Football was a rough sport periodically banned in England as early as 1349, since broken bones and bloodshed were common and could result in the loss of a valuable worker who needed time to recover. The playing field might be the area between two villages, the ball an inflated bladder in a leather casing.
Hunting was practiced to put meat on the table and for the sheer sport of it among the wealthy. Queen Elizabeth hunted on horseback using a crossbow.
Tennis was played on a covered court with balls stuffed with hair. Henry VIII was an avid player in his youth.
Golf was brought to England in the seventeenth century by King James I, but it was played in Scotland in the fifteenth century and known as the Royal Game.
Pall-Mall was an early form of croquet played by both men and women.
The population of London in 1500 was 40,000. By the year 2006, it was 7,512,400!
The Tower of London was variously used as a prison, a palace, the royal mint, and a menagerie containing lions, crocodiles and other exotic animals.
By 1604 Londoners were already complaining of poor air quality, the result of burning so much coal. By 1652 the pollution was so bad that one could no longer see the Tower from the roof of “Old St. Paul’s” Cathedral, just one mile away!