1796 English cricket season

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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.

Matches[edit]

Date Match Title Venue Source Result
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).

First mentions[edit]

Leading batsmen[edit]

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.

John Tufton was the leading runscorer with 306 and another amateur, Edward Bligh, came second with 270

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

Leading bowlers[edit]

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.

Lord Frederick Beauclerk led the bowlers in 1796 with 42 wickets. Thomas Boxall was the second-highest wicket-taker with 38

Other leading bowlers were Thomas Lord 30 wickets; John Wells 21; Tom Walker 18; William Bullen 15; Sylvester 10

Leading fielders[edit]

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.

Henry Tufton with 13 ct and 13 st was the outstanding performer in the field, beating John Hammond who had 8 ct, 9 st. Another good keeper was Charles Warren with 2 ct, 10 st.

Thomas Ray and Lord Frederick Beauclerk took the most catches with 16 apiece. Tom Walker took 10 ct, 1 st; Thomas Boxall 9 ct; William Beldham 8 ct, 1 st; John Pilcher 8 ct

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 

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. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]