Tag: charles merivale

A Brief History of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races
casino blog
27 March 2011

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat race is an annual boat race between the two universities in England, Oxford and Cambridge. The idea came about in early 1829 by two friends, Charles Merivale and Charles Wordsworth who were attending the two universities at the time. In March of 1829, Cambridge university invited Oxford university to a challenge, and ever since then the boat races have been a tradition for the two well established educational institutions.

The very first boat race was held on the River Thames in Henley, Oxfordshire and according to the local newspapers, 20,000 spectators attended to watch the two teams compete. There was a false start that year and the two teams had to row back for a restart. Oxford won the first race well ahead of Cambridge. Because of the popularity of the race, the citizens of Henley subsequently founded the Henley Royal Regatta which is now another annual boat racing event.

In 1836, the next boat races were held in Westminster in London, where it was held over the next 15 years. The next races didn’t take place until 1845, and the crowds had become so large that the location could no longer cater for such a high number of spectators and so the races were held in Putney, not far from Westminster. In 1856 races then became an annual event as it was so popular among spectators.

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