History: Additional Information Page 2

Historical Context

When Cromwell ruled the country,
With neither king nor queen,
True Englishmen still bowled- upon
An English bowling green.
And when King Charlie was "Restored",
Nel Gwyn could oft' be seen,
A cheering-on his exploits- on
An English bowling green.
"The Bowler's Song"

1657, the year in which "a bowling green was made in part of The Forth", is the penultimate year of the reign of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of Great Britain. Having assumed the office in December 1653, he ruled until his death in September 1658. His son, Richard Cromwell, initially succeeded him in the protectorate, but the succession was short-lived. 1660 witnessed the "Restoration" of the monarchy in the person of Charles II who remained king until he died in 1685.

Charles II, by the way, is reputed to have been a very good bowler. He would often replenish his pocket money by challenging his courtiers to a game of bowls and betting heavily on the result. His father, Charles I, was also a bowler: he appears in the list of patrons of the Whitehall bowling alley. History does not relate whether the Cromwells (Oliver or Richard) played bowls.

From 1652 to 1674, England was engaged in three separate Anglo-Dutch wars. It is interesting to note that:

"By an order of Common Council, a wall was built and Lime Trees, brought out of Holland, planted around it (the bowling green) in 1680."

It would seem that by 1680 peaceful trade was being conducted with the former enemy.

Another year which features prominently in the history of Forth BC is 1936: 1936 is the year in which the Forth "hut" was first opened. It is also the year in which Edward VIII acceded to the throne in January, only to abdicate in favour of his brother, George VI, in December and the BBC began transmitting television pictures.

Forth crest