a Great Great Grandfather or whatever. Ive encountered this frequently. Someone named for example Mike Ryan or whatever. Francophone with English his second language, and in some cases strictly Francophone (though you dont encounter that much anymore). Now the English, those from England proper, no, they did not assimilate as naturally, as flexibly & as comfortably as the Scots/Irish.

Indeed, no small amount of resentments & long standing enmities towards the English & Great Britain in Lower Canada in particular and not only amongst the French Canadian population but so too the Irish & Scottish. To suggest that they would "fully embrace" a British game in its entirety, well, anyone suggesting that I would suggest should perhaps check their history a little more thoroughly. Its for these reasons amongst others that I for one while acknowledging & recognizing Englands contributions in terms of the development of the early game stop well short of giving them full accreditation for laying claim to being "The Birthplace of Hockey".

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08-02-2014, 03:32 PM
  #437
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Oh absolutely. Montreal, Quebec & Ottawa (including the Ottawa Valley region) where names like Tommy Gorman, Paddy Moran, King Clancy etc were not only of Scots/Irish, Ulster Scot or of pure Irish or Scottish descent, they could just as easily be either bilingual or entirely Francophone if after 1-2-3 generations the family hadnt moved out of french enclaves in Quebec (or Lower Canada including Ottawa & environs) and dropped the usage of the english language entirely.

Even to this day 1000's upon 1000's of francophones with Irish or Scots last names, even surnames of a forebearer, a Great Great Grandfather or whatever. Ive encountered this frequently. Someone named for example Mike Ryan or whatever. Francophone with English his second language, and in some cases strictly Francophone (though you dont encounter that much anymore). Now the English, those from England proper, no, they did not assimilate as naturally, as flexibly & as comfortably as the Scots/Irish.

Indeed, no small amount of resentments & long standing enmities towards the English & Great Britain in Lower Canada in particular and not only amongst the French Canadian population but so too the Irish & Scottish. To suggest that they would "fully embrace" a British game in its entirety, well, anyone suggesting that I would suggest should perhaps check their history a little more thoroughly. Its for these reasons amongst others that I for one while acknowledging & recognizing Englands contributions in terms of the development of the early game stop well short of giving them full accreditation for laying claim to being "The Birthplace of Hockey".
Until 1997 the province of Québec featured a confessional school system. Roman Catholic and Protestant as opposed to French and English. Likewise churches, families would choose their parish based on religion not language. Catholic parents would often send their children to the nearest Catholic school regardless of whether it was French or English speaking.

In this context saying that a French Catholic parish or school team was strictly French speaking or an English Catholic parish or school team was strictly English speaking is rather dubious.

Through in the fact that St. Henri youngsters could play in Westmount and you have some rather unique situations(Richard Lord is a relatively modern version)

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08-02-2014, 03:44 PM
  #438
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Originally Posted by Uncle Rotter View Post
I've not had the opportunity to read the book. In the interview one of the authors had with the CBC that I linked to earlier, he stated that the game in Nova Scotia "came from England". For those who have read the book, could you explain how the authors describe the process by which a game played at the turn of the 19th century by Irish and Scottish immigrants in Nova Scotia, using Irish and Scottish terminology (and some developed by themselves), "came from England"?
No, because that was simply a slip of the tongue. The author meant to say "Great Britain and Ireland" and instead said "England", such a thing can easily happen in interviews. This is why you read the book rather than relying on what is said about the book.

(As to how I know this was a slip of the tongue, that's easy. The author told me himself.)

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08-02-2014, 03:46 PM
  #439
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Why re~state the obvious? Already addressed & discussed above. Im not misinterpreting and I agree. "They are both correct, but they refer to different things and we cannot pretend that they dont". So who's pretending they are? Me?... pretty clear Im not. No such nebulous claims from me.... lets move things along please. Everyone "gets" that.
I didn't say it was you. I stated quite specifically that someone had, in this thread, 'defined' hockey as ""NOT hurling, field hockey, bandy or even shinty." So my response to you was to illustrate to those reading the thread that the term is thrown around without actually being defined, and that often results in confusion.

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08-02-2014, 03:55 PM
  #440
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To suggest that they would "fully embrace" a British game in its entirety, well, anyone suggesting that I would suggest should perhaps check their history a little more thoroughly.
Which can easily be interpreted as evidence that early Montréal hockey was not really shinny, or hurley, but that it was based on an English game. It took some time for the Irish contingent of the city to embrace the game, for example. As Donald Guay points out, the AAA and Victorias teams represented the English while the Shamrocks represented the Irish, and the Shamrocks did not join senior hockey until the 1890s.

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Its for these reasons amongst others that I for one while acknowledging & recognizing Englands contributions in terms of the development of the early game stop well short of giving them full accreditation for laying claim to being "The Birthplace of Hockey".
Careful, if you're referring to On the Origin of Hockey, you're misrepresenting (or at least misunderstanding) the argument. England was only the "birthplace of hockey" in the sense of it being the earliest place that we have documentary evidence of a sport being played that meets certain criteria. No claim is made that the rapid growth of the game in Montréal was precipitated in England, in fact quite the opposite.

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08-02-2014, 06:24 PM
  #441
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Its for these reasons amongst others that I for one while acknowledging & recognizing Englands contributions in terms of the development of the early game stop well short of giving them full accreditation for laying claim to being "The Birthplace of Hockey".
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Careful, if you're referring to On the Origin of Hockey, you're misrepresenting (or at least misunderstanding) the argument. England was only the "birthplace of hockey" in the sense of it being the earliest place that we have documentary evidence of a sport being played that meets certain criteria. No claim is made that the rapid growth of the game in Montréal was precipitated in England, in fact quite the opposite.
Did I cite the authors specifically?.... The title of this thread says what? Hockey Invented in England... Not Canada. The book were discussing "On the Origins of Hockey" after Darwin's theory & his letter of 1853... Seems to me you should take issue with the Thread Title huh?.... the authors have exhaustively researched the history of the unique to England game of stick/ball/bung on~ice. Wonderful. That hockey in England, and a game played with Rules pre-dates Montreal's and in meeting the criteria of it being played under formal rules beats Canada to the punch as laying claim to being the first place a game was played under rules & recorded.... Got it. Not hard to follow. So I guess Im not misunderstanding this therefore I must be misrepresenting things. Is that correct?

Well allow me to just clear that up for you Iain. The authors themselves state that the evidence is not empirical, nor is the evidence that theyve turned up & over in anyway representative of a "smoking gun" as one of them called it in an interview. That its not a smoking gun. They do not claim that hockey was invented in England but thats the way its been interpreted whether they like it or not. Look at how the Sun reporter approaches it, how almost every interviewer & report on it has done so. Why? Sensationalism. Terrific publicity for the book to let that just spin yes? Good job. I dig it. The authors however seem completely open minded about it, that its open ended despite finding lots of evidence that a game played in England was referred to as hockey long before even 1853. Game was being played. By them Im referring to journalists & reviewers who take that tack, that the game was "invented" in England or that England itself could lay claim to inventing the game. Them. Not the authors of On the Origin of Hockey. Clear now?

These games referred to as hockey in England & in Canada were occurring simultaneously in their own little bubbles, in vacuums disconnected from one another. That evolved naturally & organically following similar paths, much as Darwins Theory of Evolution postulates of the natural world. So. Based on that, its my belief that the Scots/Irish who emigrated to Canada in the Colonial era & through the 19th Century who would not have had any exposure, experience or even knowledge of the English version of hockey but who had their own games (Hurley) & brought them along, melded with various other games. Amalgamated. Bit of Shinty, bit of Bandy, bit of Lacrosse, bit of Hurley etc. With the local cultures, Lacrosse, the French as well who very very very likely had their own versions of stick/ball/ice games. Its not a game of pure pedigree. Canadas' games a Mutt. Heinz57. Country~stew. Uniquely Canadian. New invention. Twists to older games. Englands game of hockey while similar to Canadas', unique to the areas, regions, of time & place. Obviously never really blossoming nor embraced & for a variety of reasons. Whatever it was that youd like to call it, withered on the vine, died, totally eclipsed by the uniquely Canadian game and very early on. So to anyone claiming or suggesting that England invented the game, that it even matters if a game was played under rules & recorded over there, not so much, and it doesnt matter or a change a thing. Never took flight. That game is extinct. Went the way of the DoDo.


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08-02-2014, 10:35 PM
  #442
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Did I cite the authors specifically?
This is why I prefaced my statement with "if". No need to get bent out of shape about it.

But now that I read it again, grammatically your "them" could only mean "England" or "the English", when you say "...recognizing Englands contributions in terms of the development of the early game stop well short of giving them full accreditation for laying claim to being "The Birthplace of Hockey", since the journalists certainly are not claiming to be the birthplace of hockey. But you meant to say "...for laying claim to it being..." is that right?

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So to anyone claiming or suggesting that England invented the game, that it even matters if a game was played under rules & recorded over there, not so much, and it doesnt matter or a change a thing. Never took flight. That game is extinct. Went the way of the DoDo.
If you want to say that the thread title should be "Ice hockey first played in England", I'd agree to that, but I had nothing to do with the thread title and I'm not a mod. But I think the suggestion that this fact does not matter is rather overreaching. I don't know why we should restrict our historical study to Canada. Things that are now extinct were once extant, and studying them from the perspective of their time is important.

Moreover, one could easily make the argument that the early hockey as it was played in Canada no longer exists either. The game is very different today from what it was in the 1870s. I suspect you would not argue that it therefore does not matter. The mere fact that something no longer exists does not mean it is unimportant to study.

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08-03-2014, 08:48 AM
  #443
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Hi, I'm new to this forum but have been following this thread on and off since it started, and more regularly in the last week or so. I'm one of the authors (the Canadian one) of On the Origin of Hockey, and the one who gave most interviews. I certainly appreciate that there are people interested in this topic.

First, let me clear up a couple of mistakes I made during interviews:

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I've not had the opportunity to read the book. In the interview one of the authors had with the CBC that I linked to earlier, he stated that the game in Nova Scotia "came from England".
While I have not re-listened to the interview to be sure, if I was really talking about the game(s) in Nova Scotia, then I definitely meant to say (as Iain Fyffe relayed), "from Great Britain and Ireland". As Iain mentioned, the book is a better source than anything said or written about the book, even by me, as my interviews did not have the benefit of being proofed by the three co-authors. In fact, if you read page 247 of the book, you'll see that, as part of chapter 13 "The Expansion Years", dedicated to how hockey made its way to Canada, we write that "That province [Nova Scotia] - or, at the time, colony - had immigrants of many origins." We then proceed to mention Irish immigrants, and further, Scottish immigrants.

Much earlier in this thread, someone also pointed out that I had said, in a different interview, that Charles Darwin went to school in Shrewsbury between 1808 and 1815. Of course, I should have said 1818-1825, as the book says. The reason for that error (which I realized less than a minute after making it, and which I admitted on my Facebook page just hours after the interview was broadcast) is that one of the dates I was often giving during interviews was 1908, the date of the creation of the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, and so when I wanted to say 1818, I had 1908 in mind, and it came out as 1808. Nobody is perfect...

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Well allow me to just clear that up for you Iain. The authors themselves state that the evidence is not empirical, nor is the evidence that theyve turned up & over in anyway representative of a "smoking gun" as one of them called it in an interview.
I definitely want to address that. The term "smoking gun" has been used in the book and in interviews in one context and one context only. The book proposes a new etymology for the word "hockey", that it came from words derived from "hock ale", a kind of ale brewed during the hocktide festival (ale that, in some cases, was even called "hocky", a term which itself at some point was one of the numerous ways of designating a state of drunkennes). We said that we believed this new etymology was more plausible than any of the pre-existing ones (and, I would add here, especially those that come from Canada), but we also said that we could not be 100% sure of it, as we had no "smoking gun". We even describe, in the book, what such a "smoking gun" would be, for this particular theory.

For the rest of the book, i.e. the fact that hockey played in Canada came from England (and other similar games played elsewhere in Canada came from Great Britain and Ireland), we have no doubt, though we're open to be presented with evidence contradicting ours.

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Based on that, its my belief that the Scots/Irish who emigrated to Canada in the Colonial era & through the 19th Century who would not have had any exposure, experience or even knowledge of the English version of hockey but who had their own games (Hurley) & brought them along, melded with various other games. Amalgamated. Bit of Shinty, bit of Bandy, bit of Lacrosse, bit of Hurley etc. With the local cultures, Lacrosse, the French as well who very very very likely had their own versions of stick/ball/ice games. Its not a game of pure pedigree. Canadas' games a Mutt. Heinz57. Country~stew. Uniquely Canadian. New invention. Twists to older games. Englands game of hockey while similar to Canadas', unique to the areas, regions, of time & place. Obviously never really blossoming nor embraced & for a variety of reasons.
I have to disagree with all of that quote. A group of anglophones in Montreal adopt the name ("hockey") AND the rules of a game played in England (the "mother country"), a game that is extremely popular over there, both on the ground and on ice (with skates), but in the absence of any solid evidence, you suggest that the game played in Montreal in 1875 was a mish-mash of all sorts of games? We've provided, in the book, over a hundred references, not to mention the ones we did not use. Do you have references for your own theory? In particular, what evidence do you have that "the French [...] very very very likely had their own versions of stick/ball/ice games"? Because a few people have looked very hard for it. Michel Vigneault, whose 2001 doctorate thesis was on the beginning of organized hockey in Montreal, finds a first trace of hockey among francophones in 1892. I can tell you that, in Montreal, in 1875, a group of English Canadians would have not cared much for what the French (Canadians) were doing or how they were doing it.

Want to know how popular (ice) hockey was in England at the time? Check this reference from The Standard (London), published in December 29, 1873:

"There is no ice at present, so that hockey, one of the best games imaginable on skates, as had no trial this year."

Note that they call it "hockey", not "hockey on the ice", or "ice hockey". Just "hockey", exactly as they would do 14 months and five days later in Montreal. (And that was not an exception: in most cases, English references of the time to hockey played on ice with skates simply used the term "hockey".)

The author of the article then goes on suggesting that "the Yankees cut through the Isthmus of Panama in a fit of spite and divert the Gulf Stream into the Pacific; then we might get some winters like they have in Moscow."

It looks to me like a game that Montrealers, having a climate perfectly suited for it, would want to import "as is". And all evidence is that they did. Why would they have thought of using English (field) hockey rules in the first place, if they did not recognize that the game was popular (and relatively well defined) in England?

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08-03-2014, 12:13 PM
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I have to disagree with all of that quote....
Interesting, and Welcome to hfBoards Ognir Rrats!. Thanks for the book, taking the time to join & in replying, engaging. Great to have one of the researchers & authors posting helping us all out in clarifying content. How you arrived at your conclusions, source materials etc.... and so you "disagree" with my little theory do you?

Thats cool. And no, I dont have "sources" to back it up. Im no researcher/author. Opinion only. Its a hypothetical arrived at through critical thought & common sense (or what passes for common sense from my perspective, which may or may not be shared by others.. no matter). I havent read Vigneaults Doctorate Thesis and therefore cant comment on it, however I can comment on your statement that "in 1875 (Montreal) a group of English Canadians would not have cared what the French (Canadians) were doing or how they were doing it". I think your way off base in concluding that.

What your saying is that Creighton & his colleagues at McGill, in a sort of vacuum, an island of academic pursuit so far removed from the social & cultural influences swirling around Montreal (combined with their personal experiences from Nova Scotia having played the game as kids, and who wouldve learned it themselves from older generations) that they directly imported the game of hockey as it was played in England lock, stock & barrel yes?. Not buying it. What they did do quite obviously was to use the Field Hockey Rule Book as a template (with some tweaks) in crafting the Rules formally for their Exhibition Games, play in general. They did not however have both hands on the wheel in doing so, and I'll explain what I mean by that.

Consider the physical aspects of play, actual execution beyond the dry as dust Rule Book. Another matter altogether, and its there that disagreement lies. Its my contention that un~like the British version in its purest form the game while "intended" by Creighton & his fellow McGill students to follow same was in fact well past that point of no return as the game of shinny hockey, otherwise called Rickets or whatever other kind of terminology/name you wanna call it had been played on North American soil for decades previously. Brought over by the Ulster Scots, the Irish & Scots, a parallel & entirely separate channel of development from the English game which was almost exclusive to the Upper Classes in England. Rickets, Hurley, these were a "peoples game". No class distinction. Everyone & anyone playing it. It wasnt exclusive, it was inclusive.

Emigre's from Northern Ireland & Scotland to Nova Scotia & Lower Canada during the Colonization period had a lot more in common with the pre-existant French Canadian population than they did with the British. Their reality every day was in living with them, working with them, learning the language, co-mingling & marrying, attending eventually the same Churches & going to school together, sharing the same hopes, dreams & aspirations and most importantly, playing together. And that would have, had to have included shinny hockey (Im not concerned with the etymology of this word, clearly its referenced in Lower Canada & the Maritimes in various forms throughout the 18th & 19th Century's). A rudimentary form of hockey that they also referred to as Rickets etc but that to me & many others is unmistakably Shinny. Pickup. Casual. Not formal.

In Canada the game developing and influenced by games like Lacrosse, Canadas' first National Game & Sport. A game also adapted in part by Native Americans to be played on ice, sticks & balls. Does not matter to me a whit that they may or may not have been on bone runner or metal bladed skates or not. Pickup hockey and when skating became popular & skates readily & cheaply available, kicked up several notches. To suggest the large French Canadian population were somehow immune to all of this, that they were somehow excluded, didnt play shinny themselves, that a 10yr old Jean Tremblay (or whomever) didnt play shinny hockey on ice (and if they had skates, could afford them, all the better, and some did) against or with a Seamus O'Connor in 1830 or whenever in Montreal prior to 1875 is a patently absurd suggestion.

I dont take issue with the thesis that Canadian born & raised Anglo's & Academic Dilettante's imported as much of the game of hockey "as is" from England (clearly they did just that in using the FH Rule Book as a Template), and that their "ideal" was that it be a "Gentlemans Game" as it was in the so called Mother Country in crafting the Montreal Rules. Absolutely. Thing is though, on the ground, executionally, that was one saddle that simply would not fit in Canada when the horse was already out of the barn and had been playing around in the back forty for decades already. The Will that they tried to impose on the game as it had developed in Canada in importing those rules were tweaked, fine tuned, much of it rejected as the decades followed into the early 20th Century reflecting the true pedigree, the organic nature of the games development in Canada. Heinz 57. A beautiful, lovable Mutt of a Game.


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08-03-2014, 12:31 PM
  #445
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On Skates

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Hi, I'm new to this forum but have been following this thread on and off since it started, and more regularly in the last week or so. I'm one of the authors (the Canadian one) of On the Origin of Hockey, and the one who gave most interviews. I certainly appreciate that there are people interested in this topic.

First, let me clear up a couple of mistakes I made during interviews:



While I have not re-listened to the interview to be sure, if I was really talking about the game(s) in Nova Scotia, then I definitely meant to say (as Iain Fyffe relayed), "from Great Britain and Ireland". As Iain mentioned, the book is a better source than anything said or written about the book, even by me, as my interviews did not have the benefit of being proofed by the three co-authors. In fact, if you read page 247 of the book, you'll see that, as part of chapter 13 "The Expansion Years", dedicated to how hockey made its way to Canada, we write that "That province [Nova Scotia] - or, at the time, colony - had immigrants of many origins." We then proceed to mention Irish immigrants, and further, Scottish immigrants.

Much earlier in this thread, someone also pointed out that I had said, in a different interview, that Charles Darwin went to school in Shrewsbury between 1808 and 1815. Of course, I should have said 1818-1825, as the book says. The reason for that error (which I realized less than a minute after making it, and which I admitted on my Facebook page just hours after the interview was broadcast) is that one of the dates I was often giving during interviews was 1908, the date of the creation of the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, and so when I wanted to say 1818, I had 1908 in mind, and it came out as 1808. Nobody is perfect...



I definitely want to address that. The term "smoking gun" has been used in the book and in interviews in one context and one context only. The book proposes a new etymology for the word "hockey", that it came from words derived from "hock ale", a kind of ale brewed during the hocktide festival (ale that, in some cases, was even called "hocky", a term which itself at some point was one of the numerous ways of designating a state of drunkennes). We said that we believed this new etymology was more plausible than any of the pre-existing ones (and, I would add here, especially those that come from Canada), but we also said that we could not be 100% sure of it, as we had no "smoking gun". We even describe, in the book, what such a "smoking gun" would be, for this particular theory.

For the rest of the book, i.e. the fact that hockey played in Canada came from England (and other similar games played elsewhere in Canada came from Great Britain and Ireland), we have no doubt, though we're open to be presented with evidence contradicting ours.



I have to disagree with all of that quote. A group of anglophones in Montreal adopt the name ("hockey") AND the rules of a game played in England (the "mother country"), a game that is extremely popular over there, both on the ground and on ice (with skates), but in the absence of any solid evidence, you suggest that the game played in Montreal in 1875 was a mish-mash of all sorts of games? We've provided, in the book, over a hundred references, not to mention the ones we did not use. Do you have references for your own theory? In particular, what evidence do you have that "the French [...] very very very likely had their own versions of stick/ball/ice games"? Because a few people have looked very hard for it. Michel Vigneault, whose 2001 doctorate thesis was on the beginning of organized hockey in Montreal, finds a first trace of hockey among francophones in 1892. I can tell you that, in Montreal, in 1875, a group of English Canadians would have not cared much for what the French (Canadians) were doing or how they were doing it.

Want to know how popular (ice) hockey was in England at the time? Check this reference from The Standard (London), published in December 29, 1873:

"There is no ice at present, so that hockey, one of the best games imaginable on skates, as had no trial this year."

Note that they call it "hockey", not "hockey on the ice", or "ice hockey". Just "hockey", exactly as they would do 14 months and five days later in Montreal. (And that was not an exception: in most cases, English references of the time to hockey played on ice with skates simply used the term "hockey".)

The author of the article then goes on suggesting that "the Yankees cut through the Isthmus of Panama in a fit of spite and divert the Gulf Stream into the Pacific; then we might get some winters like they have in Moscow."

It looks to me like a game that Montrealers, having a climate perfectly suited for it, would want to import "as is". And all evidence is that they did. Why would they have thought of using English (field) hockey rules in the first place, if they did not recognize that the game was popular (and relatively well defined) in England?
No they call it "... one of the best games imaginable on skates...".

So unless the quote is referring to roller skates invented in 1819 then ice is fundamental to hockey being played since field hockey does not require skates of any kind.The "There is no ice at present..." points in this direction.

The issue of French Canadiens playing hockey is interesting but a regular minefield to research since you cannot tell from the family name if a participant was English or French. The old La Bolduc paradox is at play. Just from the March 3, 1875 game one cannot tell with certainty that Joseph is truly anglophone - further research shows that Henry Joseph was anglophone but the family name is linguistically neutral. On the other hand you have names like Ronald King the longtime La Presse sports columnist that seem English but have a multi-generationational link to the francophone community. Then you have situations like Robert Burns:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_...%A9b%C3%A9cois)

This is the obstacle that both Donald Guay and Michel Vigneault faced.Second half of the 19th century the Irish and Scots regularly/quickly inter-married or sent youngsters to the Catholic French school - confessional schooling. in the east end of Montréal the three major English Catholic parishes( St. Dominic, St. Aloysius,St. Brendan did not come into being(fabrique) until the 20th century was well under way.

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08-03-2014, 12:41 PM
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Bilingual Schools

Also certain schools in Montreal were bilingual - St. Mary's, a hotbed of 19th century hockey:


http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~qcmtl-w/Schools.html
Tradition of bilingual schools continued past WWII - St Anselme(Rouen & Bercy) was French and Polish briefly post WWII.

Hard to pinpoint linguistic provenance under such conditions.


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08-03-2014, 03:12 PM
  #447
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I havent read Vigneaults Doctorate Thesis and therefore cant comment on it
You can read it here. It's "only" 500 pages.

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Its my contention that un~like the British version in its purest form the game while "intended" by Creighton & his fellow McGill students to follow same was in fact well past that point of no return as the game of shinny hockey, otherwise called Rickets or whatever other kind of terminology/name you wanna call it had been played on North American soil for decades previously.
I think we all understand what the contention is. The question is why you have that contention, when you admit it's all hypothetical. If you know it's all hypothetical, it should not be a contention. A contention suggests that you firmly believe it to be true. Is that the case, or would hypothesis be a better word?

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The Will that they tried to impose on the game as it had developed in Canada in importing those rules were tweaked, fine tuned, much of it rejected as the decades followed into the early 20th Century reflecting the true pedigree, the organic nature of the games development in Canada. Heinz 57. A beautiful, lovable Mutt of a Game.
This is a different subject entirely, reflecting what happened after the game came to Canada, rather than what led up to it.

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08-03-2014, 04:16 PM
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You can read it here. It's "only" 500 pages.

I think we all understand what the contention is. The question is why you have that contention, when you admit it's all hypothetical. If you know it's all hypothetical, it should not be a contention. A contention suggests that you firmly believe it to be true. Is that the case, or would hypothesis be a better word?
Cool. Thanks for the link Iain.... as for the framing, no, where I come from hypotheticals live & breathe, are given oxygen. A hypothetical vs whatever precisely how we determine in this case facts from fiction, reality from revisionism. This a History of Hockey chatboard & we must limit the scope of discussion to such however, in discussing the Origins of Hockey, rather impossible. As such, I know more than enough about the history of this country & the game of hockey from political, economic and cultural perspectives to speak with some authority.

And it strikes me that some of the conclusions & assumptions made ignore realities transcendent & of far greater weight than that ascribed to, apparently not even really given much thought to by the authors. Perhaps no more so than in the comment that "English Canadians didnt care what the French (Canadians) were doing, or how". This is patently false. Entire premise. Lumping the Ulster Scots, Irish & pure Scottish all together under one banner of "English" with the British and then calling England "the Motherland", seriously, that is so far off~base as to be ludicrous.

These immigrants had been displaced from their homelands & dispossessed. 1000's upon 1000's dying as a result of British policy before they ever left; 1000's more dying en~route or upon landing. What would make anyone think the Irish/Scots would have any great love for the English, embracing everything British, even something as innocuous as a game? They settled the Maritimes, Lower Canada, Ontario & moved west. In Montreal, kissing cousins to the French with whom they had all kinds of things in common beyond a distaste for all things British.

Both economically subjugated. Both the subject of racism & ridicule by the British. They Scots/Irish got along with their Celtic French Brothers & Sisters like a house on fire and no more so than in Quebec & Montreal & environs. So ya, the ENGLISH SPEAKING Scots/Irish did care what the French were doing & how they did it. Cared so much they learned the language, merged, integrated fully, and that included the parallel track of shinny hockey, Rickets, Hurley in the "old country" that they themselves brought with them. And when they arrived? They find a very similar game already being played by the French & the Native Americans.

Yet we are told that none of the pre 1870's history of hockey in Canada existed? That only when James Creighton & his McGill colleagues in adapting the British Game from a Field Hockey Manual, that then & only then, with British authorship on their side, that thats when the games begin? And if you say "formally & recorded" then yes. But dont be telling me that hockey didnt exist for a long long time previously in Canada, or that similar games werent played in Ireland, Scotland, Wales & goodness only knows where else. That the game was played, running on a parallel track & earlier than whenever it was that anyone in Jolly olde England ever played it. So no, theres no budging me off my "contentious cornflake" that in adopting the British FH Rules that the elements of Rickets, Shinty, Bandy, Shinny, Lacrosse & Rugby~Football were forever extinguished, rendered moot, irrelevant. To that all I can say is eGads Man, utter nonsense. Codswollop.

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08-03-2014, 04:33 PM
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as for the framing, no, where I come from hypotheticals live & breathe, are given oxygen. A hypothetical vs whatever precisely how we determine in this case facts from fiction, reality from revisionism.
Where I come from, hypotheticals are fine, but we do not assert them as fact without having a good reason for doing so.

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But dont be telling me that hockey didnt exist for a long long time previously in Canada, or that similar games werent played in Ireland, Scotland, Wales & goodness only knows where else.
Such as England?

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So no, theres no budging me off my "contentious cornflake" that in adopting the British FH Rules that the elements of Rickets, Shinty, Bandy, Shinny, Lacrosse & Rugby~Football were forever extinguished, rendered moot, irrelevant. To that all I can say is eGads Man, utter nonsense. Codswollop.
For the bolded, I do appreciate the honesty of the statement, however it is troubling that you admit it is a position that you refuse to be moved from, regardless of evidence. Any claim I've ever made about hockey history is subject to revision based on new evidence. Any person interested in discovering the truth must maintain such an attitude or provision acceptance. Once you dig yourself in and refuse to consider any other position, you cease searching for the truth.

As for the rest, On the Origin of Hockey establishes that hockey and bandy were synonymous at the time, so of course hockey had elements of bandy; they were the same thing. For shinny, you've said yourself that it was a very informal game, so the only elements you could really borrow would be what - the ice, the skates, the sticks? Bandy already has those as well. The description we have of ricket is a shinny-like game with very few rules, but they put the goalposts at a perpendicular angle. Hockey certainly never borrowed that particular idea, nor its apparent lack of an offside rule. As for offside rules, the hockey version is not taken from rugby, regardless of how many time you imply that it is, that it must be related somehow. There is no evidence of a rugby influence at all; they're very different games with different objects.

So call it nonsense and codswollop all you like, but given your admission that you are not willing to be convinced otherwise, forgive me if I don't take your objection too seriously.

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08-03-2014, 07:09 PM
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Cool. Thanks for the link Iain.... as for the framing, no, where I come from hypotheticals live & breathe, are given oxygen. A hypothetical vs whatever precisely how we determine in this case facts from fiction, reality from revisionism.
I'm not too sure I understand how pitting a hypothesis with no underlying facts to support it against a set of documented facts helps separate reality from revisionism. Are you aware that baseball historians are also finding that many essential roots of their game are from England? http://research.sabr.org/origins/

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And it strikes me that some of the conclusions & assumptions made ignore realities transcendent & of far greater weight than that ascribed to, apparently not even really given much thought to by the authors. Perhaps no more so than in the comment that "English Canadians didnt care what the French (Canadians) were doing, or how". This is patently false. Entire premise. Lumping the Ulster Scots, Irish & pure Scottish all together under one banner of "English" with the British and then calling England "the Motherland", seriously, that is so far off~base as to be ludicrous.
Ok, I certainly never meant to include the Irish immigrants (or their descendants) with the upper class English-speaking community. In fact, the Irish had more in common with the French-speaking community (religion, poverty) and as such it is probably not a coincidence that evidence indicates that the Irish probably taught the French Canadians to play hockey (Michel Vigneault's thesis, page 136).

That said, what do you know about the 18 players who participated in the first (March 3, 1875) Montreal game? Were they of English descent? Or Scottish descent? Guess who wrote biographies of 155 CANADIAN hockey pioneers (covering the years 1875-1883)? The Swedish co-authors of On the Origin of Hockey. Here is what they have, regarding the ancestry of the "original 18":

William Barnston: Scotland
George Campbell: Scotland
Stewart Campbell: Scotland
William Chapman: Not much is known about him, except that he was a merchant and was one of the founders of the prestigious Metropolitan Club, in 1874.
Sir Edward Clouston: Scotland
James Creighton: Scotland
Robert Esdaile: Scotland
George Gardner: England
Edwin Gough: England
W.O. Griffin: Not much is known about him, not even his full first name. He did travel to England, Scotland and Ireland (in 1883) to play lacrosse.
Frederick Henshaw: England
Francis Jarvis: Not much is known about his ancestry.
Henry Joseph: Not specified, however he was Jewish
Daniel Meagher: Ireland (father), France/Holland/England/USA (mother)
Robert Powell: England
Charles Torrance: Scotland
Whiting: Nothing is known about him

So I do see the descendents of Scottish origins mixing with the descendents of English origins. (Though I would venture to guess that few if any of them were decendents of Ulster Scots.)

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Both economically subjugated. Both the subject of racism & ridicule by the British. They Scots/Irish got along with their Celtic French Brothers & Sisters like a house on fire and no more so than in Quebec & Montreal & environs. So ya, the ENGLISH SPEAKING Scots/Irish did care what the French were doing & how they did it. Cared so much they learned the language, merged, integrated fully, and that included the parallel track of shinny hockey, Rickets, Hurley in the "old country" that they themselves brought with them. And when they arrived? They find a very similar game already being played by the French & the Native Americans.
There has never been a single document older than 1875 found in Quebec (province) referring to shinny, hockey, ricket. There have been two or three references to hurley, but never on ice. It's not much to support your hypothesis.

In fact, if you look at all 23 Canadian pre-1875 references to shinny, shinty, break-shins, hockey, ricket, hurley or hurly, you only find five that use the word "hockey". And only ONE of those was (probably) written by a Canadian. Three of the others were written by Englishmen, and one was written by an Irishman who was a vice-admiral in the (British) Royal Navy. If they were going to play the game that they knew from Halifax or wherever else that they came from, why use both the written rules and the name of a game that was (until then) completely unknown, so much so that it even had to be described to the readers of the Montreal Gazette? (I realize that Iain Fyffe has already asked a similar question. I'm not sure a good answer has been provided.)

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Yet we are told that none of the pre 1870's history of hockey in Canada existed? That only when James Creighton & his McGill colleagues in adapting the British Game from a Field Hockey Manual, that then & only then, with British authorship on their side, that thats when the games begin? And if you say "formally & recorded" then yes. But dont be telling me that hockey didnt exist for a long long time previously in Canada, or that similar games werent played in Ireland, Scotland, Wales & goodness only knows where else.
We don't say that at all, quite on the contrary. We say that "it is possible that there is enough evidence to consider Halifax-Dartmouth the "cradle" of hockey in Canada from where James George Aylwin Creighton took the game to Montreal." (We specify previously that hockey was played in Halifax under other names - according to the definition of hockey that we use throughout the book, and which is in fact the definition provided by the 2002 report of SIHR's Origins of Hockey Committee.) However, the evidence indicates that, once they decided to play the game in Montreal, they also decided to use the English field hockey rules. There are now two books, written completely independently of one another, and published less than a year ago, which say the same thing.

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That the game was played, running on a parallel track & earlier than whenever it was that anyone in Jolly olde England ever played it.
That is quite possible. Our oldest reference to such a game played on ice is from the beginning of 1608, so before New France was created, but granted, it is a reference from Scotland. In England, the oldest evidence is from 1813 or 1814, in Bluntisham-Earith though participants in that game stated that the game had been played for at least half a century before. But, yes, it's quite possible that a hockey-like game, whatever it was called ("chamiare" in this case) was played in Scotland before England. We never said it wasn't. We said that the game currently played in Canada (which descends from the Montreal game) came from England. We also say, in the book, that "for every reference to hockey played in Canada, there is an earlier, more conclusive reference to hockey played in Great Britain". (Hockey being defined as "a game played on an ice rink in which two opposing teams of skaters, using curved sticks, try to drive a small disc, ball or block into or through the opposite goals.")

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