Real tennis was played in Southampton from at least the late 15th century; a document of 1486 mentions a ‘tennis playing place’ but is not specific as to location. Corporation deeds of 1530 mention a tennis court, ‘Le Tenys play’, on the west side of French Street one block south of the tenement called The Vernacle. Court Leet records of 1550 mention a tennis court kept by Thomas Muckelow junior, which is probably the same French Street court mentioned above. Presentments to the Court Leet in 1569 show that Robert Vautier was keeping a tennis court, but it is not clear if this was on the French Street site or in another part of the town.

see also

Further reading:
‘Tennis in Southampton in the 16th Century’, by Elizabeth Rothery, in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, No.3, Spring 1992, p17-19. (HS/h)


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