Country roads were rough, tough, and uneven. But the agile, handsome, and (sometimes) opulently dressed running footmen traversed these treacherous roads to scout, deliver messages, and honor their masters with their ultramarathon endurance. Holding a staff, an egg, and maybe a little white wine, was the running footman the first professional runner of the modern age?
Anderson, Earl R. "Footnotes More Pedestrian Than Sublime." Eighteenth-Century Studies 14:1 (1980): 56-68.
Bovill, E.W. English Country Life, 1780-1830. Oxford University Press, 1962.
Radford, P.F. and A.J. Ward-Smith. "British Running Performances in the Eighteenth Century." Journal of Sports Sciences 21 (2003): 429-438.
Depping, Guillaume. Wonders of Bodily Strength and Skill, in All Ages and All Countries. Translated by Charles Russell. New York: C. Scribner, 1871.
Frank Leslie's New Family Magazine, vol. IV, no. 1. New York, January 1859.
Morley, Henry. Character Writings of the Seventeenth Century. London: G. Routledge, 1891.
Walsh, William Shepard. A Handy Book of Curious Information. Philadelphia and London: J.B. Lippincott, 1913.
This episode is part of our Running in History Series
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com)