1726 to 1775 in sports

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1726 to 1775 in sports describes the period's events in world sport.

Few sporting references are found in the infant newspaper industry of the period but there are enough to confirm the establishment of professionalism in English sports like boxing, cricket and horse racing. The earliest known codification of rules occurs in each of these and in the still amateur sport of golf.



  • A game similar to bandy is known in Wales as "bando", a term used in a dictionary by John Walters published in 1770–94. Bando is particularly popular in the Cynffig-Margam district of the Vale of Glamorgan where wide stretches of sandy beaches afford ample room for play.



  • Tom Pipes claims the vacant Championship of England title until beaten by George "The Barber" Taylor in 1735.[1]
  • Jack Broughton claims the English title in 1738 after defeating George Taylor and holds it until retiring in 1744, but his title is unclaimed until 1750
  • 1750 — Broughton comes out of retirement to fight Jack Slack of Norwich. Broughton is beaten after Slack punches him right between the eyes and creates so much swelling that Broughton is unable to see and is forced to concede the bout. Slack remains champion until 1760.[2]
  • 1758 — Jack Broughton drafts the London Prize Ring rules
  • 1760 — Jack Slack is beaten by William "The Nailer" Stevens and there are several claimants to the title of English champion during the next 15 years. They include George Meggs, George Millsom, Tom Juchau, William Darts, Tom Lyons and Peter Corcoran.[3]



  • 1749 — François-André Danican Philidor publishes Analyse du jeu des Échecs, one of the most famous books on chess theory, which becomes a standard manual. Philidor himself is regarded as the strongest European player by 1775.



  • 1727 — Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond is involved in the creation of Articles of Agreement to establish the rules under which a match is played, the first time that a set of rules is known to have been put in writing
  • 1728 — the earliest known instance of a county team (i.e., Kent) being acclaimed for its superiority over its rivals suggests the origin of the Champion County title
The oldest surviving bat from 1729. Note its shape, which is very different from modern-day bats.
  • 1729 — the earliest known innings victory is achieved and 1729 is the date of the oldest known cricket bat still in existence
  • Cricket is the first sport to enclose its venues and charge for admission. Ground enclosure is first reported in 1731 when the playing area on Kennington Common is staked out and roped off. The same practice is in use at the Artillery Ground in 1732. Spectators at the Artillery Ground are being charged admission of two pence by the early 1740s but it remains unclear when charges are first introduced (probably in the 1730s).[4]
  • London Cricket Club, which plays most of its home matches at the Artillery Ground, is the dominant club in 1730s cricket
  • Frederick, Prince of Wales, becomes a major patron of cricket from 1733
  • 1741 — emergence of Slindon Cricket Club as a major team; its most outstanding player is Richard Newland
  • 1743 — first mention in the sources of the great Kent batsman Robert Colchin
  • 1744 — first codification of the Laws of Cricket, by the Star and Garter club of Pall Mall in London; interestingly, the Laws do not say the bowler must roll the ball and there is no mention of prescribed arm action so, in theory, a pitched delivery would have been legal, although not in use until the 1760s
  • 1744 — earliest known scorecards are created for two matches this season but they do not come into regular use until 1772
  • 1745 to 1748 — single wicket cricket becomes increasingly popular and is the main form of cricket in England during this decade with lucrative contests taking place at the Artillery Ground in particular
  • 1751 — earliest known references to cricket in each of Durham, Somerset, Warwickshire and Yorkshire
  • 1756 — earliest known references to a Hambledon team, though almost certainly a local parish organisation at this time, when it plays three matches against the prominent Dartford Cricket Club
  • 1757 to 1763 — perhaps for the first time, cricket feels the full impact of a major war as it suffers a drain in manpower and investment during the Seven Years' War; few first-class matches are recorded with none at all in 1760
  • 1764 — earliest mention of some of the great Hambledon players including John Small and Richard Nyren
  • c.1765 — Hambledon Club probably founded at this time, based on a former parish organisation
  • 1765 — increasing evidence of the growth of cricket in the north of England as Leeds plays Sheffield
  • 1767 — the earliest known century partnership is recorded as two Hambledon players score 192 for the first wicket against Caterham; the sources do not name the players but they are believed to be Tom Sueter and either George Leer or Edward "Curry" Aburrow
  • 3 June 1768 — death of William Bedle at his home near Dartford; he "was formerly accounted the most expert cricket player in England" and is the first great player in cricket's history.
  • 1768 — a newspaper report states that John Small "fetched above seven score notches off his own bat" when playing for Hampshire versus Kent at Broadhalfpenny Down; although it seems to be his second innings score, it may be his match total and so it is not clear if this is the earliest known first-class century
  • 1769 — first mentions in the sources of two of the greatest bowlers of the 18th century, Thomas Brett and Lumpy Stevens
  • 1769 — John Minshull scores 107 in a minor match and this is the earliest known century definitely recorded as such
  • 1769 — Tom Sueter and George Leer share a partnership of 128 for Hampshire v Surrey at Broadhalfpenny Down, the second known century partnership in cricket's history
  • 1771 — the Nottingham v Sheffield match is the first known mention of cricket in Nottinghamshire, even though the Nottingham club is already well-established
  • 1771 — the Chertsey v Hambledon match at Laleham Burway is enlivened by a furious dispute when Thomas "Daddy" White uses an extra wide bat to completely obscure his wicket. The Hambledon players object and a formal protest is written by Thomas Brett and signed by himself, Richard Nyren and John Small. It brings about a change in the Laws of Cricket, as confirmed in 1774, whereby the maximum width of the bat is set at four and one quarter inches.
  • 1772 — detailed scorecards become commonplace and this marks the beginning of first-class cricket as a statistical concept.
  • 1774 — the Laws of Cricket are revised by a committee meeting at the Star and Garter on Pall Mall in London. This version of the Laws includes lbw and the width of the bat.
  • May 1775 — demands for a third stump are voiced after a single wicket match at the Artillery Ground in which Lumpy Stevens beats John Small at least three times only for the ball to pass through the wicket, which at the time still consists of two uprights and a crosspiece, without disturbing it. Although the petition is granted soon afterwards, research has discovered that the introduction of the third stump in practice is gradual and the two stump wicket does continue for a number of years yet.
  • 13 July 1775 — John Small scores 136 not out for Hampshire versus Surrey at Broadhalfpenny Down, the earliest known century in first-class cricket.[5]



Horse racing[edit]


  • 1740 — Parliament introduces an Act "to restrain and to prevent the excessive increase in horse racing", though it is largely ignored; eventually, the Jockey Club is formed in 1752 to establish rules for British racing
  • 1752 — the Jockey Club is formed to establish rules for British racing; it is the governing body of the sport until 1993 when it hands over control to the new British Horseracing Board
  • 1752 — the first recorded steeplechase takes place in County Cork over a distance of 4.5 miles between the towns of Buttevant and Doneraile, the name of this type of race being derived from the practice of racing the horses across country by going from church steeple to church steeple.[6]
  • 1758 — the Society of Sportsmen of the Curragh, a precursor of the Irish Turf Club is formed.


  1. ^ Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopaedia. Retrieved on 18 April 2009. Archived 2009-05-02.
  2. ^ Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopaedia. Retrieved on 18 April 2009. Archived 2009-05-03.
  3. ^ Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopaedia. Retrieved on 7 November 2009.
  4. ^ John Leach, From Lads to Lord's. Retrieved on 21 April 2009.
  5. ^ Arthur Haygarth, Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744-1826), Lillywhite, 1862
  6. ^ National Hunt Racing. Retrieved on 14 November 2009.