This month’s object of the month will instead be looking at a specific area of Charterhouse’s history. To coincide with the start of the World Cup we will be looking at the Charterhouses links with the foundation of the Football Association in 1863.
This month sees the start of The FIFA World Cup, 32 teams from across the globe will compete for footballs biggest prize. A global sport with very humble beginnings, did you know that earliest football was played here at the Charterhouse? The game we know today as association football was played here by the schoolboys in the relatively confined space of the Norfolk Cloister. An area once of tranquillity for Carthusian monks to study was now an arena of football, if you like, one of the first homes of English football?
It’s believed that two of the original 13 rules of football came from the Charterhouse. These rules today are more commonly known as the ‘throw in rule’ (Rule 5) and the ‘Offside rule’ (Rule 6). This set of 13 rules came about after it was decided that once and for all the laws of football need to be agreed upon. It was on 26th October 1863 at The Freemasons’ Tavern that the representatives finally met, Charterhouse sent their captain, B.F. Hartshorne, but declined the offer to join the newly formed football association. However, this didn’t stop the Charterhouse football team been one of the most successful sides of the late 19th Century. Known as the Old Carthusians, the team continued to play association football at their new school in Goldalming, Surrey. In 1881 the Old Carthusians were the last team amateur team to win the FA Cup and still compete in the amateur version of the competition to this day.
The original copy of the 1863 rule book is now held at the National Football Museum in Manchester. If you are interested, we also have a reproduction of the book available to buy in our museum shop. Priced at £5.99 it includes a foreword by Sir Bobby Charlton and an interesting insight into the birth of the ‘Beautiful Game’.
Until the 15th July we also be selling several interesting books on football. Any book purchased enters you into a draw for a chance to win a Brother’s tour for two. The tour gives you the chance to follow in the footsteps of the schoolboys who once played in the Norfolk cloister. If you can’t wait until then we have tours everyday except Monday at 11:30, 12 and 2pm.
If you enjoyed this article, the full-length version will be available in the summer edition of the Charterhouse magazine. Available in our shop form July.