hist-games: hist-games Digest, Vol 28, Issue 4

Graham Webb graham.webb1 at btinternet.com
Sun Oct 7 12:42:45 PDT 2007

Again I find myself agreeing with all that is said here.

I too have found no reference to Tarot in the ECW period. Charles' book of
Sports makes no mention and the Water boatman, who seemed to mention every
game under the sun also makes no mention of it. I can find no complaint at
parish level about the playing of the game, and believe me they complained
about everything. I am very interested in the nul hypothesis argument for
the existence of Tarot however and find it as compelling as Charles and
Steenie wearing periwigs as a disguise when in France and that Queen bess
wore a periwig too. The fact is they were not in fashion in England at that
time. Dalmations are another case in point: since they had once been in the
country and are found there later, they must have been there in the ECW
period: not so I think. Another case in point is the existence of monetero
hats: though nearly all prints show everyone wearing felt hats or helmets
(soldiers), I have found only one reference to the making of these cloth
hats, and that is to comment on them as a curio in the south west of the

Most things in the ECW period can be debated, and I try to keep an open
mind. I will certainly keep my eye on any references to any thing like Tarot
in the future however. Especially since I rather like the look of the cards,
and can think of some pretty good scenarios where I could be playing this
grand looking French game when regaled by the local puritan minister for
being bewitched by the catholic Queen hahha.

Any way, I just have time for a game of Cribbage and Piquet before sampling
the ales in the local hostelry.

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