|Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916.|
Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
|By John Ray (16271705)|
From the Itineraries
THERE are two kinds of hurling, the in-hurling and the out-hurling. In the first there are chosen 20 or 25 of a side, and two goals are set up; then comes one with a small hard leather ball in his hand, and tosses it up in the midst between both parties; he that catches it endeavours to run with it to the furthermost goal; if he be stopped by one of the opposite side, he either saith I will stand, and wrestles with him, letting fall the ball by him (which one of the opposite side must not take up, but one of his own) or else throws away the ball to one of his own side (if any of them can catch it). He that is stopped may chose whether he may wrestle, or throw away the ball; but it is more generous to wrestle. He that stops must answer, and wrestle it out. When any one wrestles, one of his side takes up the ball, and runs with it towards the goal, till he be stopped, and then, as before, he either wrestles or throws away the ball, so that there are commonly many pairs wrestling. An out-hurling is played by one parish against another, or eastern men against western, or Devonshire men against Cornish; the manner they enter upon it is as follows:Any one that can get leave of a justice, etc., goes into a market town, with a little wooden ball in his hand, plated over with silver, and there proclaims the hurling, and mentions the time and place. They play in the same manner as in the other, only they make the churches their goals, that party which can cast the ball into, or upon a church, wins.