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16th Cen­tury

A ver­sion of badminton has been played since the times of An­cient Greece, with so-called ‘bat­tle­dore and shut­tle­cock’ one of the old­est known racket sports. It be­came a pop­u­lar sport among the up­per class in Eu­rope dur­ing the 16th and 17th cen­turies, and au­thor Jane Austen wrote about play­ing it with her neph­ews in the early 19th cen­tury. Bat­tle­dores (rack­ets) had parch­ment or leather stretched across the wooden frames and a wooden han­dle. Shut­tle­cocks were made with a cork core and feathers – a sim­i­lar de­sign to the ones used to­day.

Bat­tle­dore and shut­tle­cock was also known as by its French name, ‘jeu de volant’

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