After a recent incident where someone reminded me a great deal of Richard Couer de Lion as I recalled him and stirred up some very unexpected and intense emotions in me, I decided to look into my memories of my medieval life again.
I was always unsure about my memories of playing a game similar to golf in the Shropshire hills with a man I later identified as Henry II’s court jester, mostly because I had come to a dead end when trying to find early precursors to the game of golf.
Apparently, an early form of Golf did exist in England and France in the 12th and 13th centuries. It was called Cambuca, or Chambot in French. There were other similar games, called Choule, Crosse, and Paganica (which actually dates all the way back to Roman times). It was the Romans who invented leather balls stuffed with feathers, a trait that carried over in golf well into the 19th century.
A slightly more recent stained glass window from Gloucester Cathedral, dating from about 1350, is often cited by scholars as a portrayal of one of these early games:
I can’t know exactly who I was (the ID as William Longespee remains extremely tenuous and based largely on circumstance and coincidence), but this suddenly takes a cold trail and heats it up again.