Concanen, Matthew. A Match at Foot-Ball; or the Irish Champions. A Mock-Heroick Poem, in Three Canto’s.

London, for R. Francklin, W. Chetwood, J. Woodman, and J. Graves, 1721.

8vo (128 x 198 mm). (4), 44, (4) pp. Bound with six other poetical pamphlets:

1) Sewell, [George]. Poems on Several Occasions. London, E. Curll & J. Pemberton, 1719. VII, (1), 76, (4) pp. ESTC T72201 OCLC 745130780.

2) [Poems on several occasions: viz. Waller's Anniversary on the Government of the Lord Protector, Anno 1655. A Pastoral Courtship, &c. London, J. Roberts, 1717.] (2 [instead of 4]), 64 pp. Case 302. ESTC T65281.

3) [Wesley, Samuel]. The Battle of the Sexes: a poem. The second edition. London, J. Brotherton, 1724. XIII, (1), 32 pp. OCLC 557368259.

4) [Amhurst, Nicholas]. Strephon's revenge: A satire on the Oxford toasts. The 4th edition. London, R. Francklin, 1724. VIII, 54, (2) pp. Foxon A211. ESTC T129063.

5) [Ralph, James]. Clarinda: or The fair libertine. A Poem. In four cantos. London, John Gray, 1729. (6 [instead of 8]), 64 pp. Foxon R14. ESTC N27118.

6) (A. B.). The Happy Bride: a Poem. In three canto's. London, D. Browne, 1730. (2), V-VIII, 55, (1) pp. Foxon H39. ESTC T496. Contemporary half calf with worn gilstamped spine title.


First London edition of a very early account of "foot-ball", a precursor to modern day Association Football, Rugby, and Gaelic Football, which were not separately codified until the mid-19th century. "Concanen's opening lines 'I sing the pleasures of the rural throng / and mimick wars as yet unknown to song" indicate that in writing a long poem about a football match, he was breaking new ground [...] The ball, we are told, was constructed of 'three folds of bullock's hide with leathern thongs bound fast on either side' and stuffed with hay. There were goals at either end of the pitch constructed by sticking two willow rods in the ground some feet apart, bending them towards each other and tying the ends together so that a semicircle was formed". The first edition appeared at Dublin in 1720. An early work by the Irish poet and lawyer Concanen (1701-49), who was appointed attorney-general of Jamaica in 1732, a post he held for over sixteen years.

Some light staining and browning. Light wear and soiling to binding. Provenance: John Mills (erased inscription on title of "A Match at Foot-ball"); Lloyd Kenyon (1696 - ca. 1773; inscription on first title); Roger Kenyon (1735-1796; various inscriptions throughout).

ESTC T39033. Foxon C328. OCLC 39646791.

Stock Code: BN#56680 Tags: ,