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The beginning of the 18th century saw sport acquire increasing importance in the lives of people in England and Ireland. Professionalism was by then established in the major gambling sports of bare-knuckle boxing, cricket and horse racing.
Events of years in sports
|1001 to 1600 | 1601 to 1700 | 1701 to 1725 | 1726 to 1730 | 1731 to 1735|
- A game that is recognisable as modern bandy was played in Russia by the early 18th century, although the rules in use differed from those devised in England in the 1880s. In Russia, bandy is known as "hockey with a ball" or simply "Russian hockey". The game became popular among the nobility with the royal court of Peter I the Great playing bandy on Saint Petersburg's frozen Neva river. Russians played bandy with sticks made out of juniper wood, later adopting skates.
- 18 September 1719 — James Figg declared the first bare-knuckle boxing champion of England.
- 1720–23 — James Figg defeated challengers Timothy Buck, Tom Stokes, Bill Flanders and Chris Clarkson to retain the Championship of England, all the fights taking place in London.
- 1724 — James Figg defeated by Ned Sutton at Gravesend for the Championship of England title, details of the fight being lost.
- 1725 — Jack Broughton began his career with some turn-up bouts in Bristol.
- 31 May 1725 — Ned Sutton lost his Championship of England title in a rematch with James Figg in London. Figg retained the title until his retirement in 1730.
- September 1725 — Jack Broughton defeated an unnamed opponent after the 10th round in one of his early fights at Bristol.
- By the beginning of the 18th century, France was the main centre of European chess.
- 29 June 1709 — Kent v Surrey, the earliest known inter-county match. It was, however, probably a match between two parish teams either side of the county boundary.
- 1 September 1718 — London v Rochester Punch Club at White Conduit Fields was abandoned after three Rochester players made "an elopement" in an attempt to have the game declared incomplete so that they would retain their stake money. A noted lawsuit was opened by the London players in pursuance of their winnings and the judge ordered that the match be "played out".
- July 1719 — as ordered by the court, the London v Rochester match was completed and London won by 21 runs.
- 1721 — mariners of the British East India Company reported to be playing cricket at Khambhat (then Cambay) in western India, the earliest known reference to cricket in the Indian sub-continent.
- 1724 — earliest mention of Edwin Stead, the noted patron of Kent county cricket; under his leadership, Kent was the most successful team of the 1720s. William Bedle, described in his 1768 obituary notice as "the most expert cricket player in England", played for Kent at this time.
- 1725 — earliest mentions in a cricket connection of the noted Sussex patrons Sir William Gage, 7th Baronet and Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond.
- 1711 — Queen Anne kept a large string of racehorses and was instrumental in the organisation of racing at the village of East Cote, now known as Ascot, near Windsor Castle. She founded Royal Ascot where one of the main events each year, continuing into the 21st century, is called the Queen Anne Stakes.
- "James Figg". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- "Jack Broughton". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Buckley, G. B. (1937). Fresh Light on pre-Victorian Cricket. Cotterell. p. 1.
- Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell. p. 2.
- Guha, Ramachandra (2001). A Corner of a Foreign Field – An Indian History of a British Sport. Picador. p. 3.
- Altham, H. S. (1962). A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914). London: George Allen & Unwin. p. 31.
- Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. London: Aurum Press Ltd. p. 19. ISBN 1-85410-710-0.
- Bowen, Rowland (1970). Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode. p. 48. ISBN 0-413-27860-3.
- Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell. p. 48.
- McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Lewes: Sussex Record Society. p. 4. ISBN 0-85445-055-6.
- "Kilsyth Curling History". Paperclip.org.uk. Retrieved 4 August 2012.