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Sports events from 1601 to 1700

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Sport became increasingly popular in England and Ireland through the 17th century and there are several references to cricket and horse racing, while bare-knuckle boxing was revived. The interest of gamblers in these sports gave rise to professionalism. The first known attempts to organise football took place in Ireland.


1681 — The ancient sport of pugilism resurfaced in England during the late 17th century in the form of bare-knuckle boxing, also known as prizefighting; the first documented account of a bare-knuckle fight was published in the London Protestant Mercury.


Having been firmly established in Spain and Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries, chess became increasingly fashionable in France which, by the end of the 17th century, was the main centre of European chess.


For information about this topic, see Cricket events from 1601 to 1700.


In Ireland, football games grew in popularity and were widely played under the patronage of the gentry; games were organised between landlords with each team comprising twenty or more tenants and attracting wagers with purses of up to 100 guineas.