Historians Now Believe Hockey Originated in England, Thanks To Charles Darwin

Wednesday May 28th, 2014

(Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A letter from biologist Charles Darwin to his son may have proven that hockey was played in England long before the first officially recognized game was played in Canada.

The first recorded indoor game occurred in Montreal in 1875, but in a letter to his son who was away at Shrewsbury School, the father of evolution remembered playing the game in the early 1800's, according to the London Daily Mail.

“My Dear Old Willy… have you got a pretty good pond to skate on? I used to be very fond of playing at Hocky [sic] on the ice in skates,” he wrote.

The evolutionary theorist had himself attended the school as a boarder between 1818 and 1825 himself, and it is thought his reference to enjoying “hockey on the ice” relates to this time.

The new info comes from a book by Canadian hockey historian Jean-Patrice Martel titled On The Origins of Hockey(get it?) which also found other evidence the game in England in a 1838 newspaper report of a game of ice hockey played at a party.

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If you are Canadian and starting to feel sick at the idea of your national sport being not so national, don't worry -- in America, everyone knows you can denounce anything involving Darwin no matter how much evidence there is to support his hypotheses. [SportsGrid]

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