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From Lads to Lord's

The History of Cricket: 1776 – 1780 | 1787 – Lord's and the MCC | Index

The History of Cricket: 1781 – 1786

1781 | 1782 | 1783 | 1784 | 1785 | 1786
Stephen Amherst | Henry Hervey Aston | William Beldham | George Boult | Henry Crozoer | Gilbert East | William Fennex | J Gouldstone
David Harris | Charles Lennox | Martin | The Monsons | John Peachey | Little Joey Ring | Jack Small | George Talbot
The Walkers | James Wells | R Whitehead | The Earl of Winchilsea
The White Conduit Club


the history

On 19 October, the surrender of British troops under General Cornwallis ended the battle of Yorktown and decided the American War of Revolution in favour of the Americans.

the cricket

A year which saw the end of Broadhalfpenny Down and the beginning of cricket in Lancashire.

DC includes information about three more Maidenhead matches but there are no surviving scorecards.

A match on Brinnington Moor in August is the earliest known reference about cricket being played in Lancashire. Reported in the Manchester Journal on Saturday, 1 September (see PVC).

first-class matches

Hampshire v All-England

Itchin Stoke Down, near Alresford, Hampshire

Wednesday, 6 – Saturday, 9 June 1781

Hampshire won by 8 wickets (SB47)

All-England 101 (J Aylward 25; Lamborn 7w, N Mann 3w) & 232 (J Aylward 73, R Clifford 48, B Rimmington 31; N Mann 4w, R Nyren 2w)
Hampshire 206 (T Sueter 66, John Small 47; E Stevens 2w) & 128-2 (N Mann 73, W Bedster 49)

A match also called Hampshire v Kent but S&B calls it Hampshire v All-England with a note that most of the All-England players were Kent men. However, as S&B calls the 30 July game Hampshire v Kent with William Bedster, it seems the intention on 6 June was to field an All-England team: it included Lumpy and William Yalden of Surrey and there is some doubt about the identity of the three Rimmingtons who may have been from Essex.

Duke of Dorset's XI v Sir Horace Mann's XI

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

Wednesday, 20 – Thursday, 21 June 1781

Duke of Dorset's XI won by 10 wickets (SB47)

Sir Horace Mann's XI 136 (R Clifford 32, J Miller 29; E Stevens 2w, W Bedster 2w) & 84 (Mr R Hosmer 37*)
Duke of Dorset's XI 158 (T Pattenden 50*, T Sueter 34; R Clifford 4w, Lamborn 3w) & 63-0 (N Mann 37*, W Bullen 26*)

The unbeaten partnership of 63 by Bullen and Mann was an exceptional performance on 18th century wickets.

Kent v Hampshire

Bishopsbourne Paddock, Bourne, near Canterbury, Kent

Wednesday, 18 – Friday, 20 July 1781

Kent won by 150 runs (SB48)

Kent 181 (J Miller 29, J Aylward 29, R Clifford 26; Lamborn 3w, R Nyren 2w) & 186 (R Clifford 57, J Aylward 25; J Freemantle 2w)
Hampshire 59 (E Stevens 2w, R Clifford 2w) & 158 (G Leer 53, R A Veck 26; E Stevens 4w)

Hampshire seem to have rallied somewhat in the second innings, with a very good score by George Leer, but the damage had been done in the first innings. Robert Clifford had an outstanding match for Kent.

Hampshire v Kent

Broadhalfpenny Down, near Hambledon, Hampshire

Monday, 30 July – Wednesday, 1 August 1781

Kent won by 38 runs (SB49)

Kent 218 (R Clifford 66, J Miller 45, W Bowra 29; R Nyren 4w, R Purchase 3w, Lamborn 2w) & 188 (W Bullen 54, W Bowra 42*, J Aylward 28)
Hampshire 185 (N Mann 49, T Taylor 34, R A Veck 26; W Bullen 6w) & 183 (R A Veck 44, N Mann 41*, John Small 34, T Taylor 23; R Clifford 2w)

An outstanding all-round performance by William Bullen. Richard Purchase's name had not appeared in a match since 1774.

The end of an era. This match marked the end of Broadhalfpenny Down as a big match venue. The Hambledon Club began using Windmill Down next year.

Sir Horace Mann's XI v Duke of Dorset's XI

Bishopsbourne Paddock, Bourne, near Canterbury, Kent

Wednesday, 8 – Saturday, 11 August 1781

Duke of Dorset's XI won by 106 runs (SB49)

Duke of Dorset's XI 170 (T Sueter 58, T Pattenden 26*; R Clifford 3w, Lamborn 2w) & 184 (T Sueter 56, W Bullen 36; Lamborn 3w, R Clifford 3w)
Sir Horace Mann's XI 147 (J Aylward 36, J Miller 31, R Clifford 24; E Stevens 4w) & 101 (J Aylward 44, John Small 28; E Stevens 4w)

A very impressive performance by Tom Sueter scoring two fifties in the game, which would be like scoring two centuries in a match now. Lumpy with at least 8 wickets also played his part.

Kent v Hampshire

Bishopsbourne Paddock, Bourne, near Canterbury, Kent

Monday, 27 – Tuesday, 28 August 1781

Hampshire won by 8 runs (SB50)

Hampshire 60 (R Clifford 3w) & 106 (R Purchase 24; R Clifford 2w, W Bowra 2w)
Kent 88 (J Aylward 32; Lamborn 4w, R Nyren 2w) & 70 (R Nyren 3w, Lamborn 2w)

The bowling of Lamborn and Nyren gave Hampshire a narrow victory.

significant matches

Leicester v Nottingham

Loughborough, Leicestershire

Monday, 17 – Tuesday, 18 September 1781

incomplete due to dispute (GB18)

Reported in the Leicester Journal on Saturday, 22 September.

Nottingham scored 50 & 73; Leicester had scored 73 & 9-2 when the game ended prematurely because of a dispute about wide deliveries. The repercussions dragged on and the dispute remained unresolved a year later (see 1782).

other matches

Odiham v Maidenhead

Odiham Down, near Odiham, Hampshire

Monday, 2 – Tuesday, 3 July 1781

Odiham won by 31 runs (DC)

Odiham scored 135 & 95; Maidenhead replied with 118 & 81.

Maidenhead v Odiham

probably at Old Field, Bray, Berkshire

Monday, 23 July 1781

Odiham won by 10 wickets (DC)

Maidenhead scored 60 & 49; Odiham 73 and 37-0.

Leicester v Melton Mowbray

Barrowcliffe Meadow, Leicester

Thursday, 2 August 1781

Melton Mowbray won by 16 runs (GB18)

Reported in the Leicester Journal on Saturday, 4 August.

Maidenhead v Bucks

venue unknown

Monday, 27 – Tuesday, 28 August 1781

Maidenhead won by 124 runs (DC)

No other details are known, including the venue.

Oxfordshire v Berkshire

Benson Common, Oxfordshire

Monday, 24 September 1781

result unknown (GB18)

Advertised in the Reading Mercury on Monday, 17 September.

martin of essex

Martin was an Essex cricketer of the late 18th century. His dates of birth and death and his first name are unknown. He was principally a bowler but it is not known his pace or type. Martin was active from at least the 1781 season until he is last recorded in 1793. His known first-class record covers 12 matches. He seems to have been involved with the White Conduit Club and then with Marylebone Cricket Club, so he was probably a professional ground staff bowler at both clubs.

David Harris

David Harris (1755–1803) was one of the greatest bowlers of the underarm era, ranking alongside Stevens and Brett. He was a right arm fast bowler who batted left-handed.

Some line drawings of Harris and other players have survived. Harris is shown in the characteristic pose described by Nyren as he began his action. He stands erect with the ball raised over his head. This gave him complete freedom of arm swing and the ball when delivered was pitched very fast and accurately. Harris seems to have got "pace off the pitch" and Nyren has recorded that numerous batsmen received nasty injuries to their unprotected hands from balls that trapped their fingers against the bat handle.

Harris lived in the Hampshire village of Crookham, where he was a potter by trade. Like the Walker brothers and Thomas Boxall, he used to practice his bowling in a barn during the winter.

Sadly, he suffered from gout in his later years and the sources have recorded how he would arrive at a game on crutches and then sit on a chair between deliveries.

David Harris made 79 known first-class appearances from 1782 until 1800.


the history

In March, Lord North resigned following the catastrophic defeat at Yorktown. He was succeeded by his main opponent Rockingham, whose second term was short and ended with his death in July of the same year. Rockingham was sympathetic to the American colonies and was trying to negotiate a peace treaty when he died.

William Petty-Fitzmaurice, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (1737 – 1805) became prime minister till 1783. A supporter of Rockingham, he continued to work for peace with the Americans.

In India, the Treaty of Salbai ended the war between the British and the Marathas. The Raj grew ever larger.

the cricket

The Nottingham v Leicester saga dragged on and was still unresolved by the end of the 1782 season. GB18 has recorded these excerpts from various issues of the Leicester Journal:

A Card – The members of the Leicester Cricket Club present their compliments to the Nottingham Cricket Players, who have given a public challenge in the Nottingham Journal of the 22nd inst., and inform them that they are ready to meet them on any ground either in friendship or for any sum of money, provided they pay that small debt of honour which they left at Loughborough last year—upon any other condition they apprehend no Society of Credit can play with them. (L.J. Saturday, 29 June)

Mon. last (30 Sept) being the day appointed for playing the match at Cricket between the Nottingham and Leicester Clubs, eleven of the latter attended at Nottingham for that purpose, when the former, contrary to every principle of honour and integrity, declined playing the match on the terms agreed on at Loughborough by Messrs. Ellis and Hutchinson on the part of Nottingham and the deputies of the Leicester Club.

Such a resolution at that time needs no comment. (L.J. Saturday, 5 October)

Nottingham's explanation of the above appeared in the Nottingham Journal of 12 October 1782, the gist of which is as follows :—

When the parties met at Loughborough to settle the conditions of the proposed match as to time, place and amount of money, the Leicester deputies insisted on 15 names being put down by the Nottingham representatives from which the team would be selected, but they themselves put down only 13 names, reserving the right to choose the other two from the county.

Nottingham agreed under protest, as it was not their custom to give any names till the day of play.

Of the 15 named by Nottingham, 5 could not play, and these were for the most part their best players.

Nottingham asked for one more to make up their team, a request that was refused ; they then offered to play ten against eleven, but this was declined by the Leicester umpire.

Nottingham suggested that Leicester were only too glad of an excuse for not playing the match. (L.J. Saturday, 19 October)"

How long the standoff lasted is unclear but they were playing each other again by 1789.

first-class matches

Kent v Hampshire

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

Wednesday, 3 – Friday, 5 July 1782

Kent won by 5 wickets (SB51)

Hampshire 87 (D Harris 27; E Stevens 2w) & 140 (T Sueter 48, G Leer 25; R Clifford 3w)
Kent 102 (F Booker 29*, W Bedster 25; D Harris 2w) & 127-5 (W Bowra 48; N Mann 2w)

This game saw the first appearances in major matches by David Harris and Little Joey Ring.

Hampshire v Kent

Itchin Stoke Down, near Alresford, Hampshire

Thursday, 11 – Monday, 15 July 1782

Kent won by 142 runs (SB53)

Kent 257 (J Aylward 75, W Bedster 63, W Bowra 50, W Brazier 37; J Freemantle 3w) & 72 (W Bowra 21; R Purchase 2w)
Hampshire 121 (N Mann 33; E Stevens 2w, R Clifford 2w) & 66 (E Stevens 4w, R Clifford 4w)

GB18 confirms that the game was finished on Monday, 15 July owing to bad weather with play on the Saturday having been washed out.

All-England v Hampshire

Bishopsbourne Paddock, Bourne, near Canterbury, Kent

Thursday, 25 – Friday, 26 July 1782

Hampshire won by 9 runs (SB53)

Hampshire 88 (R Purchase 33; R Clifford 7w, W Bullen 2w) & 128 (E Aburrow 32, G Leer 23; W Bullen 2w)
All-England 108 (R Clifford 28, W Brazier 26; E Stevens 4w) & 99 (R Clifford 46, W Brazier 23; R Nyren 4w)

A fine all-round performance by Robert Clifford was not enough to prevent a Hampshire victory.

Hampshire v All-England

Windmill Down, near Hambledon, Hampshire

Thursday, 8 – Saturday, 10 August 1782

All-England won by 147 runs (SB54)

All-England 115 (W Yalden 24*, R Francis 21; E Stevens 2w, R Nyren 2w) & 189 (W Brazier 39, R Clifford 31, W Bullen 28, J Miller 25; E Stevens 3w, R Nyren 2w)
Hampshire 64 (E Aburrow 21*; R Clifford 3w, W Bullen 3w) & 93 (N Mann 44, R Purchase 23; R Clifford 3w, W Bullen 2w)

This is the first recorded match which the Hambledon Club organised on Windmill Down.

significant matches

Hampshire v Sussex

Windmill Down, Hambledon, Hampshire

Thursday, 5 September 1782

result unknown (PVSC)

This was advertised in the Hampshire Chronicle on Monday, 26 August with a further notice in the Hambledon Club minutes on the day of the game.

George Leer was due to play for Sussex. John Small, Richard Nyren, Tom Sueter, R A Veck, Edward Aburrow, Tom Taylor and Noah Mann were all expected to play for Hampshire.

Chertsey v Maidenhead

Laleham Burway Ground, Chertsey, Surrey

Thursday, 5 – Friday, 6 September 1782

Maidenhead won by 6 wickets (DC)

Mr Waghorn has made one of his dating errors with this one. He says it was played on "Thursday, 8 Sept" but 8 September was a Sunday. So it might have been on Thursday, 5 September.

David Harris again guested for Maidenhead (it appears he did not play for Hampshire v Sussex so this would not rule out Thursday, 5 September as the date). William Bedster and two players called Woods (one of them possibly J T Wood) were given men for Chertsey.

A return game was arranged for Monday, 16 September at Old Field, Bray but was not played. Chertsey had to pay forfeit to "the Berkshire Club", presumably for failing to arrive.

"Little Joey" Ring

John "Little Joey" Ring (1758–1800) was one of Kent's best batsmen in the late 18th century and was employed by Sir Horace Mann at Bourne as a huntsman. He originally came from the Dartford area. He was noted for his play to leg and was a good single wicket player.

Ring is believed to have been a cricketing fatality. It seems that his nose was broken in the summer of 1800 by a practice ball bowled by his brother George. He became ill and was bedridden for several weeks before dying on 25 October, evidently of a fever that developed as a result of his accident.

Joey Ring made 90 known first-class appearances from 1782 until 1796.

other matches

Alresford & Odiham v Hampshire County

Odiham Down, near Odiham, Hampshire

Monday, 27 May 1782

result unknown (DC)

The intended teams were announced beforehand.

Alresford & Odiham: David Harris, George Boult, Noah Mann, Andrew Freemantle, R A Veck, Tom Taylor, Hawkins, Butler, Pragnell, T Skinner, W Hall.
Hampshire County: Richard Nyren, John Small, Tom Sueter, George Leer, Edward Aburrow, Stewart, John Hammond, Brett, Richard Purchase, J Paddick, Newland.

It is believed that Stewart and Brett are perhaps younger members of those families and not the two famous players of those names, who had already retired. Andrew Freemantle and John Hammond became great players in the years after Lord's was founded in 1787.

Tuesday, 18 June . The Hampshire Chronicle reported the first meeting on Windmill Down, referring to the ground as "a field called the New Broad Halfpenny adjoining to the Town of Hambledon". See GB18, p.94.

Hampshire v Alresford & Odiham

venue unknown

Tuesday, 25 June 1782

result unknown (GB18)

Hampshire is described in the Hampshire Chronicle advert as "the County of Southampton".

Monday, 1 July . The Salisbury Journal recorded Richard Nyren as returning thanks to the public for the many favours he has received in the last 20 years (GB18).

Odiham v Farnham

Odiham Down, near Odiham, Hampshire

Tuesday, 13 August 1782

Farnham won by 3 wickets (DC)

In this game reported with scores in DC, Farnham included one J Wells and two players called Beldum (sic), one of which was G Beldum while the other has no initial given. If the latter was William Beldham, as is possible, he would have been 16 at the time and so this would have been his first known match. There were two Wells brothers: James was an occasional player in major matches while John was one of the greats. It was probably James who played in this game.

Farnham v Odiham

venue unknown

Saturday, 17 August 1782

Odiham won by an innings & 4 runs (DC)

This was the second game between these clubs but the teams and scores this time are unknown.

Berkshire v Odiham

Old Field, Bray, Berkshire

Thursday, 3 October 1782

result unknown (DC

Odiham v Berkshire

Odiham Down, Hampshire

Monday, 7 October 1782

Odiham won (DC)

These games were pre-announced and it is interesting that the Old Field/Maidenhead club is referred to as "the Berkshire Club", which supports the view that the club based at Old Field in Bray was a county club.

The Odiham team for the first match was to be: Hawkins, Wells, David Harris, T Harris, Thumswood, Paddick, Butler, Beldham, Crate, Hart, Cordery.
The Berkshire team was to be: Bedborough, Slater, Spriggs, Goldswain, George T Boult, A Boult, William Bedster, Bolton, Bunch, Polden, Lawrence.

The second match seems to have been postponed incomplete and then concluded next season (see same fixture on Tuesday, 20 May 1783).

james wells

James Wells was an occasional player for Surrey towards the end of the 18th century. He is best known as the elder brother of the famous John Wells, whose first-class career began in 1787 and is marginally out of scope here! The Wells brothers had a famous brother-in-law too as their sister married William Beldham.


the history

On 1 April, Shelbourne, who had played a major part in the preparation of the American peace treaty, was forced to resign when his ministry was outvoted by a coalition under Lord North and Charles James Fox (1749 – 1806) on the issue of public service reform. He was succeeded by William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland (1738 – 1809; Whig) whose first term as prime minister was to 19 December 1783. Portland was chosen by North and Fox as the figurehead of a regime that they controlled: Fox was foreign secretary and North was home secretary. It sounds like Yorkshire in the 1920s when a succession of amateur captains were chosen for a team controlled by Wilfred and Emmott!

But it didn't last long. On 19 December, Portland's government was forced to resign after the House of Lords, under pressure from the King, rejected Fox's reform bill for India.

This brought to the centre of affairs a major figure: William Pitt the Younger (1759 – 1806; Tory) whose first and longest term as prime minister was until 3 February 1801.

Earlier, on 3 September, the Treaty of Paris was ratified between Britain and America. Britain recognised the independence of the 13 American colonies. Britain also ceded Florida back to Spain (having taken control in 1763); and ceded Senegal and Tobago to France. Apart from being kicked out of France at the end of the Hundred Years War, this is the only time England or Great Britain has known the humiliation of a major military defeat. But revenge was forthcoming.

Over in the new nation, at a meeting of Congress in Philadelphia, it was decided that a permanent capital was needed. Deliberations continued for several years until the site of Washington was agreed upon. The British burned it in 1814, destroying the White House and numerous other public buildings and forcing President Madison to flee to Virginia.

The first successful hot-air balloon was developed by the Montgolfier brothers in Paris but manned flight was still a long, long way from Kittyhawk.

the cricket

Aristocrats and gentlemen like Richmond, Dorset and Sir Horace Mann you would expect. But Lumpy? Yes, indeed. If anyone deserved to have his portrait painted it was the master bowler himself and apparently this was the year it was done. The great bowler's portrait is at Knole, seat of the Duke of Dorset in Sevenoaks.

Monday, 1 September. The scorecard for a Melton Mowbray v Nottingham game is bizarre. All 11 players in the Melton first innings were out! In the Nottingham second innings, six are shown as out (Nottingham won by 4 wickets) including one who was "out of ground" (so presumably stumped given that "run out" is used elsewhere in the card). No extras are recorded but there is only one batsman shown as "last man" (i.e., not out) and he didn't score!

Thursday, 11 September. The Nottingham Journal mentions "a Close near Trent Bridge" as the venue for the return match between Melton Mowbray and Nottingham. This was over 60 years before William Clarke opened the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground. The report goes on to say that the Nottingham players uniformly dressed in green jackets and the Melton players in white jackets.

The Nottingham games against Melton Mowbray are historically interesting reports of the old Nottingham Club that ultimately evolved into Nottinghamshire CCC.

first-class matches

Duke of Dorset's XI v Sir Horace Mann's XI

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

Wednesday, 25 – Thursday, 26 June 1783

Sir Horace Mann's XI won by 2 wickets (SB56)

Duke of Dorset's XI 97 (W Bowra 28, Mr G Louch 24; – Martin 5w) & 135 (W Bedster 43, W Bullen 31; – Martin 2w, R Clifford 2w)
Sir Horace Mann's XI 147 (T Pattenden 52, J Aylward 26; J Boorman 2w) & 86-8 (J Aylward 25; W Bullen 3w)

Mr Haygarth recorded that: "Stevens was not to bowl, by agreement. This being the case, he could not have been much use as a given man, as he was no batsman".

The Duke of Dorset's team included six players whose name began with B.

The Whitehall Evening Post reported on Tuesday, 8 July that "the 3rd Duke of Dorset's cricketing establishment, exclusive of any betting or consequential entertainment, is said to exceed £1000 a year". It goes on to say the Duke is "the most extraordinary accomplished nobleman we have". See PVC.

Hampshire v Kent

Windmill Down, near Hambledon, Hampshire

Tuesday, 8 – Wednesday, 9 July 1783

Match tied (SB57)

Hampshire 140 (T Taylor 51, T Sueter 42; W Bullen 4w) & 62 (W Bullen 2w)
Kent 111 (W Brazier 27; E Stevens 2w, D Harris 2w, R Francis 2w) & 91 (J Aylward 27; E Stevens 2w)

This is the first tied match for which a detailed scorecard has survived. There are earlier tied matches of which we have few details.

According to Arthur Haygarth:

"Kent actually won the match. It was discovered afterwards that Pratt, the scorer, whose method (which was the usual one at that time) was to cut a notch on a stick for every run, and to cut every tenth notch longer, in order to count the whole more expeditiously, had, by mistake, marked in one place the eleventh notch instead of the tenth. The stick was afterwards produced; but the other scorer could not or would not produce his. The play was excellent on both sides, and the game was saved by Clifford's attention. Both sides were alternatively the favourites, and high odds laid".

Mr Haygarth found a lot of conflicting information in his sources and we can safely say that the scorers were responsible for the confusion on this occasion.

Kent v Hampshire

Bishopsbourne Paddock, Bourne, near Canterbury, Kent

Wednesday, 6 – Saturday, 9 August 1783

Hampshire won by 85 runs (SB58)

Hampshire 160 (John Small 52, J Bayley 25; W Bullen 3w, R Clifford 3w) & 192 (T Taylor 66, T Sueter 36, R A Veck 31, R Nyren 25; W Bullen 2w)
Kent 204 (J Ring 82, W Bedster 61; E Stevens 5w) & 63 (W Bullen 23; D Harris 2w)

Despite his advancing years, the great John Small was still as a good a batsman as any.

Hampshire v All-England

Windmill Down, near Hambledon, Hampshire

Tuesday, 26 – Friday, 29 August 1783

Match drawn (rain) (SB59)

All-England 218 (W Brazier 79, F Booker 25, W Yalden 22; E Stevens 3w, D Harris 2w) & 133 (J Ring 27; D Harris 2w)
Hampshire 217 (John Small 78, T Sueter 53, R Nyren 22; W Brazier 3w, W Bullen 2w) & 63-5 (N Mann 32, R A Veck 24; W Brazier 2w)

This is the first instance among matches with recorded scores of a draw. Hardly surprisingly, it was due to persistent rain! Arthur Haygarth says: This match was put off, on account of bad weather, and never resumed".

significant matches

Chertsey v Berkshire

Laleham Burway Ground, Chertsey, Surrey

Friday, 5 – Saturday, 6 September 1783

Berkshire won by 10 wickets (DC)

Chertsey 145 (W Bedster 44, H Attfield 41, W Yalden 23) & 62 (H Attfield 18)
Berkshire 179 (T Taylor 93, Mr G T Boult 31) & 30-0

This was reported as: "A match of cricket, between the Berkshire Club, with Taylor of Hampshire, and Chertsey, with Bedster and Lambert, which was decided in favour of the Berkshire Club, by 2 runs and 10 wickets to go down".

other matches

Odiham v Maidenhead

Odiham Down, near Odiham, Hampshire

Tuesday, 20 – Wednesday, 21 May 1783

Odiham won (GB18)

Apparently this match was preceded by the conclusion of one left over from last season and that must have been the one due to start at Odiham Down on Monday, 7 October 1782.

Maidenhead v Odiham

Old Field, Bray, Berkshire

Thursday, 17 July 1783

Odiham won by 9 wickets (GB18)

Reported by the Reading Mercury on Monday, 21 July. DC also has this match but incorrectly dates it as Thursday, 31 July.

stephen amherst

A debutant in 1783 was the well-known amateur and patron Stephen Amherst (1750–1814) who was a useful batsman and a great servant of the game in his native Kent.

Amherst made 34 known first-class appearances until 1795, often leading his own team. He employed the famous bowler Thomas Boxall, whose career began in 1789. Amherst set up an indoor bowling area in a barn so that he and Boxall could practice during the winter.


the history

The India Act was passed, creating a department of the British government to exercise political, military and financial control over the Indian affairs of the East India Company. During the next half century British control was extended over most of the sub-continent.

Monday, 2 August. The introduction of the mail coach system in England. Mail to that time was still carried by postboys on foot or horseback. Whereas a stagecoach on the London-Bath-Bristol route took 17 hours, the post was taking more than twice as long.

The White Conduit Club

The White Conduit Club (WCC), although short-lived, was perhaps the most significant club in cricket history for it bridged the gulf between the rural and rustic Hambledon era and the new, modern and metropolitan era of Marylebone Cricket Club and Lord's, the two entities that it spawned.

It is not known for certain when the WCC was founded but it seems to have been after 1780 and certainly by 1784. Pelham Warner in his Lord's: 1787–1945 says it was formed in 1782. The famous batsman William "Silver Billy" Beldham was hired while still a young professional by the WCC in 1785 and he told James Pycroft, author of The Cricket Field (1851) that his farming employer concluded a deal with George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea, to allow Beldham time off his agricultural duties to go to the "new cricket ground" at White Conduit Fields in Islington, Middlesex and play for Hampshire against All-England. The score of the match has evidently been lost because there is no trace of an All-England v Hampshire game at White Conduit Fields in or about 1785. Beldham's first match in Scores & Biographies was for All-England v WCC at Lord's in 1787; but he was previously recorded as playing for Berkshire against Essex in 1785 (see DC).

Although his match cannot be traced, it is interesting that Beldham described the ground at White Conduit Fields as new because it was not a new venue, although perhaps a new area of it had been designated for use by the WCC. But even the club was not strictly "new".

As we have seen, the WCC had its origin in much earlier gentlemen's clubs. By the 1720s, when cricket was well-established in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, it was also being played and watched, often by large crowds of spectators, in London, where many of its leading advocates and players were members of the aristocracy. One of the earliest recognised London cricket clubs was the "Je-ne-sais-quoi", which may have been a precursor of the famous Star and Garter that had its meeting place on Pall Mall and drafted the earliest written Laws of the game in 1744 and again in 1774. In the 1730s and 1740s, the Star and Garter had Frederick, Prince of Wales as its chairman. From that club came the WCC, so-called because it played on White Conduit Fields. Its most prominent members were the likes of the Earl of Winchilsea, Colonel Charles Lennox and Sir Peter Burrell. It was nominally an exclusive club that only "gentlemen" might play for, but the club did employ professionals and one of these was the bowler Thomas Lord, of whom more later.

White Conduit Club disappeared in the aftermath of MCC's founding and White Conduit Fields also disappeared under increasing urbanisation as London grew and swallowed Islington whole.

For the record, White Conduit Club is known to have played at least eleven matches between 1785 and 1788. The last, ironically, was against MCC at Lord's Old Ground (Dorset Square site) on 27 June 1788. It is recorded in Scores & Biographies on page 83 but was not a major match as the WCC team contained ten unknown players. MCC won by 83 runs and WCC played no more.

The following made the most appearances for WCC in its seven matches from which the scorecards have survived:

7 - Earl of Winchilsea;
6 - Sir Peter Burrell (Kent), Mr Dampier (WCC);
5 - Mr Gilbert East (Berks);
4 - Mr C Drummond (Surrey), Mr Richard Newman (MCC/Essex/Kent), Mr George Talbot (MCC), Mr J Wyatt (Essex)
3 - Col. Charles Lennox, John Peachey, "Lumpy", Tom Taylor, Thomas Walker.

the cricket

The 1784 season was significant for the appearance in major matches of the White Conduit Club, although the surviving references this year are merely around two "great matches" played on White Conduit Fields. The club was a reincarnation of the long-standing "noblemen's and gentlemen's club" that had frequented the Star & Garter and other establishments for most of the eighteenth century. As well as drafting the The Laws of Cricket, the same people were involved in the organisation of prizefighting and horse racing. In the latter context, it was they who formed the Jockey Club in 1752.

These gentlemen had been the mainstay of the old London Club which played at the Artillery Ground. When that fell into disrepute and the Hambledon glory days began, many of the members joined the Hambledon Club, but still hankered for a suitable base in London. White Conduit Fields had been used for cricket matches since the beginning of the century and perhaps earlier. It was ideal in many respects except, as we shall see, that it did not afford sufficient privacy for the "honourable gentlemen".

The prime movers in this shift back to London, which marked the end of the Hambledon Era, were George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea, and the Hon. Colonel Charles Lennox, grandson of the 2nd Duke of Richmond. Along with many of their friends, they were both enthusiastic players whose names occur frequently in scorecards for the next two decades.

first-class matches

All-England v Hampshire

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

Tuesday, 1 & Wednesday, 2 June 1784

All-England won by 7 wickets (SB61)

Hampshire 70 (T Sueter 35*; W Bullen 6w, R Clifford 2w) & 116 (John Small 38; W Bullen 2w, R Clifford 2w)
All-England 124 (J Aylward 37, R Clifford 31; R Francis 4w) & 63-3 (J Ring 28*)

This was the only top-class match recorded in 1784. Mr Haygarth says in S&B that his original source was the Hampshire Chronicle, as the game "was not inserted in the old book of scores".

The match included the first recorded appearance by John (Jack) Small junior.

Another debutant was the professional player Davidson, possibly of Hythe, about whom little is known. He was occasionally recorded in matches over the next few years, his name sometimes spelled Davison.

significant matches

A Great Cricket Match

White Conduit Fields, Islington, Middlesex

Saturday, 22 May 1784

result unknown (PVC)

A Great Cricket Match

White Conduit Fields, Islington, Middlesex

Thursday, 27 May 1784

result unknown (PVC)

It is almost certain that these matches involved the White Conduit Club but few details are known. The Earl of Winchilsea was noted as "the best bat" in the first game; a few players in the second game were named including Dorset, Winchilsea, Talbot and Lennox.

Chertsey v Coulsdon

Laleham Burway Ground, Chertsey, Surrey

Tuesday, 22 – Wednesday, 23 June 1784

Chertsey won by 313 runs (DC)

Chertsey 219 (Mr G T Boult 52*, – Hart 52) & 186 (T Taylor 44, W Bedster 31)
Coulsdon 63 & 29

No bowling or fielding details known.

Mr Waghorn recorded: "A match between the Chertsey and Coulsdon clubs, for £50 a side, which was won by the former by 313 runs. This match does not state how out".

other matches

Berkshire v Bucks

Little Marlow, Berkshire

Tuesday, 18 May 1784

Berkshire won by an innings & 21 runs (DC)

Bucks has never had a top-class county team and Berkshire clearly won this with ease.

Bucks v Berkshire

Datchet Common, Datchet, Bucks

Wednesday, 9 June 1784

result unknown (DC)

This was a return of the game on Tuesday, 18 May above. It was pre-announced with the result of the first one but was not itself reported.

Thursday, 15 – Friday, 16 July. Hambledon Parish v Petworth is recorded in GB18 but it seems to have been a minor match between two parish teams only, although a handful of regulars did play for the Hambledon team. The scorecard has been preserved. Petworth won by 52 runs.

Friday, 30 July . Farnham v Odiham & Alton was played at Holt Pound in Farnham and the teams are known but no details of the play. The Wells and Beldham brothers all played for Farnham. Odiham's team included David Harris and Thomas Scott, who became a noted Hampshire player in the 1790s.

jack small

Jack Small(1765–1836) made his debut in 1784, his career continuing until 1811. He was noted as "a sound batsman" but should not be compared with his father John Small, who was still playing when Jack started.

Jack Small had over 100 recorded appearances by the end of the 1800 season. His two highest recorded scores were 95 for R Leigh's XI v Sir Horace Mann's XI at Margate in 1795 and 88 for Lord Yarmouth's XI v R Whitehead's XI at Lord's in 1799.

He and John Nyren were close friends and Nyren always refers to Small junior as Jack Small.

William Fennex

William Fennex (born c.1763 at Gerrards Cross, Bucks; died 4 March 1838 at Stepney, London) was a noted all-rounder and right arm fast bowler. As a batsman, Fennex was reputed to be one of the first to use forward play and was said to be a good driver.

His playing career began with Berkshire in 1785 but he was chiefly associated with Middlesex and was keeper of the ground at Uxbridge. He made 85 known first-class appearances until 1800 and then played occasionally, making nine more appearances from 1802 to 1816.

Like Beldham, he subsequently provided James Pycroft with his reminiscences.


the history

1 January. The first issue of the ''Daily Universal Register'', later known as ''The Times'', was published in London.

the cricket

S&B bemoans the lack of fixtures in this season (though there were no less than in the previous few seasons) but there is a historical significance in that state of affairs because it reflected the decline of Hambledon's influence while the emergence of WCC foreshadowed a shift in focus to London.

Cricket by now was approaching that first great watershed.

first-class matches

None recognised this season.

significant matches

Middlesex v Essex

Kennington Common, Kennington, Surrey

Monday, 30 & Tuesday, 31 May 1785

Essex won by 6 wickets (DC)

The match was played for £500 a side. William Fennex and George T Boult were given men for Middlesex, who in one report are called London & Westminster.

William Beldham

The Berkshire v Essex match marks the known debut of the famous William Beldham (1766–1862), known as "Silver Billy" and a master batsman whose career spanned the Napoleonic Era.

He scored only 1 and 0 on his debut, but he did get a lot better!

Born in Farnham, Surrey, Beldham made his name playing for Hampshire from 1787. He was remembered as a fine strokemaker and is generally regarded with John Small as one of the two greatest batsmen of the underarm era. He took a lot of wickets too, bowling what seems to have been a lively fast-medium pace.

He continued playing until 1821.

Berkshire v Essex

Datchet Common, Datchet, Bucks

Thursday, 9 – Friday, 10 June 1785

Berkshire won by 148 runs (DC)

Berkshire 113 (Mr G T Boult 53) & 115 (Mr G T Boult 55, James Wells 37)
Essex 37 & 43 (Hon. G H Monson 20*)

No bowling or fielding details are known. The game was announced as: "A match of cricket, for 100 guineas, the Berkshire club against the Hornchurch club, with Davidson and Rimmington". It is not known which of the three Rimmingtons was involved.

The Hornchurch club was the strongest in Essex and its team could claim to be representative of the county. The sources differ among themselves re whether the team should be called Essex or Hornchurch. Several of these Essex players appeared frequently in subsequent seasons.

Berkshire was becoming a top-class county at this time and their team in 1785 does include Beldham, Bedster, Boult, Fennex, Harris, James Wells and Yalden.

Essex v Middlesex

Langton Park, Hornchurch, Essex

Monday, 13 June 1785

result unknown (GB18)

This match was pre-announced to be played out same day for 100 guineas. No report was found.

Charles Lennox

The Hon. Colonel Charles Lennox (1764–1819) later became the 4th Duke of Richmond.

Lennox was a very accomplished batsman and quite a good wicketkeeper too. He made 56 recorded first-class appearances from 1785 to 1802.

He ultimately became Governor-General of Canada and he died of rabies after being bitten by a fox; his last wish was to be buried in the ramparts at Quebec.

Gentlemen of Kent v White Conduit Club

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

Monday, 20 June 1785

Gentlemen of Kent won by 104 runs (DC)

Gentlemen of Kent 105 (Mr R Stanford 38) & 131 (Mr S Amherst 22, Mr R Whitehead 22)
White Conduit Club 46 & 86 (Hon. Col. C Lennox 25)

No bowling or fielding details are known. Announced in DC as: "A grand match of cricket between 11 gentlemen of the White Conduit Club, London, against 11 gentlemen of Kent, which was won by the latter".

There were a number of significant "debutants" in this game, in the sense that this was their first recorded match, none more so than the Earl of Winchilsea and the Hon. Colonel Charles Lennox, who both played a major role in the organisation of cricket at Lord's from 1787.

White Conduit Club v Gentlemen of Kent

White Conduit Fields, Islington, Middlesex

Thursday, 30 June & Friday, 1 July 1785

White Conduit Club won by 304 runs (SB62)

White Conduit Club 170 (Hon. Col. C Lennox 42, Capt. Monson 29; Mr R Hosmer 4w) & 284 (Sir P Burrell 97, Mr R Newman 56; Mr R Hosmer 3w)
Gentlemen of Kent 122 (Mr R Stanford 59; Capt. Monson 5w) & 28 (Mr G East 4w)

A good all-round performance by Captain Monson in his only recorded appearance.

other matches

Hornchurch v Windsor

Langton Park, Hornchurch, Essex

Monday, 27 June 1785

Windsor won by 5 wickets (DC)

No individual details are known. GB18 records that the stake was £500. It is possibly that it was the equivalent of Essex v Berkshire.

Monday, 4 July . DC has a full scorecard for Bucks and Herts but both of these were minor counties at the time, as they are now, and relied on given men to have any recognised players. Bucks won by 16 runs.

As well as Bucks and Herts, the sources include a number of matches involving town clubs like Farnham (in Surrey), Petworth (in Sussex) and Odiham (in Hampshire), but these are minor matches only. The standard of the teams is clearly indicated by the result on 22 August when Farnham, apparently the best of them, was able to take on Hambledon and was trounced. It is not known who played but it is likely that the Hambledon team for that game represented the parish rather than the county.

The Earl of Winchilsea

One of cricket's most significant figures was George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea (1752–1826). Whereas Lennox was a fine all-round sportsman, it has to be said that Winchilsea on the field was something of a liability, despite using a bat that weighed 4lb 2oz.

An Old Etonian, Winchilsea has 138 recorded appearances from 1785 to 1800 in first-class or significant matches, more than any other 18th century player although he was far from the best, just beating George Louch (134), Tom Walker (131), William Bullen (120) and Billy Beldham (117). This is remarkable given that Winchilsea was already 32 before he even played in a first-class match.

In his Lord's: 1781–1945, Pelham Warner says that Winchilsea may be considered "the founder of the MCC". Lord Frederick Beauclerk called him "the urbane and loyal Winchilsea".

He too was a military man and in his younger days he served with the 87th Foot in the American Revolutionary War from 1776 to 1780, finishing as a lieutenant-colonel. His title dates back to 1628 and still exists with a 17th Earl in situ at the time of writing.

henry hervey aston

Captain (later Colonel) Henry Hervey Aston (1759–1798) was later a member of both the Hambledon Club and the MCC. He was recorded in 13 first-class matches up to 1793 when his military duties took precedence.

In December of that year, Aston obtained a Lieutenant-colonelcy in the 12th Foot and afterwards went to Madras where in 1798 he fought a duel with Major Picton. Both fired into the air. Next day, in another duel, he was wounded by a new adversary, Major Allen, and after languishing about a week, he died on 23 December 1798.

george boult

Surprisingly little is known about Mr George T Boult who was a Hambledon Club member for some years and was a noted amateur batsman from 1785 till 1797. He seems to have hailed from Maidenhead but, having made his name with Berkshire, was latterly associated with Middlesex.

gilbert east

Mr Gilbert East of Berkshire played in 13 recorded matches up to 1794 and was a useful all-rounder who took quite a lot of wickets. Little has been discovered about his personal life.

j gouldstone

J Gouldstone was a noted Essex and All-England cricketer of the late 18th century. Personal details of Gouldstone, including his first name, have not been found in surviving records. He is known to have sometimes used the pseudonym of Goldswain and this appears on some scorecards. Gouldstone made 11 known first-class appearances between 1785 and 1793.

the monsons

The Hon. George Henry Monson (1755–1823) of Essex was a useful batsman who played fairly often until 1792.

He was almost certainly the brother of the enigmatic Captain Monson who made a single known appearance for the White Conduit Club in the 1785 season. Captain Monson did very well with his bowling in that match but apparently never appeared again. It is safe to assume that he was in either the military or the navy.

john peachey

Mr John Peachey (1752–1831) of Chichester was an erstwhile associate of the diarist John Baker and, like him, he became a lawyer. He is known to have been a member of the Star & Garter Club and played in a handful of recorded matches in White Conduit days.

george talbot

Mr George Talbot (1761–1850) was an early MCC member who had previously been elected a Hambledon Club member in 1788. He played in 23 recorded matches from 1785 to 1791 and was a useful batsman.

In HCC, he is mentioned in connection with "some quaint wagers" in the betting book at White's Club. A member of the military, he eventually succeeded to his family title as 3rd Baronet.

r whitehead

Mr R Whitehead played in a number of matches during the first few years of cricket at Lord's and even ran his own team in some of them, but very little is known of him and several other early MCC stalwarts.

The Walker Brothers

One of the greatest players of the underarm era, Tom Walker (1762–1831), made his known top-class debut in 1786, playing for WCC.

He was famously known as "Old Everlasting" for his dogged and stubborn batting style. His career continued till 1810 and he was the probable inventor of roundarm bowling, although he was never allowed to use it in matches.

The 1786 season also marked the known debut of his brother Harry Walker (1760–1805), whose career continued into the 19th century. He was a left-handed batsman said to have been a strong hitter of the ball and reputedly "the first to master the cut shot".

A third brother John made his debut in 1789 and made 50 first-class appearances, mainly for Surrey, until 1806. The Walkers came from Surrey but Tom and Harry played for Hampshire in the later Hambledon years. Later, they played mostly for their home county.


the history

A year that saw publication of the famed Kilmarnock Edition of poems by the brilliant Robert Burns (1759 – 1796). It included several classics: The Twa Dogs; To A Mouse; The Jolly Beggars; Halloween; Holy Willie's Prayer; The Cotter's Saturday Night. A year later, Burns published the Scots Musical Museum, featuring songs by him and including A Red Red Rose and Auld Lang Syne.

Another genius, Mozart, produced his Symphony No. 38 ("Prague") in 1786.

In France, the successive efforts to reform the ramshackle economy by finance ministers Neckar, Calonne, Brienne and Neckar again were all doomed to failure in a state ruled by a reactionary oligarchy of nobility and clergy. In August 1788, the fateful decision to recall the Estates-General was made and they convened at Versailles in May 1789 with truly cataclysmic consequences for all of mankind.

In America, the new nation put revolution behind it and got on with the job of building. The USA Constitution was drawn up and signed by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia at the end of 1787. By that time, slavery had been abolished in five northern states. Delaware on 7 December 1787 was the first state to ratify the constitution. The other twelve followed suit over the next couple of years. The Federal Constitution was adopted in 1789 with George Washington (1732 – 1799) becoming the first US President (to 1797).

the cricket

By 1786, the White Conduit Club members had begun to tire of White Conduit Fields as a venue because it was "too public". As a result, Winchilsea and Lennox asked Thomas Lord to find a site for a new ground and offered him a guarantee against any losses incurred. Lord was hitherto employed by WCC as a bowler.

DC in 1786 has games involving the Farnham club of Surrey and the Warfield club of Berkshire. it is known that David Harris played for Farnham and Lumpy for Warfield in the first one on Tuesday, 16 May, but we have to assume (as in 1785) that these are parish matches only despite the guest stars. A similar assumption must be made re other matches involving the Guildford and Godalming clubs. The games are included in the season summary list.

The famous Walker brothers made their first appearances in major cricket.

first-class matches

White Conduit Club v Kent

White Conduit Fields, Islington, Middlesex

Thursday, 22 – Saturday, 24 June 1786

White Conduit Club won by 5 runs (SB64)

White Conduit Club 103 (T Taylor 33; R Clifford 2w, W Bullen 2w) & 123 (John Small 49, Hon. G Monson 26; R Clifford 3w)
Kent 121 (W Bullen 26, Mr R Hosmer 26; E Stevens 2w) & 100 (Mr R Hosmer 25; E Stevens 4w)

Arthur Haygarth commented: "Henry Bentley's 'correct' (sic) book of matches commences in 1786 and ends in 1825. Several matches in (S&B) are taken from that publication. The above match is not arranged in the order of going in. Many matches in the early part of (Bentley's) book have always the gentlemen placed first".

Kent v Hampshire

The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent

Monday, 26 – Wednesday, 28 June 1786

Kent won by 4 wickets (SB65)

Hampshire 143 (T Walker 43, H Walker 39, R Purchase 25; R Clifford 3w, W Bullen 2w) & 89 (H Walker 24; W Bullen 3w, J Boorman 2w, R Clifford 2w)
Kent 123 (W Bowra 28, W Bullen 27; E Stevens 3w, R Purchase 2w) & 110-6 (J Ring 61*, J Aylward 27; E Stevens 3w)

Literally a match-winning knock by Ring in the second innings.

Hampshire v Kent

Windmill Down, near Hambledon, Hampshire

Thursday, 13 – Saturday, 15 July 1786

Hampshire won by 1 wicket (SB66)

Kent 83 (W Bullen 23; D Harris 4w) & 189 (F Booker 55*, J Aylward 53, W Bullen 29; R Purchase 4w, N Mann 2w)
Hampshire 163 (H Walker 66, T Walker 55; R Clifford 3w, W Bullen 2w) & 110-9 (T Walker 26, John Small 24; W Bullen 2w, R Clifford 2w)

Tom Sueter of Hampshire was given out for hitting the ball twice. This is the first recorded instance of this type of dismissal.

Re the Walker brothers, it cannot be confirmed but it is possible that this match included the first instance of a century partnership involving two brothers.

Arthur Haygarth says: "In this match, 'hit wicket' is scored down only for the second time, the first being in 1773. Evidently (as in the case of leg before wicket and stumped out) it was written down as bowled merely for some years". In fact, there were other instances of "hit wicket" in scores recorded elsewhere.

Haygarth also comments that: "In another account, the Hambledon Club is called England; but they are all belonging to the club, and therefore the above (i.e., Hambledon Club) is no doubt correct. But Hambledon and All England were much the same about this time".

Hampshire v Kent (ABC game)

Moulsey Hurst, Molesey, Surrey

Wednesday, 2 – Saturday, 5 August 1786

Hampshire won by 35 runs (SB66)

Hampshire 116 (T Walker 56; R Clifford 3w) & 144 (Mr E Hussey 28, R Purchase 26; R Clifford 3w, W Brazier 2w)
Kent 143 (Mr S Amherst 33, F Booker 26; E Stevens 2w) & 82 (F Booker 39; E Stevens 3w)

Hampshire won after being behind on first innings. Tom Taylor, who was not a wicketkeeper, took six catches in the match.

Some interesting comments by Arthur Haygarth about this game and about team naming conventions. "It may here be mentioned that the Earl of Winchilsea's or the Hambledon Eleven always played in silver laced hats. Knee breeches of course in use now by everyone. It is very curious that the above Kent Eleven consisted entirely of A, B, and C's, in fact in another account the two sides are called A, B, and C's v the Rest of the Alphabet. This match is in 'the Old Scores' called Earl of Winchilsea's v Sir Horace Mann's side, but it is decidedly a match between Hambledon Club (i.e., Hampshire) and Kent, and has been so altered by the Compiler of this work. Often in the old score books, the name of the principal patron or backer of each side is prefixed, instead of the proper name, which is very incorrect, and apt to mislead the reader".

Team names can be misleading but in fact none of the contemporary labels are incorrect. As we have seen, the same team could have several labels not just successively but also concurrently. The whole issue is a storm in a teacup and it is up to each writer to follow his own preference, which is precisely what Mr Haygarth himself did!

Kent v White Conduit Club

Bishopsbourne Paddock, Bourne, near Canterbury, Kent

Tuesday, 8 – Saturday, 12 August 1786

White Conduit Club won by 164 runs (SB68)

White Conduit Club 183 (T Walker 95*, Mr G East 26; R Clifford 4w) & 296 (T Taylor 117, T Walker 102; W Bullen 4w)
Kent 218 (Mr R Stanford 73, Mr S Amherst 39, J Boorman 32; D Harris 3w) & 97 (R Clifford 41, Collier 35; D Harris 3w, E Stevens 2w)

Tom Walker was very close to becoming the first batsman ever to score two centuries in a match. The centuries by Walker and Thomas Taylor are the first instance of two players scoring centuries in the same match, let alone the same innings. Although it cannot be confirmed, it is possible they shared a 200-plus partnership. These were the third and fourth centuries in recorded top-class cricket, following the previous hundreds by John Small and James Aylward who were both playing in this game.

Arthur Haygarth commented: "There are only a few recorded matches of the White Conduit Club. The Marylebone Club was formed in 1787 from its members. The date of the formation of the White Conduit could not be found". Pelham Warner wrote in his Lord's: 1781–1945 that the date was 1782.

significant matches

Berkshire v Middlesex

New Ground, Hayley Green, Warfield, Berkshire

Monday, 16 September 1786

result unknown (DC)

DC recorded that: "a match of cricket will be played on the New Ground at Hayley Green, Warfield, Berks, the counties of Middlesex and Bucks, against Warfield, with G. East, Esq., Finch and Thompson. Wickets to be pitched at 10 o'clock.

Players for Middlesex and Bucks: Fennex, Bedster, White, Grange, Shackle, Webb, Spriggs, Belch, Pontifex, Dean and Grainger.
Players for Warfield: G. East, Esq., Osmer (i.e., Mr R Hosmer), G. T. Boult, A. Boult, Z. Boult, Baker, Finch, Fouch (i.e., Mr George Louch), Lawrence, Simkins, and Thompson. (Not reported.)"

The Warfield team here is effectively a Berkshire XI and their opponents are near enough a Middlesex XI, presumably with a couple from Bucks, so this is a first-class match. Many of these names will be familiar if you have studied matches in the 1790s.

henry crozoer

Henry Crozoer, whose name is sometimes given as Crosoer, made his debut at Windmill Down on 13 July. Born c.1765, probably at Bridge, he was a Kent stalwart for a few seasons. He seems to have been a wicketkeeper-batsman.

The History of Cricket: 1776 – 1780 | 1787 – Lord's and the MCC | Index

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