1751 English cricket season

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The earliest known references to cricket in each of Durham, Somerset, Warwickshire and Yorkshire are all found in the 1751 English cricket season.

The population of Great Britain in 1751 reached 7,250,000 and, although the figure was rising, the country remained a small rural society with London the only real urban centre. Cricket reflected this scenario as it was still essentially a rural game at this time with London Cricket Club at the Artillery Ground its one "big club" and "big venue".

Matches[edit]

Date Match Title Venue Result
13 May (M) Surrey v London [1] Artillery Ground result unknown

The actual title of the match as advertised beforehand was Addington, Warlingham, Croydon & Cheam versus Ripley, Thursley & London! Wickets to be pitched at one o’clock and the game was arranged by the noblemen and gentlemen of the London Club. No match details were reported afterwards.

20 & 21 May (M-Tu) All-England v Kent [1] Artillery Ground All-England won by 9 runs

Kent had Tom Faulkner (Addington and Surrey) as a given man. All-England scored 26 and 122; Kent replied with 76 and 63. So 287 runs were scored in the match and this was a lot for the time, given the uncertain state of all wickets.

All-England: Stephens, Richard Newland, Edward Aburrow senior, John Harris, Joseph Harris, John Frame, Matthews, Perry, Stephen Harding, Stephen Dingate, A N Other.

Kent: William Hodsoll, Tom Faulkner, Stone, Wilden, Garrett, Rawlings, John Bell, Thomas Bell, Howard, James Bryant, Val Romney.

A N Other played for Thursley, as did Stephen Harding (later of Chertsey) who was a noted bowler. In England’s second innings, these two went in first and scored 51 for the first wicket, which is like a double century partnership nowadays. Harding apparently made 50 of these himself and had one hit out of the ground and against a house on Bunhill Row opposite. He was given four for this mighty effort. You could only score six if you were actually able to run that many and to do that you would need the help of overthrows.

Play on the first day started at one o’clock and on the second day at ten o’clock. At the end of the first day, Kent in their second innings were 23-2, still needing 73 to win. Kent were reduced to 43-9 when the last pair came together so the final wicket added 20.

For the first time ever, the fall of wickets in an innings is known. This is England’s second innings: 1 – 51, 2 – 72, 3 – 77, 4 – 77, 5 – 78, 6 – 84, 7 – 87, 8 – 119, 9 – 119, 10 – 122.

22 May (W) All-England v Kent [1] Artillery Ground All-England won by an innings & 9 runs

Kent scored 88 and 67; All-England scored 164. The teams were the same as on the two previous days and again the name of the Thursley player is unrecorded. It would seem that Kent was no longer good enough to challenge All-England.

All-England: Stephens, Richard Newland, Edward Aburrow senior, John Harris, Joseph Harris, John Frame, Matthews, Perry, Stephen Harding, Stephen Dingate, A N Other (of Thursley).

Kent: William Hodsoll, Tom Faulkner, Stone, Wilden, Garrett, Rawlings, John Bell, Thomas Bell, Howard, James Bryant, Val Romney.

1 June (S) Addington v Hadlow [2] Hayes Common, Bromley result unknown

Pre-announced in the Daily Advertiser on Thursday 30 May.

24 June (M) Surrey v Middlesex [2] Kennington Common result unknown

Announced in the Daily Advertiser same day with a one o’clock start.

23 July (Tu) Dartford v Bromley [1] Dartford Brent result unknown

This was played for one hundred guineas. Apparently, there was a challenge from the Newmarket players to take on 22 of the players in this game for any sum, but nothing further is known about it.

1 August (Th) Bromley v Dartford [2] Bromley Common result unknown

This was a return to the match on 23 July.

19 August (M) London v Country XI [1] Artillery Ground London won by 5 runs

London scored 30 and 5; the Country XI replied with 24 and 6.

4 September (W) Richmond v Kingston & Hampton [3] Moulsey Hurst result unknown

Announced in the Daily Advertiser on Monday 2 September: for two guineas a man; 11 a side, and to play home & home (sic).

Other events[edit]

Having lost the Duke of Richmond in 1750, cricket was hit by the death of another significant patron, the Prince of Wales, on 31 March. 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. It was 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. The early death of Prince Frederick Louis meant that his son Prince George became heir to the throne and he succeeded in 1760 as George III.

The earliest reference to cricket in Durham is a game at Raby Castle on or soon after Mon 5 August between the Earl of Northumberland’s XI and the Duke of Cleveland’s XI.[1] The game was commemorated by a ballad which starts:

Durham City has been dull so long,
No bustle at all to show;
But now the rage of all the throng
Is at cricketing to go.

The earliest reference to cricket in Somerset is a match at Saltford Meadow, near Bath, on 13 July that was played in memory of the late Prince of Wales.[2]

A match announcement in Aris' Gazette on 15 July is the earliest known reference to cricket in Warwickshire.[citation needed]

The earliest known references to cricket in Yorkshire were re local matches in Sheffield and a game on or soon after Mon 5 August at Stanwick, near Richmond, between Duke of Cleveland’s XI and Earl of Northumberland’s XI (the same teams that played in Durham, as noted above).[1]

Mon 3 June. A "fives" match was played in the Artillery Ground between Kent and Surrey. The Kent team was Tom Faulkner (given man), John Bell, Thomas Bell, Stone and Val Romney. The Surrey team was Stephen Dingate, John Harris, Joseph Harris, Stephen Harding and Perry. Kent won although the betting was in favour of Surrey.[1]

Wed 5 June. The same two teams met in a return match at the Artillery Ground with Kent winning by 14 runs. Kent scored 4 and 57; Surrey replied with 26 and 21. Kent made a huge improvement in their second innings! [1]

Four matches were played at Newmarket and Woburn between Gentlemen of England and Eton College Past & Present. The four games were played during June and July. The second game has a surviving scorecard but the teams in all four matches are decidedly minor.[1]

First mentions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j F S Ashley-Cooper, At the Sign of the Wicket: Cricket 1742-1751, Cricket Magazine, 1900
  2. ^ a b c d G B Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, Cotterell, 1935
  3. ^ G B Buckley, Fresh Light on Pre-Victorian Cricket, Cotterell, 1937

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ashley-Cooper, F. S. (1900). At the Sign of the Wicket: Cricket 1742–1751. Cricket magazine. 
  • Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell. 
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society. 
  • Waghorn, H. T. (1899). Cricket Scores, Notes, etc. (1730–1773). Blackwood. 
  • 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. 
  • Maun, Ian (2011). From Commons to Lord's, Volume Two: 1751 to 1770. Martin Wilson. ISBN 978-0-9569066-0-1. 
  • Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. Allen Lane. 

External links[edit]