A RARE AUTOGRAPH LETTER FROM THE INVENTOR AND POPULARIZER OF LAWN TENNIS. Wingfield published the first set of rules for 'Saphairistikè or Lawn Tennis' in December 1873, a new synthesis of rackets, royal tennis and badminton, and sold boxed sets of equipment together with Messrs French & Co. of London. He applied for a patent for his court in February 1874. However, he was later discredited by Heathcote and Marshall who published revised rules, including a rectangular rather than an hour-glass court, in 1877. In July that year the first world tournament at the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club of Wimbledon took place. Despite Wingfield's undeniable contribution to the game, his obituary in 1912 made no mention of the word 'tennis'.