Sir William Gage, 7th Baronet

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William Gage
Personal information
Full name Sir William Gage, 7th Baronet
Born 1695
Firle, East Sussex, England
Died 23 April 1744(1744-04-23)
England
Batting style unknown hand
Bowling style underarm
Role patron and team captain
Domestic team information
Years Team
c.1720 to c.1740 Sussex
Career statistics
Source: H T Waghorn, 14 July 2009

Sir William Gage, 7th Baronet KCB (1695 – 23 April 1744) was the MP for Seaford from 1722 until his death.

Sir William is best remembered for introducing greengages into Great Britain from France and for his patronage of cricket in association with his friend Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond.

Greengages[edit]

The greengage is named after Sir William who is credited with introducing it to Great Britain from ca.1724–25 when he obtained a supply from France.[1]

Parliamentary career[edit]

The Gage family were Roman Catholic recusants but Sir William chose to conform to the established Church so that he could become an MP in 1722.[1] His seat was the former constituency of Seaford and he retained his membership until his death in 1744.[2]

Cricket career[edit]

Sir William was a keen cricketer and patron who led and backed Sussex county cricket teams.[fc 1] One of his teams has been credited with the earliest known innings victory. He was a close friend of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and it seems they had organised a number of cricket matches before 1725 when their involvement first becomes clear through a surviving letter that Gage wrote to Richmond in humorous terms about cricket:[2][3]

My Lord Duke,
I received this moment your Grace's letter and am extremely happy your Grace intends us ye honour of making one a Tuesday, and will without fail bring a gentleman with me to play against you, One that has played very seldom for these several years.
I am in great affliction with being shamefully beaten Yesterday, the first match I played this year. However I will muster up all my courage against Tuesday's engagement. I will trouble your Grace with nothing more than that I wish you Success in everything except ye Cricket Match and that I am etc. etc.
W. Gage
Firle July ye 16th 1725

Sir William's name appears in connection with a number of matches over the next few years but perhaps most notably with regard to his game against Edward Stead's XI on 28 August 1729.[4] It seems that Sir William's team won this game by an innings, the earliest innings victory on record if so, as a contemporary report states that Sussex "got (within three) in one hand, as the former did in two hands, so the Kentish men threw it up".[4] Sir William was greatly assisted by the outstanding play of Thomas Waymark "who turned the scale of victory".[4]

In August 1733, Sir William's team challenged one backed by Frederick, Prince of Wales at Moulsey Hurst for "a wager of 100 guineas".[5] Sir William was officially Lord Gage by then. The result of the match is unknown but it featured "11 of the best players in the county on each side" (i.e., it was Surrey v. Sussex).[6] In September 1734, his Sussex team played a Kent team led by Lord John Philip Sackville in the earliest match recorded at Sevenoaks Vine. This was won by Kent.[7] Apart from one minor fixture a few years later, that is the last record of Sir William in a cricketing context.

Family and personal life[edit]

Sir William was born in Firle, East Sussex. The Gage family purchased the baronetcy at Firle Place from King James I and Sir William himself did much to develop Firle Place, including the external cladding of the building in the Georgian style, using Caen Stone.[citation needed]

He was unmarried[1] and died without issue aged 49 on 23 April 1744. He was succeeded to the Baronetcy of Firle Place by his cousin Thomas Gage who, in 1754, was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Viscount Gage.[citation needed]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Note that surviving match records to 1825 are incomplete and any statistical compilation of a player's career in that period is based on known data. Match scorecards were not always created, or have been lost, and the matches themselves were not always recorded in the press or other media. Scorecard data was not comprehensive: e.g., bowling analyses lacked balls bowled and runs conceded; bowlers were not credited with wickets when the batsman was caught or stumped; in many matches, the means of dismissal were omitted.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Christopher Howse (20 September 2006). "The gooseberry is always greener". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Marshall, p.41.
  3. ^ McCann, p.4.
  4. ^ a b c Waghorn, p.7.
  5. ^ McCann, pp.13–14.
  6. ^ McCann, p.14.
  7. ^ McCann, p.15.

Bibliography[edit]

  • John Marshall, The Duke who was Cricket, Muller, 1961
  • Timothy J McCann, Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century, Sussex Record Society, 2004
  • H T Waghorn, The Dawn of Cricket, Electric Press, 1906

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Naylor
Henry Pelham
Member of Parliament for Seaford
1727–1744
With: William Hay 1734–44
Succeeded by
William Hay
William Hall Gage
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Gage
Baronet
(of Firle Place)
1713–1744
Succeeded by
Thomas Gage