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From Lads to Lord's


The History of Cricket: 1701 – 1730 | The History of Cricket: 1741 – 1745 | Index


The History of Cricket: 1731 – 1740

1731 | 1732 | 1733 | 1734 | 1735 | 1736 | 1737 | 1738 | 1739 | 1740
John Bowra | Tim Coleman | Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales | Lord John Philip Sackville
Chertsey CC and Laleham Burway | The Vine Cricket Ground


The story continues through a decade in which cricket, perhaps for the first time, received the seal of royal approval. Whatever we may think of the Hanoverian rulers of England during the eighteenth century, they certainly did no harm to our sport.

The noticeable thing about the 1720s was that the number of matches reported per season grew from zero (in 1721 and 1723) to several as the decade progressed. Apart from the economic impact of the South Sea Bubble, there is no reason to believe that the number of matches actually played each season was increasing. The problem was that newspaper production was in its infancy and publishers were still getting over the old habits forced on them by state censorship until 1696. In addition, sport was not seen as something that would sell papers until its enormous potential was finally realised much later, but at least some editors realised that notices of games were useful for their readers. We possibly have the readers themselves to thank for this: people were just as capable of writing letters to the editor then as now.

But, we learned quite a bit about the events of 1730 and there was much more to come during the following decade, especially as the game received not just aristocratic but royal patronage in the person of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales.

The London Club was predominant during this period though cricket was still heavily reliant upon all its patrons. Towards the end of the period, challengers to London appeared in the forms of first Chertsey and Chislehurst and then the first of the "great little clubs": Slindon.

1731

the history

24 April. Death of Daniel Defoe (1660 – 1731), English writer famous for Robinson Crusoe.

the cricket

Match reports were much more common by this time and tended to contain more detail, sometimes including the names of patrons and players. Therefore we have a considerably larger record of the 1730s than of previous decades. There are 26 in 1731.

The earliest known instances of ground enclosure occur in 1731, the playing area on Kennington Common being roped off twice in an attempt to keep spectators off the field. Cricket is the first sport known to enclose its venues and it quickly became common practice with stakes and ropes being reported at the Artillery Ground in 1732. It is not clear when admission fees were first introduced but there was certainly a two pence charge in place at the Artillery Ground by the early 1740s. My bet would be that the Artillery Ground started charging sometime during the 1730s.

May. A fatality occurred outside the Artillery Ground when a passer-by, Mr Leggatt, was struck on the nose by a ball that had been hit out of the ground. He bled copiously and eventually died as a result of the injury on Sunday 6 July.

July. Mr Waghorn in CS recorded an unusual match at Duppas Hill, Croydon between a Kent team and a Surrey team who were all called Wood. The Kent team won. This is interesting given the well documented confusion over different players called Wood in the 1770s.

Saturday 2 October. DC recorded: "a great cricket match will be play'd in the Artillery Ground; it will be the last plaid (sic) this season; 11 of a side, stumps to be pitch'd exactly at 12 o'clock".

Tim Coleman

Tim Coleman (dates unknown) was an early London and Surrey player who was active during the 1720s and 1730s.

He is one of the earliest cricketers whose name has survived in contemporary records, the 1731 newspaper report of the match at Mitcham Cricket Green referring to him as "the famous Tim Coleman" (see The Dawn of Cricket). The full span of Coleman's career is unknown but he must have established his reputation during the 1720s when the London club is known to have played several matches. London was the dominant team in English cricket through the 1730s.

DC ended its reports of 1731 by mentioning another game on Saturday, 2 October at Mitcham Cricket Green in Surrey. The local club played against Ewell, also in Surrey, for a small stake. This is interesting because it mentions "the famous Tim Coleman" who usually played for the London club and was in the Ewell team on this occasion. It is rarely that a player is mentioned by name in these early reports. Mr Coleman was on the losing side in this game as the home team won "by several notches".

single wicket

July. Mr Waghorn in CS records a single wicket match at Maidstone between two officers of the Royal Horse Guards, Captain Beak and Lieutenant Coke. It was for a "considerable sum of money" and won by Captain Beak after three hours "very hard played". Mr Waghorn says it is the first military match he found during his researches.

significant matches

London v Dartford

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Saturday, 5 June 1731

London by 15 runs (DC)

Played for 50 guineas a side in the "old" Artillery Ground. Play went on for several hours and bets of between £400 and £500 were laid. Those amounts were a fortune at the time.

London v Kent

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Tuesday, 8 June 1731

London won (DC)

Played for 30 guineas. An evening match.

Dartford v London

Dartford Brent, Dartford, Kent

Wednesday, 16 June 1731

drawn (GB18)

A return match was immediately arranged, to be played on Thu 24 June at the Artillery Ground.

London v Dartford

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Thu 24 June 1731

result unknown (GB18)

This was arranged immediately after the game at Dartford Brent on Wednesday, 16 June (St James Evening Post).

Sunbury v Kent

Sunbury Common, near Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey

Saturday, 26 June 1731

Sunbury won "by several notches" (DC)

Dartford v London

Dartford Brent, Dartford, Kent

Wednesday, 30 June 1731

drawn (DC)

The match ran out of time but "it was thought (London) would have won". They arranged to play again on Monday 5 July (see below).

London v Dartford

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Monday, 5 July 1731

result unknown (DC)

Mr Waghorn reports that play did not finish at Dartford Brent on Wednesday, 30 June and the match was replayed at the Artillery Ground on the following Monday 5 July (result unknown). GB18 has an advert dated Saturday, 3 July for the re-match on Monday 5 July. Stumps were to be pitched at exactly two o'clock. Time in those days was determined by the local church clock.

Kent v Middlesex

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Monday, 19 July 1731

result unknown (GB18)

Reported in advance only: "for £50 a side". The report stresses that the contestants are "the County of Kent and the County of Middlesex".

Croydon v London

Duppas Hill, Croydon, Surrey

Tuesday, 20 July 1731

Croydon won (GB18)

The original report in Fog's Weekly Journal calls the winning team Surrey but a report of the return match on Monday, 26 July refers to Croydon. It was played at Duppas Hill, home venue of the Croydon club, so it does seem likely that Croydon was playing.

London v Croydon

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Monday, 26 July 1731

Croydon won "with small odds" (GB18)

Mr Buckley's source was the Daily Advertiser on Tuesday, 27 July. Another source (Read's Weekly Journal, quoted in DC) reports that London were playing Dartford, but this match was almost certainly a return of the one at Duppas Hill on Tuesday, 20 July.

"Wickets to be pitched at 1 pm under forfeiture of £10 on either side".

Duke of Richmond's XI v Mr Chambers' XI

Chichester, Sussex

Monday, 16 August 1731

Mr Chambers' XI won (PVSC/GB18)

The stake in this game was 100 guineas. No details are reported other than that Mr Chambers' XI won. It seems Mr Chambers and his team all came from Middlesex.

Mr Chambers' XI v Duke of Richmond's XI

Richmond Green, Richmond, Surrey

Monday, 23 August 1731

drawn / Richmond conceded? (CS/TJM/GB18)

This return match was played for 200 guineas but it is notable as the earliest match where team scores are known: Duke of Richmond 79, Mr Chambers 119; Duke of Richmond 72, Mr Chambers 23-5 (approx.). The game ended promptly at a pre-agreed time although Mr Chambers with "four or five more to have come in" and needing "about 8 to 10 notches" clearly had the upper hand. The end result caused a fracas among the crowd at Richmond Green who were incensed by the prompt finish because the Duke of Richmond had arrived late and delayed the start of the game. The riot resulted in some of the Sussex players "having the shirts torn off their backs; and it was said a law suit would commence about the play".

GB18 includes a further note which suggests the Duke of Richmond may have later conceded the result to Mr Chambers (see match on Monday, 6 September below).

Croydon v London

Duppas Hill, Croydon, Surrey

Thu 2 September 1731

Surrey won (GB18)

Played for 11 guineas. It is reported that "a dispute arose and it was agreed to play it again on Monday, 13 September".

Surrey v Kent

Dulwich Common, Surrey

Saturday, 4 September 1731

drawn (rain) (DC)

This game was drawn due to heavy rain. Kent led by 17 on first innings but Surrey, with 3 wickets standing, needed just 12 to win when rain ended it. The report says the participants originally intended to continue another time but it seems they settled for the draw.

Surrey v Mr Chambers' XI

Sanderstead Common, Surrey

Monday, 6 September 1731

Surrey won (GB18)

The Daily Post Boy reported on Wednesday, 8 September that "11 of Surrey beat the 11 who about a fortnight ago beat the Duke of Richmond's men". See the game on Monday, 23 August above. The report on Wednesday, 8 September suggests that the Duke of Richmond conceded his controversial game against Mr Chambers.

London v Croydon

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 15 September 1731

Croydon won "with great odds" (GB18/DC)

Again the confusion between Croydon and Surrey: one report says Croydon, another says Surrey. Croydon is the more likely. This was probably the replay of the game on Thursday, 2 September (see above), but postponed by two days from the originally agreed date.

Surrey v London

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Tuesday, 28 September 1731

result unknown (DC)

No post-match report was found for this match despite its being promoted as "likely to be the best performance of this kind that has been seen for some time". It is interesting that "for the convenience of the gamesters, the ground is to be staked and roped out" so it seems that enclosure quickly became common practice in 1731 (see London v Sevenoaks below). In addition, the advertisement refers to "the whole county of Surrey" as London's opponents. The Prince of Wales was expected to attend.

Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales

Frederick Louis, Prince of WalesFrederick Louis, Prince of Wales (born 1 February 1707 in Hanover; died 31 March 1751 in London) was the eldest son of King George II and the father of King George III. He lived in Hanover until 1727 when his father succeeded to the throne.

By the time Frederick Louis arrived in England, cricket had developed into the country's most popular team sport and it thrived on gambling. Perhaps because he wished to "anglicise" and so fit in with his new society, Frederick developed an academic interest in cricket that soon became a genuine enthusiasm. He began to make wagers and then to patronise and play the sport, even forming his own team on several occasions.

The earliest mention of Frederick in cricket annals is in a contemporary report reproduced by H T Waghorn in his The Dawn of Cricket. This concerns a match on Tuesday 28 September 1731 between Surrey and London, played on Kennington Common. No post-match report was found despite advance promotion as "likely to be the best performance of this kind that has been seen for some time". It is interesting that "for the convenience of the gamesters, the ground is to be staked and roped out" which was a new practice in 1731 and could have been done partly for the benefit of a royal visitor. The advertisement refers to "the whole county of Surrey" as London's opponents and states that the Prince of Wales is "expected to attend".

In August 1732, the Whitehall Evening Post reported that Frederick attended "a great cricket match" at Kew on Thursday 27 July.

By the 1733 season, he was really getting involved. We read of him giving a guinea to each player in a Surrey v Middlesex game at Moulsey Hurst. Then he awarded a silver cup to a combined Surrey & Middlesex team which had just beaten Kent, arguably the best county team at the time, at Moulsey Hurst on Wednesday, 1 August. This is the first reference in cricket history to any kind of trophy (other than hard cash) being contested. On Friday 31 August, the Prince of Wales' XI played Sir William Gage's XI on Moulsey Hurst. The result is unknown but the teams were said to be of county standard, so presumably it was in effect a Surrey v Sussex match.

In the years following 1733, there are frequent references to the Prince of Wales as a patron of cricket and as an occasional player, though it is doubtful if he was actually any good as a player.

When he died on 31 March 1751, cricket suffered a double impact for his death closely followed that of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, who was the game's greatest patron. The loss of these patrons had an adverse impact on the game's finances and the number of top-class matches reduced for some years to come, although economic difficulties arising from the wars of the period certainly inhibited many potential investors.

Indeed, it has frequently been said that the Prince of Wales died as a result of being struck on the head by a cricket ball. He may well have been hit on the head but that did not kill him; the cause of death was a burst abscess in a lung. Cricket has had its share of fatalities in its time, but Prince Frederick Louis was not one of them.

other matches

London v Sevenoaks

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Monday, 31 May 1731

result unknown (DC)

Advance notice was given of this game and the one below, both at the same venue.

London v Chelsfield (Kent)

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Tuesday, 1 June 1731

London won (DC)

Played in the evening for 30 guineas and won by the London team "by great odds".

London v Enfield

Lamb's Conduit Fields, Holborn, Middlesex

Friday, 18 June 1731

London by 14 runs (DC)

Played for 200 guineas. The report mentions "a great deal of good play on both sides".

Played for 30 guineas a side. The Kent side was organised by Edward Stead of Maidstone. His opponent (for the stakes) may well have been Mr Andrews of Sunbury who organised the match against the Duke of Richmond in 1730.

Surrey v East Grinstead

Tom Broad's, Smitham Bottom, near Croydon, Surrey

Monday, 12 July 1731

East Grinstead won by 5 wickets (DC/TJM)

This was played for forty guineas a side and "won very considerably by (East Grinstead), they having four men to go in when the umpire gave up the game".

London v Sevenoaks

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Monday, 12 July 1731

result unknown (DC)

This game is the first known to have been played in an enclosed ground. The report says "the ground will be roped round and all persons are desired to keep without side of the same".

Chelsea v Fulham

Chelsea Common, north London

Tuesday, 13 July 1731

Fulham won "by great odds" (DC)

This was played for 50 guineas and, no, it wasn't a football game! Mr Waghorn recorded: "a person that stood by had the misfortune to receive a blow from the ball which beat out three of his teeth".

Hampton v Brentford

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Wednesday, 14 July 1731

result unknown (GB18)

Reported in advance only: "we hear that above £500 is already laid on their heads, neither party having yet been beat".

Chelsea v Fulham

Parson's Green, north London

Tuesday, 10 August 1731

Fulham won by 3 runs (DC)

".....for 30 guineas; the game being play'd with great judgment on both sides. Chelsea was beat by only 3 notches".

Surrey v Kingston

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

? September 1731

Surrey won (WSC)

Played for 25 guineas a side and "some thousands of persons of both sexes were present on this occasion".

1732

the history

7 December. The original Covent Garden Theatre Royal (now the Royal Opera House) was opened.

the cricket

There is a reference in The Craftsman dated Saturday, 26 February (Julian) to Mr Christopher Jones, Master of the Artillery Ground, at the Pyed Horse in Chiswell Street (which abounded the ground). Recorded in PVC.

The Whitehall Evening Post reported on Thu 3 August that there was a "great cricket match" at Kew on Thu 27 July where the Prince of Wales was present (GB18).

significant matches

Croydon v London

Walworth Common, Surrey

Monday, 8 May 1732

Croydon won "by great odds" (GB18)

It is possible that this London was not the famous London Club because a report at the end of the season says London played thirteen matches during the season and "did not lose a game this year".

London v Surrey

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 7 June 1732

London by 8 runs (GB18)

This was reported on both Tuesday, 6 and Thu 8 June by the St James Evening Post. The pre-match notice said stumps would be pitched at one o'clock and, at the request of two (unnamed) gentlemen who have laid a very great sum of money, the ground is to be staked and all gentlemen are desired to keep outside the rope. On Thu 8 June, the paper simply reported that London won by 8 notches.

Kent v London

Dartford Brent, Dartford, Kent

Monday, 12 June 1732

London won (DCC)

"Kent lost to London on the Brent after 6/4 being laid against London in the middle of the game" (Whitehall Evening Post).

Surrey v London

Sanderstead Downs, near Croydon, Surrey

Monday, 26 June 1732

drawn (GB18)

This was played by the same teams as on Wednesday, 7 June. The report states very ambiguously that "the London gamesters got 77 ahead the last hands and but 4 men out, time not permitting them to play it out". Which seems to tell us the match was drawn!

Essex & Herts v London

Epping Forest, Essex

Thu 6 July 1732

result unknown (GB18)

This match is the earliest known reference to Essex as a (part) county team. The terms were "for £50 a side, play or pay; wickets to be pitched at one o'clock precisely or forfeit half the money".

London v Middlesex

Islington, Middlesex (White Conduit Fields?)

Monday, 7 August 1732

result unknown (GB18)

The advertisement echoes an earlier game by stating that the venue would be "the field behind the Woolpack at Islington".

London v Surrey

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Tuesday, 29 August 1732

result unknown (GB18)

This match is also mentioned in DC with the date given as Wednesday, 30 August. The game was unfinished at seven o'clock and so they "are to play it again on Monday 11 September".

London v Middlesex

Kew Green, near Richmond, Surrey

Monday, 4 September 1732

result unknown (GB18)

GB18 mentions that "those players involved on Wednesday, 13 Sept will be the same persons that played Monday, Sept. 4, at Kew Green".

London v Surrey

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Monday, 11 September 1732

result unknown (GB18)

This is the replay of the unfinished game on Tuesday 29 August.

London v Middlesex

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 13 September 1732

drawn (GB18)

A very controversial match as the report states: "Middlesex went in first and got 88 notches; the Londoners got 84; the County went in again and got 58; the Londoners then went in for 63 notches to win; they got 56 and but four men out, when one of the County men would not play any longer, pretending the time was expired as they were to play to, which was six o'clock, although there wanted six minutes of the time by the scorer's watch. The London gamesters intend to go to law for the money, there being upward of £100 depending on the game. This is the thirteenth match the London gamesters have played this year and not lost one match".

But see above re Croydon v London on Monday, 8 May.

other matches

London v Brentford & Sunbury

Walworth Common, Surrey

Monday, 5 June 1732

London "by very considerable odds" (GB18)

According to the Dartford Cricket Club website, there seems to have been some confusion in contemporary accounts between this game and the one on Monday, 12 June. One account apparently had Brentford & Sunbury called Kent.

1733

the history

John Kay (1704 – 1780) invented the flying shuttle, a device that enabled weavers to produce cloth more quickly and in greater widths. Along with the steam engine, already in use after being devised by Thomas Newcomen, the shuttle is recognised as one of the key inventions that began the Industrial Revolution.

the cricket

Cricket continued to rely mainly on the patrons but there are fewer reports of matches than in the three previous seasons.

significant matches

London v Kent

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Thu 5 July 1733

result unknown (DC)

Advertised as for one guinea each man with wickets to be pitched at one o'clock and the spectators to keep outside the line round the ground. "If any persons get on the Walls (sic), they will be prosecuted as the Law directs; and the Company are desired to come through the Py'd Horse Yard, Chiswell Street".

Surrey v Middlesex

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

c. Wednesday, 11 July 1733

Middlesex by 3 runs (CS)

The report says the teams "were very hard matched". The Prince of Wales gave each player a guinea after the game.

Kent v Surrey & Middlesex

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Wednesday, 1 August 1733

Surrey & Middlesex won (CS)

The Kent v Surrey & Middlesex match was arranged immediately after the match on or about Wednesday, 11 July by the Prince of Wales (Prince Frederick) and Mr Edward Stead. The Prince of Wales awarded a silver cup to the winners of the Wednesday, 1 August match and this is the first known instance of a cup being played for. This is also mentioned in KCM.

Prince of Wales XI v Sir William Gage's XI

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Friday, 31 August 1733

result unknown (TJM)

The announcement in the St James Evening Post (Saturday, 25 to Tuesday, 28 August) states: "On Friday next a great Match at Cricket will be play'd on Molesey (sic) Hurst; by 11 of the best Players in the County on each Side, for a Wager of 100 Guineas between His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and the Right Honourable, the Lord Gage".

Mr Waghorn reported this in DC as being on the following Friday, 7 September, and he confusingly recorded the county as Suffolk when it was in fact Sussex. Lord Gage is of course Sir William Gage. The Prince of Wales was by now completely taken with cricket and had become another great patron of the sport.

Surrey v Kent

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Monday, 10 September 1733

result unknown (KCM)

The same game seems to be dated 20 September in DC which may be a Gregorian equivalent, although it is possible by reference to a game reported by GB18 in 1736 that DC has got the year wrong, never mind the day and month! The game reported in KCM is correctly dated Monday 10 September (Julian Calendar). KCM and DC both report word for word a condition about roping the enclosure.

London v Kent

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 12 September 1733

Kent by 3 wickets (GB18)

This seems to be the earliest known result wherein the win was by a certain number of wickets, unless the Richmond v Chambers game in 1731 was actually conceded by Richmond. London scored 65 & 35; Kent scored 71 "and the second hands of the Kentish men won the wager and had three men to spare".

Croydon v London

Duppas Hill, Croydon, Surrey

c. Wednesday, 19 September 1733

drawn (CS)

Team scores are known: Croydon 95 & 76; London 89 & 41-5. Time expired and it was drawn. Croydon had three given men and it was reported that the betting reached record levels, but that statement could not have been verifiable even at the time. It is interesting that the Croydon team was called "the country men". The report says a rematch would take place at the Artillery Ground "on Wednesday next".

London v Croydon

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 26 September 1733

drawn due to rain (GB18)

This was the rematch of the previous game. London had a lead of 8 runs when play was abandoned but we do not what stage the game had reached. Reported in the Whitehall Evening Post dated Saturday 29 September.

other matches

London v Greenwich

The Heath, Blackheath, Kent

Tuesday, 22 May 1733

London won by 15 runs (GB18)

London scored 112 in the first innings after going in first. No other totals were mentioned.

Married v Single

Stubbington, near Portsmouth

Tuesday, 22 May 1733

Married won (Wilson)

This is currently the earliest known cricket match to have been played in Hampshire. Details were found by Martin Wilson, the author of An Index to Waghorn, in the American Weekly Mercury, a Philadelphia newspaper dated 20 to 27 September 1733. Martin subsequently found an earlier version of the report in an English newspaper, the 18 June 1733 edition of Parker's Penny Post.

London v Greenwich

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Monday, 28 May 1733

result unknown (GB18)

This was a rematch announced in the report of the previous game.

Married v Single

Titchfield, near Portsmouth

Tuesday, 29 May 1733

Married won (Wilson)

This was found by Martin Wilson with the game on 22 May (see above) by Parker's Penny Post and later by the American Weekly Mercury of Philadelphia.

Fulham v Chelsea

Parson's Green, north London

Tuesday, 26 June 1733

Fulham won by 3 runs (GB18)

The prize was 30 guineas.

Ealing & Acton v London

Ealing Common, Ealing, Middlesex

Monday, 20 August 1733

result unknown (GB18)

Announced by Berington's Evening Post as: "for £50, play or pay".

1734

the history

Road transport continued to improve under the twin schemes of turnpikes and stagecoaches. Relays of horses were first provided in 1734 for stagecoaches on the London-Newcastle route, enabling journey time to be reduced from twelve days to nine. The service was called the Flying Coach.

the cricket

Lord John Philip Sackville

Lord John Philip Sackville (1713–1765) was a great patron of the sport and no mean player either. He is best known for having organised the great match at the Artillery Ground in 1744 when Kent beat All-England.

Born on 22 June 1713, Sackville was the second son of the 1st Duke of Dorset. His brother Lord Middlesex became 2nd Duke in 1765 and John Philip should have succeeded him, but he pre-deceased him by four years. When the 2nd Duke died in 1769, the title passed to John Philip's son John Frederick, who became the famous 3rd Duke.

Sackville's known playing career spanned the 1734 to 1745 seasons, during which he is definitely recorded in 7 significant matches. His first appearance was for Kent against Sussex in September 1734 at Sevenoaks Vine, when his brother Lord Middlesex also played for Kent. He played for London in 1739 when he, Mr Dunn and John Bowra were described by the London & Country Journal as "three very good gamesters".

The first match in Scores and Biographies is Kent v All-England at the Artillery Ground on Monday, 18 June 1744. Sackville, as captain of Kent, was the match organiser and he earned high praise for a remarkable second innings catch, eulogised by James Love in his Cricket: An Heroic Poem, that dismissed Richard Newland. Kent went on to win by 1 wicket.

The last mention of Sackville in a cricketing context was in 1745 when he apparently played for Sussex against Surrey. After the match, which Surrey may have won, Sackville wrote to the Duke of Richmond, patron of Sussex, to say: "I wish you had let Ridgeway play instead of your stopper behind it might have turned the match in our favour".

Lord John Philip Sackville died on 3 December 1765 at Tour du Pain, by Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Four counties (Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex) and two clubs (Croydon and London) took part in all the 1734 games.

Thu 13 June. The St James Evening Post reported a couple of serious injuries in a private match at the Artillery Ground: "...a stander-by (sic) had the misfortune to have his knee-pan (i.e., patella) put out by a blow from the ball, and another was much bruised in the face by a like accident". Who says cricket isn't a dangerous sport?

A game between London and Sevenoaks, arranged for Monday 8 July on Kennington Common, was not played due to the non-appearance of the Sevenoaks team. The Whitehall Evening Post reported that according to the Articles of Agreement their deposit money was forfeited. Since the first mention of Articles of Agreement in 1727 (Richmond v Brodrick), it had surely become common practice to draw up such an agreement before each major match, especially if large stakes were involved.

September. A report included in CS states that London was due to have played Croydon but that the Croydon team withdrew "having been regaled with a good dinner"! The London Club thereupon announced its intention to have one more match before the end of season and so challenged any eleven men in England except that "they will not admit of one from Croydon".

significant matches

Kent v London

Dartford Brent, Dartford, Kent

Wednesday, 12 June 1734

London won (GB18)

London beat Kent on Dartford Brimp (sic) "though there was 6 to 4 laid against London in the middle of the game".

London v Kent

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 19 June 1734

London by an innings & 25 runs (GB18)

Team scores are known: Kent 31 & 51; London 107. A resounding win for London, especially given their victory at Dartford the previous Wednesday.

Croydon v London

Duppas Hill, Croydon, Surrey

c. Thu 25 July 1734

Croydon won (CS)

No details are given of this game except the winners. The report includes a pre-announcement of the following game.

London v Croydon

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Thu 1 August 1734

London won (GB18)

All it is known is that London won the game. Reported in the Grub Street Journal of Thu 8 August.

London v Surrey

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Monday, 26 August 1734

result unknown (GB18)

Pre-announced in the London Evening Post of Thu 22 August. It says: "the wickets to be pitched precisely between 12 and 1 o'clock"! An early Colemanballs, perhaps?

The Vine Cricket Ground

The game on 6 September 1734 is the earliest known use of "Sevenoaks Vine" as a venue. The Vine Cricket Ground is one of the oldest in England. It was given to the town of Sevenoaks in 1773 by John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset (1745 - 1799) and owner of Knole House, where the ground is sited. The land was thought previously to have been used as a vineyard for the Archbishops of Canterbury (hence the name). The weatherboard pavilion is 19th century. The Vine Cricket Club must pay Sevenoaks Town Council a rent of 2 peppercorns per year - one for the ground and one for the pavilion. They, in turn, must pay Lord Sackville (if asked) one cricket ball on the 21st July each year.

Kent v Sussex

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

Friday, 6 September 1734

Kent won (CS/TJM)

The earliest known use of Sevenoaks Vine as a venue. It is known that Lord Middlesex (1710–1769) and his brother Lord John Philip Sackville (1713–1765) played for Kent; and Sir William Gage for Sussex.

Sussex v Kent

The Downs, near Lewes, Sussex

Wednesday, 11 September 1734

result unknown (TJM)

The report of the previous game states that "the same Gentlemen were to play on the Downs near Lewes in Sussex".

1735

the history

Beginning of the Russo-Turkish War (to 1739). A Russian attack on Crimea failed.

the cricket

Kent, Surrey and Sussex were the main county teams in action but the London Club seems to have continued its predominance.

Thu 28 August. The death of Edward Stead (1701 – 1735) was reported in the Grub Street Journal dated Thu 4 September. Mr Stead was a noted patron of the game from the mid – 1720s and may have been a good player too. He was a Maidstone man who undoubtedly did much to promote the game in Kent. A compulsive gambler, it seems he died in reduced circumstances. One account stated that he died "near Charing Cross" and another that he died "in Scotland Yard".

single wicket

Monday, 11 August. The General Evening Post on Thu 7 August announced a single wicket match the following Monday on Kennington Common involving seven players of the London Club. The game would be three against four with Mr Wakeland, Mr Dunn and Mr Pool against Mr Marshall, Mr Ellis and two others. Dunn and Ellis have been mentioned previously. (GB18)

significant matches

Croydon v London

Duppas Hill, Croydon, Surrey

Tuesday, 27 May 1735

London won (GB18)

Mr Buckley found four different notices of this match in the Whitehall Evening Post, the London Evening Post, the Weekly Register and the Grub Street Journal. The WEP called the game Surrey v London but the others all agreed it was Croydon v London. The Weekly Register (Saturday, 31 May) reported that "London beat Croydon with very great ease". The date was Whit Tuesday.

Surrey v London

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Saturday, 7 June 1735

London by 9 wickets (CS)

Scores are known: Surrey 54 & 44; London 61 & 38-1. We also know some of the players: Cook, Ellis, Dunn and Wheatley of London; and at least two players called Wood played for Surrey. Mr Ellis could not play because of an injured finger and he was London's "best bowler". Cook of Brentford, "reckoned one of the best bowlers in England", was brought in to bowl instead of him. The Surrey players called Wood evidently came from Woodcot; one of them was injured during the game. After London lost one wicket in their second innings, the target was reached by Mr Wheatley, the distiller, and Mr Dunn. Never before have so many players' names been given in a match report.

See also the mention of this match in the following entry (re the "Surrey bunglers"!).

Surrey v London

Kennington/Artillery Ground

Wednesday, 18 June 1735

drawn (CS/GB18)

Originally arranged to be played on Kennington Common, as reported by the General Evening Post on Thu 12 June, the venue was altered to the Artillery Ground as reported in the London Daily Post on Saturday, 14 June. The GEP report says that Mr Jervoise of Croydon selected "11 men out of Croydon and that neighbourhood in Surrey". It goes on to report that "the three or four bunglers who played on the Surrey side at Moulsey Hurst last Saturday (7th inst.) do not play".

Scores are known: London 67 & 72; Surrey 97 & 33-7. We also know that London lost their first wicket at 22-1.

Mr Waghorn says the report's use of the word "innings" was the earliest he had noticed.

Surrey v London

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

c. Wednesday, 25 June 1735

London by 1 wicket (CS)

Surrey was backed by the Prince of Wales and London by Edward Stead. One of Surrey's best players broke a finger when catching the ball and this was said to be the reason for their defeat.

London & Middlesex v Kent

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Saturday, 12 July 1735

Kent by 4 wickets (CS)

This is also reported in GB18. The scores are in CS: London 95 & 41; Kent 80 & 57-6.

The London & Middlesex team consisted of 8 from London and 3 from Middlesex, including Cook of Brentford who was reckoned to be one of the best bowlers in England. Curiously, Kent's patron was the Earl of Middlesex, who was the eldest son of the 1st Duke of Dorset. Their opponents were backed by the Prince of Wales. The match was staged for £1000 a side.

The report confirmed that a second match would be played in two weeks on Bromley Common (see below).

Interestingly, the General Evening Post reported that the London team was imbalanced by inclusion of the three Middlesex men and lost the match for that reason. The Prince of Wales was reported as saying that his team in the return match would therefore by an all London XI. As Mr Buckley says, this was an early appreciation of teamwork.

London v Surrey

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Friday, 18 July 1735

London won (GB18)

The London Daily Post on Saturday, 19 July reported that London beat Surrey "with ease".

Kent v London

Bromley Common, Bromley, Kent

Wednesday, 30 July 1735

Kent by 10 wickets (CS)

This is also reported in KCM. Scores are in CS: London 73 & 32; Kent 97 & 9-0.

The report states that a large crowd attended and "a great deal of mischief was done". It seems that horses panicked and riders were thrown while some members of the crowd were "rode over". One man was "carried off for dead" as HRH passed by at the entrance to the Common.

Sussex v Kent

Dripping Pan, Lewes, Sussex

Wednesday, 13 August 1735

Sussex won (TJM)

The source for this match is a letter from John Whaley to Horace Walpole dated Wednesday, 13 August. He says the Sussex team "seem as much pleased as if they had got an Election". He also reported that "we have been at supper with them all" until one o'clock in the morning.

Kent v Sussex

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

c. Wednesday, 20 August 1735

Kent won (TJM)

The London Evening Post speculated that "the Conqueror" (i.e., a decider) between the Kent and Sussex teams, led by Lord John Philip Sackville and Sir William Gage respectively, would be played in a few days but there is no record of a further match.

1736

the history

8 May. Marriage of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. Their eldest son became King George III.

Chertsey Cricket Club and Laleham Burway

Laleham Burway was a famous cricket ground near Chertsey in Surrey and the home of the Chertsey Cricket Club, which is one of the oldest in England. The club's own website dates its founding as 1737 but in fact matches involving a Chertsey team date from 1736. "The Burway" was a popular venue for major cricket matches throughout the 18th century.

it is known of two games that were played by Chertsey before July in the 1736 season. One is Croydon v Chertsey at Duppas Hill in Croydon; the other is Chertsey v Croydon at the Laleham Burway ground in Chertsey. Our knowledge of the games is via an announcement in Read's Weekly Journal dated Saturday 3 July about a deciding game on Richmond Green to be played on Monday 5 July. In each of the two matches, the home team won "by a great number of runs". The match at Laleham Burway is the first important one that it is known to have been played there.

Numerous major cricket games were played at Laleham Burway during the 18th century. Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) was the one in which Thomas White's huge bat caused a furore that led to a change in the Laws of Cricket. This was the Chertsey v Hambledon game on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 September 1771. The last major cricket game at the ground may have been Chertsey v Coulsdon in June 1784, but there are doubts about the quality of that game. Chertsey did play Berkshire there in 1783 and that was a major cricket match. Laleham Burway continued to be used into the 19th century.

The club played a number of big matches against London and Dartford. In the 1760s, they played matches against the sport's rising power, Hambledon. Chertsey produced several famous players in the 18th century including the great bowler Edward "Lumpy" Stevens and the noted wicket-keeper batsman William Yalden.

the cricket

A notable feature of 1736 was the rise to prominence of the famous Chertsey Club, playing games against both Croydon and London.

Friday, 9 July. Rayner's Morning Advertiser announced a same day match at White Lion Fields in Streatham between Streatham and London. No report of the game was found; it might not have been a major match.

single wicket

June. Mr Waghorn in CS recounts a report of a single wicket match on Kennington Common. This names Mr Wakeland the distiller and Mr George Oldner playing together against two "famous" Richmond players who are "esteemed the best two in England". Unfortunately the esteemed pair are not named, though one of them suffered serious facial injuries in this game when the ball came off his bat and hit his nose. The report rails against "human brutes" who insisted he should play on despite his injuries, their money being more important, of course! It is possible that one of the Richmond players was William Sawyer who was certainly active in the 1730s and who, in 1743, was acclaimed by name as one of the best six players in England.

significant matches

Croydon v Chertsey

Duppas Hill, Croydon

before July 1736

Croydon won (GB18)

Chertsey v Croydon

Laleham Burway

before July 1736

Chertsey won (GB18)

The above two games were played before July. Our knowledge of them is the announcement in Read's Weekly Journal dated Saturday, 3 July about a deciding game on Richmond Green to be played on Monday, 5 July (see below). In each of the first two matches, the home team won "by a great number of runs".

The match at Laleham Burway is the first important one that it is known to have been played at this famous venue in Chertsey.

Croydon v Chertsey

Richmond Green, Richmond, Surrey

Monday, 5 July 1736

drawn (CS/GB18)

Scores are known: Chertsey 88 & 55; Croydon 58 & 25-9. Croydon with one wicket standing still needed 61 to win when the clock struck eight and the game was drawn. Chertsey could claim a moral victory but the result remained a draw.

It was played for £50. The report in Read's Weekly Journal dated Saturday, 3 July says this was "a new match to decide which are best", the two teams having met twice before: Croydon won at Duppas Hill and Chertsey won at Laleham Burway (see above).

London v Surrey

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 14 July 1736

London by 30 runs (GB18)

The report in the General Evening Post next day states that "London beat Surrey by 30 notches and had three men to go in"; there may have been a declaration of sorts in the second innings.

Chertsey v London

Laleham Burway

Monday, 19 July 1736

London won (CS)

London v Chertsey

Artillery Ground

late July 1736

Chertsey by 8 wickets (CS)

The first game on Monday, 19 July was reported as "the hard match" and London won "by a very few notches". Scores are known from the second game: London 48 & 60; Chertsey 97 & 12-2. Chertsey's team was said to be the same one that played Croydon on Richmond Green (see above).

London v Surrey

Barnes Common, near Richmond, Surrey

Wednesday, 11 August 1736

Surrey won by 19 runs (GB18)

The report in the Whitehall Evening Post on Saturday, 14 August refers to Surrey as "Barnes, Fulham and Richmond". It goes on to say that the return on Tuesday 17 August would be played in the fields behind Powis House. It extends the hope that "the company will keep a good ring which was very much wanted at Barnes Common".

Middlesex v Surrey

Chelsea Common, north London

Monday, 16 August 1736

Middlesex won by 9 runs (GB18)

Played for 50 guineas a side as reported in the General Evening Post on Tuesday, 17 August.

London v Surrey

Lamb's Conduit Field, Holborn, Middlesex

Tuesday, 17 August 1736

London won by 86 runs (GB18)

The Daily Gazetteer on Wednesday, 18 August states that London beat Surrey by "upwards of 90 notches". The Whitehall Evening Post next day gives the scores and repeats the report of the previous match by first referring to Surrey as "Barnes, Fulham and Richmond"; but it then talks about "the Surrey men". London scored 55 and 75; Surrey scored 31 and 13 to give London the game by 86 runs. Two London batsmen in the second innings had a partnership of 51, which was a considerable achievement at the time given the usual condition of the pitches.

Surrey v Middlesex

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Saturday, 21 August 1736

Surrey by 5 runs (CS)

CS says "there were about £100 to £60 for the Middlesex".

Surrey v Middlesex

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Saturday, 11 September 1736

Surrey by 2 runs (GB18)

Reported a week later on Saturday, 18 September by the Whitehall Evening Post. The match was for 50 guineas a side.

Surrey v Kent

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Monday, 20 September 1736

Surrey by 2 wickets (CS)

Scores are known: Kent 41 & 53; Surrey 71 & 24-8. During this match, an incident occurred in the crowd. Three soldiers apprehended a deserter but the crowd turned on them, rescued the deserter and "after a severe discipline let them go about their business"!

GB18 added to this by quoting the General Evening Post on Saturday, 18 September. This report said the Kent team consisted of "the same that beat Middlesex last year on Moulsey Hurst and Bromley Common". Mr Buckley gives examples of when this report was variously quoted by other publications, including DC, and dated wrongly. The content is itself incorrect as the teams played by Kent in the two matches were London & Middlesex at Moulsey Hurst and London Club at Bromley Common.

Middlesex v Surrey

Lamb's Conduit Field, Holborn, Middlesex

Wednesday, 22 September 1736

result unknown (GB18)

Announced the previous day in the London Evening Post.

Kent v Surrey

The Heath, Coxheath, Kent

Monday, 4 October 1736

drawn (rain) (CS/KCM)

First innings scores were level when the rain began, though Kent still had five wickets in hand. The date was given by KCM. CS vaguely placed the date in September.

other matches

London v Mitcham

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Thu 13 May 1736

result unknown (GB18)

Reported by GB18 in conjunction with the London v Mitcham games on c. Tuesday, 22 June and on Thu 2 September.

London v Mitcham

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

c. Tuesday, 22 June 1736

London won (GB18)

Reported by GB18 in conjunction with the London v Mitcham game on Thu 13 May.

London v Mitcham

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Thu 2 September 1736

result unknown (GB18)

Reported by GB18 in conjunction with the London v Mitcham game on Thu 13 May.

1737

the history

The oldest existing English language newspaper in the world, The (Belfast) News Letter, was founded in Ireland.

the cricket

May. There was a tragic incident in a match at Newick in Sussex when a player called John Boots was killed after he collided with his partner whilst going for a run. Both men were knocked down but got up again, only for Mr Boots to drop down dead as he was running to his wicket. This was recorded in a number of sources. Mr McCann found a reference in the West Sussex Records Office which named Mr Boots and said he was buried on Tuesday, 31 May at Chailey. Chailey and Newick are neighbouring parishes just to the north of Lewes in East Sussex. (TJM))

June. The Prince of Wales and Sir William Gage wagered a considerable sum on a match in Hyde Park, London. This seems to have involved noblemen only. (TJM)

CS mentions another "aristocrats only" game that apparently took place at Kew in June. The captains were the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Marlborough.

The General Evening Post on Tuesday, 2 August announced a game at Kew Green on Thu 4 August. The Prince of Wales was due to play and lead a team of noblemen against the London Club, but it was probably members of the London Club rather than its professional players. Mr Buckley says it is doubtful if the match was ever played as Princess Augusta (1737 – 1813) was born on the Wednesday and this occasioned great celebrations. The Prince provided beer for the populace but "one lot of it was too bad to drink". However, Mr Buckley seems to be mistaken here as Princess Augusta was born on Wednesday, 31 August. She was the elder sister of George III and became Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttell. She was the mother of Princess Caroline of Brunswick who made the famously ill-fated marriage with the future George IV in 1795.

significant matches

London & Surrey v Kent

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Wednesday, 15 June 1737

Kent by 40 runs (CS)

Scores are known: Kent 99 & 70-7 declared; Surrey 31 & 98.

A woman in the crowd suffered a broken leg. The Prince of Wales, sponsoring London & Surrey, gave her a ten guinea compensation. Kent was sponsored by Lord John Philip Sackville.

Kent v London & Surrey

Bromley Common, Bromley, Kent

Wednesday, 6 July 1737

Kent won by an innings (KCM)

Kent "maintained their honour, and beat their adversaries at one hands". The match was completed in a day. CS reports the same fixture but has a non-specific date in June.

London v Essex

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Monday, 25 July 1737

London by 45 runs (GB18)

Reported by the General Evening Post on Tuesday, 26 July.

Surrey v London

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Wednesday, 27 July 1737

result unknown (GB18)

The match was organised by the Prince of Wales (Surrey) and the Duke of Marlborough (London) for £500 a side. It was pre-announced by the General Evening Post on Thu 21 July but no report of the game has been found.

Essex v London

Ilford, Essex

Monday, 1 August 1737

Essex by 7 runs (GB18)

This is the earliest known organised match definitely being played in Essex (though see 1724 re Chingford v Stead's XI). The report is in Read's Weekly Journal dated Saturday, 6 August.

London v Chertsey

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

Tuesday, 6 September 1737

London by 5 wickets (GB18/CS)

Scores are known: Chertsey 45 & 66; London 81 & 31-5.

CS has two reports of the same game, one of them having a date in June, but the GB18 date is correct as the report was taken from the Grub Street Journal dated Thu 8 September. CS reports that a Chertsey player broke a finger and this had a bearing on the result.

London v Kent

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Tuesday, 27 September 1737

result unknown (KCM)

The match was "betwixt the Gentlemen of Kent and the Gentlemen of London, within the Bills of Mortality".

1738

the history

24 May. Conversion of John Wesley. This effectively marked the beginning of the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day.

the cricket

A reduced number of match reports this year. London featured in all the games reported. Chislehurst became a prominent club.

An advertisement in the Sherborne Mercury dated Tuesday, 9 May 1738 is the earliest reference for cricket in Dorset. Twelve Dorchester men at Ridgway Races challenged twelve men from elsewhere to play them at cricket for the prize of twelve pairs of gloves valued at a shilling a pair.

significant matches

London & Surrey v Kent

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

July 1738

Kent won "easily" (KCM)

A return match was played, but where or with what result was not recorded.

Chislehurst v London

Chislehurst Common, Chislehurst, Kent

July 1738

London won (CS)

A game that "turned several times" until finally being won by London. The rematch was arranged a week hence.

London v Chislehurst

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

July 1738

Chislehurst by 5 wickets (CS)

London scored less than 100 in their combined innings. Chislehurst had scored 73 in the first innings and won "without much difficulty".

London v Chislehurst

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

September 1738

London won (CS)

Betting on London at the start of the second innings was a guinea to a shilling.

other matches

London v Mitcham

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Friday, 11 August 1738

London won by 1 wicket (GB18)

Mitcham totalled 117-20 in two innings; London 118 – 19 in two innings. Strangely, the only report of this was in the Warwickshire & Staffordshire Journal dated Thu 17 August.

1739

the history

In India, the army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeated the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah, at the Battle of Karnal and then occupied Delhi. The Iranians sacked the city and took the jewels of the Peacock Throne, including the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

7 April. Dick Turpin (1705 – 1739), English highwayman, was hanged in York.

23 October. The War of Jenkins' Ear was declared by Great Britain against Spain.

the cricket

Again very few match reports. The first Kent v All-England games are a sign of very important matches to come.

The earliest known cricket picture was first displayed this year. It is an engraving called The Game of Cricket by Hubert-François Gravelot (1699 – 1733) and shows two groups of cherubic lads gathered around a batsman and a bowler. The wicket shown is the "low stool" shape, probably 2 foot wide by 1 foot tall, naturally with two stumps and a single bail. Gravelot helped to establish the French Rococco style in English publishing and was one of the most celebrated illustrators of the time. He worked in England 1723 – 1745, opening a drawing school on the Strand which had Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788) among its pupils.

significant matches

Kent v All-England

Bromley Common, Bromley, Kent

Monday, 9 July 1739

Kent won (KCM/CS)

This is the first known instance of a team representing All-England. The match was billed as between "eleven gentlemen of that county (i.e., Kent) and eleven gentlemen from any part of England, exclusive of Kent". Kent, described as "the Unconquerable County" won by "a very few notches".

John Bowra

John Bowra (pronounced Borra) was baptised at Sevenoaks on 3 June 1716 and was buried at Sevenoaks on 22 December 1785. He has been identified as Mr Boarer, one of the "three very good gamesters" who assisted London in the match against Kingston and Moulsey on 19 July 1739.

Later, in the 1740s, he appeared in several great matches on the Artillery Ground as "John Borah" and represented Kent. He played for Robert Colchin's XI, largely a Kent team, against Richard Newland's XI in 1745. He is believed to have been a shepherd employed by the Duke of Dorset and this would explain his title of "The Kentish Shepherd". In 1748, he led a team under this name against "Long Tom" (i.e., Tom Faulkner).

Bowra made two other known appearances, both for Colchin's XI, in 1748 and 1749 against William Hodsoll's XI and Stephen Dingate's XI respectively. There are 5 definite references to Bowra in significant matches from 1739 to 1749 but his career will have been longer than that and his true number of appearances much greater. He probably began playing in the mid-1730s given that he had established a reputation by 1739. He would have been 40 when the Seven Years War began and so he probably finished around 1756.

He was almost certainly the father of William Bowra, who played for Kent in the second half of the 18th century.

Kingston & Moulsey v London

Moulsey Hurst

c. Thu 12 July 1739

K&M won "easily" (GB18/CS)

London v Kingston & Moulsey

Kennington Common

Thu 19 July 1739

K&M won by 3 runs (GB18)

The London & Country Journal dated Tuesday, 24 July reported on the second of these two matches but made references to the previous one which might have been played a week or so earlier. It seems that Kingston & Moulsey won the first game because of "the Londoners turning out three bad men who played on Moulsey Hurst". K&M won the second game by three runs despite losing "five of their best hands" from the earlier match. London replaced the "three bad men" with Lord John Philip Sackville, Mr Dunn and "Mr Boarer" (sic; i.e., John Bowra) who were described as "three very good gamesters".

All-England v Kent

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Monday, 23 July 1739

drawn (KCM/CS)

A report of this game includes the phrase "eleven picked out of all (sic) England". Kent led by over 50 on the first innings, and betting was then 2 to 1 in their favour. "The Kentish Men were likely to have won, but a Dispute arose whether one of the Londoners was fairly out, which put an End to the Game. There were upwards of 10,000 People to see this Match".

One account stated that Kent's opponents were London, but the match was the return of that played earlier in the month at Bromley.

London v Chislehurst

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 5 September 1739

result unknown (GB18)

Pre-announced by the London Evening Post on Saturday, 1 September.

other matches

London v Lingfield

venue unknown

Monday, 18 June 1739

Lingfield by 2 wickets (CS)

The report does not state the venue of this match but does say the rematch will be at the Artillery Ground on the 27th.

London v Lingfield

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 27 June 1739

result unknown (CS)

No report was found of the rematch.

1740

the history

The clouds of war had gathered again in 1739. In October, a prolonged period of peace ended when an ongoing trade dispute with Spain developed into the so-called War of Jenkins' Ear, which eventually merged into the War of the Austrian Succession (1740 – 1748).

The essential cause of the new war was the succession of "enlightened despot" Maria Theresa (1717 – 1780) to the throne of imperial Austria. Her claim was contested by rivals supported by the so-called Alliance of Nymphenburg consisting of France, Bavaria, Spain, Saxony and Prussia. A series of inter-related conflicts including the War of Jenkins' Ear (see 1739) became amalgamated in a near-global conflict that for convenience is known as the War of the Austrian Succession. In the European sphere, the war began when Frederick the Great (1712 – 1786) of Prussia attacked and seized the Austrian territory of Silesia. Peace was eventually restored, temporarily, by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in October 1748.

One of the subsidiary conflicts began in India and is called the First Carnatic War (1740 – 1748). It centered on the Carnatic region of south east India and was essentially about rivalry between the two major trading companies: the British East India Company and the French Companie des Indes. It may have been a turning point in the history of cricket for, if Great Britain had lost and been unable to develop its famous Raj, would cricket have taken root in India?

the cricket

Again few matches reported. London feature in all of them. Rain was a problem in July.

As in other times of warfare or economic depression, less cricket was played than in times of peace and (for some) prosperity.

significant matches

Chislehurst v London

Chislehurst Common, Chislehurst, Kent

June 1740

London won (CS)

The report only states the venue and the winners.

London v Chislehurst

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

June 1740

result unknown (CS)

"All persons to come in at the iron gates at the Pyed Horse-yard".

Richmond & Moulsey v London

Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey, Surrey

c. Wednesday, 9 July 1740

drawn (rain) (CS)

Scores are known: London 100 & 70-8; R&M 86. Rain delayed the start till between three and four o'clock. It was decided to try again next week at the Artillery Ground.

London v Richmond & Moulsey

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Wednesday, 16 July 1740

London won by 73 runs (GB18)

Reported by the London & Country Journal dated Tuesday, 22 July.

Kent v London

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

c. Monday, 21 July 1740

drawn (rain) (CS)

Kent scored 71 & 130; London scored 98 and 30-3. Rain halted play for "some time". The report mentions the return match below.

London v Kent

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

c. Monday, 28 July 1740

result unknown (CS)

This return game is not mentioned by other sources.

other matches

Bucks, Berks & Herts v London

Uxbridge Moor, near Uxbridge, Middlesex

Monday, 8 September 1740

London won (CS)

London won "with great difficulty". The report mentions the return fixture below.

London v Bucks, Berks & Herts

Artillery Ground, Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, London

Monday, 15 September 1740

result unknown (CS)

As Mr Waghorn says: "no notice of second match".

The History of Cricket: 1701 – 1730 | The History of Cricket: 1741 – 1745 | Index

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