1784 English cricket season
|Cricket formats||major, including single wicket|
The 1784 English cricket 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.
Although not directly connected with cricket, it was in 1784 that 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 and cricket spread throughout the country as a consequence of that.
|18 May (Tu)||Berkshire v Bucks||Little Marlow||WDC||Berkshire won by innings & 21 runs|
Bucks has never had a top-class county team and Berkshire clearly won this with ease.
|22 May (S)||"A Great Cricket Match"||White Conduit Fields||FLPV||result unknown|
|27 May (Th)||"A Great Cricket Match"||White Conduit Fields||FLPV||result unknown|
It is almost certain that these matches involved the White Conduit Club but few details are known. George Finch, 9th 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.
|1–2 June (Tu-W)||All-England v Hampshire||Sevenoaks Vine||SB61||All-England won by 7 wkts|
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.
|9 June (W)||Bucks v Berkshire||Datchet Common||WDC||result unknown|
This was a return of the game on Tues 18 May above. It was pre-announced with the result of the first one but was not itself reported.
|22–23 June (Tu-W)||Chertsey v Coulsdon||Laleham Burway||WDC||Chertsey won by 313 runs|
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".
This match is sometimes found in lists of top-class games as these were both strong clubs for most of the 18th century. But Coulsdon was a shadow of its former self by 1784 and lost the game heavily by 313 runs. Apart from the occasional Surrey players Muggeridge and Quiddington, none of the Coulsdon team is recognised, whereas the majority of Chertsey players are.
|15–16 July (Th-F)||Hambledon Parish v Petworth||venue unknown||FL18||Petworth won by 52 runs|
Hambledon Parish v Petworth is recorded in FL18 and included in the ACS list 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.
|30 July (F)||Farnham v Odiham & Alton||Holt Pound, Farnham||FL18||result unknown|
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 Beldam brothers all played for Farnham. Odiham’s team included David Harris and Thomas Scott, who became a noted Hampshire player in the 1790s.
Note that many scorecards in the 18th century are unknown or have missing details and so it is impossible to provide a complete analysis of batting performances: e.g., the missing not outs prevent computation of batting averages. The "runs scored" are in fact the runs known.
Note that the wickets credited to an 18th-century bowler were only those where he bowled the batsman out. The bowler was not credited with the wickets of batsmen who were caught out, even if it was "caught and bowled". In addition, the runs conceded by each bowler were not recorded so no analyses or averages can be computed.
|2||Edward "Lumpy" Stevens|
Note that many scorecards in the 18th century are unknown or have missing details and so the totals are of the known catches and stumpings only. Stumpings were not always recorded as such and sometimes the name of the wicket-keeper was not given. Generally, a catch was given the same status as "bowled" with credit being awarded to the fielder only and not the bowler. There is never a record of "caught and bowled"the bowler would be credited with the catch, not with the wicket.
- Ashley-Cooper, F. S. (1924). Hambledon Cricket Chronicle 1772–1796. Jenkins.
- Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell.
- Haygarth, Arthur (1862). Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826). Lillywhite.
- Mote, Ashley (1997). The Glory Days of Cricket. Robson.
- Nyren, John (1998). Ashley Mote, ed. The Cricketers of my Time. Robson.
- Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press.
- Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline.
- 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.
- McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society.
- Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. HarperCollins.
- Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. Allen Lane.
- Classification of cricket matches from 1697 to 1825
- CricketArchive – 1784 first-class matches list
- CricketArchive – 1784 other matches list
- From Lads to Lord's; The History of Cricket: 1300 – 1787