Dropped balls prove fatal for Scotland’s first king
Having discovered the game of tennis while in captivity as a child, King James I had his own court built when he returned to Scotland in 1424. When he was constantly losing balls down a nearby sewer, he ordered it to be blocked up.
James I had numerous enemies – the nobilty were unhappy with the reforms he tried to introduce, and many questioned his legitamacy to the throne. Assasins were eventually sent to Friars Preachers Monastery in Perth. The king attempted to hide in the sewer, forgetting that it was blocked and was killed by his attackers.
The queen escaped with their son James, who later became king.
The history of tennis in Scotland goes back to the 13th century – it was originally introduced from France and was played by hitting the ball with hands until the 16th century
James I’s court was one of the earliest, but has not survived to the present day.