1726 English cricket season

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1726 English cricket season
Cricket formats first-class and single wicket

The 1726 English cricket season is the first in which a newspaper report names a participant in a cricket match and it is from this time that a continuous history of English cricket is possible, although the details in most seasons through the 18th century remain sparse. Newspaper reports seemed to be widening in scope and the first players mentioned were Perry of London and Piper of Hampton who played a single-wicket match. The main story of the year, as in some earlier seasons, concerns cricket's relationship with the law, though once again the issue was non-payment of gambling debts.

Matches[edit]

The London Evening Post dated 27 August carried an advertisement for a single wicket match between players called Perry (of London) and Piper (of Hampton, Middlesex).[1] The venue was Moulsey Hurst, near Molesey in Surrey. This is the earliest reference to cricket being played at this venue. It was famous for various sporting activities, especially prizefighting, and was often used for cricket throughout the 18th century.[2]

Date Match Title Venue Result Source
29 August (M) London & Surrey v Mr Edwin Stead’s XI Kennington Common result unknown [3]

The match was "for 25 guineas between the men belonging to Edwin Stead, Esq. of Maidstone and the men of London and Surrey".[3]

 ? Sept (see 1724) Chingford v Mr Edwin Stead’s XI Dartford Brent result unknown [3]

This was the conclusion of the 1724 match which was unfinished at that time and became the subject of a lawsuit. Lord Chief Justice Pratt ordered it "to be played out", but he died in 1725 before it was played out.[3] It is not known if Dartford Brent was the original venue but it seems certain the match was concluded there.[4]

Other events[edit]

On the subject of legal matters, a letter has survived that was written by an Essex resident. The writer complained that a local Justice of the Peace had seen fit to literally read the Riot Act, as it were, to some people who were playing cricket on Saturday 10 September. He had a constable with him who dispersed the players.[5] Buckley commented that it seems the JP considered any game or sport as a pretence covering the gathering of disaffected people in order to raise a rebellion. Given the ruling by Lord Chief Justice Pratt, who in effect ordered the Chingford v Stead's XI game to be played in Dartford, the issue raised was that it was apparently lawful to play cricket in Kent but not in Essex.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maun, p.33.
  2. ^ From Lads to Lord's – 1726. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Waghorn, p.6.
  4. ^ a b Dartford Cricket Club website. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b Buckley, p.3.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell. 
  • Maun, Ian (2009). From Commons to Lord's, Volume One: 1700 to 1750. Roger Heavens. ISBN 978-1-900592-52-9. 
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press. 
  • Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline. 

Additional reading[edit]

  • ACS (1981). A Guide to Important Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles 1709 – 1863. Nottingham: ACS. 
  • Altham, H. S. (1962). A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914). George Allen & Unwin. 
  • Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum. 
  • Bowen, Rowland (1970). Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development. Eyre & Spottiswoode. 
  • Buckley, G. B. (1937). Fresh Light on pre-Victorian Cricket. Cotterell. 
  • Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins. 
  • Marshall, John (1961). The Duke who was Cricket. Muller. 
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society. 
  • Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. Allen Lane. 

External links[edit]