1796 English cricket season
In the 1796 English cricket season, the Montpelier town club became prominent and played a number of matches over the next few seasons against MCC. The club’s venue was George Aram’s New Ground in Montpelier Gardens, Walworth, Surrey.
Generally speaking, it was at this time that matches involving town clubs like Montpelier, Kennington, Highgate, Rochester, Woolwich, Homerton, Richmond, Storrington and Thames Ditton began to achieve prominence in the old books. Although some good players were undoubtedly involved, the teams tended to lack overall strength and capability. Montpelier tended to be the exception as it had quite a strong side around 1796-1800.
|9–11 May (M-Tu)||MCC v Middlesex||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB196||Middlesex won by 3 wkts|
|16–17 May (M-Tu)||Middlesex v Kent||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB197||Kent won by 51 runs|
|27–28 May (F-S)||Earl of Winchilsea v Bligh (10 a side) #||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB197||Winchilsea's XI won by 65 runs|
|30–31 May (M-Tu)||MCC v Middlesex||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB198||MCC won by 141 runs|
|6–7 June (M-Tu)||MCC v Middlesex||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB199||Middlesex won by 8 runs|
|13–15 June (M-W)||MCC v Kent||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB199||Kent won by 4 runs|
|20–22 June (M-W)||Middlesex v Kent||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB200||Middlesex won by 3 wkts|
|24–25 June (F-S)||Thursday/Montpelier v MCC||Montpelier Gardens||SB201||MCC won by 63 runs|
Montpelier Gardens was in Walworth, London. The actual venue is George Aram’s New Ground in Montpelier Gardens. NB: Walworth is in Surrey, not Middlesex.
|28–30 June (Tu-Th)||All-England v Surrey||Stoke Down||SB201||All-England won by 3 wkts|
|4–5 July (M-Tu)||Bullingdon v MCC #||Bullingdon||SB202||MCC won by 199 runs|
|6 July (W)||Thursday Club v Montpelier ^||Lord’s (Dorset Square)||WDC||Thursday Club won by 8 wkts|
It seems this match was not completed until Friday 12 August and so its conclusion must have preceded the game in SB206.
|11–12 July (M-Tu)||MCC v Bullingdon #||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB203||MCC won by innings & 137 runs|
|13–15 July (W-F)||MCC v Thursday/Montpelier||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB204||MCC won by 6 wkts|
|19–22 July (Tu-F)||Earl of Winchilsea v A Smith||Perriam Down||SB204||Winchilsea's XI won by 10 runs|
|25 July (M)||Montpelier v Thursday Club #||Montpelier Gardens||WDC||Thursday Club won by innings & 19 runs|
|10 August (W)||Middlesex v Kennington #||Lord's (Dorset Square)||WDC||Middlesex won by 2 wkts|
|12-13 Aug (F-S)||Middlesex v Mont & Kenn Clubs ^||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB206||Middlesex won by 3 wkts|
Mont & Kenn = the combined Montpelier and Kennington Clubs.
It seems this match started after the one postponed from Wed 6 July was completed.
|15 Aug (M)||Montpelier v Highgate #||Montpelier Gardens||brit||Montpelier won by 6 runs|
WDC also records this match but has it dated 1 August. Britcher’s date is accepted as the closer source.
# These games in the main sources and in the ACS list are not major matches, including Earl of Winchilsea v Bligh on 27 May (SB197) which was ten-a side with weak teams.
|15-16 Aug (M-Tu)||Middlesex v Surrey||Lord's (Dorset Square)||SB208||Surrey won by 8 wkts|
WDC has this game dated 1–2 August and the ACS Guide includes both entries. The above is believed correct.
|22-23 Aug (M-Tu)||All-England v Surrey||Dandelion Paddock||SB208||Surrey won by innings & 6 runs|
|24-26 Aug (W-F)||All-England v Surrey||Dandelion Paddock||SB209||All-England won by 5 wkts|
|26-27 Aug (F-S)||Mont & Kenn v Middlesex ^||Montpelier Gardens||SB210||drawn|
^ It was at this time that matches involving local clubs like Montpelier, Kennington, Highgate, Rochester, Woolwich, Homerton, Richmond, Storrington and Thames Ditton begin to achieve prominence in the old books. Although some good players were undoubtedly involved, the teams did not often have the overall strength or capability necessary for major status unless they had given men playing. Montpelier tended to be the exception as it had quite a strong side around 1797-1798. Each game involving these clubs needs to be evaluated individually.
The match given in WDC as J Small v T Walker at the Dandelion Paddock on 7 - 10 Sept is in fact a wrongly dated duplicate of the Mann v Leigh game in S&B on the same days in 1795 (see above).
- Thomas Assheton Smith II
- John Tanner (Middlesex; amateur) – played 53 matches to 1826
- Thomas Burgoyne (Middlesex; amateur) – played 24 matches to 1816
- Sir Henry Martin (MCC; amateur) – played 15 matches to 1813
- George Booth (Middlesex) – played 13 matches to 1804
- Col. / Gen. Denzil Onslow (MCC; amateur) – played 9 matches to 1807
- Captain Codrington (MCC; amateur) – played 7 matches to 1797
- Robert Ayling (cricketer) (Kent) – played 2 matches to 1796
- George Ring (Kent) – played 2 matches to 1796
- Hon. & Rev. William Capel (MCC; amateur) – played 3 matches to 1808
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.
Then came the professionals led by Robert Robinson with 250 and Thomas Ray with 248. Other leading batsmen were John Hammond 228; Lord Frederick Beauclerk 208; Andrew Freemantle 206; Earl of Winchilsea 197; George Louch 177
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.
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.
- Britcher, Samuel, A list of all the principal Matches of Cricket that have been played (1790 to 1805), annual series
- 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 – 1796 first-class matches list
- CricketArchive – 1796 other matches list