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Hockey Invented In England ... Not Canada

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Old
08-03-2014, 07:36 PM
  #451
habsfanatics
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
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.
Been a long-time lurker and follower of this discussion and feel this post is the most logical of them all.

I love you Killion. Absolutely brilliant.

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08-03-2014, 07:47 PM
  #452
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
No they call it "... one of the best games imaginable on skates...".
I hope you did see that I also wrote: "(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".)"

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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.
No roller skates. They used "hockey" both to designate the game on the ground, and to designate the game on the ice (with or without skates). Confusing? Yes. Not my idea. But it does explain that, in Montreal, in 1875, they adopted the term "hockey" and not "ice hockey" or "hockey on the ice" or "skating hockey" or whatever else.

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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.
See my other post regarding the origin of most of the 18 participants in the first Montreal game. No need to guess (except for the five or so for whom the country of ancestors is not known).

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08-03-2014, 08:23 PM
  #453
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Originally Posted by Ognir Rrats View Post
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
Sir Edward Clouston: Scotland
James Creighton: Scotland
Robert Esdaile: Scotland
etc etc etc....

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.)

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.)
First bolded there no, they were not Ulster Scots. Directly from Scotland, a sub~set of immigrants with certain English (non~derogatorily) pretensions. Middle Class. Educated. They were not as economically depressed nor as repressed socially & economically as the vast majority of their fellow emigre's. I know this as James Creighton just happens to be an ancestor, and Ive studied the early colonization of the Maritimes & Lower/Upper & Western Canada, done so in a non~academic setting.... As for the seconded bolded, what do you suppose the literacy rates were amongst the Ulster Scots & Irish emigrating from Northern Ireland & some (not all, but some) parts of Scotland during the 17th & 18th Centuries? It wasnt high. Contracts etc, "make your mark". Signed with an X or a symbol. You grew up hard & you grew up fast. Equivalency of a Grade 6 education was a luxury, most not even advancing that far especially in a hardscrabble environment like Montreal. Little wonder theres so few references to hockey...

So why indeed did they adopt or borrow the English FH Rule Book as a Template for the Rules of Ice Hockey in Montreal in the 1870's? I think I & others have put forth answers, though Im not sure if you & Iain etc just disagree & or find the suggestions implausible. So again, I believe the answer is rather mundane; that as a matter of convenience Creighton lazily grabbed a copy of the British FH Rules as "closely approximating" the game they were familiar with as kids, that had been played for eons in Canada, and essentially cribbed. Used it as a template & tweaked it here & there. Saved himself a lot of time & effort. He had one hand on the wheel & he knew it. The game of hockey in Canada was much more than that covered in the British FH Rule Book but for the purposes of expediting matters as quickly as possible, rather than starting from scratch, "oh, this'll do, closely approximates what we require". Jury rigged. Did the trick.

As for the rest of your post, thank you. Most edifying. Some new information for me to digest, confirmation of suspicions Id harbored but never had the time to pursue.

Cheers


Last edited by Killion: 08-03-2014 at 08:29 PM.
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08-03-2014, 08:30 PM
  #454
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Originally Posted by habsfanatics View Post
Been a long-time lurker and follower of this discussion and feel this post is the most logical of them all.

I love you Killion. Absolutely brilliant.
.... thanks but thats kinda over the top, just seems common sense to me. A wise person once told me that sometimes theres a disconnect between the researching of the history of sports & society as a whole in whatever era their writing about amongst historians, academic or not. Im not saying nor even suggesting thats the case here with Origins of Hockey as frankly I havent even read it yet. But its something you do often see in books, be they of hockey, baseball or whatever.


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08-03-2014, 08:51 PM
  #455
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
First bolded there no, they were not Ulster Scots. Directly from Scotland, a sub~set of immigrants with certain English (non~derogatorily) pretensions.
Alright, so you're saying that even those of Scots descent who played in the first Montréal hockey match had English pretensions? This supports, rather than refutes, the idea that they would purposefully use the rules of an English game for those early matches. They would want to use an English game. They wouldn't want a game that the common folk play. They would sneer at shinny, wouldn't they?

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Little wonder theres so few references to hockey...
You're still confusing a possibility with an explanation. Just because you can think of a reason, does not mean that reason is the correct one. This is why we need corroborating evidence; otherwise, everyone just imagines what they think might have happened. I'm not saying it's an uninformed guess, but without supporting evidence it remains a guess.

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I think I & others have put forth answers, though Im not sure if you & Iain etc just disagree & or find the suggestions implausible.
You have put forth possibilities. Speaking for myself, I do find them plausible. But you need more than plausibility to accept something as true, which you have asserted it to be. You need evidence.

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So again, I believe the answer is rather mundane; that as a matter of convenience Creighton lazily grabbed a copy of the British FH Rules as "closely approximating" the game they were familiar with as kids, that had been played for eons in Canada, and essentially cribbed.
This is not what you have been saying. You have been saying they incorporated these rules into an amalgam of influences from other games. And I believe your claim that these rules "closely approximate" shinny should be rejected based on the available evidence. From what we know, the game played in Nova Scotia was not an onside one. So why in the world would Creighton select an onside game to approximate it?

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Im not saying nor even suggesting thats the case here with Origins of Hockey as frankly I havent even read it yet. But its something you do often see in books, be they of hockey, baseball or whatever.
So, if you're not saying that's the case here...you're admitting this is irrelevant to the topic under discussion?

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08-03-2014, 08:54 PM
  #456
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
As for the seconded bolded, what do you suppose the literacy rates were amongst the Ulster Scots & Irish emigrating from Northern Ireland & some (not all, but some) parts of Scotland during the 17th & 18th Centuries? It wasnt high.
I think you've missed the point here. The question was: if such a game were already being played in Montréal, and therefore presumably witnessed by citizens of the city, the newspaper would presumably not have felt the need to try and describe it to their readership. They could have simply said that a hockey match was played, knowing that Montréalers would know what that is.

Edit: Remember that while the report said it resembled shinny, it clearly was not shinny, otherwise why would the paper not just have said that it was shinny? So these rules that you claim Creighton adopted because they approximated shinny were so different that even though the writer believed the readers would be familiar with shinny, that this new game would have to be described as something else.


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08-03-2014, 09:08 PM
  #457
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thanks but thats kinda over the top, just seems common sense to me.
The Common Sense Fallacy.

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08-03-2014, 09:15 PM
  #458
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^^^ oy vey Iain. I'll get back to you on all that. I promise.

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08-03-2014, 10:46 PM
  #459
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As for the seconded bolded, what do you suppose the literacy rates were amongst the Ulster Scots & Irish emigrating from Northern Ireland & some (not all, but some) parts of Scotland during the 17th & 18th Centuries? It wasnt high. Contracts etc, "make your mark". Signed with an X or a symbol. You grew up hard & you grew up fast. Equivalency of a Grade 6 education was a luxury, most not even advancing that far especially in a hardscrabble environment like Montreal. Little wonder theres so few references to hockey...
Now I can't follow you at all. You're referring to the following sentence: "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?" (Your emphasis.)

Your reply mentions the illiteracy of Irish and (some) Scottish immigrants, and you conclude with "Little wonder theres so few references to hockey..." But hockey was a purely English name! (Started off in London, made its way haphazardly through various, though not all, parts of England.) Even if they had been extremely litterate, the Irish and the Scots would not have left of trace of the game with the name "hockey".

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
So why indeed did they adopt or borrow the English FH Rule Book as a Template for the Rules of Ice Hockey in Montreal in the 1870's? I think I & others have put forth answers, though Im not sure if you & Iain etc just disagree & or find the suggestions implausible. So again, I believe the answer is rather mundane; that as a matter of convenience Creighton lazily grabbed a copy of the British FH Rules as "closely approximating" the game they were familiar with as kids, that had been played for eons in Canada, and essentially cribbed. Used it as a template & tweaked it here & there. Saved himself a lot of time & effort. He had one hand on the wheel & he knew it. The game of hockey in Canada was much more than that covered in the British FH Rule Book but for the purposes of expediting matters as quickly as possible, rather than starting from scratch, "oh, this'll do, closely approximates what we require". Jury rigged. Did the trick.
Except that they were quite careful in changing the wording of the rules that needed to be changed, for example related to what to do when the ball went behind the goal line. And they scrupulously applied the offside rule (which remained in effect in Eastern Canada for about 50 years), a rule that apparently did not exist in Halifax. They were also careful in removing rules that they did not want to commit to, like the size of the playing surface or the number of players. So they did take some care in the (granted, very small) amount of tweaking that they did, which indicates to me that they were happy with the rest, not that they played differently from what the rules said, especially since that would have been confusing for the spectators who had read the rules in the newspaper and who were quite litterate.

Creighton worked for The Gazette, so writing was not a huge effort for him. I don't think it was a big deal for him to write down all the rules that they were going to play by. It probably makes more sense for the new players and the referees too if all rules are written down, not just some of them.

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
As for the rest of your post, thank you. Most edifying. Some new information for me to digest, confirmation of suspicions Id harbored but never had the time to pursue.

Cheers
The book was written with much more care than my interventions above and contains more than 100 times the information I provided in my previous post. I really encourage you to read that!

Cheers

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08-03-2014, 10:51 PM
  #460
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
1) Alright, so you're saying that even those of Scots descent who played in the first Montréal hockey match had English pretensions? This supports, rather than refutes, the idea that they would purposefully use the rules of an English game for those early matches. They would want to use an English game. They wouldn't want a game that the common folk play. They would sneer at shinny, wouldn't they?

2)
You're still confusing a possibility with an explanation. Just because you can think of a reason, does not mean that reason is the correct one. This is why we need corroborating evidence; otherwise, everyone just imagines what they think might have happened. I'm not saying it's an uninformed guess, but without supporting evidence it remains a guess.... You have put forth possibilities. Speaking for myself, I do find them plausible. But you need more than plausibility to accept something as true, which you have asserted it to be. You need evidence.

3)
This is not what you have been saying. You have been saying they incorporated these rules into an amalgam of influences from other games. And I believe your claim that these rules "closely approximate" shinny should be rejected based on the available evidence. From what we know, the game played in Nova Scotia was not an onside one. So why in the world would Creighton select an onside game to approximate it?
1) Again, Creighton lazily reached for the British FH Rule Book and used it as a Template. However, his reach did not match the rich depths of the game as it had been played in Canada for decades. It was merely an expeditious solution to the crafting of Rules for the exhibition games.... In general, unlike their British counterparts however, no, the Scots did not inherently nor by disposition nor inclination hold the Irish & French in the same sort of low esteem as many of the English did during that period. Didnt consider themselves superior, Masters of the New World & Order. Quite the opposite in most cases. They were pragmatic however, certainly more than cognizant of the fact that England was at that time the Worlds Major Super Power and in most cases loyal to the Crown. Id classify it as a kind of reluctant admiration (though some were fervent Monarchists) of the British unlike their Celtic Brethren from Ireland.

2) Indeed. We have a mystery on our hands as there is a complete lack of written or otherwise corroborating evidence uncovered to date. And who knows, hopefully something will surface beyond just hints & clues, oral history when it comes to the history of hockey in Lower Canada & the Maritimes pre-1870's. Conjecture & speculation is required and so therefore Watson, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable must be the truth.

3) No, I think perhaps youve misinterpreted what I said, or perhaps I just wasnt clear enough or confusing in my delivery. I get that a lot. Incoherent. Not making any sense Man. Im not referring to "just" the Rules from the British FH Book, Im thinking about how Canadians, these predominantly of Scottish ancestry academics wouldve handled playing the game, the actual physical execution of the game under these rules. They tweaked them a bit to me more akin to what they wouldve been accustomed to in Nova Scotia or playing casually in Montreal where the Rules were informal previously, just acknowledged by the players, learned, of oral tradition. The on-side Rule from the British FH Rule Book included for a variety of reasons, new and interesting dimension to an old game in Canada.

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08-03-2014, 11:03 PM
  #461
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1) Again, Creighton lazily reached for the British FH Rule Book and used it as a Template. However, his reach did not match the rich depths of the game as it had been played in Canada for decades.
Yes, I'm familiar with the assertion. What I'm waiting for is evidence; a reason to believe it when the plain meaning of the events would seem to be that they used those rules because they wanted to use those rules. If they had wanted to use Halifax rules, why did they not use Halifax rules? They had to edit the HA rules anyway, so suggesting that they cribbed them so they wouldn't have to start from scratch is a big stretch. With so few rules, how long do you really think it would have taken a newspaper man like Creighton to write them out?

You're trying to force the facts to fit your conclusion. It should be the other way around.

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2) Indeed. We have a mystery on our hands as there is a complete lack of written or otherwise corroborating evidence uncovered to date.
Other than the text of the rules themselves, you mean. And all of the written references to hockey being played on the ice in England in the early 1870s.

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They tweaked them a bit to me more akin to what they wouldve been accustomed to in Nova Scotia or playing casually in Montreal where the Rules were informal previously, just acknowledged by the players, learned, of oral tradition. The on-side Rule from the British FH Rule Book included for a variety of reasons, new and interesting dimension to an old game in Canada.
Your explanation is completely ad hoc. You've built a story around things that we do know, but injected a whole lot of stuff from your own "common sense" as you said, without a shred of evidence. Your idea that they wanted to use the Halifax game is defeated by the offside rule, so you have to say they didn't want to keep everything, without providing a single bit of evidence as to why they would not. MOD


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08-03-2014, 11:24 PM
  #462
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Your explanation is completely ad hoc. You've built a story around things that we do know, but injected a whole lot of stuff from your own "common sense" as you said, without a shred of evidence.
... yep. Held together by binder twine & chewing gum. Works for me.

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08-03-2014, 11:41 PM
  #463
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If England invented hockey, then we invented fish n chips, poor weather, and the inability to brush teeth in Canada.

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08-03-2014, 11:48 PM
  #464
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... yep. Held together by binder twine & chewing gum. Works for me.
Can't argue with that. But as I said upthread, if you're interested in the truth, then "works for me" doesn't cut it.

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08-04-2014, 12:03 AM
  #465
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Can't argue with that. But as I said upthread, if you're interested in the truth, then "works for me" doesn't cut it.
... cuts it beyond fine for me Iain. Bales up decades of history effortlessly. Truth. Its out there.

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08-04-2014, 06:06 AM
  #466
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Some background on the so called pioneers of Canadian hockey:

- 75% of the players were born in the province of Quebec
- 12% were born in the province of Ontario
- 7,5% were born in Europe

- 82 % were born and raised in the province of Quebec
- 3% were native Canadians
- 1,5 % were French Canadians

- 72% of the players had a father born in Europe (Almost 30% born in Scotland, closely followed by England with more than 26%)

- 76% of the players had a mother born in Europe (Almost 25% born in Scotland, closely followed by Ireland with more than 22%)



Most common profession

1. Merchant
2. Doctor
3. Clerk
4. Bank
5. Stockbroker

I would say that an overwhelming majority of players came from the social elite, at least the guys from Montreal.


Most popular sports aside from hockey

1. Lacrosse
2. Football
3. Golf
4. Curling
5. Athletics (Track and Field)

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08-04-2014, 06:17 AM
  #467
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... yep. Held together by binder twine & chewing gum. Works for me.
Introduction to the Scientific Method

If you have no use for this, then there is not much point debating. Someone might argue that hockey was brought to Nova Scotia by Martians. At which point, we could simply debate over whether that puts the origins of hockey in Mars or in Nova Scotia.

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08-04-2014, 07:25 AM
  #468
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... cuts it beyond fine for me Iain. Bales up decades of history effortlessly. Truth. Its out there.
The truth is out there, but unfortunately discovering it is rarely effortless.

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08-04-2014, 10:03 AM
  #469
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If you have no use for this, then there is not much point debating.
You know?, your most assuredly jumping to the wrong conclusion with the first part of that comment and with respect to the second. This is a chat board Ognir, not a debate board.

Furthermore, and this isn't directed at you, but people who come here looking for a "win", using the site as platform for the purposes of self aggrandizement or satiating issues of ego dont last very long. A place for civil discussion & conversation. This is not an academic setting and we dont hold members to the same standards of scrutiny & exactitude as one would with Graduate Students in presenting a thesis with every single post. Opinion is not only permitted its encouraged, entertained. Were' inclusive, not exclusive.

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The truth is out there, but unfortunately discovering it is rarely effortless.
Now theres a truism if ever there was one.

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08-04-2014, 10:26 AM
  #470
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Originally Posted by Robert Gordon Orr View Post
Some background on the so called pioneers of Canadian hockey:

Most common profession

1. Merchant
2. Doctor
3. Clerk
4. Bank
5. Stockbroker

I would say that an overwhelming majority of players came from the social elite, at least the guys from Montreal.
Ya, within that small elite cadre, the originators or pioneers of the formal organized game absolutely. Its the great masses of the unwashed however who were in fact also playing hockey, a far looser and more spontaneous brand. That these guys in organizing the first formal publicized game with written rules doesnt mean they own it. Its my contention that they dont. They merely capitalized on pre~existent native games. Some imported from the old country, some found already being played by Native North Americans. Gave it form, shape & substance in applying a Formal Set of Rules to it. A first in North America so by that narrow set of criteria (rules, publicized) then sure, you can beyond plausibly & with confidence state that their the "The Fathers of Hockey" in Canada.

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08-04-2014, 10:48 AM
  #471
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya, within that small elite cadre, the originators or pioneers of the formal organized game absolutely. Its the great masses of the unwashed however who were in fact also playing hockey, a far looser and more spontaneous brand. That these guys in organizing the first formal publicized game with written rules doesnt mean they own it.
Own what, exactly? (Here comes the importance of definitions again. I did warn you.)

If you're referring to the general activity, be it shinny or bandy or ricket or whatever you call it, clearly there is no particular claim by the "Original 18" to it, this "looser and more spontaneous brand" as you call it.

But if you're referring to the specific version of the game that we can trace directly back to from what we now call hockey, which it appears you are and which is indeed specifically what we've been discussing, then these "Fathers of Hockey" absolutely do have a claim on it. They originated it. ("Own" is not a word that anyone but you have used, of course. {mod: It appears that you believe} what happened in 1875 was not really important, since shinny existed before hockey. {mod})

This is the History of Hockey forum, not the History of Shinny forum. There is a difference between the two, as you're well aware. Although shinny is worthy of study in its own right, you can't simply assert it's really the same thing as hockey.

Edit: Mod, I don't recall exactly how I wrote it in the first place, but your mod does reflect my original intent. Thank you.


Last edited by Iain Fyffe: 08-04-2014 at 11:04 AM. Reason: please attack the topic itself, you can't know what the other guy meant, or claim dishonesty was the intent
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08-04-2014, 11:02 AM
  #472
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Originally Posted by Yarbles02 View Post
If England invented hockey, then we invented fish n chips, poor weather, and the inability to brush teeth in Canada.

Well, pommes frite and breaded deep fried fish?

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post

This is the History of Hockey forum, not the History of Shinny forum. There is a difference between the two, as you're well aware. Although shinny is worthy of study in its own right, you can't simply assert it's really the same thing as hockey.

Indeed it is, and this very thread attempts to establish and discuss its origin and ALL the factors that contributed to its evolution and development.

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08-04-2014, 11:06 AM
  #473
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Indeed it is, and this very thread attempts to establish and discuss its origin and ALL the factors that contributed to its evolution and development.
I agree 100%, of course. My point was not that shinny should not be discussed. My point was that shinny should not be confused/conflated with hockey in the context the term is being used in this discussion. There is an important difference, and it should be recognized.

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08-04-2014, 12:16 PM
  #474
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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?
Glad to have you here. I've more or less stayed in the background of this discussion because the early history of hockey is far from my area of expertise, but I think I just might have to get your book. If nothing else, you guys certainly seem to have conducted quite the diligent analysis.

Despite being very interested in the history of the sport, I've tended to stay away from a lot of hockey history books, because I tend to find a lot of them are more interested in some kind of historical hero worship than accuracy.

If you accomplish nothing else in this thread, it's convincing me as to the rigorous nature of your research

When you challenge convention wisdom, especially about something as ingrained as the "national religion of Canada," you have to expect a good deal of resistance, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
You're trying to force the facts to fit your conclusion. It should be the other way around.
All to common, yes. However, while conventional wisdom is often wrong, it is also often based on something true even if not completely correct. I am all for challenging conventional wisdom, especially when backed by rigorous research, but I do think that researchers are sometimes a little too quick to completely throw it out, as soon as they find new information that contradicts it. Not necessarily speaking of you or the authors or anyone in particular in the thread, so maybe I'll stop rambling here.

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08-04-2014, 12:28 PM
  #475
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
All to common, yes. However, while conventional wisdom is often wrong, it is also often based on something true even if not completely correct. I am all for challenging conventional wisdom, especially when backed by rigorous research, but I do think that researchers are sometimes a little too quick to completely throw it out, as soon as they find new information that contradicts it. Not necessarily speaking of you or the authors or anyone in particular in the thread, so maybe I'll stop rambling here.
Absolutely a valid point. Conventional wisdom is not wrong simply because it's conventional. But it should not be treated any differently than a new claim. Accepted wisdom does not receive a pass because lots of people already believe it. Every claim is subject to verification.

If you've ever read any review I have written about books written by the Fosty brothers, you will see an example of authors who assume that mainstream belief is wrong because it is mainstream belief. Fortunately they're the exception rather than the rule I think.

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