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Puritans at Play

This illustration from a 14th-century manuscript shows some early variations of lawn bowling.

Finding appropriate entertainment was a challenge for Boston's Puritan community. Puritans were dedicated to hard work and opposed to all forms of idleness. Recreation was recommended as long as the activity was not ungodly, unreasonable, or unproductive. Games that required mental concentration were acceptable. Many sports, however, seemed frivolous. Sports that were made more exciting by wagering on the outcome were especially frowned upon.

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