Sports History: 1855 to 1859

Some of the major events in sport in the late 1850s:


Ice-hockey was probably played for the first time in North America at Kingston,Ontario

James Kelly and Jack Smith fought for 6 hours and 15 minutes in Victoria, Australia in the longest bareknuckle boxing fight in history.

Thomas Bury is credited with running 100 yards in 10 seconds at Cambridge.


The horse Fisherman wins 23 races in one season.

The first lacrosse club, Montreal Lacrosse Club, is founded.


The oldest football club in the world with open membership, Sheffield FC, is formed.


The first athletics meeting held outside schools or universities is held at the Honourable Artillery Company in Finsbury.

The first international swimming competition sees Jo Bennett of Australia bet Chas Stedman of England at St.Kilda, Melbourne.

The first baseball match with an admission charge is held. 1500 spectators paid 50c to watch Brooklyn v New York All Stars at Fashion Race Course,Long Island.

The first organised Australian Rules football game is played between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar School.

A.A. Casamajor wins his 4th successive Diamond Sculls rowing title at Henley regatta.

First lawn tennis is played at “Fairlight” in Birmingham by J.B.Perara of Spain and Major T.H.Gem.


The earliest modern polo club is founded (the Cachar Club in Assam,India)

The National Rifle Association is instituted.

The first overseas cricket tour takes place when Parr’s XI visit Canada and the USA, playing their first game in Montreal.

Horace Ford wins his 11th successive British men’s archery title.

Major Evangelis Zappas puts on a pan-Hellenic sports festival in Greece and 20,000 spectators watch.

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