1360: Oldest mention in the Southern Netherlands

Brussels ordinance banning colf because of danger to windows and people. The penalty for violating this prohibition was a fine of 20 scellinge (shillings or nickels) or forfeiture of your overcoat.

Brussels City Ordinance of the year 1360.

This is the messenger, who made with amman and scenes of Bruessele,


Who with colven tsolt es to twenty scellinge or to her superior cleet.

The amman and aldermen of the city of Brussels issue various police regulations, concerning public order, legal procedures, banishments, etc.

Date: undoubtedly between 5 April and 1 August 1360, but probably after 23 July 1360

The colf game was therefore forbidden here because of the danger to windows and people. But there were also other reasons to ban the game. The colf game was often accompanied by the necessary noise. In 1587 the Utrecht city council forbade colven during the sermon because of the ranting and raving of the players and spectators. In this way, the vroedschap also wanted to encourage regular attendance at the sermon.

In Scotland, Colf was banned for very different reasons:

1457 Item it is ordanyt and decretyt that ye futbawe and ye golf be uterly cryt done and not usyt. (It is ordained and decreed that football and golf be utterly condemned and not practised)

One had to become proficient in fighting and shooting with bows and arrows, in short, defending the country. Note that this first mention in Scotland is a century later than the Brussels ordinance!